Precise acquires W. Quinn for storage software

Performance management firm Precise Software Solutions bought storage resource management company W. Quinn Associates. The deal, worth about $35 million, gives Performance an edge in the storage sector of performance management.

Precise Software Solutions, a 10-year-old performance management firm best known in the Oracle database world, has acquired W. Quinn Associates, an up-and-coming storage resource management company, for $35 million. Precise will pay $20 million in cash and the rest in shares for privately held W.Quinn, which recently signed a potentially key OEM deal with Microsoft and is likely to take Precise into new market areas.

Westwood, Massachusetts-based Precise, which went public in July of last year, intends to combine W.Quinn's StorageCentral products with its own Indepth for Storage product line. It says that storage resource management is complementary to its own application performance management business because storage is one of the key causes of performance degradation.

W.Quinn, based in Reston, Virginia, is no startup; it's been in existence for 15 years. But the storage resource management sector, once a quiet backwater, has grown in importance since network storage began taking off a few years ago. W. Quinn has built up 3,500 customers, compared to Precise's current user base of 1,400.

Starting in the mainframe world, Precise shifted focus toward Oracle in the mid-1990s with its Precise/SQL product, now renamed Precise Indepth. It later built performance-monitoring tools specifically for EMC, which now integrates the technology into its own products and accounts for over 20% of sales. More recently it released a version for BEA's WebLogic server aimed at the Java applications market. It has other partnerships in place with SAP, Amdocs and Hewlett-Packard.

W.Quinn adds to that OEM partners and resellers including Dell, PowerQuest and EDS -- and most recently Microsoft, which has embedded it within the Microsoft Server Appliance Kit, the foundation software for server appliances sold by companies such as Dell, HP, Compaq, IBM and NEC. Microsoft is also a customer of W.Quinn's StorageCentral SRM product, and uses it at its datacenters worldwide.

The deal is the company's second recent acquisition. In December last year Precise acquired rival performance management firm Savant for $16.6 million. The new deal is expected to be financially accretive to Precise from the third quarter of 2001. In its second quarter, the company posted a loss of $432,000 on revenue of $12.7 million, up 121% from the previous year. For Q3, it now expects to see revenue of $14.1 million and a loss of $100,000.

Veritas acquired storage resource management from Seagate Software in 1999, and earlier this year Sun acquired SRM specialist HighGround Systems. Other players include Fujitsu Softek, TrelliSoft and CommVault. Meanwhile, HP acquired performance management firm Trinagy last month to supplement its OpenView product.


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