Intraware Acquires Janus for its Extranets

  • Written By: C. McNulty
  • Published: July 11 2000

Intraware Acquires Janus for its Extranets
C. McNulty - July 11, 2000

Event Summary

ORINDA, Calif. - [June 12, 2000] - Intraware Inc., an IT e-marketplace for web-based software and services, announced it has agreed to acquire Janus Technologies Inc., an information technology (IT) asset management solution provider, for $24.25 million in stock. Janus develops and markets IT asset management solutions including tools that enable organizations to significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of their IT assets.

As a result of this transaction, Intraware will acquire Janus' industry leading technology, domain expertise and customer base of over 130 Fortune 1000 companies. Following the closing of the transaction, Intraware will develop a web-hosted version of Janus' IT asset management software applications. This acquisition will significantly expand Intraware's service offerings to corporate customers and provide a complete software lifecycle solution for managing IT assets.

Market Impact

IT asset management is often handled by ad hoc, in house solutions - in fact, Janus identifies Microsoft Excel as a principal competitor to an intelligent asset management solution. Enterprises eventually can leverage better lifecycle and license management for their infrastructure. In this model, vendors aren't just selling you a widget - they're selling you a widget with an XML-formatted, SOAP-delivered descriptor that can automatically integrate itself with your enterprise directory and systems management solutions. (No one is doing this perfectly yet, just as no one can sell you a widget.)

Janus has been good with the "i", but had no capacity for "e-commerce." Their flagship product - the Argis 6.0 asset management suite - includes many key features - workflow, mail, help desk integration - that happen inside the enterprise. Argis, however, has lacked Web integration and e-commerce - things that live outside the firewall. This makes sense for Janus.

The Intraware merger gets Janus involved much earlier in the procurement cycle. In addition to online content, Intraware provides online software sales, and already has an alliance with eMarketplace vendor Commerce One. (Commerce One's CEO, it should be noted, also sits on Intraware's board.) Janus CEO Larry Shoop expects to be able to integrate procurements anywhere in the Commerce One marketplace directly to Argis. This rounds out the Argis suite nicely.

In turn, Intraware gets access to Janus' professional services group, and its development team based in Pittsburgh. In part due to the lower cost of operations, Intraware has begun shifting some development operations from Intraware's Orinda, California offices to Janus' Pittsburgh headquarters.

However, we can't help but wonder why an IT portal would buy a software firm. Do they really need a professional services team? Is their development team going to be happy about being moved 3000 miles? (We doubt that Intraware will shift its essential developers from the West Coast to Pittsburgh.)

There are some interesting synergies between Janus and Intraware - accessing Intraware's eCommerce capabilities and user base - but they aren't essential. There's more potential between Commerce One and Janus, say, buying and managing assets all from the same Web site. Intraware suddenly looks a lot more appealing to Commerce One, but not because of its traditional business.

Peregrine Systems AssetCenter 3.5 is Janus' principal competitor. Peregrine already has a Commerce One alliance. Janus is still behind the curve here, and it's going to take at least six months before they digest this merger.

User Recommendations

Peregrine has traditionally been rated more highly than Janus/Argis. Janis is behind Peregrine, and it's going to be at least six months before the consolidation issues are resolved.

If Intraware is able to integrate Argis smoothly with its Commerce One partnership (a big if), it has a clear advantage, and deserves a place on any short list of asset management solutions. Check back with Intraware around year-end.

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