RESEARCH & RESOURCES

Acquisition Activity Unabated: Embarcadero Buys Ambeo

Acquisition fever continues to shake things up in the business intelligence industry, as Embarcadero buys Ambeo.

While the platform vendors continue to feather their nests, other players in the business intelligence vendor community remain quite active as well. Effective October 13, 2005, Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: EMBT) is the proud owner of SHC Ambeo Acquisition Corp., commonly known as Ambeo. In a somewhat rare bow to total disclosure, Embarcadero announced paying $6.15 million for the company.

"With heightened sensitivity to data and identity theft, data security represents a discipline of increasing importance to corporate data management professionals. Ambeo is a proven leader in the growing market for data security solutions and will provide Embarcadero with security technology and expertise that we can leverage across our data and database management solutions," said Stephen Wong, chairman, president, and CEO of Embarcadero Technologies.

Embarcadero says the following Ambeo solutions will be immediately available through the company’s sales organization:

  • Activity Tracker™ is a real-time software solution that audits and monitors all interactions between users and databases. Through Activity Tracker, users can receive alerts about performance and security problems as they happen.
  • Usage Tracker™ is a software solution that audits, measures, and benchmarks historical interactions between users and databases. Usage Tracker provides statistical information about how data is being accessed and used.
  • NetServer™ is an appliance designed for enhanced data privacy, regulatory compliance and usage management for many popular databases. NetServer comes configured with Activity Tracker and Usage Tracker.

The official press release focuses heavily on security issues, explicitly stating: “Ambeo is being acquired to enable Embarcadero to lay the foundation for a new generation of data security solutions and to accelerate its initiative to deliver a comprehensive set of strategic data management solutions for enterprise data management professionals.”

An industry analyst says there’s more to the picture than just security functionality, however. “It’s not just which data gets used; it’s which data doesn’t get used,” says Mike Schiff of MAS Strategies. Schiff notes that Ambeo’s database usage monitoring technologies can play a valuable role in data modeling, which is a core offering of Embarcadero. Thus, the Ambeo acquisition could have far greater impact for customers of both companies, and the BI community at large.

The acquisition will also have significant impact for the employees and principals of Ambeo. According to the official statement, six “key” employees of Ambeo have accepted offers to embark on a new journey with the San Francisco-based concern. Incentives were offered to these lucky six, including stock options for a total of 125,000 shares (presumably to be divided among them), which can be purchased for $0.001 per share. That’s not a bad deal considering the stock was trading at $7.78 on November 1, with a 52-week high of $9.80, and a low of $4.79. Of course, they’ll need to stay with the company for two years before they can completely cash in.

About the Author

Eric Kavanagh is the president of Mobius Media, a strategic communications consultancy. You can contact the author at ek@mobiusmedia.com.

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