Actional sells adapter business to iWay

John Hogan

Actional Corp. has sold its adapter business for an undisclosed sum to New York-based Information Builders Inc.'s iWay Software unit, the two companies announced today.

The all-cash deal, which is expected to close within a week to 10 days, includes three products that make up privately held Actional's adapter line: SOAPswitch, Actional Control Broker and Object Bridge. Those product names will be retained, but the Actional name will be dropped from them. Adapters are hardware or software interfaces for data, applications and networks.

IWay, whose parent company is privately held, will also acquire all associated patents, customer licensing agreements and partner relationships from Mountain View, Calif.-based Actional. An Information Builders' executive said iWay is purchasing licensing agreements for 150 Actional adapter customers, 50% of whom are in Europe. There are relationships with 20 Actional business partners in the adapter market, including resellers, that iWay said it will maintain.

John G. Senor III, president of iWay, said his company will absorb 22 Actional employees on development and support teams in Montreal and Mountain View, Calif., as well as European sales and support staff at the SAP AG campus in Walldorf, Germany. The majority of those workers are based in Montreal, and iWay plans to establish its own development facility there, Senor said in a teleconference today.

Frank Bergandi, Actional's CEO, declined to say what percentage

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the adapter business was to his company's overall business. However, he said, "Clearly, the focus [of Actional's business] is now on Web services management." Actional has already concentrated primarily on Web services management, and its commitment to that segment of the Web services market will increase, Bergandi said.

Gartner Inc. research director Benoit Lheureux expects the shakeout in the adapter market to continue.

"Because the adapter suite market segment is small, vendor viability is a key issue because the market segment cannot sustain substantial growth for a dozen vendors -- consolidation is already commonplace," Lheureux said in a statement publicized by iWay.


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