Some few weeks ago, Quest announced the acquisition of NetPro. The product portfolios of both companies overlap in many areas. A few days ago, Quest presented the "product rationalization roadmap" which now explains how Quest will deal with the areas of similar functionalities.

There are many products which will be discontinued - from as well NetPro as Quest. Quest has thoroughly analyzed the overlaps in the now combined portfolio and consequently decided for the more advanced solutions. In consequence, several of the current Quest products will be discontinued.

From a customer perspective, the (consequent) decision for streamlining the product portfolio could impose the need for a migration to a new product. Even while this mainly affects administrative tools which are used by a relatively small number of relatively experienced users, that is an effort. At least the change will not require acquiring additional licenses despite the fact that Quest and NetPro had pretty different licensing models.

What might be a real problem is that Quest will discontinue the products by the end of 2009. That is a very short time frame even while only administrative tools are affected. I could imagine that customers will ask for a prolongation of that time frame.

Quest, by the way, benefits from providing a broad range of separate products instead of a tightly integrated suite of tools. They don't need to adopt the architecture and user interfaces of all the NetPro products which are continued but they could just decide which of the current NetPro and Quest offerings provides the more advanced and mature functionality. In the (few) cases where both current products have specific strengths not supported by the other product they will have do implement that over time.

But, overall, there will be few situations where customers will have to migrate and will miss important functionalities. From that perspective, the roadmap is convincing. The roadmap as well proves that the acquisition was mainly a market share deal. The real issues are the need for customers to migrate and the short period of support for discontinued products. Besides this, customers might do a more detailed analysis for licensing schemes. The migration is free, but there might be some effects in maintenance fees which should be evaluated.