BindView, a well-known Windows NT security and configuration administration company, will acquire Entevo, maker of the DirectManage directory administration suite, at the end of February for about $125 million. BindView calls itself an IT risk management solution vendor. Its products, including NOSadmin and HackerShield, focus on finding and managing security risks, disk availability, and server conflicts. Entevo's DirectManage provides a powerful, user-friendly tool for managing directory features. The suite features a centralized management console, which puts many NT control tools in close proximity, dramatically increasing accessibility and ease-of-management. For example, DirectManage lets you write a script to automatically determine who hasn't logged in for 60 days, disable those accounts, and send the relevant manager information about the disabled accounts. According to BindView President and CEO, Rick Gardner, BindView is aggressively trying to achieve NT market dominance in the directory management field, an area that many analysts expect to be important and highly profitable. Gardner explained that adding Entevo's product line to BindView's will create a powerful, unified tool that will manage and administer all aspects of Windows 2000 (Win2K) and NT. BindView has approximately 450 employees. The company estimates that the merger will add 125 to 150 employees. "We're increasing our R&D staff by 50 percent in 1 day," said Gardner. I saw a demo of DirectManage earlier this month. I was impressed with even the simplest of the suite's features, such as its ability to select batches of accounts and alter information en masse. Although DirectManage doesn't add much functionality to NT's directory administration, it makes that administration easier to perform manually and easier to automate. Entevo also adds cross-platform synchronization tools to BindView's plate, so if you change a user account in Active Directory (AD), DirectManage makes those changes to the corresponding accounts in Lotus Domino and Novell Directory Services (NDS). In addition, Entevo brings to the table a tool for migrating from NT to Win2K. This tool lets an administrator make choices ahead of time, and then it automates the migration process, minimizing network downtime. My fear is that BindView might take one part of DirectManage and either trash the rest or let it run into the ground undeveloped, as has happened in so many other acquisitions. I asked an Entevo spokesperson what would happen to DirectManage. "The brand name will stay the same, from a marketing standpoint," she said. "There will be no collapses or merges right now. Once everything is set in stone—obviously, they are having lab people talk about it; it's kind of premature to talk about at this time—but the reason the two companies merged was that their products complemented each other in so many ways."