Empirix to use deep private equity pockets to consolidate service assurance market

Empirix hopes to be a platform for consolidation in fragmented service assurance market.

Empirix CEO John D’Anna has said that new owners Thoma Bravo want to make Empirix a “platform company” to drive consolidation in the “fragmented service assurance and network management” space.

“They [Thoma Bravo] are purchasing us to add on to us, we bring size and scale already and they can help us accelerate that – starting in that fragmented space to build something in this market place.”

D’Anna pointed to “significant consolidation” already taking place in this market, citing recent deals including JDSU and Arieso, NetScout and Accanto Systems, and Ixia and Anue.

However, he added there are still a number of “smaller players than us – a bunch of different players at different levels” such as Polystar, RadCom, Anritsu and Astellia. “Then from an architecture perspective you can also look at the players in mediation, reporting and analytics – there are a whole lot of people playing there and we are interested in opportunities for consolidation and to build scale in the market.”

D’Anna also said it was “not outside the realms of possibility” that Thoma Bravo might look to combine Empirix with other companies it holds in the service provider assurance and OSS space. Thoma also owns Infovista, Network Instruments and Keynote Systems. “When Thoma Bravo bought Blue Coat, it also then bought Crossbeam Systems, and then moved that into Blue Coat,” he added.

But for now D’Anna said his job is to continue focussing on the company’s existing strategy, and accelerating its growth. He added that with the trend for convergence of enterprise IT and service provider architectures, the company had a lead on much of the market.

“We have significant customers both in the enterprise and service provider market, and really only NetScout has that similar coverage of the migration from the IP/enterprise to service provider customers – so that makes us different in terms of our customer base, and gives us a tremendous opportunity to pull those pieces together to be able to be more relevant in the marketplace,” he added.

Empirix was previously owned by private investors, including venture capital company Matrix Partners. D’Anna declined to reveal how much funding the company had taken to date. In 2002 Matrix publicly stated it had invested $29 million in a third round of funding, and was talking at that stage of an IPO. Funding details since then have remained private.