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April 2006
Hot topics

Bull and NEC sign new industrial partnership agreement in IT security

Agreement strengthens Bull Evidian’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) offerings, and provides new momentum in Europe,Asia and USA

Following on from its announcement on 26 September 2005,Bull has confirmed the implementation of the first phase of a new industrial partnership in IT systems security between NEC and Bull Evidian. The partnership represents a major milestone in the development of Evidian, a subsidiary of Bull and one of the keystones of the Group’s security solutions offering. Evidian has established itself as a seminal player in the European IT security software market and currently has a strong presence in two main areas: identity and access management (IAM), and quality-of-service management for systems and networks, with some major customer references in both cases.

The partnership with NEC will enable Evidian to strengthen its ability to invest in technology and commercial, particularly in the rapidly expanding IAM area where Evidian itself grew by 60% in 2005. It will notably enable Evidian to strengthen its presence in Europe,the USA and Asia,building on NEC’s strong presence in these regions where the Japanese group is a recognized player in IT security, both for mobile and fixed computing applications.

NEC’s contribution to the partnership consists on the one hand of a €3 million investment in the equity of Bull Evidian – giving NEC an 8% stake in the company – and on the other hand of a second investment of some €7 million in the form of five-year maturity convertible bonds, designed to support Bull Evidian’s international development plans. The conversion of these bonds will be linked to Bull Evidian’s operational performance in 2007-2008, and after conversion they would give NEC an overall stake in Bull Evidian not exceeding 20%.

Reciprocal technology agreements will also enable NEC and Evidian to jointly enhance their portfolio of IAM solutions and products, to deliver the very best in technology to their respective customers.

An essential foundation of IT security, over the past few years, IAM has established itself as a rapidly growing area. Linked with corporate directories and PKI infrastructures, it is one of the cornerstones of the new-generation of service-oriented and ‘Web services’ architectures. In addition, it is one of the few areas of security capable of delivering positive return on investment, in terms of regulatory compliance, improved user productivity and reduced management costs.

Le principal In this area, Evidian has chosen to develop an integrated and modular solution, which offers an independent first step towards a SSO (single sign-on) system, or responds to the most complex access management requirements in Web/J2EE or provisioning environments. This approach, demonstrated by the IAM NOW > program launched last year by Evidian, enables organizations to advance at their own pace, step by step, while achieving rapid ROI.

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