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BUY, BUY, BUY, BUY is sometimes not the answer!

September 17th, 2018


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Strategy, vision, and innovation. 

These are the key ingredients to creating software that’s good for people and business.

Bomgar is desperately wanting to enter the growing Privileged Access Management (PAM) market. Originally, Bomgar started as a Secure Remote Desktop and Remote Support company in a market crowded with free and low-cost solutions.  Under pressure, Bomgar needed to move to an adjacent market to grow.

Bomgar’s first attempt to enter the Privileged Access Management market was back in 2015 with the acquisition of Pitbull Software’s Pitbull Keyholder, a privileged password management vault.  The news of this acquisition disappeared as fast as it was announced with Bomgar continuing to search for a new way to enter the PAM Market.

Bomgar then acquired struggling Lieberman Software in February 2018 in another attempt to enter the PAM market. They simply changed the name of the solution from RED Identity Management to Bomgar Privileged Identity, however underneath it was still just a bunch of scripts held together with many integrations that required hefty services.

In April 2018, Francisco Partners announced that it acquired Bomgar from Thoma Bravo as Francisco Partners wanted to get into the lucrative Privileged Access Management market. With no best-in-breed solutions available, Bomgar was the only option and at that time was not even a true PAM vendor.

Shortly after this announcement, Bomgar announced the acquisition of Avecto in July 2018. Avecto is an endpoint application control solution that helps enable the principle of least privilege. The solution relied heavily on Microsoft and struggled with scalability.

Now, after several failed acquisitions, Bomgar has again entered the market and acquired BeyondTrust, a legacy solution that has been in the market for a buyer for some time.  This confirms that the acquisitions of Pitbull Keyholder and Lieberman were bad decisions.  Bomgar will now go through the pain of rebranding to BeyondTrust. This is a time-consuming process that will likely cause delays in new products and innovations and put many customers through a painful transition.  Besides rebranding, the company must attempt to integrate four companies, more than five consoles—and maintain user experience. It will probably be tougher than NASA’s plan for a Mar’s landing.

Should you be worried?

Existing Bomgar, Lieberman, Avecto, and BeyondTrust customers should be concerned, along with prospects, as there is no telling which of the four PAM products will be the future choice. And what does migration look like? A future with Bomgar will likely mean a new installation.  Several acquisitions in this short amount of time will also see a power struggle within Bomgar, with employees wondering where their future is, and which products will survive.

In my experience combining legacy parts of old cars does not create a solution that’s good for people or good for business. It reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer designs a car!

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Joseph Carson

Joseph Carson has over 25 years' experience in enterprise security, is the author of "Privileged Account Management for Dummies" and "Cybersecurity for Dummies", and is a cyber security professional and ethical hacker. Joseph is a cyber security advisor to several governments, critical infrastructure, financial and transportation industries, speaking at conferences globally. Joseph serves as the Chief Security Scientist at Thycotic.

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