Royalblue is to take over rival helpdesk supplier Utopia, after the latter entered financial turmoil last week.
Neither party would disclose the price of the deal, which was announced after days of confusion and speculation. Utopia said it was looking for a buyer because of intense competition in the market.
As part of the agreement, Royalblue will acquire distribution, support and technology rights for Utopia's suite of helpdesk software, and Utopia staff will transfer to Royalblue. Royalblue will incorporate components of Utopia's technology into future releases of Helpdesk for Windows.
The acquisition reflects consolidation in the helpdesk software market, said Andrew Milroy, analyst with Input. "This is indicative of what's happening in the helpdesk software market at the moment," he explained.
"It has been fragmented for some time but recently it has started to consolidate.
"Network Associates has bought Magic Solutions and Tivoli has bought Software Artistry - systems management vendors are adding helpdesk services to their management frameworks and there isn't room for so many players in the market," Milroy said.
Steven Hammersly, CEO of Utopia, said the aim of the partnership was to combine with a financially strong organisation: "As a leading vendor of helpdesk technology in Europe, and as an emerging force in the US, Royalblue's team was a natural fit for us.
"Royalblue, like Utopia, is recognised as a pioneer within the helpdesk space and is currently the only vendor with a true 32-bit helpdesk application," Hammersly claimed.
Royalblue will take over Utopia's extensive customer base in Europe, according to Alan Neilson, managing director of Royalblue. "For customers who need to migrate to a 32-bit product, either now or in the future, we will provide a special upgrade path to HelpDesk for Windows, and we are working on details right now."
The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year, but the companies refused to comment on the details.
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