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Network management vendors land hefty venture funding

Venture capital investors continued confidence in management software makers was displayed Wednesday as Apparent Networks and Aveksa separately reported they had secured $12 million and $10 million in additional funding, respectively.

“There is as much or more good news as there is bad news across the management sector,” says Jim Frey, a senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates. “There is a tie-in to the fact that there is resilience during this downturn and people are spending money to get more out of what they already have deployed. Management technologies do just that.”

Apparent Networks, for its part, brought in $12 million in a Series C round of funding, led by Egan-Managed capital. Existing investors such as Bain Capital Ventures, JMI Equity and Business Development Bank of Canada also contributed to the latest round. Bain Capital Ventures and JMI Equity led Apparent's second round of $13.6 million in funding with additional contributions from existing investors Business Development Bank of Canada and Aden Investments. The company received $9.19 million in a first round of funding in November 2002.

“Today's networks are changing, and IT departments are increasingly relying on technologies such as virtualization, cloud computing and new IT services from outsourcers to cost-effectively support business operations,” said Mike Shanahan, managing partner of Egan-Managed Capital, in a statement. “Apparent Networks has the only solution with end-to-end performance management capabilities that are required in these new environments.”

Apparent's AppCritical software can help network managers better guarantee the performance of real-time, latency-sensitive applications, such as VoIP, across LANs, WANs and service providers' clouds. The software performs path-based analysis and real-time monitoring to determine how well networked applications are performing, the vendor says.

“Path-based management enables customer organizations to improve the productivity of their end users,” said Benjamin Nye, managing director of Bain Capital Ventures, in a statement.

Separately, role-based access and identity management vendor Aveksa landed $10 million, also in a Series C round of funding. The company had secured in January 2008 $12 million in its second round from FT Ventures (now FTV Capital), and with participation from Pequot Ventures (now FirstMark Capital) and Charles River Ventures. Aveksa landed $6 million in June 2004 from investors, including Charles River Ventures and Pequot Ventures.

The company's Aveksa software provides an identity- and access-management platform, which provides customers with automated monitoring, reporting, certification and remediation capabilities of use entitlements and roles across an enterprise organization.

“The ability to maintain appropriate, compliant user access across the enterprise continues to grow significantly due to increased regulatory demands, made all the more complex by the active merger and acquisition environment of the financial industry,” said Liron Gitig, principal of FTV Capital. “We believe Aveksa has both the management team and the technology in place to deliver on a substantial market opportunity in access governance and compliance management.”

Industry watchers expect to see customers continue to invest in compliance management products.

“Compliance doesn't stop or go away; that is a stay-of-out-of-jail issue and many people are spending on these types of products can deliver a quick ROI, help them stay compliant and invest less in capital expenditures,” says Jim Frey, a senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates.

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