Microsoft’s Opalis Acquisition FAQ

Published 15 December 09 09:25 AM | rodtrent

 

Acquisition FAQs

1.  What has been announced regarding Opalis?
Microsoft has acquired Opalis, a leading provider of next-generation IT process automation software. Financial terms won’t be disclosed. Opalis will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and will maintain Opalis offices in Mississauga, Ontario, for now. The Opalis products will become part of the System Center family of datacenter management products.

2.  What are the terms of the deal?
The terms of the deal will not be disclosed.

3.  Will Opalis management team, sales and development team come over to Microsoft as part of the acquisition?
We’re excited about the caliber of employees at Opalis and are working closely with Opalis’ management team to bring a number of Opalis employees to Microsoft across most functions of the company.

4.  What capabilities does Opalis provide?
Opalis provides IT process automation software. This software helps organizations to automate IT processes across their complex, heterogeneous datacenter environments. Opalis solutions include:

  • Prepackaged workflows and automation expertise for the common tasks in managing a datacenter.  Examples include Run Book Automation (RBA), virtual machine lifecycle management, incident ticket management, and cloud computing virtual machine migration
  • An automation platform designed to be simple to use by customers so they can quickly create and execute workflows across datacenter management tools
  • Deep integration capabilities to orchestrate tasks across datacenter infrastructure and systems management products including those from BMC, CA, IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Symantec

5.  Why has Microsoft acquired Opalis?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis brings together the deep datacenter automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated physical and virtual datacenter management capabilities of Microsoft System Center. The addition of Opalis’ IT process automation capabilities to Microsoft’s growing systems management portfolio is designed to help enterprise customers and service providers:

  • Lower the cost of datacenter management through automating complex IT processes across the datacenter, while managing the physical and virtual environment  through the Microsoft System Center platform
  • Drive IT efficiency across the datacenter with expertise delivered through pre-packaged workflows, and deep integration across the infrastructure and management environments of the datacenter
  • Build on existing skills to better manage IT and business growth with the extended System Center product offering across highly virtual, heterogeneous datacenters

The market leading IT Process Management capabilities of Opalis will also provide Microsoft with a broader set of datacenter management capabilities through the ability to orchestrate tasks and workflows across the complete datacenter environment and across a variety of management tools.

6.  How is the acquisition good for customers?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis brings together the deep datacenter automation expertise of Opalis with the integrated physical and virtual datacenter management capabilities of Microsoft System Center. This will provide a wide range of opportunities to optimize how they manage their datacenter environments, deliver datacenter services to their organizations, and reduce their operational costs.

With the existing integration of Opalis and System Center through currently available integration packs, customers will today be able to leverage the integrated automation capabilities with their existing Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager deployments to automate key processes in the datacenter today.  By deploying Opalis customers can begin to dynamically automate datacenter processes through Opalis’ robust activity library.  In addition, Opalis provides a powerful integration library to integrate System Center deployments with 3rd party software solutions

Product and Product Roadmap FAQs

1.  How does the Opalis technology fit with existing System Center suite of products?
The Opalis technology will enhance the automation and integration capabilities of System Center, including extending the range and type of integration outside the Microsoft environment. These capabilities are already integrated with Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager today through currently available integration packs. Opalis’ addition to System Center will also provide customer solutions that bring together the future System Center Service Manager’s workflow and process management capabilities with the ability to automate tasks as part of those processes across the datacenter.

2. How will Microsoft license the Opalis products?
The long-term licensing model for Opalis as part of the System Center family will be announced at a later date.  Existing Opalis customers should contact a Microsoft reseller partner or Microsoft account manager in order to purchase new licenses. Existing Microsoft System Center customers should contact their Microsoft account manager or Microsoft partner to learn how to gain access to this software

3.  Can customers buy more seats of Opalis products/ upgrades?
Opalis customers can license the right to manage additional servers with Opalis technology by purchasing Microsoft System Center SMSE/ SMSD licenses.  For every SMSE/ SMSD license purchased with active Software Assurance the Opalis subsidiary will issue a grant of Opalis licenses for no extra cost to SMSE/SMSD customers  Please refer to the previous FAQ on ‘How will Microsoft license the Opalis products’ for information on the Opalis grant. Opalis customers should contact their Microsoft Account Manager, Opalis reseller or Opalis directly for more information.

4.  I am an existing Opalis customer, how can I access System Center software?
Customers who license Opalis Integration Server and Device Licenses with active maintenance will be eligible to receive a grant of System Center Server Management Suite Datacenter (SMSD) licenses to cover the servers they are managing using Opalis software.  This grant will be available in January of 2010. 

Opalis customers can obtain the software associated with their grant for SMSD licenses through the Volume Licensing Service Center under an existing Volume Licensing agreement or by placing a media order with their existing Microsoft reseller.  If the Opalis customer does not have a Microsoft reseller relationship, they can “Ask A Question” via email on the Microsoft for Pathways site for assistance.

5.  How will the Opalis capabilities be integrated with the System Center roadmap?
Opalis software is already integrated today with Microsoft System Center Operations Manager and Virtual Machine Manager through currently available integration packs.  Going forward, Microsoft plans to integrate Opalis' deep IT process automation and integration expertise into future versions of Microsoft products and will provide more information over the coming months on where and how that integration will occur.

6.  Will Microsoft continue to make all of Opalis products available?
The majority of Opalis products will continue to be available and supported by Microsoft. This will provide customers with the ability to bring together the process automation capabilities of Opalis with the integrated management capabilities of System Center to help lower the cost of delivering highly available and performing datacenter services. In the future the licensing for Opalis products will be integrated with System Center’s licensing model to enable customers to take advantage of a flexible, cost effective and simple approach to purchasing management capabilities. One exception to this is the Opalis Dashboard product which will no longer be available from Opalis, a Microsoft subsidiary

7.  What is happening to the Opalis Dashboard product?
The Opalis Dashboard includes software developed by Altosoft.  This product will no longer be offered directly by Opalis as a Microsoft subsidiary.  Altosoft plans to license this product under the Altosoft brand. For more information please visit: http://www.altosoft.com/products/opalis_dashboard.shtml

Support, Support Agreement and Contract FAQs

1.  What happens to Opalis’ customers support agreements?
Opalis customer’s support experience for current products will remain the same during the transition to Microsoft, and existing support agreements will be honored through expiration. Upon expiration of these contracts, new Microsoft support offerings will be available to ensure ongoing support of Opalis technology.

2.  How will support for Opalis' customers be impacted?
Opalis support practices and procedures will be migrated to standard Microsoft practices over time and customers will be notified in advance of those process changes.

3.  Who does the Opalis customer need to contact for customer service and support?
Opalis support contacts and communications initially remain the same.  Support practices and procedures will be migrated to standard Microsoft practices over time and customers will be notified in advance of those process changes.

4.  How will this deal affect customers’ current contract?
TThis does not change existing licensing terms for Opalis software .  Customers exercising the SMSD license grant or making additional purchases of the SMSD will be subject to Microsoft licensing terms.

Partner FAQs

1.  What impact does this have on existing Opalis partners?
Microsoft values the experience and expertise that Opalis partners provide for IT Process Automation and we plan to engage with Opalis partners to help customers lower the cost of delivering data center services. This transaction will bring new opportunities and business to key partners through Microsoft’s fast growing systems management business.  Visit www.microsoft.com/pathways/opalis for more partner information on this acquisition.

2.  How is the acquisition good for partners?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Opalis provides a wide range of opportunities for partners to extend the solutions they can provide customers. These include the opportunity to utilize the complete System Center server management suite, including supporting Run Book Automation (RBA) and virtual machine lifecycle management projects. Additionally, expertise in deploying and utilizing Opalis technology within Microsoft environments will be in demand as System Center customers become familiar with the Opalis capabilities.   The existing integration of Opalis products with System Center means these opportunities do not have to wait for additional development work before projects can be completed. The opposite is also true as Opalis customers look to implement System Center’s existing capabilities. Visit www.microsoft.com/pathways/opalis for more partner information on this acquisition.

3.  Will the acquisition impact partner contracts?
Opalis will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft and will continue to fulfill its existing commitments to Opalis partners.  Partners will be offered partnering opportunities as part of the Microsoft partner program. Renewals of existing Opalis agreements will not be offered in their present forms.

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