Mercury Interactive

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For another company with a similar name, see Mercury Computer Systems.
Mercury Interactive
Type Part of HP Software Division, Hewlett Packard
Industry Computer Systems
Software
Consulting
IT Services
Fate Acquired by HP
Founded 1989
Headquarters Cupertino, California, United States
Products IT Management Software
Website www.hp.com/software

Mercury (formerly Mercury Interactive Corporation) is part of the HP Software Division. Mercury offered software for application management, application delivery, change and configuration management, service-oriented architecture, change request, quality assurance, and IT governance.

History[edit]

In 1989, Amnon Landan and Arye Finegold founded Mercury Interactive Corporation.[1] The company was based in California and had offices located around the world. It also had a large R&D facility in Yehud, Israel.[2]

On 25 July 2006, Hewlett-Packard announced that it would pay approximately $4.5 billion to acquire Mercury Interactive, offering to pay $52 a share.[3]

On 7 November 2006, Mercury Interactive formally became part of HP.[4] The Mercury Interactive products are now sold by HP Software Division.[5]

Mercury Interactive legacy products were integrated and sold as part of the HP IT Management Software portfolio from the HP Software Division.[6]

Acquisitions[edit]

From 2000 until its HP acquisition in 2006, Mercury purchased several software companies:

  • Conduct Software Technologies, Inc., acquired by Mercury Interactive in a share-swap deal worth about $50M, was a privately held software company founded in 1996 by Sharon Azulai, David Barzilai, and Ran Levi. The company provided network topology visualization products, to pinpoint bottlenecks and isolate the location of network problems both across the network and across the system infrastructure. Its main product was SiteRunner, which used multi-agent technology to pinpoint bottlenecks. As part of Mercury, Conduct alumni started a new project, nicknamed Falcon and later called Prism, that switched focus to monitoring web server traffic.[7]
  • Freshwater Software was a software vendor of a web server monitoring and administration tool called SiteScope.[8] Mercury Interactive acquired Freshwater Software in 2001.[9] The product is now called HP SiteScope software.
  • Performant Inc. was a software vendor of J2EE diagnostic tools. Mercury Interactive acquired Performant in 2003 for $22.5M.[10]
  • Kintana Inc. was a software vendor of IT governance products. Mercury Interactive acquired Kintana in June 2003 for $225M.[11] Kintana products are now called HP Project and Portfolio Management software.
  • Appilog was a software vendor of auto-discovery and application mapping software. Appilog products mapped the relationships among applications and their underlying infrastructure.[12] Mercury Interactive acquired Appilog for $49M in 2004.[13] Appilog products are now part of HP Universal CMDB software, an HP Business Service Management offering.
  • BeatBox Technologies (formerly named "ClickCadence LLC") was a software vendor of real user behavior tracking products. Mercury Interactive acquired BeatBox in 2005 for approximately $14 million in cash, "to extend the real user monitoring capabilities of its BTO software and to enhance its performance lifecycle offerings.".[14] BeatBox was incorporated into Mercury's Real User Monitor (RUM) product, which is now part of HP Business Availability Center.
  • Systinet (formerly named IdooX) was a software vendor of registry and enablement products for standard service-oriented architecture (SOA). Mercury Interactive acquired Systinet in 2006 for $105M.[15] Systinet products are now called HP SOA Systinet software.

Corporate malfeasance[edit]

From 4 January 2006 until its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard, Mercury Interactive was traded via the Pink Sheets as a result of being delisted from the NASDAQ due to noncompliance with filing requirements.[16] On 3 January 2006, Mercury missed a second deadline for restating its financials, leading to the delisting.

Chief Executive Officer Amnon Landan, Chief Financial Officer Douglas Smith, and General Counsel Susan Skaer resigned in November 2005 after a special committee at the company found that they benefited from a program to favorably price option grants. The committee found that, beginning in 1995, there were 49 instances in which the stated date of a stock option grant was different from the date on which the option appeared to have been granted. In almost every case, the price on the actual date was higher than the price on the stated grant date.[17] A former Chief Financial Officer, Sharlene Abrams, later associated with the financial misreporting, had resigned previously in November 2001.[18]

The Chief Executive Officer, Amnon Landan, also was found to have misreported personal stock option exercise dates to increase his profit on transactions three times between 1998 and 2001. In addition, a $1 million loan to Mr. Landan in 1999—which was repaid—did not appear to have been approved in advance by the Board of Directors and was referred to in some of the company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but was not clearly disclosed.[19] In 2007, the SEC filed civil fraud charges against Landan, Smith, Skaer and Abrams. Without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations, Mercury Interactive agreed to pay a $28 million civil penalty to settle the Commission's charges in 2007.[20]

The SEC settled charges against Sharlene Abrams in March 2009. Abrams agreed to pay $2,287,914 in disgorgement, of which $1,498,822 represented the "in-the-money" benefit from her exercise of backdated option grants, and a $425,000 civil penalty.[21] In September 2009, a federal judge dismissed all charges brought by the SEC against Susan Skaer, who now goes by the name Susan Skaer Tanner.[22]

Products[edit]

  • HP ALM software: Application Lifecycle Management and testing toolset
  • HP LoadRunner software: Integrated software performance testing tools
  • HP QuickTest Professional software: Automated software testing
  • HP Quality Center software (formerly HP TestDirector for Quality Center software): Quality management software for applications
  • HP SiteScope software: Agentless monitoring software
  • HP Universal CMDB software: Configuration management database
  • HP Project and Portfolio Management software Project Management module: zero-client software for scheduling and managing software
  • HP Business Process Testing software: Automated and manual testing software for test design, test creation, test maintenance, test execution, and test data management
  • HP Diagnostics software: Diagnostic software for applications
  • HP Discovery and Dependency Mapping software: Automated application and IT infrastructure mapping software
  • HP Functional Testing software: Automated functional and regression testing software
  • HP Real User Monitor software: Software that provides real-time visibility into application performance and availability from the user perspective
  • HP Performance Center: Application performance testing management solutions
  • HP Business Availability Center: Business service management solutions

Competitors[edit]

Quality Assurance
IT Governance / ITIL / ITSM
Monitoring and Diagnostics

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mercury Interactive."
  2. ^ “Mercury in Israel.”
  3. ^ HP to Acquire Mercury Interactive Corp.” news release.
  4. ^ “HP Closes Landmark Mercury Acquisition” news release.
  5. ^ “Looking for Mercury Interactive?” HP web page.
  6. ^ “Looking for Mercury Interactive?” HP web page. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  7. ^ Israel Venture Capital Research Center. “Next best to a sure thing.” Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  8. ^ Business Wire. “Freshwater Software delivers a splash of Java with SiteScope 2.0; New Web monitoring and administration tools simplify and automate the management of complex Web environments.” Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  9. ^ M2 Presswire. “Mercury Interactive acquires Freshwater Software to solidify application performance management leadership.”
  10. ^ Mary Hayes Weier. InformationWeek. “Mercury Buys Kintana: Start Of A Spending Spree?” Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  11. ^ Mary Hayes Weier. InformationWeek. “Mercury Buys Kintana: Start Of A Spending Spree?”
  12. ^ Business Wire. “Appilog to Be Acquired by Mercury.” Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  13. ^ Charles Babcock. InformationWeek. “Mercury Buys Appilog.”
  14. ^ PR Newswire. “Mercury Announces BTO Core Technology Acquisitions.”
  15. ^ Paul Krill. InfoWorld. “Mercury buys Systinet in SOA governance play.” Retrieved 2010-0226.
  16. ^ Seeking Alpha. “Mercury and Comverse: Strategic Fall to The Pink Sheets (MERQ, CMVT).”
  17. ^ TheStreet.com. “Mercury Interactive CEO, CFO Resign.” Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  18. ^ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Defendant Sharlene Abram’s Objections to Lead Plaintiff’s Request for Judicial Notice in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Consolidated Complaints’ Class Action Suit.”
  19. ^ PR Newswire. “Mercury Board of Directors Names Anthony Zingale Chief Executive Officer.”
  20. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission. “SEC Settles With Mercury Interactive and Sues Former Mercury Officers for Stock Option Backdating and Other Fraudulent Conduct.” Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  21. ^ U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “Sharlene Abrams, Former Chief Financial Officer of Mercury Interactive, LLC, to be Permanently Enjoined and to Pay Civil Penalties and Disgorgement for Stock Option Backdating and Other Fraudulent Conduct; Abrams Also to be Barred from Serving as an Officer and Director of a Public Company.”
  22. ^ Amy Miller. Texas Lawyer. “Ex-GC Alleges McAfee Used Him as 'Shield' to Protect Its CEO, Directors.” Retrieved 2010-02-25.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]