IT management firm Neebula sells for $100 million

IT management firm Neebula sells for $100 million

California-based ServiceNow likes the Israeli start-up's 'ServiceWatch' product – and not just because of its name

IT management start-up Neebula is the latest member of the local “triple figure club,” after California-based ServiceNow paid $100 million to acquire the Israeli firm.

The crown jewel in ServiceNow’s acquisition is Neebula’s ServiceWatch, which enables network managers to focus on specific problems with equipment, connections, and other network features, analyzing the impact of their failure on the system, and enabling them to institute backup services to prevent problems.

With its $100 million buyout, Neebula enters an exclusive but rapidly growing club of Israeli start-ups whose sale garnered three figures — in the millions, of course. According to financial analytics firm PwC Israel Kesselman & Kesselman, the average buyout in 2013 for a merger and acquisition deal in Israel was about $90 million, though the number ratcheted skyward with the near-billion dollar sales of Waze and Trusteer. That figure was 48% higher than the average buyout deal in 2012, the group said.

Despite its name, ServiceWatch had nothing specifically to do with ServiceNow until the buyout. ServiceWatch generates an automated map of everything in a data center and analyzes the relationships among them, based on what they do in relation to a company’s services. Instead of organizing data center information based on technology domains, such as servers, applications and networks — as most mapping software does — ServiceWatch analyzes the components that go into a service, like e-mail, network account credentials, billing, and more.

If something isn’t working right, administrators can see what the problem is immediately — and in the case of multiple problems, they can more easily prioritize, isolating the “mission critical” components and dealing with them first. Everything is done on the cloud — information is uploaded and sent back to clients on-line — a feature that appealed to ServiceNow, one of the world’s biggest cloud-based platform management companies, with large enterprise customers all over the world, including banks, insurance companies, and governments.

Neebula was founded in 2009 by several veterans of the Israeli information technology industry led by CEO Yuval Cohen, formerly a vice president at Marvell Semiconductor and general manager of Marvell Software Solutions Israel, and CTO Ariel Gordon, formerly chief technology officer at BMC Software.

ServiceNow is looking forward to integrating ServiceWatch with its offerings, said ServiceNow CEO and President Frank Footman. ServiceWatch represents “a fundamental transformation from decades of component-centric management to one that puts the service portfolio front and center. It provides further validation that the future of systems management will be shaped through a business service lens, which can only be achieved through a single, integrated service model and workflow,” he said.

“Neebula is very excited to be part of the ServiceNow team,” said Neebula CEO Cohen. “We had a vision to transform the IT operations management (ITOM) market by automating the creation and maintenance of service models. The combination of ServiceWatch’s powerful capabilities with ServiceNow’s ITOM solutions and market position will allow us to better help enterprises realize the benefits of true service management.”

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