IT governance software provider Centennial Software has this week been acquired by CRM provider FrontRange Solutions for an undisclosed sum.

Centennial Software is a UK company that is perhaps best known for its asset management and network security software. Its flagship brands include Centennial Discovery (auditing software), Centennial License Manager (software asset management and licence compliance) and Centennial DeviceWall (security software).

Spreaking to Techworld, Centennial's CEO, Andy Burton, insisted the deal made good commercial sense as there was very little product overlap. "Any acquisition nowadays has got to make sense on several levels," he said. "Both companies have similar customer bases, and indeed both companies shared the same VAR partners, so it makes strategic sense to get the products from one company."

Centennial has sold more than six million licences worldwide, to a global customer base of 3,200. Last September, the company released SAM.Suite to enable IT managers keep closer tabs on their software licences.

Burton revealed that Centennial has been in talks with FrontRange for a number of years over a possible OEM deal for its technology. "But the further we got into that, the more logical it became for the businesses to come together."

Financial details of the acquisition were not revealed, as both companies are privately held. It is understood though that FrontRange has approximately nine times the revenue of Centennial, and that both companies are profitable.

FrontRange said that it intends to add Centennial's software products to its own portfolio of IT service management; customer relationship and sales force management; and PC lifecycle management software.

According to Burton, for the foreseeable future Centennial will continue to trade as a separate unit, although as part of the FrontRange group. "However logic suggests that over time the Centennial name will become associated with the product instead of the company," he added.

On the technology level, Centennial's chief technology officer now reports to FrontRange, but is also responsible for overseeing integrations into FrontRange product set.

"These integrations are already well advanced, and the first integrated product sets should be expected within the first three to six months," revealed Burton.

"Centennial's Discovery suite will be integrated into FrontRange's HEAT helpdesk tool, along with its ITSM (service management), and Enteo (client lifecycle) products."

"Software Asset Management (SAM) and IT Governance initiatives are taking more CIO and IT manager time," said Fred Broussard, research director, Enterprise System Infrastructure Software, at analyst group IDC. "Solutions such as FrontRange's, augmented with asset discovery and license management capabilities into its core portfolio, can help IT organisations address this critical function."

In previous years Centennial has been a multiple winner of Techworld awards. In 2006 its DeviceWall product was named "Security Product of the Year", and in 2007, it won the "Governance Project of the Year" along with the Telegraph Media Group.

The combined business will have an approximate headcount of 700 to 750 workers (10 percent of which will be staff coming from Centennial).

Burton confirmed that he, along with a number of members of the Centennial board, will be leaving the company. Centennial's sales manager, Alex Hilton, will instead report directly to FrontRange's CEO, Michael McCloskey.