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3/13/2008
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Red Hat Buys Amentra To Boost JBoss Middleware

The consulting firm specializes in guiding companies' legacy modernization and SOA implementation.

Red Hat is acquiring systems integrator and SOA specialist Amentra to operate as an independent Red Hat company. It has longstanding expertise in JBoss Java middleware and is likely to become a consulting services branch devoted to JBoss implementations.

The move is an extension of its "enterprise acceleration" initiative that Red Hat announced at its Orlando user group meeting, JBoss World, in February. Red Hat is seeking to become a supplier of software that helps enterprises use open source code to move to service-oriented architecture.

"The depth of solution-oriented consulting services provided by Amentra will help enterprises begin deploying JBoss Enterprise Middleware products," said Craig Muzilla, VP of the middleware business unit, in announcing the acquisition.

Amentra was born as Distributed Objex in March 2000, and evolved into a small consulting firm that specialized in guiding companies' legacy modernization and SOA implementation. It takes a "mentoring" approach that attempts to train staff at the host firm in the new approach as well as modernize operations.

Amentra lists Verizon, Capital One, Merck, and Circuit City as customers on its Web site. The company has 140 employees in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Charlotte, N.C.; Tampa, Fla.; and Richmond, Va. In October, the U.S. Mint announced that it had awarded a consulting services contract to Amentra to help it implement business process management that would lead to a shorter times to market for numismatic coins produced by the mint.

Red Hat spokesmen said the acquisition has been completed but financial details won't be disclosed.

Amentra was listed by Gartner as a sample vendor for legacy modernization in its 2007 report, "Hype Cycle for Consulting and Systems Integration." Legacy modernization services are consulting services that companies use "to help them gain higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness," the report stated.

Amentra has appeared on Deloitte Technology's Fast 500 for the past three years for rapid growth in annual revenue. It ranked 465 when it first appeared in 2005 for experiencing a 237% revenue growth between 2001 and 2005. In 2007, it ranked 299th with revenue growing at a rate of 518% over the previous five years, from $3.4 million to $21 million.

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