Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Murders & Executions

I can hardly believe I am doing this?
When I first came across the concept of blogs I must admit I did not foresee myself one day being a blog author. At the time it seemed all a bit too geeky and trendy but as time has passed I have found myself visiting a few blogs of interest on a more and more regular basis. To the extent I now see their value.

So who is this Blog for?
Predominantly, senior executives who work in the ECM, EDM & BPM technology sectors; companies that supply any of the above technology solutions including hardware to end users. You may think that this is a highly niche area and you are right to an extent but worldwide most people would be amazed at how many companies operate in this sector.

This blog will be a commentary and source of news regarding ECM, EDM and BPM mergers and acquisitions for senior executives with an eye on growth or divestment opportunities.

I intend for the blog to be direct, informative, sometimes humorous without the commonly heard “corporate speak” that can so quickly bore and rarely prove useful. I also hope that this blog will be uplifting for those that operate in this sector. Despite the current financial crisis there are many rays of light and opportunities for those of us that have our eyes open and our blinkers off.

This blog will also be a “heads up” for potential opportunities to acquire. Obviously due to the nature of my work (more of that later) I cannot always present as many opportunities in this medium as I wish but there may be opportunities for me to provide an anonymous profile.

So what do I think readers of this blog will get out of “Boss M&A Whispers”?
Well as the name suggests I will be publishing and commenting on many things that I think need to be said. It is very much a personal comment from me and is not a “Document Boss blog”. I don’t doubt that at times it will be controversial and upset a few people but for that I make no advance apology. I want this blog to be direct and to the point.

Over 50% of acquisitions in our sector fail to reach their business objectives. Many are a disaster and some even bring down the acquiring company. However, this is not unique to our sector just look at the following high profile acquisitions:

• AOL - Time Warner ($164B)
• MCI - WorldCom ($42B)
• Daimler Benz - Chrysler ($37B)
• Sprint - Nextel ($36B)
• HP - Compaq ($25B)
• JDS - Uniphase - SDL ($13B)
• Alcatel - Lucent ($11B)
• Excite - @Home ($6.7B)
• Mattel - The Learning Company ($3.5B)
• Borland - Ashton Tate ($440M)

Some of the above brought down the combined companies. My interest is not in any of the above sectors just eDM, eCM & BPM software companies across Europe, North America & AsiaPAC but they can sometimes illustrate the point without me upsetting anybody from our industry.

Summary: Why write this blog?
So this blog will provide news and comment on current acquisitions to let you know what is happening with your competitors, partners and maybe inform you to new players to enter the sector. This blog will also help put you in a position where your next acquisition success does not have worse odds than the flipping of a coin. As well as opening your eyes to the true vista of opportunities that can be had for the executives who are “in the know”. So if you are considering growth for your company via acquisition or maybe divestment to gain return your equity and you operate in this sector (ECM, EDM or BPM) then read on.

I also promise to make my blog articles much shorter than this first introduction so they are just a quick dip-in to that can be slotted in to your busy work schedules.

To end with a quick funny story.
A few months ago I had arranged to meet a friend of mine. I knew this chap through my interest in photography but we had never discussed our work. On this particular occasion he had brought his eleven year old son with him who sat listening intently whilst he had something to eat.

My friend asked me “so what is it you do? I saw your company, Document Boss but was not clear what you did” (note to marketing: we need to be clearer). I decided to give him the short answer as most people don’t want to be bored with the details if you are not in this sector, “Mergers & Acquisitions” I said. I noticed my friends son stop eating and look up with a puzzled look on his face. The conversation continued and I did not think anymore about it.

The next time we met, my friend said “Oh by the way if my son is a little nervous of you, don’t be concerned it is just a misunderstanding” apparently he thought I had said that I was involved in “Murders & Executions”. If I had been involved in the above acquisitions perhaps he would not have been too far from the truth :-)


  1. Love the story ... that's kids for you hey? But congrats Mark on making Document Boss the de facto firm for M&A in the industry and well done for launching this blog. The industry needs this. Keep well, my friend :-)

  2. Good retelling Mark! Gave us a laugh.
    And another twist: when my son read this out M&A came out as Mergers & Accusations! A hint of truth perhaps?