Friday, 27 February 2009

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” – Napoleon

One of the strategies used by Napoleon, when faced with superior numbers, was the use of speed and focused attack to gain the central position. This allowed Napoleon to drive a wedge to separate the enemy armies. He would then be able to overwhelm his enemy in smaller targeted battles against mightier forces.

The reason I mention this, was that it occurred to me late last night that the WCM sector is still very segmented and may be vulnerable to such a strategy against some of the less focused players, who also operate in the sector. By a few well timed strategic acquisitions there is an opportunity to gain a dominant hold on the WCM sector.

Although there are massive repercussions across all industries and sectors due to the credit crunch the WCM sector will probably do better than most. This is a technology that is coming of age. There are still massive opportunities as companies continue to buy WCM solutions.

FatWire Software has reported 40% revenue year-over-year growth in 2008, taking it to $44m. The company reportedly rebuffed acquisition approaches last year, as it focused on growth and updating its product line under new management.

The opportunities for consolidation are evident. Vignette have been a potential likely target for some time despite with 2008 revenue down 11.6% from 2007 and Q4 specifically down 29.4% year over year. License revenue is especially weak, with just 19.5% ($7.3m) of total Q4 revenue coming from licenses. Overall, the company reported a net loss of $6.3m for the year. However, this could be seen as systematic of them possibly struggling with internal issues of integration and capitalisation, given their acquisition of Tower Software in 2004, when they added workflow and imaging.

Sitecore claimed 100% growth in its fiscal 2008, which ended June 30. However it must be taken in to consideration that this is from a relatively small base circa $10m for fiscal 2007. Sitecore's fiscal 2009 revenue is expected to be in the $30m range.

There maybe an opportunity to gain new business against slower less focused forces. The likes of Interwoven who have been recently swallowed by Autonomy, are one of a number of larger but less focused players in the WCM sector.
Would a multiple consolidation in this sector gain battle advantage by following the Napoleon strategy, to create a relatively large but more importantly focused and specialist force in WCM?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Perceptive Software YTD revenue UP 41% over previous year

Pereceptive Software seem to be flying high despite the economic recession.

Perceptive Software completed the second quarter of the 2009 fiscal year with revenue of $18M year to date global revenue is $40m up 41% on the previous year.

Their CEO Scott Coons is quoted as saying: "Todays adverse economic conditions are compelling businesses to purchase technologies that provide quick bottom-line results".

There are a number of companies in this area that continue to grow whilst others falter. Is this an inevitable result of "right technology" / service or right attitude, right marketing effective sales?

Friday, 6 February 2009

Acquisition Opportunity (Europe): Document Production Software Vendor

I said that from time to time I would be able to bring to you some M&A opportunities from this sector. Well here is the first. Should you have an interest and want to know more please contact me in strictest confidence:

Document production (assembly/composition) software vendor seeking acquisition. The market for document automation and production tools is growing tremendously. Companies like to increase and enhance the personal communication with their clients and put more emphasis than ever before on their communication processes. A recent survey indicated that 63% perceived document based communication as business critical for their organization whereas only 16% indicates having a “best of class” solution in place. Our client has taken advantage of this market by focusing strongly on having the most innovative and industrial strength solution in the market by focusing on the large insurance and banking companies. This has resulted in having >50% of the top 20 insurers and 30% of the top 10 banks in their domestic market as clients. Our client is now looking to expand outside their domestic marketplace via acquisition from a company that operates internationally.

Their solutions empower organizations to:-

  1. Automatically, create and personalise all business documents.
  2. Render the created output into all most formats such as Local print, Mass print, Web output, Fax/Mail etc.
  3. Deploy the system in a variety of environments for large enterprise systems (runs natively available on IBM OS/390, zOS, AIX, Unix, Linux, Sun Solaris and Windows servers).
  4. Access native data in databases such as Oracle, DB2 etc.
  5. Control every aspect of the document production whether batch or interactive productions based upon its internal workflow component.
  6. Flexible for end user but system controlled centrally (IT).
  7. Embed or integrate the system into their existing infrastructure or applications (black box).
  8. Fully web deployable

This solution covers the entire spectrum of document automation and can replace a myriad of solutions by one centrally managed system. Some of their clients have installations with >10,000 users (in operation since 2003). The company has an attractive list of clients and continues to win new deals with blue chip clients in central Europe. Typical deals are from €500K and upwards. If you feel this proposition might be of interest for, than please do not hesitate to contact me Mark at