OpenText buying Metastorm is in some respects an acknowledgment of the weight non-document BPM integration now carries in enterprise architecture relative to the pull on ECM software that it can create. IBM in particular has invested heavily in the last few years with a similar acquisition in Lombardi. Some might also argue that as far back as 2006 the FileNet acquisition by IBM was as much about their BPM as ECM though I will admit this is a bit of a stretch.
With this latest move, BPM acquisitions again appear one sided with the bigger portfolios adding up and coming process players. It remains to be seen if the independent pure play BPM’s (Pega, Global 360, Appian, etc.) will continue this trend or as I believe turn the tables and extend their own capabilities with content services. Either through close partnerships or out right acquisition.
Lastly, one might think this acquisition overtly overlaps existing capabilities. The fact is however that the former LiveLink BPM Server was not well suited to compete against the likes of Metastorm in human centric BPM scenarios. This buy then better positions OpenText for these opportunities which often expose broad tangential content needs.