ISV – A Canary in the Coal Mine of Enterprise Software

Recent acquisitions such as the OpenText/ICG deal and my role working with channel partners has led me to think a great deal about independent software vendors and their relationship to the enterprise products they surround. I have come the conclusion that in many respects the health of the ISV ecosystem can be a strong indicator of the strength of a product line and its potential for growth. In conversation I have taken to using the illustration that ISV’s are indeed the canary in the coal mine of enterprise software. Continue reading “ISV – A Canary in the Coal Mine of Enterprise Software”

Open Text Acquires Output Management Vendor StreamServe

After a bit of a lull during the ECM 2010 marketing hoopla, Open Text announced it is acquiring StreamServe, a document output vendor. Of all OT’s recent acquisitions, this one makes the most sense to me. There is little or no overlap against their current product set and StreamServe’s position in the ERP space in general and with SAP specifically makes it a logical extension. Consistent with previous acquisitions, the pick up of an existing maintenance stream is probably the greatest value. I don’t know that I would expect to see great innovation and integration with the rest of their catalog as a result but as a feature bubble filler it is a reasonable choice.

On a historical note, after the acquisition of DocumentSciences by EMC  and Optio by Bottomline Technologies in 2008 I expected to see more acquisition activity sooner but with the market collapse there apparently were better bargains to pick up first. I do  wonder now just when and by whom other players in the space like Thunderhead or maybe even the Swiss company ISIS Papyrus will be acquired. IBM is probably the logical choice for Thunderhead but I wouldn’t count out Autonomy who has been rumored to be getting ready for an acquisition sometime in the next few quarters.

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