Document software bucks downward pressures

With organisations struggling to cope with the ever-growing mountain of digital content, suppliers of products for document, knowledge, search, text and content management have been bucking the downward trends afflicting the rest of the IT industry. In recent months, content software companies Verity, Open Text and Documentum all turned in positive financial results.

In its first quarter ending 31 August, search and knowledge management software vendor Verity reported revenues of $22.0 million, a 9% jump on the same period last year, following major contracts with Boeing, Kodak and Diageo. Even more impressive, software licence sales rose 20% to $12.3 million, while net income of $1.4 million compared with a net loss of $2.5 million in year-ago period.

In effort to sustain that kind of profitability, the company axed 12% of its workforce after the close of the quarter.

Meanwhile, one of Verity’s closest competitors, Documentum, is turning in even stronger numbers. After a second quarter in which revenues rose 17% to $54 million, the company is now talking of an on-going growth rate of 25%.

In contrast, document software specialist Adobe did not have such as fruitful summer. The company reported revenues down 2% to $284.9 million for its third quarter ending 30 August. Despite this, Adobe is bullish about its future prospects, suggesting it could generate as much as $300 million in its fourth quarter, a figure that would represent 13% growth.

Document/collaboration software vendors
Company   Description   Period   Period end   Revenue ($m)   Rev change   Net inc ($m)   Prev net inc ($m)  
Adobe Systems Inc Document s/w 3Q02 30-Aug 284.9 -2% 47.2 40.3
Documentum Inc Content mgmt s/w 2Q02 30-Jun 54.00 17% -0.5 -14.1
Open Text Corp Document management s/w 4Q02 30-Jun 41.2 2% 7.3 3.5
Verity Inc Text search s/w 1Q03 31-Aug 22 9% 1.4 -2.5

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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