M&As in July 2005

Following intensive consolidation in the enterprise applications sector, the market leaders have switched tack and are now cherry-picking smaller, little-known players.

To complement its push into retail software with its acquisition of Retek, Oracle swooped on Profitlogic, a privately-owned specialist in retail profit optimisation software. Already retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Toys R Us and Nordstrom are using ProfitLogic to analyse customer behaviour when making decisions on inventory, pricing and merchandising.

This purchase follows Oracle’s June agreement to buy Timesten, a provider of ‘in-memory’ database software. The TimesTen/Cache provides lightning-fast SQL operations by loading Oracle data into a database held in memory for processing. The technology is used in high-performance applications such as real-time billing, stock trading, call centres and airline operations.

Also keen to boost real-time performance, SAP picked up Lighthammer Software Development, a collaborative manufacturing software specialist, in July. Lighthammer’s Illuminator analyses performance in the extended manufacturing chain, reporting on exceptions and performance variances, while its Xacute is a collaborative manufacturing platform that enables users to visually automate business processes.

Such deals, however, looked tiny compared to the consolidation underway in the call centre software market. Concerto Software announced that it was absorbing its larger rival, Aspect Communications, in a $1 billion transaction.

The acquisition is being bankrolled by Concerto’s owners, Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners. These private-equity firms have been mopping up both inbound and outbound call centre technology companies including CenterForce Technologies and Rockwell Firstpoint Contact. The merger creates a contact centre company with combined revenues of nearly $600 million.

Recent IT industry acquisitions
Aprimo Marketing mgmt s/w US DoubleClicks EMS unit Enterprise marketing mgmt s/w US n/a
CedarOpenAccounts Accounting s/w UK Grampian S/w’s HR/pay div HR &payroll applications s/w UK n/a
Cisco Systems Networking products US NetSift Content-filtering security s/w US n/a
Cisco Systems Networking products US FineGround Networks Web application acceleration s/w US $70m
Citrix Systems Server applns access s/w US NetScaler Appln networking s/w US $323m
Computer Associates Intl Systems mgmt s/w US Tiny Software Firewall s/w US n/a
Computer Associates Intl Systems mgmt s/w US Niku IT mgmt s/w US $350m
Concerto Software Contact centre s/w &services US Aspect Communications Contact centre s/w US $1bn
Hummingbird Content management s/w Canada RedDot Content management s/w Germany $47.5m
IBM Systems &IT services US Meiosys Applns virtualisation s/w France n/a
IBM Systems &IT services US PureEdge Solutions E-forms software Canada n/a
IBM Systems, s/w &IT services US Isogon IT asset mgmt s/w US n/a
Kewill Systems Supply chain s/w UK Perwill Collaboration commerce s/w UK £2m
Lawson Software Business applications s/w US Intentia International Business application s/w Sweden $480m
Microsoft Systems &applns s/w US FrontBridge Technologies Managed email services US n/a
Misys Financial s/w UK Almonde Risk management s/w France E15m
Network Appliance Networking products US Decru Storage security s/w US $272m
Oracle Database &applns s/w US ProfitLogic Retail analysis s/w US n/a
Oracle Database &applns s/w US TimesTen In-memory database s/w US n/a
Parametric Technology Engineering s/w US Arbortext Enterprise publishing s/w US $190m
Quest Software Database management s/w US Vintela Director mgmt s/w US $56.5m
RightNow Technologies Hosted CRM s/w US Convergent Voice Voice recognition s/w US n/a
Sage Group Business applications s/w UK Logic Control Business management s/w Spain £55m
SAP Business applications s/w Germany Lighthammer Software Dev Manufacturing planning s/w US n/a
Sopra Group IT services France Newell &Budge IT services UK n/a
Stellent Content management s/w US eOnehundred Fin compliance s/w &services US n/a
Sun Microsystems Systems, s/w &svcs US StorageTek Storage systems US $4.1bn
Sun Microsystems Systems, s/w &svcs US SeeBeyond Technology Integration s/w US $387m
VeriSign Internet security s/w US iDefense Vulnerability research services US $40m

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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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