UK BI vendors snapped up

For over a decade, the UK has been a hothouse for business intelligence (BI) software start-ups, but to date none has managed to make the leap onto the world stage. And in February, two further companies – Gentia and Blue Edge – abandoned their ambitions to do so.

Gentia, which started life as a vendor of on-line analytical processing (OLAP) software before moving into balanced scorecard applications, has been absorbed by Open Ratings, one of the new stars of BI. Open Ratings, a supplier of performance and risk analysis software, was founded in May 1999 by Pattie Maes, MIT Media Lab ecommerce expert, Giorgos Zacharia, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab’s Agent-mediated Electronic Commerce Initiative, and Stan Smith, former general manager of Agile Software.

The Boston-based company, backed by Dun &Bradstreet, Atlas Ventures and Ampersand Ventures, will rebrand Gentia’s BI suite as the Strategic Performance Impact (SPImpact) suite and market it for historical and predictive business analytics. Although it lost out in the OLAP wars to companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, Hyperion and MicroStrategy, Gentia built a customer base of around 500, including Motorola, Volvo, Swiss RE and Credit Suisse First Boston.

Meanwhile, the market leading BI company, Business Objects, also pounced on a small UK-based BI venture. The Franco-US software company is spending $6 million to acquire Leeds-based Blue Edge Software, a specialist in software for delivering analysis and reports over the web to consumers and other online users. The technology will be used to flesh out the company’s growing suite of analytic applications.

Recent business intelligence software deals
Acquirer   Activity   HQ   Target   Activity   HQ   Price  
Business Objects Business Intelligence s/w France Blue Edge Software Web-based info delivery UK $6.0m
Open Ratings Predictive perf mgnt s/w US Gentia Business intelligence s/w UK n/a
Open Ratings Predictive perf mgnt s/w US Tradeffect E-sourcing applications US n/a
Responsys CRM s/w US NetAcumen Website analytics s/w US n/a

Recent content management software deals
Acquirer   Activity   HQ   Target   Activity   HQ   Price  
Adobe Systems Document s/w US Accelio Bus process mgnt s/w Canada $72.0
Clearswift Email content security s/w UK Content Technologies Email sec unit of Baltimore UK €32.4m
Divine Enterprise software US Northern Light Search tech developer US n/a
Documentum Content management s/w US Boxcar Software Cont aggregation &dist s/w US $1.5m
Red Hat Linux OS vendor US ArsDigita Open source cont mgnt s/w US n/a

Recent security software deals
Acquirer   Activity   HQ   Target   Activity   HQ   Price  
Diagonal IT consulting &sec svcs UK Claritas Info Security Information security solutions UK n/a
Secure Computing N/work access control tech US Gauntlet (firewall &VPN bus) Unit of Network Associates US n/a
TruSecure Managed security svcs US Three Pillars Infrastructure security mgnt US n/a
WatchGuard Technologies Internet security products US RapidStream VPN &firewall appliances US $48.0m

Other major deals
Acquirer   Activity   HQ   Target   Activity   HQ   Price  
Borland App development s/w US VMGEAR Java testing &assurance s/w US $8.0m
Business Serve Corporate ISP UK Cerbernet Corporate ISP UK n/a
ClientSoft Ebus s/w for legacy sys US TanitObjects Mainframe tools France n/a
Deutsche Telekom Telecom Provider Germ debis Systemhaus Remaining 49.9% IT svcs co Germany E4.6bn
Indra IT services Spain Europraxis IT services Spain n/a
Intec Telecom Systems Telecoms ops support sys UK ICL’s Prospero &SIMS units Mediation &billing systems UK n/a
Legato Systems Storage mgnt s/w US OTG Software Data storage/email mgnt s/w US $403.0m
Pegasystems CRM s/w US 1mind Corp Insurance industry CRM s/w US $9.6m

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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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