domingo, mayo 20, 2007

Aldon adquirida por Marlin Equity Partners

Aldon, uno de los tres o cuatro líderes en la oferta de herramientas de administración de cambios, configuración y versionamiento en el mercado de ISeries (AKA AS400), anunció en estos días su adquisición por una sociedad dedicada a las inversiones (Marlin Equity Partners) como parte de un paquete de compras más o menos orientadas a fortalecerse en el mercado de ERP´s: CMS y XKO.
Un adecuado comentario sobre la operación en System INetworks:
Chris Maxcer dice sobre este tipo de adquisiciones:

There are two common ways that private equity firms look to make a profit when they purchase software companies:

  1. They buy a company, remove much of the staff, reduce operational costs by slashing marketing and sales, and end up with a product or maintenance revenue stream that is suddenly highly profitable — for a short period of time, at least, before the company's dwindling assets get split, sold, or fall off the face of the earth. Sometimes, when this happens, the company puts on a joyous face of rapture over the acquisition as a way to hide the impending destruction realignment.
  2. They buy a company, sometimes beleaguered and sometimes not, and start growing it by pumping in investment dollars in the form of product enhancements, additional acquisitions to supplement existing products, or go-to-market teams. Sometimes they, too, make layoffs and eliminate inefficiencies, but most definitely it's with an eye toward a bigger future that will eventually take the new company public or lead it to a new sale that returns the invested amounts, along with a tidy profit, in a 3-to-5-year time frame.

Aldon, a leading software change-management System i-focused vendor, is most definitely the second.

But How Do You Know?

Initial acquisitions, under both common formats, often appear the same to the outside world, but in the first method noted above, the company simply can't keep up the charade for more than a few months. They say they are interested in growth, but there's no evidence of growth — no acquisitions, no real or compelling product enhancements, and certainly no new products.

In the second, the company buys other companies, enhances products, pours development into new products, works out better go-to-market strategies, and hires new talent. In addition, the company stays in touch with the relevant media outlets in its market and is eager to talk about its new efforts, the results, and to share its excitement for the both the market and what the company is up to.

Qué perspectivas? Sólo en base a los proyectos previos a la adquisición:

"We've been the largest provider of change-management systems in the System i marketplace, and what we want to do is provide our System i customers with more things as they are moving into new technology areas," Magid says[Dan Magid, ex CEO, que se mantiene como consultor dentro de la nueva sociedad]. "The marketplace for the traditional System i management is pretty mature, but the marketplace for the things they are doing around their System i applications, building web interfaces and web applications around their iSeries code or building Windows interfaces or putting services that talk to their traditional iSeries applications . . . that is changing and moving forward very rapidly. We want to be able to provide our customers with solutions in that kind of arena."
Specifically, Aldon is looking into potential testing tools, business process automation tools that help companies work through the business process changes that coincide with new software application rollouts, build process tools for the open source environment, and tools that manage non-DB2 database changes.
"Our strategy is to be like an ERP system for the IT application development and management organization," Magid says.

En años pasados, MKS y Softlanding pasaron también por procesos de adquisición que sin duda lo potenciaron en el primer caso (desde su orígen en Silvon) y lo mantuvieron en el segundo. Probablemente suceda lo mismo en este.

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