It was not a massive surprise that Nuxeo was acquired today, but maybe there is surprise that Hyland did the acquiring. Since raising $30m in 2016, it was always clear that Nuxeo, or at least its investors, would be looking for an exit. Several names popped up as possible suitors, OpenText and Iron Mountain being the two most mentioned. But instead, it turned out to be Hyland, who in the past year acquired the arch-rival to Nuxeo, open-source ECM player, Alfresco. There was never any love lost between those two companies….
So what to make of it? Well, this one is going to take some time to play out; Nuxeo has a great story to tell in DAM (Digital Asset Management), filling a gap in the Hyland play sheet. Indeed it has some good Governance and ECM technology too. It has a strong footprint in France and Continental Europe, again filling a gap for Hyland. Though every M&A deal has its challenges, the strong culture of Nuxeo, one that always held more fervently to its open-source roots than Alfresco, is the thing we will watch to play out. Who knows how that dynamic will settle within Hyland?
The other thing to watch will be OpenText’s response, as we now effectively have three major players in the ECM/Content Services market, Hyland, OpenText, and IBM. OpenText being the most acquisitive, this is a clear shot across its bows and places Hyland at least on equal standing for leadership in this market.
For existing customers and community members of Nuxeo, Hylands continued approach to managing the open-source community and all that stands for will also be something to watch closely. It is not a quiet or reserved community and within minutes of the announcement, let’s just say the community had a lot to say! In summary, the most intriguing acquisition of the last year for us, it’s an odd one for sure, and very likely not the last one of 2021.
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