Normally things quiet down in the summer. Well, they certainly haven’t at Deep Analysis; we are busier than ever, nor have they in the Enterprise Information Management & Automation sector as a whole. Phew, that is a mouthful. Shall we create yet another acronym and call it EIMA!? But that frenzy of activity is particularly prevalent in the world of M&A, of companies being bought and sold. There are no blockbuster deals, but nonetheless, there has been no shortage of deals in general. Below we have listed those we spotted, but there may be more we missed to frank with you. If you spot any interesting ones that we missed, please ping us a note and let us know.
Iris Software acquires Doc.IT
KeyLoop acquires Motordocs
Pairsoft acquires Webiplex
Lighthouse acquires H5
MyCase acquires CASEpeer and Woodpecker
HotDocs (AbacusNext) acquires Zola Suite
Qualtrics acquires Clarabridge
Appian acquires Lana Labs
Swiss Post Solutions acquires the document management division of Mitie Group
MuleSoft acquires Servicetrace
The three most interesting to us are the buys by Appian, Swiss Post, and Mulesoft. Firstly, Appian joined the process mining club with its purchase of Lana Labs, filling in one of the few blank spaces in its automation portfolio. MuleSoft (which is owned by Salesforce) bought Servicetrace, one of the better (in our opinion) RPA vendors. It will be interesting to see how MuleSoft and the broader Salesforce ecosystem use them over the coming year or two. And finally, Swiss Post Solutions (SPS) added yet another firm to its growing portfolio, which already includes Tresorit, Scalaris & e2e, amongst others. It is not just Hyland & OpenText building tech portfolios; others such as Gimmal, Upland, and SPS are also busily scooping smaller firms up.
So what does all this activity tell us? On the one hand, not a lot, as the tech sector has been awash with similar deals over the past year, but at least in our analysis, it presages a year ahead of some really big deals to come. For buyers of technology products and services, it means new faces, new contracts, and new negotiations. And in some cases, it may mean saying goodbye to some trusted technology. It is also a reminder that inorganic growth by buying solid companies and integrating them into a larger whole remains popular. Considering the sheer volume of startups and smaller legacy firms, there is no shortage to choose from, and the economies of scale can make many a target. And it’s not just Information Management & Automation that is busy, as my good friend Brenon Daly at S&P Global Market Intelligence reported this week; this is the fifth month this year where tech deals have topped $100B a record. So in the bigger picture, the deals listed above are small fry in the global market context, but a pretty big and ongoing deal in our sector.
In case you didn’t know, Deep Analysis often works with investors, typically undertaking due diligence on prospective targets. It’s fascinating work, though, of course, we only get to share it with the client. But it gives us a broader insight into what is happening in the market, and I can tell you for sure that there are a lot more deals in the works. The pandemic has shown to the world what most of us in this industry already knew, without effective information management, organizations can’t operate properly. As these deals continue to roll in, we can only hope that something better will come out of the sausage factory and not just result in gutted jobs, cut budgets, and the same software and services as before, but with less support and higher costs.