More news emerged from Serena Software Inc’s annual user conference in Washington DC last week, as the change management software company’s CEO Mark Woodward confirmed that it is on the verge of at least two more acquisitions.
We have a couple in the pipeline, likely to happen this year, said Woodward. We’re probably looking at $20m to $30m acquisitions, what you might call ‘tuck-in’ acquisitions. In fact there are four or five companies that we think are particularly interesting right now.
Serena is no stranger to acquisitions, its most notable being the $380m acquisition of Merant in March 2004, a move that it said created the second largest provider of enterprise change management software, with a customer base of more than 15,000. It followed that deal in June 2004 with the acquisition of the Requirements and Traceability Management product from Integrated Chipware.
With cash and equivalents of $88.3m in the bank as of its latest quarter, and a market capitalization on Nasdaq of nigh on $800m, Serena has the leverage to make further acquisitions.
While Woodward would not say in which areas the acquisitions are likely to be, they are most likely to be companies that have strength in application lifecycle management, or fit into the company’s latest vision, which it calls IT Change Governance.
Meanwhile, although the company has trademarked the term IT Change Governance, Woodward conceded that it may not be in the company’s best interests to enforce the trademark if other companies wish to use it to describe their own strategies or portfolios.
As in the case of StorageTek opting not to enforce its trademark of the term Information Lifecycle Management when it was subsequently used by EMC, it is sometimes better to hope broader publicity for a concept floats all the boats in the sector. We were very surprised to be able to trademark the term [IT Change Governance], said Woodward. We have not decided whether we will enforce the trademark or not. On the one hand, we would like to see others use it and for the term to grow in relevance.
According to Woodward, the term IT Change Governance tested very highly in focus groups where it scored almost twice as much recognition as change management, which along with enterprise change management has been Serena’s rallying cry for the last few years.
Earlier last week, Serena announced it is creating a new ecosystem of partners that provide domain expertise in specific areas across the compliance spectrum. The company said the program is designed to help customers minimize the time and cost of achieving compliance – including Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and others – by coupling Serena technology with industry best practices to automate and streamline the compliance process.