So I was just casually heading over to look at an older Big Men on Content post when I saw their latest. It seems that Interwoven was purchased today by Autonomy. Uh, WOW! Okay, maybe a bit of an over-reaction, but with Vignette in a death spiral, what is next for them?
Before we get to Vignette, lets look at the news itself.
Interwoven and Autonomy
Alan Pelz-Sharpe over at CMS Watch covers this aspect very well in his first take. My thoughts when I heard immediately the news was focused on Meridio and Interwoven living together. As you may, or may not know, Meridio is probably the leading Records Management solution for SharePoint and they were acquired by Autonomy back in 2007. I’ve talked to a few clients about implementing Records Management for SharePoint, and there are three basic options:
- Use SharePoint’s RM Tookit: It is a toolkit and was released 8 months after SharePoint was DoD 5015.2 certified. Enough said.
- Use Meridio: A SharePoint focused tool. The only concerns I ever had was using it for non-SharePoint data. On the 19th they announced a working integration with SAP, so that alleviates some of that initial concern.
- Use another ECM platform: Solid option, but more expensive than the others, at least from a license standpoint.
Now enter Interwoven into the Autonomy family. What will Autonomy do? Will they merge the products or just make them all work together? The former is better, but Alan seems to doubt Autonomy’s ability, or desire, to take that approach. The latter approach will start creating a large amount of chaos among their sales people. I can already tell you that when I talked to them at this past fall’s AIIM seminar that Meridio wasn’t in the forefront of Autonomy’s brain.
This bears watching as it will impact the future of RM in the SharePoint world.
Has the Music Stopped?
My first thought is no. HP is still out there. After acquiring Tower Software, HP could use Vignette for WCM. Vignette’s technology isn’t bad (though stagnating), but they have been just all over the place on their marketing message. The question is whether or not they want to enter the WCM space or are content with basic ECM and RM. They could just implement the CMIS standard for their back-end and let WCM vendors leverage their repository.
The other possibility is, of course, Open Text. They like to buy everything. They already have RedDot, but that doesn’t mean anything with Open Text. They haven’t really brought RedDot tightly into the fold, so maybe they would be willing.
Vignette is losing market value at a fair clip. They are under $200 million in market cap and I’m sure that they would be an easy pickup for either Open Text or HP at far below Interwoven’s $775 million. It is entirely possible that neither will take a flier on Vignette and either some unidentified suitor will step up or Vignette will be left out in the cold.
If someone is going to buy Vignette, I would expect it to happen in the next few months. After that, I’m not sure what will be left. There may not be enough brain power left at Vignette at this point to make them worth buying. Time will tell.
Grab the popcorn and let’s watch the show.