I believe that there will continue to be much more consolidation in the software industry. More and more, profits determine the value of a public company’s stock. Through the last few years, after the tech bubble broke, public technology companies have been forced to cut costs to generate acceptable profit growth. Today, cost cutting and layoffs are almost finished. Companies are starting to cut into muscle, i.e. activities and people that they require to survive. Now technology companies are faced with the challenge of significantly growing their revenues in order to generate the profits required for stock price appreciation. The best way to significantly grow revenues, in the short term, is to acquire and merge with a major competitor. The merger of competitors in similar businesses creates synergies which allows for additional cost cutting of redundant positions. This results in greater profits. An example is the recent acquisition of Peoplesoft (including recently acquired JD Edwards) and Retek by Oracle. Four companies will now become one. The merger of Symantec with Vertitas presents a more difficult challenge because their models and products are very different. Instead of synergies, Symantec is trying to broaden their product offerings. Where does the customer sit in all of this? In general, they should benefit by having a much larger, more stable, technology vendor. Customers may give up some price flexibility but in most cases the merged company will still have serious competitors, e.g. Oracle vs. SAP and Microsoft in the small to medium size corporate market. Continued consolidation is healthy for the software industry.
So, how does this affect Minjet’s business in the short and long term?
My short answer is: what is good for the software industry as a whole, as outlined above is good for good software companies. However, we will only succeed if we continue to deliver quality products that provide compelling high value for our customers. If we achieve our goal of providing visualization solutions to enhance the productivity of enterprise and individual workers, our current penetration levels are just breaking the surface of a large addressable market. For years large databases of corporate information have been gathered in system like ERP and CRM. The difficulty for most companies is to provide their employees with effective access to this information. They urgently require a way to visualize their corporate information to be able to make the well informed decisions to compete with today’s 24/7, global, internet world. As the leader in Visualization, we have the opportunity to answer what many executives will be asking ‘How do we compete more effectively through access to timely information that we can quickly visualize and act upon?’ We now have to execute our global go-to-market model to take this message to large, medium, and small enterprises through the combination our partners, resellers, direct and indirect salespeople. If we succeed, we will pass from being a niche market player to becoming a broad based component of many key corporate applications. MindManager will become the end user interface for visualizing key information.
As our vision takes hold in the corporate world, the large enterprise software companies will seek to partner with us to add the visualization functionality to their application solutions. They have learned from past experience not to reinvent the technology wheel. They understand that their success is predicated on sticking to their core competencies. They will want to leverage ours. We currently enjoy over 40% annual growth, we are profitable and we have a strong new product pipeline. The result of key industry partnerships will greatly extend our growth and market position. Based on superior execution and profitable growth, we will be in a position to participate in the consolidation that Bill Gates and Larry Ellison so accurately have predicted. If we continue to grow profitably, invest in our business, execute our vision and demonstrate industry leadership, we will not only survive but, we will take our place among the world class enterprise software companies.
Robert Gordon, CEO