Two companies in the search and content processing space pepper me with announcements of their acquisitions. I learned today, first via my Overflight service, and then from a gentle reader who sent me a link to the TechCrunch story “Open Text Buys Up Content Analysis Startup Nstein Technologies For $34 Million” that OpenText has acquired another content processing company.OpenText has a pickup truck bed filled with search and content management properties. These range from the long-in-the-tooth BRS Search to the even more aged BASIS system. RedDot and Vignette have given OpenText quite a few content management customers. Not surprisingly, when organic growth is tough to achieve, acquisiitons make good sense.
Keep in mind thatNstein itself is a roll up. The company has a clump of technologies that it has used to build its business. I think of Nstein as a mini-LingTemcoVaught but without the financial lift that Jim Ling was able to infuse into his collection of properties.
Autonomy has also been an aggressive buyer of companies. The firm’s most recent purchases have included Zantaz and Interwoven. Unlike OpenText, Autonomy makes an effort to explain and convert customers to the IDOL (integrated data operating layer) platform. Autonomy has been quick to exploit its acquisitions’ strengths. For example, Zantaz helped propel Autonomy into hosted services. And the Interwoven product became the foundation for Autonomy’s social functionality.
Which is the strategy with the stronger legs? My view is that Autonomy has made more strategic acquisitions and better tactical use of its acquisitions’ technical capabilities.