Daptiv Acquired By Parallax Capital Partners = Faster Maturation Of PPM SaaS, But Does It Signal The Next Wave Of Consolidation?

On July 27, 2010, Parallax Capital Partners announced that it was acquiring Daptiv, a SaaS PPM vendor. Forrester customers who are current Daptiv customers or are considering Daptiv as a PPM vendor should not be deterred. As a $20 million vendor, Daptiv provided a strong work group for project portfolio management, performing well at the departmental or divisional level, but had limited capabilities in areas that were attractive to enterprisewide implementations, including functionality (i.e., resource management and financial project management) and ability to scale development or support - a typical problem for smaller vendors. Prior to the acquisition, the company had started down the path toward enterprise viability, but the vendor was still seen as best suited to small to medium-sized standalone implementations.

Acquisition by capital investment firms can mean prepping a company for sale, but with Parallax operating Daptiv as a wholly owned subsidiary, Daptiv’s future looks much more positive. Having Parallax’s backing, the vendor will now be able to:

  • Increase R&D funding to further develop the connectors for ERP integration as well as extend connectors to other demand management or portfolio management tools.
  • Provide resource management functionality that supports forecasting and capacity management.
  • Increase support capabilities for larger, more complex implementations in order to compete at the enterprise level.
  • Extend its Daptiv platform to encompass more work-related data and reporting. 
  • Provide increased financial modeling at the portfolio level and project actual capture for financial reporting.

 

Another indicator that current and potential customers should recognize as positive is the installation of John Baldwin as CEO. Baldwin has an extensive software product background, specifically 12 years with Artemis, one of the pioneering vendors in the PPM market. Baldwin’s experience in enterprise project management should raise the vision of the Daptiv team to compete more effectively in the enterprise place. This is not to say that Daptiv will be able to go head to head with competitors Oracle (Primavera), Planisware, and Microsoft in the complex project management market, but it will be able to support enterprise-level planning and reporting for companies that are looking to manage collaborative project management more effectively, especially for those companies that want to get everyone on the same page without creating a lot of overhead. Companies like CA should expect to see more of Daptiv as it pursues its SaaS strategy for PPM.

It’s too early to tell if this announcement signals the next wave of consolidation in the PPM market. If Daptiv were acquired by another tools vendor, it would have been easy to make the call; however, IMHO, this acquisition tells me that there is still room for best of breed to develop and quickly deploy features requested by the market without having to invest in large, complex solutions that have a fuzzy payback period. I would not be at all surprised to see other investments in PPM occur as vendors work to build without consolidation; the PPM market has varied needs, and today too many vendors are trying to do the same thing without enough differentiation. Daptiv started some differentiation with its Daptiv platform and Dynamic Apps offering. I think we need more of this in today’s market.

Comments

Daptiv outlook

I agree the change in leadership is potentially a positive, but wonder if the overall outlook is really as rosy as portrayed here.

From what I've heard, the acquisition was largely a firesale. A price of $12M for a company that claims $20M in recurring revenue and to be profitable doesn't seem to square if the acquired company is truly healthy and well positioned for growth. Why were the initial investors so willing to take such a bath just to get out?

Further, this news must be viewed in conjunction with the other recent headlines concerning Daptiv. Baldwin will be their 4th CEO since 2008, and they've had at least 3 rounds of layoffs in that time. For the full story, see the Seattle technology new blog www.techflash.com and search for "Daptiv."

Great insight - a few more thoughts....

My generally positive feelings here are because the core of the product is really strong, there was just a real lack of focus in management. Parallax got a deal, no doubt, however, it would not have put forward the investment without seeing a product that has a pretty strong customer base and a solid technology core. no one is bailing out of using the tool unless they are moving to a stronger on premise platform because of the immaturity of PPM SaaS - and even that is beginning to change (although not fast enough for my taste). They are finally bringing in an executive that "gets" PPM and can take it to an enterprise level. My main hesitation with this whole thing is there won't be enough long term vision to make this leap.