Want To Be Bought? Then Talk Cloud

Continuing my musings about the impact of cloud on our industry (see last week’s blog), I’m in the middle of a cloud project where we are identifying and profiling potential channel partners for an ISV that is about to launch a systems management product for cloud environments. I must say, I’m surprised by the number of channel partners already talking about cloud.

It reminds me of a conversation with staff at Nimsoft, a company recently acquired by CA, about how they were promoting their cloud offerings. My personal view is that Nimsoft managed to complete their exit strategy so quickly and successfully because they focused all of their new product announcements and general positioning toward the cloud. Coincidentally, CA had decided to turn up the heat on its own cloud campaign and promptly bought three technology companies to strengthen the cloud offering and show their commitment — Nimsoft, Cassat, and 3Tera.

While Cassat and 3Tera were cloud-specific solutions, Nimsoft was already successful as a provider of systems monitoring software to enterprises and managed service providers. My theory is that their cloud image was the result of a considered repositioning exercise that culminated in their placement on CA’s wish list. Here’s another example: Yesterday, Adobe announced its intention to acquire Day Software, the Swiss content management ISV. Day Software had a consistent ECM business with modest growth, but I notice that they turned up the cloud messaging over the last months — I suspect this is what got them into Adobe’s sights.

I believe that most of the software majors are now looking around in the market to beef up their cloud offerings and will be willing to open up their cash accounts to acquire the right firm.  I include Google in that list of software majors, though they may be suffering acquisition indigestion after buying 20 companies in the last 12 months; the last transaction, ITA Software, was announced in July and is not yet closed.

Curiously, the most obvious cloud acquisition candidates will require very deep pockets indeed. Salesforce.com is currently trading at 75 times its forward earnings, and SuccessFactors is trading at over 1,000 times forward earnings (for context, Oracle trades at 14 times and SAP at 17 times forward earnings). But general M&A activities are now booming as well. Regent Partners International, just reported for Europe that:               

"The most outstanding feature of the H1 2010 technology acquisitions has been the substantial increase in deals in the Software sector (up 41% on a year ago) ... [including] Internet Software (up 83%). The larger software companies, many of whom are holding substantial amounts of cash, are seeking to fill out their product portfolios by acquiring smaller software developers that may have strong product offerings but weak sales and marketing capabilities."

So, I suggest that CEOs and CMOs of technology companies should take a leaf out of Nimsoft’s and Day’s books and work hard at adding cloud to their messaging and positioning. They will be invited to the altar, if that’s their wish, much quicker.  What do you think?

Always keeping you informed! Peter 

Comments

Agreed Cloud is the Next Wave, But....

I couldn't agree more, Peter. Cloud is on the brink of moving from an experimental platform to a production platform. We are seeing more and more of our customers and prospects at uptime software become interested in Cloud and, specifically, how they can monitor both their experiments and production applications and services in it. But in systems management specifically, Cloud is only part of the puzzle...

For those in the systems management arena, I feel it's essential that vendors are able to provide a 'Single Pane of Glass' that enables IT departments to see application and service performance from a single dashboard across physical, virtual, and cloud environments, regardless of platforms. The true power of IT is in highly efficient application and service delivery to business users, and Cloud is just another way to provide it. The question is; How do you efficiently monitor everything? I know you can guess what I recommend....

Nimsoft Unified Monitoring

(Disclaimer, Nimsoft is my client) Though there is no doubt that CA's purchase was motivated in part by their cloud strategy, as Nick points out, there is much more needed than the ability to monitor a cloud API. As Mitch points out with his link, Nimsoft publicly demos this every day. There is MUCH more to Nimsoft's Unified Monitoring than the cloud, always has been, probably always will. Service Providers of all stripes, from the largest Telcos and hosters to the small MSPs are enhancing the elasticity of their offerings, and enterprise IT shops continue to look more and more like service providers, the lines of monitoring needs will continue to evolve and blur. Just look at last weeks announcements from Nimsoft, they keep innovating along these lines...

up.time - Put it to the Test

As a full disclaimer, I work for uptime software, and my comment above really had nothing to do with Nimsoft. In fact, good on Nimsoft for the great Cloud marketing they did. My comment was more about how Cloud is an enabler of efficient IT service and application delivery. However, even with all the buzz about Cloud, IT departments still need to monitor all their physical and virtual platforms and apps, in combination with future Cloud initiatives and projects. For mid-enterprise companies not interested in dealing with a “Big 4” company, and who want deep, easy-to-use, and affordable IT systems management across physical, virtual and Cloud platforms and applications from a single dashboard, up.time is hard to beat.

But certainly don’t take my word for it, or even uptime's 700+ customers in 32 countries. We believe in letting the product do the talking, and have always offered a free 30-day full version trial of up.time - www.uptimesoftware.com

Funny, I work for Nimsoft and

Funny, I work for Nimsoft and I think that while our marketing is good, the capabilities of our product and the customers that we’ve got are far better.

I think that Nimsoft probably has more Hosting providers using its product than anyone else, more Managed Service Providers, more public Cloud providers and a ton of end user enterprises, many of whom are moving into a private cloud architecture.

In fact, I would say that we are rapidly becoming the de-facto standard for providers of next generation computing because of our unique and unparalleled architecture.

Should we really be branding NimBUS as the best?

What happens when your relationship does down the wrong path with Nimsoft?
At least with the big 4, your not left standing at the alter when the 'problems happen'
(Speaking from experience, we did not enjoy it- we ended up spending a fortune to put it right- not to mention when we tried to get hold of Gary- the office in USA, CA- had no idea who he was or anything about him)
So Nimsoft people explain your customer care or staff knowledge on that front!!