Link: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

“[H]aving a decent integration platform in its arsenal enables Salesforce to tell better stories about the seamlessness of its own application portfolio, even as this continues to expand through acquisition (which, note, was where Oracle was with its Fusion Middleware portfolio and strategy when it bought BEA). It also potentially helps Salesforce further develop its Einstein proposition, by making it easier to get access to corporate data from more systems in more locations…. However, just as was the case with BEA, many of MuleSoft’s customers made that investment precisely because it could demonstrate its ability to connect anything to anything without bias, and nurture customers’ own heterogeneous ‘application networks’. I hope Salesforce can take MuleSoft’s existing value proposition forward as it creates the Salesforce Integration Cloud.”
Original source: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

Link: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

“[H]aving a decent integration platform in its arsenal enables Salesforce to tell better stories about the seamlessness of its own application portfolio, even as this continues to expand through acquisition (which, note, was where Oracle was with its Fusion Middleware portfolio and strategy when it bought BEA). It also potentially helps Salesforce further develop its Einstein proposition, by making it easier to get access to corporate data from more systems in more locations…. However, just as was the case with BEA, many of MuleSoft’s customers made that investment precisely because it could demonstrate its ability to connect anything to anything without bias, and nurture customers’ own heterogeneous ‘application networks’. I hope Salesforce can take MuleSoft’s existing value proposition forward as it creates the Salesforce Integration Cloud.”
Original source: On Salesforce’s acquisition of MuleSoft

Thoma Bravo Acquires Austin-Based, privately held Planview, PPM and Enterprise Architecture Tools

Passed from one PE firm to another: from Insight Venture Partners to Thoma Bravo. Sort of, one piece of coverage says “Insight Venture Partners will maintain its original 2014 capital investment in company.”

Carl Lehmann (he’s popped up a lot recently here!) and Liam Rogers at 451 have some numbers estimates:

Thoma Bravo’s acquisition of Planview comes three years after Insight Venture Partners acquired the WRM software company for an estimated $150m. The latest acquisition comes well above that – we estimate the deal size to be $800m. The multiple paid for the business is also substantially higher than the last purchase of Planview, which generated $175m in revenue in 2016. Insight will maintain an equity stake in the company, and Thoma Bravo becomes the new majority owner.

The rest of the excellent (as always) deal write-up also reminds me that Planview bought Troux back in 2015, consolidating this space a bit…albeit a pretty small market.

In addition to the Silicon Hills piece, see the official press release.

Link

Dealing with “disposable software” for enterprises

With consumer SaaSes and mobile apps coming and going, I’ve been thinking of the idea of “disposable software”: apps that last a year or so, but aren’t guaranteed to last longer. In the consumer space, there’s rarely been a guarantee that free software will last – that’s part of the “price” you pay for free.

This mentality is getting into business software more and more, however, and I don’t think “enterprises” are prepared for it. Part of the premium you pay for enterprise software should include the guarantee that it will have a longer life-cycle, but it’s worth asking if it does.

Also, it’s good for enterprises to be aware of vendors, particularly open source driven ones, are putting out code that might be “disposable.” The prevailing product management think nowadays encourages experimenting and trying things out: abandoning “failed” experiments and continuing successful ones. Clearly, if you’re a “normal” enterprise, you want to avoid those failed experiments and, at best, properly control and govern your use of them.

Of course, there are trade-offs:

  • With consumer, experiment-driven software, you’re always getting the newest thinking, which might turn out to be a good idea and provide your business with differentiating, “secret sauce”; or it might be a failed experiment that gets canceled
  • With “enterprise,” stable software you can generally count on it existing and being supported next year; but you’ll often be behind the curve on innovation, meaning you’ll have to layer on the “secret sauce” on your own.

It’s good to engage with both types of strategies, you just have manage the approach to hedge the risks of each.

The first wave of IBM/Apple enterprise iOS apps

A good looking list from the press release:

Plan Flight (Travel and Transportation) addresses the major expense of all airlines — fuel — permitting pilots to view flight schedules, flight plans, and crew manifests ahead of time, report issues in-flight to ground crews, and make more informed decisions about discretionary fuel.

Passenger+ (Travel and Transportation) empowers flight crews to offer an unmatched level of personalized services to passengers in-flight – including special offers, re-booking, and baggage information.

Advise & Grow (Banking and Financial Markets) puts bankers on premise with their small business clients, with secure authorization to access client profiles and competitive analyses, gather analytics-driven insights to make personalized recommendations, and complete secure transactions.

Trusted Advice (Banking and Financial Markets) allows advisors to access and manage client portfolios, gain insight from powerful predictive analytics — in the client’s kitchen or at the local coffee shop, rather than the advisor’s office — with full ability to test recommendations with sophisticated modeling tools all the way to complete, secure transactions.

Retention (Insurance) empowers agents with access to customers’ profiles and history, including an analytics-driven retention risk score as well as smart alerts, reminders, and recommendations on next best steps and facilitation of key transactions like collection of e-signatures and premiums.

Case Advice (Government) addresses the issue of workload and support among caseworkers who are making critical decisions, one family or situation at a time, on the go. The solution adjusts case priorities based on real-time analytics-driven insights, and assesses risk based on predictive analysis.

Incident Aware (Government) converts an iPhone into a vital crime prevention asset, presenting law enforcement officers with real-time access to maps and video-feeds of incident locations; information about victim status, escalation risk, and crime history; and improved ability to call for back-up and supporting services.

Sales Assist (Retail) enables associates to connect with customer profiles, make suggestions based on previous purchases and current selections, check inventory, locate items in-store, and ship out-of-store items.

Pick & Pack (Retail) combines proximity-based technology with back-end inventory systems for transformed order fulfillment.

Expert Tech (Telecommunications) taps into native iOS capabilities including FaceTime for easy access to expertise and location services for route optimization to deliver superior on-site service, more effective issue resolution and productivity as well as improved customer satisfaction.

A few comments:

  • These are all for use by employees at businesses to help run the business, not consumers to run their lives. That’s a good way of thinking about what “enterprise” means for all you kids who didn’t grow up as enterprise developers and people.

  • Ever get your tires changed, deposit a check, or work with an airline agent? You notice how horrible the computers and software they use is? This IBM/Apple partnership (and others like it) is looking to rewrite and replace those abominations. Now, imagine how big that market is, globally. (Hint: every business in existence that uses computers or will soon, basically.) Massive.

  • Each of the above requires a lot of integration with backend data stores and customizations to work. Lots of consulting work. That’s IBM’s sweet spot, and Apple’s gap. A nice combination.

  • It’s notable that there’s not any health care apps in there. I wouldn’t read too much into that, but they’ll be needing that right quick. That market is too big and fucked IT-wise to ignore.

So, sure. Assuming they work, things are looking good from a press release perspective. We’ll see.

See also Apple’s side of the story which has, as you’d expect, much better visuals.

The first wave of IBM/Apple enterprise iOS apps