Hyland to Acquire Perceptive Software Portfolio

by bringing the Perceptive portfolio into its fold, Hyland Software is making an even firmer commitment to its business, its people and its customers...

Alignment. When any organization seeks to put itself in the best possible position for success, it puts a lot of attention on partnerships. That can mean paying particular attention to the employees it hires, or it can mean carefully selecting which businesses it pairs with to be able to offer its customers the best possible products and/or services.

The use of the word “alignment” makes one analogy obvious. If your vehicle is out of alignment, you’re in for a bumpy road and will be forced to work especially hard at steering yourself out of trouble. It’s as true on the road to business success as it is on the open road. Suffice it to say, if you want a smooth ride that makes it all the easier to reach your destination, paying attention to your alignment is critical.

With those two things in mind, it’s noteworthy to think about some news that recently happened in the world of Enterprise Content Management, or ECM. According to a press release by Hyland Software on May 3rd, Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity firm, announced it had “entered into a definitive agreement with Lexmark International Inc. … to acquire Lexmark’s Enterprise Software business, which is made up of three primary businesses: Kofax, ReadSoft and Perceptive Software.” Next…

“Upon closing of the transaction, the Perceptive Software business, including Perceptive Intelligent Capture, Acuo VNA, PACSGEAR and Enterprise Medical Image Viewing will be sold to Hyland Software, Inc., an existing Thoma Bravo portfolio company and leading provider of enterprise content management software.”

This is exciting news for Hyland and its customers – both those who are already in the fold and those who will come onboard in the future. Hyland and Perceptive came up in the business together in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Think Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. While they offered similar services, each had its own niche. The Perceptive portfolio of clients includes a large number of institutions of higher learning. Hyland’s being able to add this segment to its offerings greatly enhances its ability to offer state-of-the-art solutions to a wide range of organizations.

You know who else is excited about the move? Hyland President and CEO Bill Priemer. In the press release, he was quoted as acknowledging his company has “…long admired the people and technology of Perceptive Software and are thrilled to welcome them into the Hyland family. The combination of our content services portfolios will provide tremendous benefit to our current and future customers and partners.”

Solidifying an Ascending Reputation

There are a lot of players in the ECM field. But as the saying goes, “quantity does not equal quality.” To really ascertain who’s who in the industry, it’s always helpful to refer to the Gartner Magic Quadrant. While it’s hard work – and not magic – that gets a company noticed and added to the Quadrant, knowing who the players are – and the pretenders – can make a magical difference for your business.

The below chart is the Gartner Magic Quadrant from October, 2016. Obviously, this charts the various companies’ positions a few months back, but it can still be relied upon as being fairly accurate. You’ll notice that even before its acquisition of the Perceptive portfolio, Hyland held a firm spot as an industry leader. While the announced acquisition will only bolster Hyland’s already strong reputation, it will most likely have the opposite effect on Lexmark, seen below in the “Challengers” quadrant.

Focusing on Strengths

By bringing the Perceptive portfolio into its fold, Hyland Software is making an even firmer commitment to its business, its people and its customers. I share the company’s passion for the future of ECM, and I echo its enthusiasm for the technology’s unbridled potential. Remember, it was just four years ago that Hyland acquired AnyDoc – at the time the premier capture company in the marketplace. Just as that acquisition added to Hyland’s market share and creative capacity, so too does the embrace of Perceptive.

While for many people this may seem like a “behind-the-scenes” move, it’s sure to have an impact that will be seen very soon in the field. If I may make one more analogy… it’s akin to the Chicago Cubs hiring young Theo Epstein to be their general manager. While a similar “behind-the-scenes” addition to the club, after only a few years it had a very visible effect; namely, the first World Series title for the North Siders since 1908.

What comes next? I am very excited to see! I hope you are.

Posted by: Kelly Green
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