Mon, Dec
0 New Articles

SSA Global Acquires Epiphany and Boniva

Analysis of News Events
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Over the last two weeks, SSA Global has been reminding the IT community that software company acquisitions are not just for big vendors such as IBM and Oracle. In early August, the iSeries application vendor announced that it will acquire Epiphany, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Last Monday, SSA completed a double play by snapping up Boniva Software, a small firm that specializes in human capital management solutions. Taken together, the acquisitions provide SSA with assets that will help it compete not only with other iSeries application vendors, but also with the giants of the software industry.

By acquiring Epiphany in a stock transaction worth $329 million, SSA Global will gain CRM solutions that many in the industry consider to be best of breed for marketing automation and customer analytics. Just as importantly, SSA will gain over 475 customers and a revenue stream that could top $60 million this year. Unfortunately, that revenue figure will be lower than previous years, as Epiphany has been struggling financially in the face of fierce competition from hosted CRM solution providers such as Salesforce.com. By taking shelter under SSA’s wing, Epiphany gains privileged access to the vendor’s 13,000-plus customers and the deep financial pockets of SSA’s backers.

According to SSA executives, Epiphany’s solutions will be integrated into the vendor’s current CRM solutions. The integration effort should be relatively easy as both vendors base their solutions on Java and Web services standards. Just as importantly, both vendors use IBM’s WebSphere middleware to support their solutions and provide the framework for their services-oriented architectures.

After enriching its CRM capabilities with the Epiphany acquisition, SSA turned its attention to its human resources solutions by purchasing Boniva Software last week for an undisclosed sum. While the California-based company has fewer than 50 employees, it has developed some robust Web-centric offerings for employee recruitment, assessment, retention, and training. These capabilities will be integrated into SSA’s own human capital management modules to enhance their functionality.

Keeping Up With the Competition

With Epiphany and Boniva under its belt, SSA Global could realize revenues of more than $750 million in 2005. This may enable it to maintain its position as the fifth largest vendor of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software behind SAP, Oracle, Sage Group, and Microsoft’s Business Solutions division. That position was placed in jeopardy back in June when Lawson and Intentia agreed to merge, putting the combined iSeries vendors on track to exceed SSA on a revenue basis. However, SSA’s latest acquisitions put it in a neck-and-neck revenue race with Lawson-Intentia.

More importantly, Epiphany and Boniva Software help SSA to beef up its product lines in areas where both sales opportunities and competitive threats are growing. Among the medium-size companies that SSA targets, CRM spending is growing at a faster rate than almost any other software category. By purchasing Epiphany, SSA can capture some of that growth instead of forfeiting it to competitors.

Among those competitors, none represents a greater long-term threat to SSA than Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) and its CRM offering. Already, Microsoft CRM has become a favorite among small and medium-size businesses. Microsoft intends to use that popularity to its advantage by tightly integrating the product with its other MBS applications. This will give any customer that purchases Microsoft CRM one more reason to consider the company’s Great Plains, Navision, or Axapta business applications over those of mid-market vendors such as SSA. To blunt Microsoft’s attack, SSA must have top-notch CRM capabilities.

At the same time, SSA is keeping one eye on SAP and Oracle, two vendors that are increasingly promoting their CRM offerings to mid-market firms. Both vendors already offer extensive CRM capabilities in their products, and both could acquire other CRM vendors in the near future to broaden their customer bases. Should such acquisitions occur, the number of standalone CRM providers will significantly dwindle, leaving a handful of large vendors with the bulk of the functionality that customers need. This makes it all the more important for SSA to have Epiphany in its stable.

In short, SSA Global’s recent acquisitions should make a significant contribution to the vendor’s viability in a rapidly consolidating software market. It will be interesting to see how Lawson-Intentia and Infor – SSA’s chief competitors in the iSeries market – respond to their rival’s latest moves. An easy (and obvious) guess is that part of the response will be more industry consolidation. I’ll be watching for the next turn of the merger and acquisition crank, so stay tuned.

Lee Kroon is a Senior Industry Analyst for Andrews Consulting Group, a firm that helps mid-sized companies manage business transformation through technology. You can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lee Kroon is a Senior Industry Analyst for Andrews Consulting Group, a firm that helps mid-sized companies manage business transformation through technology.


Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: