Enterprise collaboration is not just a world that begins and ends with Sharepoint -- and a pair of M&A actions recently proved that.
First up is Jive Software Inc. , the California public company that specializes in helping enterprises manage their social strategies. Jive picked up a pair of startups, Meetings.io and Producteev, both of which will bring tools to add greater collaboration to Jive's offerings.
According to TechCrunch, Meetings.io makes a unified communications platform that incorporates screen sharing and video communications for collaboration on online projects. TechCrunch says Meetings.io "has deep similarities to Google Hangouts" and was launched in April.
That bring us to Producteev, and in a blog post on the Jive Website, CEO Tony Zingale wrote "Producteev similarly makes work that much more productive by letting people collaborate together on tasks and projects on any device." That includes mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, he said. TechCrunch points out that Producteev is the old man in the room, founded in 2008, and brings with it approximately 2,000 customers, including "Apple, Disney, and the Financial Times."
Jive paid $7.6 million in cash, and $400,000 combined, for the two companies, and Zingale called out their success in attracting customers in his blog post:
What's so exciting is that both companies already have several thousand customers around the world who have experienced what we already know -- that social task management and RTC make work more productive, accountable and personal, just like Jive.
Then, there's the second deal, in which Fusion Telecommunications International Inc. of New York paid $19.6 million for New Jersey company Network Billing Systems LLC. Despite its name, which implies it's an accounting software company, NBS is a unified communications provider that will, according to a statement by Fusion CEO Matthew Rosen, provide it with "advanced back office systems that will drive operating and service delivery efficiencies, as well as a complementary voice, data and cloud services platform and network that will allow us to deliver our integrated cloud solutions faster and more cost-effectively."
NBS, which has been around since 1984, specializes in Voice Over Internet Protocol phone services and data services. Fusion brings to the game a platform that allows it to offer not only UC, but also collaboration and videoconferencing services, which it will now be able to integrate into the roughly 5,000 customers NBS adds to its client count.
How important is the collaboration market for the enterprise? IDC, in a release put out today, said that it was one of three segments leading the software market to $167 billion in sales in just the first half of 2012 (virtualization and CRM are the other two). In fact, CIO.com quotes IDC as saying "Applications software was the fastest-growing segment overall, with a 5.1 percent uptick, 'largely driven' by collaboration and CRM software."
With collaboration being a major driver in the growth of software sales, expect more M&A activity in the near future. Nothing creates imitators like success.