Great Source of Competitive Insight - Corum Acquisition by Sage
Here is a snippet from the Market Intelligence Briefing, a monthly publication written by Jason Carter and provided by The Partner Channel exclusively for individuals at Microsoft Dynamics focused VAR or ISV firms. Click here to subscribe or email Jason@thepartnerchannel.com for a complimentary copy. You can subscrbe to his awesome newsletter by clicking here.
His competitive newsletters have some VERY in depth analysis and are well worth the time and money to read. With his permission, here is his analysis on the Sage purchase of Corum. :-) Enjoy!
Sage made another acquisition this month. I'm to a point where I just leave that line right in the template for this briefing so I don't have to re-type it each month. Sage announced on September 15th that it was acquiring the mobile division of Corum Corporation. A long time Sage ISV partner, Corum has been building solutions around SalesLogix since it first released in 1997.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Dave Batt, senior vice president and general manager of Global CRM, said in an interview with CRM Buyer that he expects the acquisition to add "eight figures worth of new revenues" in Sage's upcoming fiscal year. This acquisition comes on the heels of a similar move by Salesforce.com. In April of this year Salesforce.com spent $15 million to acquire Sendia and subsequently launched its AppExchange Mobile platform.
The Corum Mobile client for SalesLogix is a rich client, meaning data and code are resident on the device. That being the case they've had to maintain separate code in order to support both Pocket PC and BlackBerry devices. Following Sage's "freedom of choice" mantra I'd expect them to push the BlackBerry support in sales opportunities against Dynamics CRM.
Batt said that Corum helped Sage develop "a native user interface that allows SalesLogix to be viewed from the BlackBerry." He added that "No one has developed a user interface design for the BlackBerry to the degree that Corum has." That's not to say that you should concede this point against SalesLogix. Dynamics CRM supports BlackBerry and just about any other mobile device that reads html with the CRM Mobile Express edition, but you'd best be ready to discuss the benefits of the "thin-client" model against Sage's data resident model (or just include the appropriate Dynamics CRM ISV solution) if you encounter a loyal BlackBerry client in your pipeline.
What about Sage's other CRM solutions; ACT!, Sage CRM (formerly Accpac CRM), SageCRM.com (formerly Accpac CRM Online)? Batt says the advantage with Corum's mobility platform is that it can be used across all of Sage's product offerings. Perhaps it can be, but currently it is not, and Sage is not providing public guidance on how soon that integration might be available. That sort of stuff takes R&D dollars you know.
During their interview Batt and CRM Buyer's Erika Morphy turned to the topic of Sage's growth. Batt commented that the overall heritage of Sage has been one of not only organic growth but also expansion through acquisition. That may have been true in the past. Today I'd say Sage is building a new heritage of expansion through even more rapid acquisition to overcome anemic organic revenue growth. When asked specifically about CRM growth, Batt points out that Sage's CRM products have been growing at a faster rate than any other Sage product line or family. It's all relative isn't it?
During Sage's last fiscal period the mid-market accounting/ERP business suffered a double digit license revenue decline. In contrast, mid-market CRM (SalesLogix, Sage CRM, and SageCRM.com) was up a stunning 5%. And there is your mid-market growth leader for Sage North America. How does the Dynamics CRM growth rate compare to that? You know the answer - it's like the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing it.