Last week, Enterprise Information Management technology provider OpenText continued with its track record of acquisitions, this time announcing the completion of its acquisition of Actuate Corporation, a technology provider of personalized embedded analytics and visualization tools for customer facing applications. The announcement indicates that the merger was completed without a vote of Actuate’s stockholders pursuant to Section 251(h) of the Delaware General Corporation Law with Actuate surviving the merger as a wholly owned subsidiary of OpenText. Thus, pinning the overall cost of this acquisition is probably pre-mature at this point.

Supply Chain Matters readers may recall our prior November 2013 commentary related to OpenText’s acquisition of B2B technology platform provider GXS.

According to posting authored by Mark Barrenechea on the OpenText CEO Blog: “Actuate brings powerful analytics to the OpenText portfolio of products that enable customers to analyze and visualize a broad range of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.” The posting declares that more than 3.5 million developers and OEM’s currently utilize Actuate to deliver personalized analytics and analytics and further indicates that Actuate will continue to serve the embedded analytics market while being integrated across the entire OpenText EIM product suite.

In late June of 2014, this author penned his impressions from being invited to a one day OpenText Industry Analyst summit hosted by senior executives. We noted that OpenText’s vertical industry support strategy is broad ranging from manufacturing and retail to financial services, government, public utilities and other industries. This provider primarily targets CIO’s and internal IT groups, but with continual acquisitions, will have to include more line-of-business and cross-functional business teams. In its previous acquisition of B2B platform provider GXS, it was unclear, by this author’s lens, as to the longer-term strategic emphasis on the needs of supporting B2B business network and business process management challenges beyond electronic content or document exchange. This latest acquisition of Actuate frankly causes us more confusion as to what specific industry support areas will be emphasized in short and longer term internal integration planning.  While on the subject of integration, OpenText has added quite a few, and that alone raises questions on the provider’s abilities to digest this level while shielding customers from added burdens of multiple user interfaces, data integration or other needs for increased user productivity.

Thus, we will defer from other insights pending updated briefings with OpenText.

The takeaway for existing GXS platform customers is to ascertain if Actuate technology will be included in future releases, and if so, what specific areas and what specific cost.  This is especially pertinent to GXS customers with an SAP ERP backbone, since OpenText has placed a rather large emphasis on its strategic partnership with SAP which is offering its own HANA based embedded analytics offerings. The impact of Actuate could therefore provide an alternative, but more strategy, pricing and timetable information is obviously required.

Bob Ferrari

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