Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Watch out, Epinforacle - here comes Aptean!

Exciting news for those of us pulling for a second tier of bloated, private-equity-funded rollups of failed ERP software companies.... Consona Corporation (acquirers of Made2Manage, Intuitive, Onyx, etc.) and CDC Software (formerly Chinadotcom, acquirers of Ross Systems, Pivotal, etc.) have combined forces to form.... Aptean!  Watch out Infor and Epicor!  Oracle probably still doesn't care.

Here's an exciting video from Aptean president Monte Ford.

According to the Aptean website, "Mr. Ford is widely regarded as a leader in the field of information technology" - although he doesn't appear to have worked at a software company before.  The interim CEO of Aptean, John Clough, held that same role at CDC for the past several years - and is a former Special Advisor to private equity giant General Atlantic.

So at first blush, the "merger" looks like a takeover of Consona by CDC and its backers.  Will update here as we learn more, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I think it's fair to say the Consona products now have another toe or two in the graveyard...

Update:  Atlanta Business Chronicle notes that CDC filed for Chapter 11 last fall, looks like some kind of internal legal wrangling.  Wotta mess!

Update 2:  Dow Jones reports, "Battery Ventures and Thoma Bravo exited their business-services software platform Consona Corp., selling it to Vista Equity Partners -backed CDC Software Corp. for between $240 million to $300 million, according to a person close to the process."

Update 3:  I've seen another private estimate of $250M, which is said to be roughly 2x TTM revenues.  And Consona was said to be way more profitable than CDC, which was doing revenues in the $220M range.

35 comments:

  1. Considering Consona's Knova knowledge management platform is one of the top used KM tools by big tech companies, I'm concerned the Aptean website doesn't even list KM as a solution area.

    Also, weird to see Saratoga Systems listed under products. Haven't seen that name since 2007.

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  2. On a side note, it was CDC Corporation that filed for Bankruptcy, not CDC Software.

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  3. Good point. Anyone familiar with the particulars?

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  4. @John Ragsdale - http://www.aptean.com/en/Products/Knova-Knowledge-Management

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  5. Vista Equity bought CDC Software from CDC Corp as part of their restructuring or liquidation.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2012/04/12/vista-equity-buys-cdc-software.html

    I'm guessing that Vista also owned Consona?

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  6. Battery Ventures the owners of Consona Corporation wanted out. They held Consona / Made2Manage for a long time for a venture capital firm. After talking to my contact on the executive team the Aptean website does not have Consona’ s products list correctly or completely. I was told it would take a couple of weeks to see the website better reflection both companies. I agree we all need to hold our breath M2M is still committed to rolling out version 7.0 and 7.1 but beyond that is undefined.

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  7. a lot of CDC's troubles began when they lost the lawsuit brought by Sunshine Mills a few years back (failed implementation).

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  8. Aptean cuts start today. Unconfirmed numbers of 500+. Certainly 'low-end' product line being hit hard. no details at this point of.

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  9. Some senior managers got let go at my division. Restructuring to functional groups. Lots of crap about the "edge" and "hiring smart people" the new company will have according to da boss.

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  10. I'm in Europe but we won't know until September who is axed, some rubbish about "everyone on holiday". Of course this will not help morale, I don't think Ford has much international experience.

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  11. Here are some particulars on the Ross Enterprise CDC endings from 2011... http://tinyurl.com/9h3dn44 and from earlier this year and http://tinyurl.com/9degjao

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  12. Was this a CDC Software only reduction? Or did it include Consona? After the Vista purchase of CDC Software there was significant attrition of senior roles. Is this still in store for Consona employees?

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  13. Word today is 20% of CDC was RIF'd. Don't know if that was 20% of Admin, 20% overall, what.

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  14. The cuts affected all departments, not just admin. 20 to 25% with more to go as Europe has not been done yet.

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  15. It is interesting, that with all the job cuts, morale is horrible, and the communication is not far behind.

    Yet the management is not prepared to spend any time and/or resources to work at improving things.

    It will be interesting to see what happens, especially as the economy and the job market gets stronger.

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  16. I guess it would be indelicate of me to point out that xTuple is hiring vigorously?

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  17. One of my Consona friend said, few layoffs happened on last friday

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  18. Aptean IT team updated all the webpages of Aptean which now features all products in the website exclusively.

    You can reach them in two ways

    Through Solutions Menu (CRM, Vertical applications etc)
    Through Products by Name AZ

    Yes there were few layoffs which si very common when two companies merge but the leadership team equipped everyone (all employees) with the information that they require and life goes on really well here.

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  19. Hmm, where do we go, let's see, no expenses being paid, new invoicing syste, not able to generate any revenue, a user-conference turning into a total flop - SELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (and cut your exposure to any liabilities to these bunch of clowns!!)

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  20. cost cutting wherever possible. Fire all experienced staff and recruit freshers. Another black Friday (layoffs) on the way.

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  21. No roadmap on product development...
    Just layoff's and the stupid hiring system of having aptitude test for experienced candidates ???
    Many departments short of talent in the name of cost cutting...
    Future looks completely blurred.

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  22. Every month last working day is black day (firing). 15 employees fired on 28th March

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  23. Another few more this month even though not enough resource to complete current workload

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  24. Is M2M in the long term future of the company?

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    Replies
    1. Does the company have a long term future?

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  25. Well they are interviewing now, I just had one. Not sure if it's a good bet from this article and glassdoor.

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  26. i have offer from both aptean and tcs. i am a fresher.
    dont know whether to join a service company or a shaky product company.what are the chances of getting a gud job after 2-3 experience in aptean.?
    any advice which 1 to join?

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    1. I'd say treat Aptean like they're treating their acquired customers - squeeze all the usefulness you can get out of them, then move on when you're ready. What's TCS?

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  27. I've been impressed by Aptean since the takeover: impressed by their lousy customer service, undisguised efforts to screw us (the customer) and overpay for software maintenance that I doubt very much is being maintained. I've had a service call in for 2 weeks now without any contact--just an email (probably automated) saying my request was being forwarded. Really disappointing. I'll be looking to get off of this software within the next 6 months.

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    Replies
    1. Well, we'd love to talk with you at xTuple :)

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  28. I spent four months working for Aptean until they fired me, essentially for doing the job I was hired to do. It is entirely a culture of delusion, but they put up a good front.

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  29. I have a offer from Aptean as Sr. Software Engineer, I am a little skeptical to accept the offer.
    The only reason that shakes me off is the firing of employees which is so transparently seen. Any advice is most welcome.

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    Replies
    1. Just curious, what product would you be working on?

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  30. Shanghai, China R&D office is closing, effective March 31st.

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  31. As a former Aptean employee I can only say the place is full of mixed messages, at best. They completely remodeled the executive floor lobby and at the same time moved the tech employees from normal sized cubes to much smaller, dirty, used, unattractive work stations. Morale was low and falling as quality people were frequently let go to bring on former Red Prairie employees who obviously felt superior to existing Aptean employees. It wasn't clear if all this was approved of by Vista Equity or just fallout of former Red Prairie people filling the top management positions who hired former Red Prairie for the next level down, who then did the same so it flowed through the organization.

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