UK collaboration vendor BuildOnline is to merge with US-based vendor Citadon (see news release). The new business will trade as CTSpace.
The move was confirmed late yesterday after several weeks of UK industry rumours (see 14 November BuildOnline and Koral, for example), and a succession of BO management changes over the past year or so, culminating in the departure of one-time North Europe MD Bob Godfrey in September.
The new company’s management team comprises representatives from both BuildOnline and Citadon. Howard Koenig, formerly of Citadon, will be CEO and Mark Suster, formerly BO CEO will be a board director (presumably non-executive due to his full-time role at Koral – see Who’s running BuildOnline UK?). Conveniently for him, the combined company will be based in San Francisco, California with offices in the UK, Germany, France, Austria, India and Dubai.
The release says:
The merged company will continue to support customers using current versions of products from both Citadon and BuildOnline.
“The synergies across our software platform and customer portfolio put the new organisation in a unique position to deliver solutions and services to clients on a global basis, which no other player in this market can do,” said Howard Koenig, CEO of CTSpace. “The current market landscape consists of either small niche players with no global reach to meet client demands, or larger organisations trying to jump on the SaaS bandwagon with complex, feature heavy solutions that are difficult and costly to implement.”
By combining their significant research and development investment, CTSpace will offer clients a standardised software platform that is zero-risk and can be rapidly deployed on a global scale. Customers will be offered extended, global 24/7 customer support, professional services and large-scale implementation expertise.
“Our client list already reads like a who’s who in key vertical industries,” said Mark Suster. “Now combined, we are unrivalled in our ability to provide global collaboration expertise. The track record of the two organisations, in improving communication on the world’s largest and most complex programmes and projects to ensure they are delivered on time and to budget, is outstanding. Culturally we have the same vision for collaboration – to bring it to the world’s largest organisations via the SaaS model”.
This is the second major rationalisation of collaboration vendors in 2006, following the Constructware acquisition by Autodesk back in February. But while the Constructware deal mainly concerned north America, this one reaches across both sides of the Atlantic and spreads across Europe, the Middle East, India and out to the Far East. I will certainly be looking at the implications of the merger in more detail in subsequent posts.