With the parent company, Unit 4 Agresso NV, announcing a groupwide name change to UNIT4, UK construction collaboration technology vendor Business Collaborator will be rebranded as Unit4 Collaboration Software Ltd with effect from 1 February.
“to set the global standard for business software that helps dynamic organisations in both the commercial and public sector adapt to internal and external driven changes simply, quickly and cost effectively.”
Sanjeev Shah, managing director of what will very shortly be UNIT4 Collaboration Software, said:
“The rebrand is important for us strategically. It aligns us more closely with our parent company as they embrace the benefits of our software and services – both for use internally and for marketing to the UNIT4 customer base. The move reinforces our stability and credibility in a marketplace that has been subject to considerable flux and change during the recession. Our close affiliation with UNIT4, a robust and successful leader in the software market, will prove invaluable as we build on our competitive position.
“In an industry embracing change and new best practices, where collaboration is viewed as the path to improved efficiency and quality, our new brand positions us strongly to support the changing business needs of the architecture, engineering and construction market quickly and effectively. …
“2010 will see us strengthen our position as a leading provider of collaboration software as we build on our product and service offerings. We will reach our goal through continual focus on our high levels of customer service and key partnerships, further investment in our people, products, solutions and services and through closer collaboration with our colleagues across the wider UNIT4 group.”
Dissecting Sanjeev’s words, I note he highlights that the marketplace “has been subject to considerable flux and change during the recession”. Two months ago, in Business Collaborator’s most recent audited accounts (for the year ending 31 December 2008 – post), the BC directors struck a pessimistic note about sustaining continued growth in the coming year, and their forecast about the impact of the recession has been echoed by the performance of some other UK vendors who have reported recently (notably, BIW and Asite).
I did wonder about how Business Collaborator would fit into the parent group’s future plans, but this rebranding and Sanjeev’s emphasis on the “close affiliation with UNIT4” and “closer collaboration with our colleagues across the wider UNIT4 group” suggests, first, that it is very much an integral part of the group and, second, that it could use its group’s strength in the ERP sector (plus the group’s investment in SaaS and its partnership with CRM provider Salesforce) to find new customer opportunities. These may also extend beyond the construction collaboration sector; past financial reports have talked about Business Collaborator’s development of a platform for the SEDEX programme (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange), for example.
From a marketing perspective, I will also be interested to see how the Business Collaborator website will change to reflect the new branding (will it be just a rebadging, or will we see a completely new website?). Having been involved in managing major rebranding programmes at several construction businesses (Halcrow, Tarmac, Carillion, among others), I know some of the challenges the marketing teams will have been facing, and I look forward to seeing the new branding applied to the company’s website, collateral, etc; users should also see the new name and logo on the collaboration platform, of course.