One-time SaaS collaboration innovator Incite lingers on in the Australian market while former executives are celebrating a new start-up success.
Long-standing readers of Extranet Evolution may recall my posts about the Australian business Incite, a Leighton Holdings subsidiary which in 2009 developed some potentially ground-breaking SaaS collaboration technologies to support construction projects. I got a preview of these Keystone tools in November 2010, but three months later the company’s senior management team – including all the key executives behind the platform innovations – were shown the door in what I called Incite’s St Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Subsequently, Leighton Holdings threatened me with legal action, the Keystone brand disappeared in a website reshuffle, and customers reportedly became uneasy about the future of the Incite platform. At that time (July 2012), I expressed sadness that Leighton stopped investing in Incite, suggesting that, marketed well, the Keystone innovations developed by Michael Baker and his team could have become a lucrative spin-off for the parent company.
However, Michael and colleague Scott Crane went away and formed another start-up, this time focused on security analytics – a company called Packetloop. This week it has been reported (eg: in Security Week) that Packetloop had been acquired by Arbor Networks, a leader in security management applications. While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it seems like Michael and his team were good at developing profitable enterprise software after all.
Meanwhile, the once-truncated Incite website has been expanded again, still under the Nexus Point Solutions name, and the Keystone product brand has reappeared. Sustained investment in Incite could have made it a major player in recent years, but the Australian SaaS collaboration market has become increasingly competitive. 4Projects now has a strong local representative and is winning major projects; ProjectCentre now has a strong German parent; QA Software’s Teambinder is also picking up major clients; Aconex retains a strong position in its native market; and Conject and McLaren also have representatives on the ground. Perhaps these rivals have capitalised upon Incite’s apparent implosion?