Viewpoint’s acquisition of Australian ERP competitor Jobpac creates a strong ANZ market leader and new tensions in its construction collaboration sector.
(London, 8.15pm BST) – Viewpoint Construction Software, the Portland, Oregon, US-based construction financial software vendor, and parent company of the Newcastle, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology business 4Projects (acquired in February 2013), has announced the acquisition (for – as seems to be usual with privately-held US companies – an undisclosed sum) of the Sydney, Australia-based construction ERP vendor Jobpac.
ANZ ERP dominance
It may not be an overly familiar name to many European or US construction sofftware watchers, but Jobpac, according to Viewpoint President Jim Paulson (right) – who I spoke to ahead of the official announcement – is the market leader in the Australasian (ANZ) construction ERP market.
Viewpoint established an Australian beachhead in Melbourne, headed by Scott Halliday, for its Vista ERP product a few years ago, and the closure of this deal will create a dominant player in the Australian market, commanding 45 of the top 100 Australasian contractors, said Paulson, 250 customers and a combined total of over 5000 contracting business customer users. Local competitors include JDM Group‘s CSSP Cheops (post), Sage CRE and more generic SME accounting solutions such as MYOB.
Scott Haladay (son of Viewpoint CEO Jay Haladay), having already extended a two-year assignment in Australia, will return to the US and work on the continued assimilation of JobPac into Viewpoint, I was told. Jobpac CEO Ian Desbrow will become MD of Viewpoint ANZ, looking to double the customer base of the now 50-strong business in the next three to five years. According to Viewpoint’s news release, Viewpoint will maintain its Melbourne facility but relocate its ANZ headquarters to the Jobpac offices in Sydney. Jay Haladay says:
“Through strategic growth and development, Viewpoint has been very successful in serving the needs of construction organisations across the globe. Our technology solutions provide greater productivity, visibility, collaboration and ultimately, increased profits to thousands of users. The combination of Viewpoint’s strong technical platforms, coupled with Jobpac’s deep construction expertise and market presence, allows Viewpoint to expand and deepen its commitment to the Australian and New Zealand markets.”
Viewpoint collaboration push grows
The deal potentially creates some interesting new tensions in the Australasian construction software market. While JobPac did offer some document control functionality, it was certainly not a major player in the document collaboration sector, and I understand some of its customers are existing users of Aconex. Viewpoint’s 4Projects deal and its more recent (December 2014) acquisition of the UK’s Mobile Computing Solutions’ Priority1 (now known as Field View) means that JobPac customers using Aconex may now be offered a competitive alternative that will also potentially be well integrated with their construction finance management needs.
Through, first, a reseller arrangement and then direct through Viewpoint, the 4Projects service, branded Viewpoint for Collaboration in Australia, has been competing with Aconex since 2012 (I noted that JobPac’s existing partners include Textura CPM; coincidentally, the ANZ 4Projects reseller was established by Milton Walters, who joined Textura Australia in December 2014).
In addition to indigenous competitors, Aconex has also faced domestic ANZ competition from SaaS rivals Asite, Conject, McLaren, Newforma and Trimble Buildingpoint, among others (post).