Knowledge industry maturing

Knowledge industry maturing

Two separate deals show vendors are aligning with local KM integrators.

By Paul Montgomery

Educom and CVSI, two of the most prominent locally-owned integrators of knowledge management (KM) technologies, have recently sold their KM interests.

In late June, Australian accounting software vendor Solution 6 bought the Australian and Singaporean operations of US-based CVSI for $15 million, while only a few days earlier the KM division of Educom was purchased by US document management software integrator MDY Group for an undisclosed amount.

"KM software providers are totally dependent on system integrators"

Solution 6 had previously tried to enter the KM industry with an unsuccessful bid for Canadian document management vendor PC DOCS (see Image & Data Manager March/April, page 65), and the buy-out of the Singaporean and Australian operations of CVSI is not just built on gaining an integration base for Solution 6's accounting applications.

"We believe that the synergies and scale economies that this combination produces will create an organisation which leads the market in Australia in enterprise and knowledge management solutions," said Martin Harwood, MD of CVSI Australia.

"KM software providers are totally dependent on system integrators such as CVSI to provide the value-added services that wrap around the products," added Chris Tyler, CEO of Solution 6. "Through the acquisition of CVSI, the market leader in this area, Solution 6 is well positioned to add the services required to turn KM products into solutions."

Solution 6 said the CVSI business would also help it in its membership of the Application Service Provider (ASP) Consortium, which is an alliance of vendors who will offer applications to be outsourced, or "rented", and operated between customers and a centralised data centre over the Internet. The company also signed a bilateral agreement in March with SAP to act as an ASP for SAP's R/3 suite.


Meanwhile, the background of Educom's suitor is much more familiar. Both Educom and MDY specialise in PC DOCS implementations, and both have records management software products: Record Manager from Educom and RMS from MDY Group. The RMS product is also integrated with software from iManage, CompInfo and the CMS/Open division of PC DOCS.

The document and records management consulting business of Educom will become a wholly owned subsidiary within the US company called Educom Business Solutions - MDY Pty Ltd. Educom will sell the Record Manager product entirely to PC DOCS. Educom will retain its other two divisions, a training business and a fast-growing business in online analytical processing (OLAP) with an application called PowerOLAP.

Collin Duff-Tytler, national marketing manager of Educom, said the company's KM business had built up a reseller channel for PC DOCS when it was the exclusive distributor, but when this changed at the start of the year it found itself competing with the same resellers it had recruited.

"[Educom's KM] business is not as lucrative as it had been previously. We're passing it along to someone who can really make a go of it," he said.

Educom Business Solutions - MDY will operate within Educom with no staff losses, Mr Duff-Tytler said, but three staff would move to PC DOCS as part of the Record Manager sale, including product manager Jon Barrett.