Last week the private equity group Audax purchased antivirus specialist Bytware, Inc. The Audax Group owns Help/Systems and also recently purchased PowerTech.
Chris Maxcer shares his opinion on the consolidation of i vendors, and the private equity ownership model in his recent blog post.
If you believe that competition brings innovation, then the Bytware, PowerTech, Help/Systems trifecta means you’ve got “competing” security solutions all owned by the same company, which means there isn’t any real competition between those three companies. You can’t fake competition.
However, Maxcer doesn’t touch on the possibilities of open source solutions adding to the competitive marketplace of the i market. As the YiPs recently shared, interest in open source options for i is growing.
Nicolaas Vlok, CEO of Vision Solutions shared his opinion about the acquisition of PowerTech by Help/Systems in a recent interview:
“I think it’s a pretty good business decision,” shared Vlok. “I still believe from a software perspective that it’s a market worth investing in and expanding with specifically infrastructure-related software. In the i marketplace, most people looking in the 3-5 years can see an expanded opportunity with i and p.”
Maxcer pointed out that Vision is also a private-equity-owned company, but posits that this hasn’t necessarily negatively affected the innovation in the Power and i world.
Private equity company Thoma Cressey Bravo owns Vision and brokered the deals that led to the acquisition of iTera and Lakeview Technology. Is the System i industry any worse off with a consolidated power player–Vision–instead of three solution providers trading punches and customer contracts? In fact, a larger, more stable company may be better for customers than when one of three might bite the dust entirely.
What do you think? Is open source the answer for innovation woes? What are your concerns?