Earlier today Unit4 surprised with a ‘summer’ acquisition – wisely timed after end of the European soccer championships – which can always be a major distraction on the ‘old’ continent – of prevero, a German maker of BI and CPM products. (The marketing and aesthetically inclined notice the color match). 

Let’s dissect the press release in our customary style, it can be found here:
Utrecht, Netherlands & Munich, Germany, July 11, 2016 – Unit4, a fast growing leader in enterprise applications for service organizations, has acquired prevero, a leading provider of Corporate Performance Management (CPM) and Business Intelligence (BI) solutions. prevero helps more than 4,000 international clients optimize their financial and operational functions, using business data to uncover deep insight and take quick action.
MyPOV – Good summary that describes what has happened. Prevero has been working in Germany since the 90ies and has accumulated a veritable ‘who is who’ of clients in the German speaking parts of Europe.
prevero enables business leaders to align strategy, finance and operations by making smart decisions in every part of their business. Strong CPM and BI offerings complement Unit4’s self-driving business solutions for services organizations, enabling customers to model service delivery around insightful strategic and operational data. Key capabilities of the prevero suite include:
• Predictive analytics and business insights
• Modelling and simulations
• Ubiquitous access to information via in-memory technology
• Corporate-wide collaboration and planning
• Pre-built content for CxO offices and specific verticals
MyPOV - A good collection on what attracted Unit4. Planning and analysis are getting ever more complex these days and by expanding its functional footprint into CPM, Unit4 becomes more strategic and important to its customers and prospects.
Unit4 and prevero share a focus on delivering powerful industry-specific solutions. Together the companies will focus on extending the functionality and delivering pre-built content for Unit4’s key verticals including education and professional services.
MyPOV – Always good to see the focus on industries. Prevero had to focus on industries as it had taken substantial market share in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, those assets are now valuable for Unit4. The question is of course, how these best practices translate into other European and potentially North American markets. And while prevero has gone beyond Germany with presences in the UK, France, Italy to name a few – it is still early stages for the customer acquisition efforts of the vendor.
prevero is a market leader in the field of CPM and BI, recognized as a visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for strategic CPM suites for the past three years. The solution will be available both standalone and integrated into Unit4’s People Platform technology foundation, delivering customers leading performance management technology with native integration to Unit4’s people-centric enterprise solutions.
MyPOV – Good accolades in the highly fragmented CPM market, the almost has local country champions on Europe. Well described on what makes CPM / BI vendors such attractive target for ‘tuck in’ acquisitions for ERP vendors: Their products are meant to operate stand alone, have integration capabilities and are therefore easily to integrate with other offerings.
“As services organizations face increasing pressure to drive organizational transformation across all functions, CPM and BI are critical to successful strategy execution,” said Stephan Sieber, CEO of Unit4. “This is particularly true for services organizations that need to find new service models and revenue streams. Through intelligent enterprise solutions they can become more strategic and ensure efficiency and excellence in execution. The combination of Unit4 and prevero delivers the best performance management and the best services resource planning, designed with the latest technology to simplify user experience and maximize productivity.”
MyPOV – Good quote from Sieber, describing the opportunity and vision on the road ahead.
“The combination of the two companies will deliver a market leading offering for strategic finance and other business functions, with the infrastructure and scale required for international expansion,” said Alexander Springer, prevero’s co-founder and CEO. “More than ever, services organizations are looking to optimize the performance of their often over-complex financial planning, budgeting and forecasting processes. They are also looking to drive that same kind of insight down to all facets of the organization. As part of Unit4, we will massively improve our ability to bring these capabilities to organizations globally.” […]

MyPOV – And Springer shares the ‘business plan’ – bring prevero’s capabilities to the global Unit4 customer base.


Overall MyPOV

CPM, BI and other horizontal players are always an interesting acquisition target for suite level ERP players, who lack the capabilities, but may need a jolt of fresh technology or simply more functionality. They are attractive as they immediately create a more strategic conversation topic with customers, something that never hurts an enterprise software vendor – as long as the conversation can lead to respectable sales and the acquired product is viable. On both of the latter points there can be little doubt on the prevero product side, given a proven track record with demanding German customers. What further helps these acquisitions is that CPM / BI vendors assume an integration scenario for their products to thrive, which helps to add them to an ERP vendor install base, we expect the same to happen with prevero and Unit4. And lastly a vendor like prevero can help create insights across multiple Unit4 products and version, something that customers always appreciated, so plenty of synergy and why the acquisition of prevero by Unit4 is a good move.

On the concern side, an acquisition is an acquisition – so key people need to be retained, the architectures and roadmaps harmonized, the sales capabilities expanded and executed. Nothing that we expect the Unit4 management team to be challenged with too much, but still areas end users will want to watch to monitor post acquisition progress.

But for now congrats to Unit4 to the acquisition of prevero, Unit4 customers get access to more and interesting BI and CPM capabilities, some interesting architecture (in memory) – both something that never hurts, and Unit4 gains a larger footprint and a more strategic exposure to the CxOs of its customers. We will be watching.

More on Unit4:
  • News Analysis - Unit4 announces Business World On – A modern ERP offering - read here
  • News Analysis - Unit4 announces integration with Slack - read here
  • News Analysis - Unit4 picks Microsoft Azure for ‘Self-Driving’ ERP vision - Cloud, Machine Learning, Office and PaaS are the attractors - read here
  • Progress Report - Unit4 lays out a big vision - now it needs to execute - read here
  • News Analysis - Unit4 acquires Three Rivers Systems - read here
Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here

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