vikpaw (10th December 2012)
Had this email this morning :
After much consideration and discussion, an opportunity for Serco Learning to move to Advanced Computer Software (ACS) has arisen that makes sound business sense for both parties and for customers. Serco Learning is a fantastic software business and there is opportunity over the coming years to grow further and build on the significant investments recently made in our portfolio.
The sale has now been agreed, and will be complete by 31st December 2012. We firmly believe that ACS was the right choice and is well placed to develop this business, as they have a similar portfolio of businesses and a track record of developing and growing software-based companies.
Serco Learning will become part of ACSís Advanced Business Solutions division. Advanced Business Solutions focuses on Public Sector and Enterprise, and has a strong track record in providing back office software and services, in particular to Local Government, Health and Education. Right now it is business as usual and we are ensuring that you continue to receive the same excellent service over the coming months.
Both Serco and ACS have proven track records for ensuring a successful and seamless transition for this type of activity, helping to minimise disruption to staff, customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Please contact your Account Manager if you require further information.
Managing Director, Serco Learning
Makes me wonder about the future development of Progresso, more focus on it or dropped completely?
There is no change in the business strategy of Serco Learning as a result of the change in ownership. Progresso will continue to be actively supported and developed.
1) If a company is "working well" (ie making money) the it's generally not sold.
2) When a company is sold, changes happen - strategy usually - and ACS makes specific mention of upselling and cross selling.
3) 6.5 million doesn't seem a lot for the 2nd largest supplier in education - 13.5 million in sales ... I wonder what the Net profit was?
4) There was a 1 million payment to iGate, who are they and what have the been supplying to Serco Learning?
Well iGate say
"Our comprehensive portfolio of services includes application development and management, verification & validation, enterprise application solutions, infrastructure management, customer interaction services & business process outsourcing, product & engineering solutions, and business & technology consulting.", so a number of possibilities - they supply infrastucture to Serco Learning (networks etc), they supply "helpdesk" facilities, or they are writing progresso,and as it's for the transfer of "material services contract", it's probably for progresso the termination of iGates work on Progresso - either termination of progresso itself, or transfer of assests & IP from iGate.
There's also the BSF schools that Serco Learning is involved in, has that been part of the movement?
It depends if the parent company see the division as core or non core, if the company see the division as non core (which I think the case is here as Serco Learning was the only software only division in Serco Group's portfolio ) they will see at the right price.
ACS are a software house so it makes sense for the to buy Serco Learning, they are synergies between both companies, so instead of them having to buy in IGate (Developers of Progresso) they can do it themselves.
Maybe we should have a look into the year 2012 sales figures of Serco Learning, which might explain this sale!
It is an interesting move which I am following closely as it is a major shake up in the market.
For a company with a 10% market share in the UK MIS market this seems an incredibly low purchase price. Serco Learning invested £20m alone in Progresso (source), yet have been acquired for a third of that price. I wonder what ACS plans to do with Progresso as that's obviously the only worthwhile IP Serco has with Facility being pretty ancient now..thoughts?
I think serco are just cutting there loses, progresso couldnt have got off to a worse start with migrations now on hold until the summer so they can get things sorted. CMIS & Eportal are pretty stagnet and they have already killed off producing or supporting their own financial packages and they just dont seem to have be expanding there customer base either (or at least here in kent).
Will be interesting to see what ACS do, hopfully it will be a positive move.
It seems quite apparent that the new owners are very well positioned to move Progresso up a gear and provide some far more serious competition to their main competitiors aged product, something the market clearly needs.
My understanding is that Serco Learning didn't hold the IP rights to Facility or Progresso. Progresso was rumoured to be costing £20mil to develop by Patni. Who owns the rights to Facility/Progresso now is an interesting question.
Getting the development back in-house in my view is a good thing (assuming ACS can do good software which remains to be seen.......) as yes Facility releases did improve under Patni however things do take 100x longer to be fixed with them, release notes are tiny now for bug fixes and and no new features for 3 or 4 years it feels for Facility (any that have come in are tiny more like tweaks to add missing boxes in rather than an entire new feature). I know Progresso has been about a year or so now but when you look at the forum there are hundreds of feature requests for Facility and ePortal some of which must be a simple change that have yet to be done, for example the Noticeboard in ePortal the default expiry being 1 month and no change that has been talked about for years and surely is a bit of code that needs to be changeable even in XML will be fine....
Anyway I assume customers will be getting an email like I did today from there account managers asking them to make appointments for BETT to talk to them about the future and meet key people from ACS. I certainly will be doing as I am keen to know what there stance on Progresso is and its future as well as the future on Facility as the tone of the email makes me think we maybe going to see a resurgence in development / updates for Facility rather than it being just bug and statutory changes now ( Maybe due to the issues of Progresso that have been talked about on here by members.....)
I hear more problems are in the works today John...
Can anyone get hold of the CMIS/Progresso team on the phones?
BTW I am not stirring, this is reported from contacts and customers to me today.
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