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Merger creates world’s largest CM company

This fall has been a busy time for Open Text. First it acquired Gauss, and now everything is falling in place for the Ixos acquisition. What's it mean? Well, for one thing the new combined company will be the largest content management player on the planet. Waterloo, Ontario-based Open Text has approximately 1,200 employees and had revenues of $178 million in the last fiscal year. Munich-based Ixos has approximately 900 employees and revenues of $145 million in fiscal year 2002/2003.

Says Alan Pelz-Sharpe, Ovum's VP of IT software & services, "I think this is a great move for Open Text and is strategic rather than tactical, as its previous acquisitions have been. It's full of challenges, but gives Open Text the chance to have the critical mass to fight it out at the top, along with the technology to deliver a new Livelink. The key question will be how Open Text shares power with Ixos, and this will be its biggest challenge as it is in many respects a merger of equals. That said, I think it will work out and Open Text will be one of the few major independents left in the race."

Under the business combination agreement, Open Text plans to organize into two divisions. The North American-based division, with operational headquarters in Chicago, will have global responsibility for collaboration and knowledge management solutions as well as North American responsibility for operations. The European-based division, headquartered in Munich, will have global responsibility for content management and archiving as well as European responsibility for operations. Gauss will also be part of the European content management division. Ixos' CEO Robert Hoog will become head of the European organization for Open Text.

As we wait for the Open Text strategy to become completely apparent, the company has already developed an enterprise content management offering with Gauss that provides a Web publishing solution. The new publishing features, Web site templates and archiving for compliance are being offered as part of Livelink for Web Publishing.

Open Text says that by adding Gauss' VIP ContentManager to Livelink, it can offer Gauss customers integrated collaboration and knowledge management capabilities, while offering Livelink customers what it claims are best-of-breed capabilities of VIP ContentManager for high-profile corporate Web sites

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