RealTime IT News

Vignette Buys Epicentric for $32 Million

Aiming to marry content and content delivery, Vignette Tuesday moved to pick up Epicentric for $32 million.

Vignette, which unveiled its V7 package of Web services applications focused on content management and workflow process last week, now has a portal and content delivery division to put real-time software applications on the enterprise workstation.

Officials expect the acquisition to close in December and have already gotten the blessing of its shareholders and board of directors.

It's uncertain whether the employees at Epicentric would migrate over to their new owners, or be released. An Epicentric spokesperson referred all queries to Vignette, whose own spokespersons were not available for comment at press time.

Both companies have been aware of each other for some time and are aware of what the other delivers, with 250 customers using both for portal and application services. The number of customers, both using Epicentric and Vignette services, prompted the buyout.

"Vignette's acquisition of Epicentric is in response to overwhelming customer demand for integrated solutions that enable the rapid deployment of Web- based business applications," said Thomas Hogan, president and CEO of Vignette, in a statement Tuesday. "This acquisition is a great, strategic fit at every level."

Vignette and Epicentric customers include Daimler Chrysler, J.P. Morgan Chase, Motorola, Verizon and Vodafone.

V7 allows customers to create content object editors within the IT environment using a graphical user interface (GUI), reducing the number of programmers needed to manage content in the business. Tied with an Epicentric portal, which sports central management features, security and content delivery, Vignette officials predict users will have "the unique ability to use and manage content where it lives, regardless of its format or repository."

Web services companies are looking for new ways to make their applications and services integrated, to cut down on the number of different software and hardware needed to deliver the applications.

Andy Warzecha, META Group senior vice president, said that integration is needed in the "real-time enterprise" where information and businesses need to rapidly change.

"The formal combination of content management, portals, process management, analytics and developing standards will accelerate the development of enterprise Web platforms that will enable the real-time enterprise," he said.

Despite the benefits Web services have been marketed to create, the backlash in the IT world for Web services is in full effect. Research firm IDC expects the industry to garner $34 billion by 2007, but warns that companies delivering software as services remains at least 10 years away.