Open Text buys portal player Corechange

Open Text Corp. took advantage of the surging loonie Wednesday and did some cross-border shopping.

When the spree was over the Waterloo, Ont.-based company came away with Corechange

Inc., a Boston-based software company specializing in tools to develop, deploy and manage enterprise portals, and a US$4.2 million hole in its wallet. Open Text specializes in knowledge sharing, content management and collaboration applications, particularly its flagship product, LiveLink.

Bill Forquer, Open Text’s senior vice-president business development, said the parties had been working on a partnership deal but didn’t find themselves on equal footing. He said Corechange was well positioned in the portal market and has products that provide application integration capability for customers to create a dashboard effect for their end users, but that was changing.

“”Buyers have tended to look to their major application vendors and their major platform vendors to support this ability as opposed to it being supplied by an independent, discreet product or company. As a result of that change in market dynamics Corechange has had a bit of a rough go,”” Forquer said.

According to IDC Canada analyst Warren Shiau, the market simply went out of style. “”The portal standalone market really wasn’t working any more so Corechange found itself really in need of a partner,”” he said.

The change notwithstanding, Forquer said it has a broad clientele: American Electric Power, Credit Suisse First Boston, GE Medical, EMC, Krispy Kreme to name a few of the 150.

Forquer said the dashboard technology, though key to making a deal, was not the piece of the puzzle. “”They have some key technology that’s interesting for us related to single sign-on and then some key technology related to application integration: plugging into the various ERP and CRM systems.””

Charles Kane, president and CEO of Corechange, described the technology fit as superb.

“”It’s very complimentary. If you look at the direction the market is going collaboration and portal frameworks are coming together quickly and customers are demanding that combination,”” Kane said.

Thanks to their prior discussions as potential partners, the companies find themselves in position to integrate Coreport into LiveLink within four to six months. But for now, Forquer said it will get in touch with Corechange’s customers and see which ones are a fit for LiveLink.

Forquer said 35 of 75 Corechange employees will be joining Open Text, while Kane adds the Boston office will remain open with the rest.

Open Text has been on a buying streak recently that has included the acquisition of Eloquent Inc. and Centrinity.

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