Friday, February 18, 2011

OpenText Acquires Metastorm

OpenText announced today the completion of the Metastorm acquisition. We do many acquisitions at OpenText but this particular acquisition is very interesting for a multitude of reasons. Metastorm is the leader in business process management (BPM) which is a discipline quite related to enterprise content management (ECM). In fact, enterprise content management has long included a process-centric category of solutions called transactional content management (TCM). Kyle McNabb and Connie Moore from Forrester were perhaps first to articulate this category in their groundbreaking 2005 report titled Transactional, Business, And Persuasive Content: A Better Way To Look At Enterprise Content.
Metastorm headquarters in Baltimore

The TCM solutions deal with optimization of business processes that involve content. In fact, at least half of all business processes involve content: a received fax, scanned paper, or submitted form. The Metastorm acquisition will allow OpenText to significantly raise the bar when it comes to managing content-related processes. I am not talking just about the technology but also about market presence, reputation, number of R&D engineers as well as expertise in sales and marketing.

Many business processes that customers optimize using Metastorm software do not involve content. This market is very interesting for OpenText as well. According to Gartner, the BPM market grew by 15% in 2009. Obviously, that represents a great growth opportunity for OpenText, no matter if the solutions are content-centric or process-centric. And Metastorm is a leader in BPM according to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Process Management Suites.

On top of that, Metastorm adds two other product areas to OpenText’s portfolio: business process analysis (BPA) and enterprise architecture (EA). Metastorm is a leader both areas - according to the respective Magic Quadrants. Just the fact that each of the areas has a Magic Quadrant suggests that these are separate, albeit very related, and substantial markets. And given that Metastorm is a leader in three different spaces makes it a very compelling addition to the OpenText portfolio.

A particularly interesting trend emerged in the last year or two - Case Management. Case management is a powerful way of organizing all the case-related documentation and process optimization capabilities involved in managing a case. A case can be anything from lawsuits to government grant proposals to insurance claims. And while OpenText already has had a case management offering for a couple of years, this is an area of focus today and it is likely that some of the BPM, BPA or EA capabilities from Metastorm will find their way into OpenText’s case management offering. Note: this is my take at the acquisition and not an official OpenText roadmap. Read the press release if you want the official information.

The press release discussed how Metastorm adds to OpenText’s portfolio in the Microsoft ecosystem. The ecosystem value proposition is a big part of OpenText’s strategy - the company partners with Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP and offers solutions for customers in all three of these ecosystems. And since Metastorm’s software is very friendly to the Microsoft stack and it does have existing integration with SharePoint, it is a natural fit. SharePoint is not used for process optimization today - Metastorm is a key partner of Microsoft for this purpose. This now becomes a natural addition to the portfolio of solutions we can offer to customers with significant investments in Microsoft technologies.

OpenText builds software and acquires companies to solve customer problems that relate to content. This is what we do and how we stay ahead of the curve. With all the assets and talent that Metastorm brings, this is a particularly exciting acquisition that opens up a whole new world of possibilities.


  1. By what crazy logic is "Metastorm the leader in business process management (BPM)"...they were a bit player at best, Pega, IBM, Oracle, etc. are the leaders.

  2. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. In fact, Metastorm has been named a leader by several analyst reports including the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for BPMS and Forrester Wave for BPM. You can find the links to various analyst credentials on this page: