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Do you need the “Handbook for the Recently Acquired?”

Scott Draeger
Posted by Scott Draeger VP of Customer Transformation Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 10:57

Scott joined the industry in 1997, after earning a B.A. from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He started as a document designer using several VDP technologies, before moving to the software side of the industry. He has more than 17 years of experience in the document composition software industry as both a transactional document designer and a software vendor. He earned his EDP and M-EDP certification from Xplor and his MBA in 2007 from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.

Customer Experience Update
Handbook for the Recently Acquired


Anytime there is big news in the CCM industry, my thoughts turn to the impacted users. What do they think when an announcement impacts their technology? How will this impact their next project? Will the news wreck a project in progress? Is their support arrangement going to change? The latest acquisition news reminded me of an old movie, “Beetlejuice,” from 1988. In the movie, the recently deceased Adam and Barbara are issued a copy of the “Handbook for the Recently Deceased” to help them navigate their transition into the afterlife. I was thinking, what if there was a “Handbook for the Recently Acquired” for users impacted by mergers.

The most recent industry transaction would issue the handbook to users impacted by Syncsort’s acquisition of Pitney Bowes’ software portfolio. Let’s take a look at the transaction and see what the handbook could offer to the people who are currently using covered technology, like EngageOne. The acquirer, Syncsort, has a great reputation in areas of big data infrastructure, integration and quality. This seems like a good match for many of the Pitney Bowes assets highlighted in the press release. Go ahead and take a look at the press release.  

 “Handbook for the Recently Acquired,” might suggest that we decode the press release, because it’s all we have at the moment. The order of thoughts matter. The order of items in a list also matters. The press release reads, “The Pitney Bowes software business is based on four key lines including:” and lists “Location Intelligence,” “Data Enrichment,” “Customer Information Management” and “Customer Engagement” in that order.

So, what does that signal to a user of recently acquired software. First of all, the list is not in alphabetical order. So, the items are likely listed in order of importance. With that frame, location intelligence, data enrichment and customer information management are the top three items. This places item four, “Customer Engagement” in last place. In the Olympics, fourth place doesn’t get a medal.

In context, this list describes the “Pitney Bowes software business,” and not the post-acquisition expectations of Syncsort. The first three items in the list seem well aligned to Syncsort’s mission. For “Customer Engagement,” this is ultimately an acquisition of an acquisition, as Pitney Bowes acquired Group 1 in 2004. Here is the press release. By the way, Group 1 was founded in 1982, six years before Beetlejuice was released 1988.

So, we know that the CCM assets are in the position that indicates they are of the least importance. So, the “Handbook for the Recently Acquired” would indicate that it might be time to consider some alternatives in light of their critical technology being last on the list. Additionally, the users of recently acquired software should take a look at relevant analyst rankings of the technology in years past to see trends. With market signs pointing to businesses having less time to react to complex regulations, more channels to implement and higher expectations from customers; it is time to consider your own acquisition strategies. Unfortunately, there is no “Handbook for the Recently Acquired,” so impacted users will have to do some of their own research. Quadient is here to help, as we have been reducing the costs and increasing the speed of transformations for our clients who are using software that has been acquired multiple times over the past few years.