Interesting news this morning. Metalogix gobbled up the SharePoint products and offerings from Axceler. Rumors have been flying for months about an acquisition between the two parties, and both directions were mentioned – either Axceler doing the acquiring or Metalogix doing the acquiring. In the end, though, it didn’t come out either way – Metalogix only acquired a portion of Axceler’s business.
The SharePoint products from Axceler have driven Axceler to be one of the fastest growing ISVs in the SharePoint ecosystem. A darling of growth, and of product innovation, the Axceler ControlPoint products have illustrated that there is potential within the SharePoint ecosystem for Management, Administration, and Governance tools.
At least, there used to be lots of potential in the SharePoint ecosystem in the Management and Administration spaces. While I think there remains lots of potential in the governance space, I think it’s fair to say that with the shift to Office 365, the room for growth in the SharePoint Management and Administration space feels like there is a cap on it. We don’t know exactly where that cap is, but there is no doubt that the open range for Administration and Management of SharePoint On-Premise is now a fenced in corral, and the ability to run free is limited.
In the short term, this will put Metalogix in a very powerful position for SharePoint On-Premise solutions. Every SharePoint On-Premise solution will either be in the AvePoint camp, the Dell camp, the MetaVis camp, or the Metalogix camp. Metalogix does have a very compelling set of offerings. This is a very busy space for SharePoint users to wade through, and the removal of one of the players (Axceler), simplifies the space a little bit, but it is still confusing when there are 4 strong providers to consider and many little providers.
Do you think that Axceler realized that 1. the space was very crowded, and 2. the Office 365 future was limited? I think that the leadership of Axceler realized this and pulled off an amazing feat in this divestiture of their SharePoint business to Metalogix. I think that Metalogix is being driven somewhat by optics and not by the realities of the SharePoint ecosystem in this case. I hope that the price that Metalogix paid takes into account that the market for SharePoint On-Premise in 3 more years will only be the largest SharePoint customers, and that their Long Tail market of small and medium SharePoint customers will be dried up.
I found myself joking with some colleagues that while we used to refer to Open Text as the CA (Computer Associates) of the Document Management world, it now appears that one could consider Metalogix as the CA of the SharePoint world. CA, in this case, as a euphemism for the place where software companies go into eternal maintenance mode… I wonder how true this might turn out to be.
In the meantime, congratulations, Axceler, and we will be watching with interest to see how Metalogix takes advantage of this bundle of riches that their combined offering now provides. Can Metalogix turn this into a productive acquisition and gain significant market share against the other SharePoint management and administration tools?