On 23 September 2008, Serena Software announced the acquisition of Projity, a provider of software as a service (SaaS) and open-source project management software. Both companies are privately held and no numbers were disclosed.
Serena made the acquisition to get OpenProj, Projity's open-source desktop project management software, and Project-ON-Demand, Projity's SaaS-based project management software. These product additions should strengthen Serena’s overall project and portfolio management (PPM) offering, as well as help the company with a point scheduling tool for customers not seeking a comprehensive PPM solution.
The acquisition could also provide a competitive boost against other SaaS PPM vendors that lack native scheduling and rely on Microsoft Project integration — if Serena can assimilate Projity effectively and market it with the SaaS PPM product, which may be a challenge for a company more accustomed to promoting software change and configuration management (SCCM) tools to application development teams.
Projity's CEO, Marc O'Brien, and its product team will join Serena. O'Brien will become vice president of SaaS project and PPM solutions for Serena, bringing his experience with scheduling tools, having worked with Scitor (now Sciforma) and launched WebProject in the late 1990s. After Novient acquired WebProject, O'Brien launched Projity as an early on-demand scheduler.
This acquisition continues to erode the perception that Microsoft and Primavera offer the only viable project-scheduling tools on the market. While prospects seeking stand-alone scheduling tools can find dozens of potential point tool providers, much uncertainty exists about the various tools' delivery approaches and feature sets, as well as about vendor viability, level of development, and service and support. Lately, however, there has been growing awareness of viable solutions from second-tier, but basically sound, providers. This acquisition will reinforce that growing awareness.
Serena has 800 employees and more than 15,000 customers, and with this acquisition, joins a number of other companies offering competitive scheduling alternatives, such as Sciforma's PS Next, CA’s Open Workbench (also available as open source), Planisware and Deltek Open Plan.
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