Workfront Strengthens Its MRM Solution With ProofHQ Acquisition


Archived Published: 22 July 2015 ID: G00290041

Analyst(s):

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Summary

Workfront's acquisition of ProofHQ extends its marketing resource management capabilities in creative production management, and eliminates the risk that ProofHQ could be acquired by another vendor or competitor.

News Analysis

Event

On 22 July 2015, Workfront, an enterprise work management vendor, announced the acquisition of online proofing vendor ProofHQ to enhance its marketing resource management (MRM) solution. Workfront is headquartered in Lehi, Utah, and ProofHQ is headquartered in the U.K. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

Analysis

With this acquisition, Workfront gains a critical MRM component that will make it a stronger MRM competitor in the area of creative production management. Workfront has been rapidly gaining traction in the MRM market with its solution for creative production management, which features a strong focus on project management and workflow. Historically, however, Workfront did not have a stand-alone online proofing tool for reviews, approvals, markup and annotations of different types of creative content — functions typically found in competitive MRM solutions.

Workfront has partnered with ProofHQ since 2012 to integrate a proofing tool into Workfront's Marketing Work Management solution. The majority of Workfront's MRM deals include the integrated ProofHQ online proofing component, so it is no surprise that Workfront acquired ProofHQ to fully own such a critical MRM component. The acquisition also eliminates the potential for another vendor or competitor to buy ProofHQ and disrupt Workfront’s product strategy.

Workfront said it plans to continue to sell the online proofing tool as a stand-alone solution. ProofHQ has over 2000 clients using just the online proofing tool. Clients not interested in further investments in MRM could have problems as Workfront shifts its focus to marketing enhancements.

ProofHQ also gains from being part of a more strategic solution for marketers in the fast-growing MRM market. To continue to grow in the market, ProofHQ would have needed to expand beyond its online proofing capabilities over the next two years to appeal to marketers with broader MRM solution requirements.

While more than half of its clients are in North America, ProofHQ is based in the U.K., which could help open up opportunities for Workfront to expand into the U.K. and Europe.

This acquisition comes on the heels of the introduction of Workfront DAM, a digital asset management solution (powered by WebDAM via partner agreement), which further expands Workfront's MRM capabilities and should strengthen its position in competitive deals with leading MRM vendors.

Recommendations

  • Workfront clients that use the ProofHQ solution as part of their MRM solution can rest assured there will be no disruption in product strategy for proofing.

  • Workfront clients that aren't using the online proofing tool should consider expanding their review and approval capabilities by adding this capability.

  • ProofHQ clients that are in marketing should consider expanding their MRM capabilities to Workfront's Marketing Work Management solution.

  • ProofHQ clients and prospects that are not in marketing should monitor product positioning and roadmaps in areas outside of marketing and MRM use cases.

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