Numara Buys UniPress, Eyes Midsize IT Service Desk Market

G00143497

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Summary

UniPress' FootPrints gives Numara an IT service desk offering for midsize firms. Numara's challenge will be to develop a dual-product strategy without overlap and provide a viable migration path for Track-It! customers.

News Analysis

Event

On 13 September 2006, Numara Software announced its acquisition of UniPress Software and said it will incorporate UniPress' FootPrints IT service desk product line into its own product line.

Analysis

Numara, which is owned by private equity firm TA Associates, acquired UniPress to gain entry into the midsize service desk market. Numara, with $57.5 million in total software revenue in 2005, has been successful with Track-It! within small organizations — typically with less than 500 employees — due to its moderate feature set and low price. Track-It! has been slow to gain a foothold with midsize organizations of 500 to 2,500 employees, because the product lacked the advanced feature set, integration points or scalability that midsize organizations require.

UniPress, with total software revenue of $11.4 million in 2005, has grown organically since the 1996 release of FootPrints and has carved a successful niche for itself in the midsize service desk market. The combined company claims more than 50,000 customers worldwide.

This acquisition signals that Numara will stop trying to position Track-It! to midsize organizations and will instead offer a two-pronged product strategy, targeting Track-It! to small organizations and FootPrints to midsize companies. Numara's challenge will be to address the product overlap and develop a clear sales and marketing strategy so the two products do not compete with each other in the future. Numara will also find it difficult to market a clear migration path for Track-It! customers that require the advanced functionality of FootPrints.

Therefore, we expect that FootPrints — aided by Numara Software's direct sales force and international sales channels — will increase its competitiveness in the midsize market. However, Gartner doesn't expect Numara's research and development focus and product road map for FootPrints to change in the short term.

Both Numara and UniPress have an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationship with Centennial Software for its auto-discovery/inventory tool, so we expect the relationship will continue to provide a vertically integrated inventory and service desk solution.

Recommendations

  • FootPrints Customers: Expect Numara to continue investment in the FootPrints features and functionality demanded by the midsize market with little disruption in the product's road map and support.

  • Prospects looking for a near-term (through mid-2008) service desk product: Evaluate FootPrints and Track-It! against the price, features, functionality and integration offerings of other competitors in the IT service desk market. Expect the Numara Track-It! product line to focus only on features and functionality required by small organizations and the Numara FootPrints line to continue to focus on midsize organizations.

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© 2006 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartners research may discuss legal issues related to the information technology business, Gartner does not provide legal advice or services and its research should not be construed or used as such. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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