Alterian's Plans to Buy Mediasurface Show WCM Market in Flux

Archived Published: 21 May 2008 ID: G00158199


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This deal will present integration challenges for Alterian, but allows it to offer content-enabled marketing applications. It also highlights the changing focus of vendors in the Web content management market.

News Analysis


On 16 May 2008, Alterian, a provider of marketing resource management and enterprise marketing management software, announced that it intends to acquire Mediasurface, a vendor of Web content management (WCM) software. The deal is expected to close in June 2008.


Alterian's intent to acquire Mediasurface and form a single business entity has the potential to be highly beneficial for its customers and prospects. Enriching the end-user experience is a growing trend in the WCM market. This allows business units to take control of their Web content authoring and helps turn "visitors" to a Web site into "users." Organizations are also demanding content-enabled vertical applications or solutions based on WCM. Alterian can now enter this WCM market. The move creates another option for content-enabling the user experience for sales and marketing, but means Alterian may face new competitors, such as FatWire, Percussion Software or Interwoven, which already target this market segment.

Alterian sells its software in 20 countries and has a growing presence in Europe and North America. Just over half of its £19.3 million revenue in FY08 came from North America. Thanks to Mediasurface's presence in the Asia/Pacific region, there is potential for synergies from the vendors' complementary offerings and their respective plans to increase their global coverage. Alterian already has experience with software as a service (SaaS) via marketing services providers such as Acxiom and Experian. If it goes ahead as planned, this deal will allow greater penetration of the WCM SaaS market using Mediasurface's Pepperio. Alterian can exploit this SaaS potential more fully by offering new prospects the power of a combined, bundled offering coupled with well-targeted solutions that offer an aggressively short time to value.

The keys to success for this deal will be the clarity of direction communicated to the market, and the speed with which the individual offerings become well-integrated. Alterian will also need to exploit this integration to help its customers ensure content consistency across channels beyond the Web — a challenge that many marketing organizations are struggling with.


Alterian and Mediasurface customers and prospects:

  • Request clarity concerning the road map for the resultant offerings and the intended support for existing offerings before changing your current strategy.

  • Ask for specific details about how Mediasurface's Immediacy and Pepperio products will be integrated into Alterian's offering. (Mediasurface's Morello already provides the basis of a good architectural fit.)

  • Seek clarification about the intended pricing model for the respective components before considering a combined solution.

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