Serena Acquires Projity, Stirs Up Project Scheduling Market

G00161897

Analyst(s):

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Summary

Projity's resources will give Serena a competitive boost against other project management software-as-a-service vendors, and continue to erode the market perception that few viable project-scheduling tools are available.

News Analysis

Event

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.

Analysis

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.

Recommendations

  • Organizations seeking more predictable project performance: Consistently create, maintain and update project schedules in automated tools, especially for larger projects.

  • Prospective customers: Include on your shortlist a variety of viable scheduling alternatives available from substantial vendors — now including Serena's Project-ON-Demand — despite the market share dominance of the two leading providers.

  • Serena customers: Expect Serena to integrate Project-ON-Demand's strong scheduling features into the Serena Mariner SaaS PPM offering.

  • Projity customers: Those seeking a broader PPM offering leveraging Projity tools should respond to Serena's expected marketing of Mariner to them, and can expect continued development and support of Projity products.

Serena Software is a portfolio company of Silver Lake Partners, a private investment firm that also owns a substantial, publicly disclosed interest in Gartner, Inc., and has two seats on Gartner’s 11-member Board of Directors. Gartner research is produced independently by the Company’s analysts, without the influence, review or approval of our investors, shareholders or directors. For further information on the independence and integrity of Gartner research, see “Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity” on our Web site, http://www.gartner.com/it/about/omb_guide.jsp .

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