Pegasystems already had a good foundational set of capabilities for customers wanting to build mobile apps that would help workers and customers interact with their Pega business process applications and CRM implementations. The company’s acquisition of Antenna Software delivers a massive boost.
Although Pegasystems’ current Pega Mobile offering delivers some decent development facilities, Antenna’s AMPchroma platform offers customers not only development services, but also a set of deployment, administration, monitoring and integration services. What’s more the services it offers around development and deployment are very deep and rich—supporting the whole spectrum of mobile website delivery to native app deployment, and also encompassing the ability to host and present storefronts and catalogs. The server-side elements of the platform can be operated from Antenna’s own cloud or installed on-premise.
Antenna Software has a significant pedigree and history, being founded in 1989. In recent years it’s been no stranger to acquisitions itself—with Dexterra being acquired in 2009, and the most recent being of UK-based Volantis Systems (in 2011). Antenna’s flagship AMPchroma platform represents the integration of Antenna’s heritage platform with Volantis’ technologies, which very significantly boosted Antenna’s own proposition when the company acquired it. Antenna started out very firmly in the ‘mobile B2E’ (business-to-employee) space, but its acquisitions have helped it capture more and more sexy B2C business—riding the smartphone and tablet wave nicely.
A little bit of searching reveals that the 250-employee strong Antenna Software likely pulls in significantly more than $50m in annual revenue currently. Naturally Pegasystems hasn’t disclosed terms of the deal.
It’s natural for anyone familiar with the BPM platform technology marketplace to see Pegasystems’ acquisition of Antenna Software as a response to IBM’s acquisition of Worklight (with IBM and Pega being fierce head-to-head competitors). That acquisition was completed in early 2012, and reporting at the time estimated Worklight’s revenues to be in the $5-10m range and the acquisition value to be in the region of $60–70m.
I’m not convinced that this was a direct response to IBM’s move; my sense is that this is more of a general response to the huge uptick in corporate interest in delivering information and transaction services to mobile platforms for employees and customers/prospects alike. With the information I’ve got to hand, this appears to be a smart move, too.
I’ve not yet had a specific briefing on this acquisition, but I’m hoping to learn more in the coming weeks and will share more when we know it!