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Longview arcplan Merger

When Longview Solutions was acquired by Marlin Equity last summer they expressed excitement that they could now focus on both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Last week they announced their first strategic acquisition. It was actually positioned as a merger between Longview Solutions, a Canadian performance management vendor, and arcplan, a German business intelligence and performance management vendor.

On paper at least, the deal makes a lot of sense. Longview is strong in North America and arcplan is strong in Europe and Asia. Longview offers robust budgeting, planning, consolidation, tax planning, and financial reporting. arcplan offers powerful analytics, data visualization, data integration, and performance dashboards. As we mentioned in our predictions for 2015, adding analytics and data visualization to performance management application suites is a key requirement. Vendors have approached this challenge in different ways. IBM, SAP, and Oracle all offer both performance management and business intelligence capabilities that were developed in-house or acquired over the years. Adaptive Insights acquired myDials several years ago so it could do the same. Host Analytics packages Birst BI with its performance management applications. Tidemark focused on analytics and data visualization right out of the gate alongside budgeting capabilities and later consolidation. This move by Longview is beneficial to customers and essential to stay competitive.

Now to the challenges. Having been through a less than pleasant East Coast/West Coast U.S. merger myself while at Hyperion, I have to wonder about the merging of a 20+ year old German company with a 20+ year old Canadian company, both successful and both probably fairly set in their ways because of that success. There is also the matter of product integration. On top of that there is some significant product overlap. arcplan Edge, although it has not had much traction in the U.S.,  appears to target the same FP&A need for budgeting and planning applications as Longview does. There are clearly some tough decisions to be made.

The net of it though is that the challenges can be addressed, the reasoning behind the merger is sound, and the end result is definitely a stronger competitor in the performance management space. We have not heard enough details yet to determine the short-term impact on customers and prospects other than that both companies will continue to sell their existing product sets for the foreseeable future. We’ll post an update when we learn more.

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