BroadVision (Nasdaq: BVSN) will be taken private by Vector Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. Current BroadVision stockholders will receive $0.84 per share in cash and BroadVision will operate going forward as a privately-held, independent software vendor. The offer was below the company's share price on the date when the deal was announced. Under a separate agreement with the holders of its outstanding convertible notes, BroadVision, through additional capital to be provided by Vector, will make cash payments totaling $16 million to retire the notes.
Vector Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity firm specializing in buyouts, spinouts and recapitalizations of established technology companies. Vector has taken private companies similar to BroadVision. Other Vector investments include LANDesk Software, Savi Technology and Corel Corporation, which Vector took private in 2003 and subsequently successfully turned around.
"With the current liquidity challenges of the Company and the challenges associated with being a small-cap public software provider, we feel that a cash offer today represents the best course for stockholders," said Dr. Pehong Chen, BroadVision's president and CEO.
The deteriorated and uncertain liquidity outlook, coupled with a continued challenging environment for software sales, the high costs of operating a public company and feedback from numerous potential strategic partners, most of whom declined to pursue discussions, led BroadVision to the conclusion that an outright acquisition of the Company in a cash transaction represented the most desirable outcome for its stockholders.
BroadVision reported second quarter license revenue of $3.4 million, less than 50% of the license revenue reported in the same quarter of the prior year, and total net revenue of approximately $15.5 million, nearly 9% below the midpoint of the company's range of guidance. Due poor sales and certain financial obligations created by the convertible notes, BroadVision's June 30 net cash balance was insufficient to meet its obligations in the second half of 2005.
During the dot.com boom BroadVision was one of the software market's highest fliers and in June of 2000 hit a stock price high of over $550 a share.
"We believe strongly that BroadVision's best opportunity for future stability and growth is as a private company," said Chris Nicholson, a partner at Vector Capital.
Siebel Systems' Strategic Partner HP (NYSE: HPQ) plans to reduce its workforce by by 14,500 employees, (or about 10% of its staff) and modify its U.S. retirement benefits programs. The move was taken to simplify HP's organizational structure, reduce costs and place greater focus on its customers. The company expects to save $1.9 billion annually as a result of these changes.
Beginning in fiscal 2007, HP expects approximate ongoing annual savings of $1.9 billion, composed of $1.6 billion in labor costs and $300 million in benefits savings. In fiscal 2006, HP expects savings of between $900 million and $1.05 billion.
"I think we know what we are doing," said Mark Hurd, HP chief executive officer and president in a conference call after the announcement.
HP plans to simplify its organizational structure by embedding sales and marketing efforts into the business units. The company will dissolve the Customer Solutions Group (CSG) - a standalone business group responsible for sales to enterprise, small and medium-size businesses and public-sector customers. It will merge the sales function directly into three individual business units - Technology Solutions Group (TSG), Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) and Personal Systems Group (PSG).
"I don't have a very high affection for matrices. We like to have accountability," continued Hurd. "While I know the head count numbers set the headlines, it's not how we approached it. We approached it by trying to eliminate multiple decision makers."
Headcount-reduction plans will vary by country, based on local legal requirements. The majority of staff reductions will come in support functions, such as information technology, human resources and finance. The remainder will be made inside the business units. To facilitate these reductions, HP will offer a voluntary retirement program in the United States. Reductions in sales positions will be minimal. There will also be little change to headcount in research and development.
In addition, HP is modifying its U.S. retirement programs. As of January 2006, the company will freeze the pension and retiree medical-program benefits of current employees who do not meet defined criteria based on age and years at the company. Instead, HP will increase its matching contribution to most employee's 401(k) plans to 6 percent from 4 percent.
These changes will not affect benefits currently received under such programs by retirees or eligible employees who are longer-serving and close to retirement age. Additionally, existing employees will retain the benefits they have already earned.
Following the dissolution of CSG, Michael J. Winkler, 60, will retire from his position as executive vice president of CSG, after nearly 10 years at HP and Compaq and more than 35 years in the IT industry.
Cathy Lyons, a 26-year HP executive, was named executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Todd Bradley, formerly president and chief executive officer of palmOne, was named executive vice president of PSG. Randy Mott, formerly chief information officer at Dell and prior to that at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for 22 years, also joined HP as executive vice president and chief information officer.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has become a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB).
“General Powell is one of the most influential leaders of our time," said Ray Lane of KPCB. "His strategic guidance in global affairs is invaluable. In our ‘flat world’ of global markets, global connections, and global competition, Colin adds tremendous value.”
“I have known KPCB entrepreneurs and partners for years," said General Powell. " I welcome the opportunity to help develop global leaders who deliver powerful innovation where we need it most.”
General Powell, 68, was sworn in as the 65th Secretary of State in 2001 after unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate. He served in the military for 35 years, and rose to the rank of 4-star General. His last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the Department of Defense. During this time, he oversaw 28 crises, including Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
General Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from the City College of New York and a Master of Business Administration degree from George Washington University . He also holds honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the country.
The recipient of numerous U.S. and foreign military awards, General Powell has also been recognized with several civilian awards, including two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal, the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal, and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal.
The Siebel Systems Call Center, Sales and other business applications have long set the industry standard for customer relationship management (CRM). These applications make it possible to log and route sales and service activities, process orders, manage configurations and track related costs. Similarly, companies can coordinate telemarketing, sales and service activities by tracking customer interactions over multiple points of contact, including telephone, web, email, fax and more.
As new CRM data is collected, the business value of older data may decline. For example, a Siebel site can log hundreds or even thousands of new activities per day. However, once an activity is completed, these historical details remain dormant in the production database. Without an easy safe way to separate historical from current transaction details, Siebel databases can quickly double or triple in size. When you consider access requirements, storing rarely accessed historical data in your high-performance production databases, may not be the best use of your valuable IT resources.
Storing Data Online - Does the End Justify the Means?
Accumulating historical information slows system response time for new orders and service requests - directly affecting service levels, productivity and profits. As databases continue to grow, application performance no longer meets user requirements and access to information for decision support is more difficult. To cope with slower application performance, IT organizations spend millions of dollars in unplanned capacity increases, and companies jeopardize the important customer relationships they have worked so hard to develop. More data also means longer maintenance and upgrade times. You may even decide to defer upgrading to a new release because of the time effort and limited application availability that often accompanies an upgrade. When you consider routine maintenance and processing, larger databases take longer to load, unload, search, backup recover, reorganize, index and optimize. In many cases, batch processes expand into normal business hours, limiting application availability. Most importantly, in the event of unplanned downtime or disaster, recovering large amounts of historical data stored online can delay getting back to routine operations. Reclaiming Performance and Availability - What are the alternatives?
If you are risk averse, hardware and software upgrades, capacity expansion and intensive database tuning may seem like safe approaches for addressing performance and availability issues. However, with increasing focus on customer service and real-time data access, server and capacity upgrades are needed more often, while databases continue to grow. Database tuning is still considered a best practice, however, overtime these efforts provide only diminishing returns and delay the need for a long-term solution. Purging data is another approach that is not without risks, especially with data retention compliance regulations for some types of data. Purging routines do not often provide effective methods for recovering or restoring the data if it is ever needed. So, what is a middle ground approach that would allow you to remove historical data and keep it too? Over the last few years, industry analysts are recognizing database archiving as a best practice for separating current from historical data and then storing the data without restricting access. Many organizations are reaching the point where a true archiving strategy yields far greater payback in faster performance, reduced operational costs and improved customer satisfaction than any of the other alternative approaches. What does database archiving offer Siebel Applications Sites?
Based on proven database archiving technology, Siebel sites can now take advantage of comprehensive archive, browse and restore capabilities that are seamlessly integrated within the application workflow. In line with its focus on helping customers find solutions to problems associated with managing customer information, Siebel Systems has successfully validated the integration between Princeton Softech's Archive™ for Servers Siebel® Edition and Siebel business applications. Integrated archiving measurably improves the performance, availability and ROI for Siebel application installations by safely and accurately removing excessive data volume that negatively impacts application performance. Siebel sites can specify the business rules that direct Archive processing. For example, archive all completed activities that are older than 90 days and then remove the archived historical data from the database, while leaving current data intact. Archived data can be stored on a variety of low-cost and compliant storage media and remain accessible no matter where it is stored.
What is the Payoff?
Princeton Softech's Archive for Servers Siebel Edition, the only Siebel 7 validated database archiving solution, addresses the critical need for enterprises that want to manage continued database growth and improve application performance. A proactive archiving strategy ensures stable application service levels and cost efficiencies, while maintaining seamless access to current and archived data from within your Siebel applications:
For more information about Princeton Softech's Archive for Servers Siebel Edition, please visit: www.princetonsoftech.com/archiveforserverssiebel.
Concerto Software Inc. and Aspect Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: ASPT) have agreed to combine the companies. Aspect shareholders will receive $11.60 in cash which represents a 15% premium to the average closing price. Based on the number of shares of Aspect stock, the transaction is valued at approximately $1.0 billion and will create the largest company solely focused on contact center products.
The merger combines Concerto's predictive dialing and unified contact center systems with Aspect's contact center workforce management applications and performance analytics. Along with the companies’ traditional voice and voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) automatic call distributors (ACD), the new company will be able to offer a product portfolio that includes multi-channel routing, self-service interactive voice response (IVR), Internet contact and virtual contact center capabilities, reporting, monitoring and recording.
"The Concerto acquisition of Aspect is brilliant positioning," said Jeffrey Howard of CSC. "But yet another step in industry consolidation."
The transaction is anticipated to close in September 2005.