Tuesday, January 25, 2005

FileNET Numbers

Did you see the latest numbers from FileNET?. On the surface,they look pretty impressive, but when you dig a little deeper, they actually show no software license growth. Wall Street of course caught on to this. Coupled with projections of less than 5% overall growth for next year,FileNET got slammed pretty good by the street.
So,what's up with FileNET? Why can't they grow in a red-hot ECM market? Take a look at our next issue, which features stories on companies like IBM and Hyland - who appear to be cruising in this space. Hyland Founder Packy Jr. once told me his goal was to be bigger than FileNET. I thought he was crazy at the time, but at the current growth rate of the two companies, that could happen in the next 10 years.

That is all not to say FileNET is not a well-run company. They do have oodles of cash and are run profitably as Lee Roberts likes to boast. But are they too conservative for their own good. They were burnt on acquistions in the mid-1990s and have been shy in that area ever since. They have a Global 2000 customer base, which is great. But something seems to be missing and that's the ability to sign up new customers. Years ago, FileNET made the transition from hardware and software very successfully. Some sort of similar new transition is going to have to happen, or if they lose a few of those blue chippers to the more aggressive competition, they could end up as the next Eastman Software. I wonder if eiStream, now known as 360 degrees or something, will buy them.

Cheers.

Ralph

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