Australian staff safe from fallout of Software AG's webMethods acquisition

Australian staff safe from fallout of Software AG's webMethods acquisition

Massive 50 percent growth potential

There will be no local job cuts as a result of Software AG's $US546 million acquisition of WebMethods.

Instead staff from both companies should expect to see "aggressive growth plans" across the Asia Pacific region.

In fact, Software AG is more likely to increase staff numbers to meet escalating demand, according to John O'Malley, the company's Asia Pacific general manager.

The acquisition catapults the merged entity to the number three position in the SOA and BPM market behind current leaders, IBM and Tibco Software.

Previously, Software AG wasn't even in the top 10 with Gartner figures showing the company lagging behind the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.

Software AG's goal is to become a $US1.3 billion entity by 2011.

Describing the acquisition as a "good fit" with very little product overlap, O'Malley said that in 2005 the companies combined had profits of more than $156 million.

"But the first step is a coherent product roadmap; first and foremost we want to maintain customer loyalty throughout the acquisition process," he said.

"We are in contact with our Australian customers on a daily basis."

Locally, Software AG has about 80 clients but worldwide it is closer to 3000 while WebMethods has 1,500 customers across the globe.

The Australian market has proven to be incredibly lucrative for Software AG.

According to the company's local sales director, Steve Keys, year on year growth in the Australian market has topped 165 percent annually compared to a global year on year figure of 55 percent.

"Our growth plans for the region are in the order of 50 percent and the figures I have scanned from WebMethods are in the order of 30 percent," he said.

"This is why I do not expect any job cuts I actually expect there will be a need to increase headcount with vacancies right across the region."

Both companies are similarly sized in Australia with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and the ACT.

"We have about 30 staff here and I think WebMethods has about the same; this acquisition means we now have compelling capabilities in SOA," Keys said.

Announcing the acquisition earlier in the week, WebMethods CEO, David Mitchell, confirmed there were other bids but wouldn't disclose specifics.

"There was substantial strategic interest in the company," Mitchell said.

"Software AG's offer was the most compelling."

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