Thursday, September 11, 2003

Chinadotcom rolling up enterprise system vendors?

Less than a week after announcing its acquisition of Ross Systems, Chinadotcom is announcing its acquisition of Industri-Matematik International Corp (IMI) a vendor of supply chain management systems. As with Ross, IMI is being acquired by Chinadotcom's subsidiary, CDC Software.

IMI is a well-regarded name in SCM solutions for consumer product distributors, with an enviable client base that includes GE, AT&T, Starbucks, Campbell Soup, Dial, Frito Lay, and Kelloggs. Six month revenue ending June 30 were nearly $22M. Unlike many other enterprise system vendors, IMI is profitable.

Is this the beginning of a trend? Chinadotcom makes it clear that Ross and IMI are just the beginning of an acquisition strategy. In its press release, CEO Peter Yip says, "The acquisition of IMI fits our overall strategy of developing and assembling a suite of related premium enterprise software solutions that allow for synergistic cross selling opportunities as well as the ability to enhance mid and long term profit by transferring key cost centers to China."

In other words, as was the case with Ross, moving software development to China is also part of the plan for IMI. Why just provide outsourcing for the software developer when you can buy the developer outright? With weaknesses throughout the technology marketplace, it's a buyers market with few disadvantages and lots of upside.

The Chinadotcom press release has the details.

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