Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

August 27, 2007

Tony Zingale

The Biggest Software M&A Myths

The former CEO of Mercury Interactive advises software CEOs on the realities of crafting win-win deals.

By Tony Zingale

Just about every software executive has been involved in an M&A deal at some point in their career. Everyone has their own ideas about what tactics and best practices are needed to improve the chances of a successful deal.

After playing a role in dozens of software deals over the past 27 years – most recently as CEO of Mercury Interactive during the HP acquisition – I’ve got a new list to share: the biggest software M&A myths.

Think M&A is a strategy? Think your bankers will craft the deal? You’re wrong. By understanding the most common misconceptions about software M&A, you can significantly improve the return on your company’s next deals.

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A Better Way to Optimize R&D Investment

Software companies have traditionally added new features to attract and retain customers. Chris Dowse of NeoChange says that a focus on usability innovation is a better way to maximize R&D investments. Read why in this week’s post to the Blog on usability.

Tuning In to the SaaS Channel Opportunity

Despite their previous fear of disintermediation, channel organizations are increasingly taking part in the software-as-a-service boom. Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies shares a list of recent deals which underscore the on-demand channel opportunity in this week’s post to the Blog on SaaS.

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Strategy's Strategist: McKinsey Interviews Richard Rumelt

A giant in the field of strategy ruminates on strategic planning, diversification and focus, and the role of the CEO. Read the latest from this strategic thought leader in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: Everybody’s Going SaaS

SAP chases Salesforce, Microsoft and IBM tackle the communications maze, SaaS finds the ROI sweet spot but SOA stumbles on ROI, and more software news of the week. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Importance of M&A Today?

Compared to the past few years, how critical is M&A to software vendor success today?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions on which vendor will lead the virtualization space three years from now. 
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

10 things the world can learn from open source.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

MetaStorm receives $30 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

IBM buys WebDialogs.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Kapow Technologies named John Cimral as CEO.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

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Parting Thought

"You only have to do a very few things right in your life so long as you don't do too many things wrong."
–Warren Buffett

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group