Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

September 17, 2007

Rene Bonvanie

The Power of Going Private

For many established software companies, the right LBO can be a new lease on life, growth, innovation and excitement.

By René Bonvanie, Serena Software

Serena Software’s situation in 2005 was not unique. The application lifecycle management vendor had long delivered tremendous investor returns and excelled at selling to its current customers.

Yet the software business was busy reinventing itself around the 27-year old vendor. And as a public company, Serena’s ability to invest in innovation and expansion was hamstrung by its relentless obligation to Wall Street.

Fast forward to 2007. Last week, Serena launched Mashup Composer, an innovative solution which incorporates the latest software trends - software-as-a-service (SaaS), Web services and services-oriented architecture (SOA) - for a new market - business users.

How’d Serena do it? In March 2006, a leveraged buyout led by Silver Lake took Serena private and enabled the company to reinvent itself, making top-line growth and innovation its new mission. Many other software vendors may find that going private is the right move to ensure their company’s future.


Get a Complimentary Pass to IT Connect Expo: Software Solutions for the Midsize Enterprise

As a subscriber to and a member of the Silicon Valley Software ecosystem, please register for a complimentary pass to IT Connect Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 17–18, and produced by Propel Media,

Keynotes from NetSuite, SAP, Oracle, and Cognos focus on how their offerings are tailored to the mid-size and emerging enterprise. Breakouts will cover SaaS, BI, ERP, CRM, Open Source, and Virtualization issues for the midmarket.

More than 20 leading Software Vendors will present their products in a series of timed seminars, giving you an excellent overview of the companies aggressively targeting the midmarket.

Register at and use the code “MPSANC” for your complimentary pass – a $199 value – and feel free to pass this invitation to your colleagues!

Windows Woes

Guy SmithThe latest indicators show that Microsoft’s domination of the desktop is waning. Guy Smith of Silicon Strategies points out that the platform is even losing developers. Read why Linux is undermining Window’s position in this week’s post to the Blog on open source.

SAP Raises a Green Flag

The march toward corporate sustainability has an enterprise software leader: SAP. Maryann Jones Thompson of runs down the list of SAP's eco-efficient initiatives covered at last week's GoingGreen conference in this week’s post to a new blog, Green Software.

Publish Your Perspective!

The Blog wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to and we’ll publish them in our blog.

DON’T MISS: How to Improve Strategic Planning

It can be a frustrating exercise, but there are ways to increase its value. Learn how in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: Having a Blast

Google’s atmospheric deals paint The Valley green with envy; plus, VMware hosts the world, Vista sales lag and Eudora goes open. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Next to “Go Private”?

Which vendor will be the next to accept an LBO deal and go private?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions as to which vendor is the biggest “disruptor”. What do you think?
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

The EU delivers a powerful blow to Microsoft.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Open Kernel Labs receives $2 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Xerox buys electronic document collaboration vendor, Advectis.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Black Duck Software named Bill McQuaide as SVP of Product Development.
See who’s made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

“Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech.”
–Martin Fraquhar Tupper

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group