Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

September 18, 2006

Tom Taulli

The Software IPO Outlook

After years of M&A and LBO exits, the rare "software IPO" may be making a comeback in the coming year.

By Tom Taulli

"I think we have reached the bottom in enterprise software In the IPO market, I think there will be some software offerings for investors to get excited about...

Paul Hollands words came like music to the ears of software investors. And Holland should know. As a general partner at the venture capital firm, Foundation Capital, he holds a grounded perspective on the software market. During the 1990s, he helped bring two software companies public: Kana Communications and Pure Software.

Though nothing like the action of the pre-bubble days, the software IPO market is actually picking up. A total of 14 software companies have gone public in the past 12 months with mixed results - and new filings may be picking up as well.

The outlook for software IPOs is more positive than weve seen in the past few years. As the M&A/LBO shakeout continues, there are several key trends which will guide new offerings for the coming year.


New Webinar: Learn Distributed Agile Development

Agile development methods have gained popularity for being people focused, results driven and high quality. But many vendors struggle with how to leverage agile methods across a distributed development environment. Learn how in a new webinar, Effective AGILE Product Development for Distributed Engineering Teams. Speakers will include reknown Agile expert, Dr. Alistair Cockburn, Mark Madsen of Rivermine and Stuart Donovan of Induslogic. Click to find out more and register for one of two sessions, Sept. 26 or Sept. 28.

Indian VC Funding On Fire or Overheated?

Enthusiasm for all ventures Indian may be leading to a crash. A new analysis by Evaluserve shows that U.S. venture capitalists aim to spend an estimated $4.4 billion (!) on Indian startups over the next 4-5 years. Thats up from $0 ten years ago. Alok Aggarwal of Evaluserve runs through the implications of the Indian investment boom in this weeks post to the new Blog on Venture Capital in India.

Beware the Missing Value Dialogue

Most software vendors would agree that usage is a critical factor in whether customers stay customers or move on. It is surprising, then, that many software makers have difficulty discussing the value their customers receive from their products. David Cannington of Neochange ties the importance of the value dialogue to customer satisfaction in this weeks post to the Blog on usability.

Bye BUNCH. Bye MISO. Hello SLOG!

As generations of software leaders pass by, Erik Keller argues that the reign of the current leaders is also drawing to a close. The next-generation of leaders will be masters of SLOG the four most important trends impacting the software industry today. Read more about SLOG in Eriks Blog, The Software Critic.

Publish Your Perspectives!

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

Software Vocabulary 101

SLOG. Mashboards. Discovery System. Zulu vs. Ubuntu. BUNCH vs. MISO. Spiceworks. Knova. Xen. Pragmatic CRM. Infravio. Live Search. Read on to learn these terms and how they shaped the week in software business in the weekly news summary.

How Do Enterprises Get the Most Out of CRM?

Few companies gracefully pass sales leads and service information across the barriers of departments and business units. But those that do enjoy substantial rewards. Read more about how enterprises are linking CRM systems in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

Poll: Software IPOs Coming Back?

As Tom Taulli proposes in this weeks oped, the software IPO market is showing signs of a comeback. What do you think?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions as to the definition of Enterprise 2.0.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Top 10 free enterprise apps.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Signiant receives $10 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

Intuit buys StepUp Commerce.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Engenera names Michael Thompson president and CEO.
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

It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
Howard Ruff

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group