Edgar Online (EDGR) and UBmatrix announced it will be merging, pending EDGR shareholder approval. In my opinion the merger is a good thing for the two organizations and good for their customers. The two companies are a good fit and the combination gives the consolidated entity a bit more economic heft, providing it with greater resources for continued development over the longer run. However, the subtext of the deal is: “It’s hard to make a buck in the XBRL business.”
Midsize companies typically lack the economies of scale that larger ones can bring to bear when it comes to buying and implementing software. They usually don’t have the resources to customize packages such as generic enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and they don’t have enough internal IT staff to make ongoing refinements in response to business needs. Observing these constraints, software vendors selling to companies of this size range long ago discovered that verticalization is a necessary market strategy.
You really, really have to be a nerd to watch Jurassic Park and see the absence of separation of duties (SoD) and inadequate process controls as a core plot device. To explain, one of the pivots in the story line of Jurassic Park is the point where the villain of the story, “Dennis Nedry” decides to steal some dinosaur embryos and sell them. The company created some safeguards in their systems to prevent this from happening but (as usual) they were mainly designed to guard against outsiders, not to prevent internal fraud. Knowing how they operate (since he wrote the code), the villain shuts down key systems so that he can override security systems designed to prevent just this sort of possibility.
Oracle has just released its latest (11g) version of its enterprise content management (ECM) suite. Oracle entered the ECM business mainly through the acquisition of Stellent more than three years ago. Historically, document/content management has achieved greatest penetration in paperwork heavy or highly regulated businesses such as financial services, pharmaceuticals and government as well as in specific functions such as handling web content, especially in high-volume applications. However, I expect that it will get increased attention in more general enterprise uses, especially in the finance department, as vendors begin tapping into latent demand for better management of collaborative, repetitive processes that involve documents and documentation.
The word "millennium" not only means a 1,000 year span but also denotes a period of joy and prosperity. A decade into the current millennium, I think a new millennium is dawning for midsize companies (which we define as those with between 100 and 999 employees), at least as far as information technology is concerned. Midsize companies have been 'stuck in the middle' almost from the start of the computer age in the sense that their requirements tend to be as demanding as larger companies (the main exception being scalability), but they have fewer resources (both relatively and absolutely) than larger companies to buy and support IT systems. Technology has been evolving since the turn of the century in ways that are making it much easier for midsize companies to use increasingly sophisticated software.