Primavera bolsters app lineup with acquisitions

Primavera Systems has acquired ProSight and Pertmaster to boost its software lineup with tools that help enterprises analyze outcomes for ongoing projects

Project management specialist Primavera Systems this week acquired ProSight and Pertmaster in separate deals aimed at expanding its software lineup with tools that can help enterprises analyze the most likely outcomes for ongoing projects and view options for mitigating risks as they surface.

ProSight makes software that helps customers analyze and plan project and portfolio investments. It will be sold as Primavera ProSight, a stand-alone product that can be used in combination with Primavera's other project management tools.

While Primavera helps companies plan, control and execute projects, ProSight's software is used by clients to develop strategies for staying ahead of competing businesses and accomplishing overall corporate goals, says Primavera CEO Joel Koppelman.

Pertmaster makes a risk analysis and mitigation product that will be marketed as Primavera Pertmaster.

Pertmaster had a partnership with Primavera prior to the acquisition. Because Pertmaster's software works well with Primavera's project management tools, "we decided it was just better to own them entirely," Koppelman says. A number of customers already use products from both companies, he says.

Primavera doesn't plan to change the products from ProSight and Pertmaster, according to Koppelman.

Buying ProSight and Pertmaster helps Primavera fill gaps in its product line, says Daniel Stang, a principal research analyst for Gartner. "Their strategy has been not so much to provide a product set as it is to present Primavera as a brand name," he says.

Primavera has "weathered many storms" and is on track to reach nearly US$120 million in annual revenue by the end of this year, Stang says. A recapitalization this year gave Primavera access to more than US$150 million worth of investment funding that helped it complete the latest transactions, he says.

With the acquisitions -- which are the seventh and eighth in Primavera's two-decade history -- Primavera hopes to surpass Microsoft as the market share leader in project and portfolio management.

With US$108 million in sales revenue, Primavera earned a market share of 12.5 percent in project and portfolio management in 2005, just behind the 12.8 percent earned by Microsoft, maker of Microsoft Office Project, according to research firm Gartner. Officials at Primavera say the expansion will boost its market share above 14 percent.

Primavera, a privately held company, did not release financial terms of its acquisitions.

ProSight CEO John Cimral says his company has been built from scratch over the past eight years and that he is excited about the firm being purchased. "I'm very excited about this for my customers. They want an end-to-end solution and they're now going to be able to get that from Primavera," Cimral says.

The combined revenues of ProSight and Pertmaster so far in 2006 are about a quarter of those earned by Primavera alone, Koppelman says. With Primavera's fiscal year ending Dec. 31, Koppelman says he expects the numbers will show that 2006 was "a great year [financially], our best ever."

Sales and marketing at ProSight will be blended with Primavera operations to better integrate the two companies, Koppelman says. Pertmaster will be operated as a separate business unit, at least initially, he says.

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