Over the past seven years every investor holding their breath waiting for ClickSoftware to be acquired was disappointed. I believe the company fully plans to continue marching forward as an independent company.
That said, Click's attractiveness and value as an acquisition is one factor in evaluating its upside investment potential. That attractiveness and value both climbed when Click moved into the Leaders quadrant of the 2011 Gartner report.
Another acquisition factor, and a highly entertaining one, is the continuing Oracle-SAP battle. This is no longer just a normal business rivalry. It is personal.
In yesterday's Oracle conference call, for example, Ellison and team once again made a point to mock SAP, its leaders and business plan. The transcript, available free on Seeking Alpha, has analytical value but is also very entertaining. Examples include:
"Now when SAP and specifically Hasso Plattner said they're going to build this Hanna in-memory database system and compete with Oracle I said, 'God, get me the name of that pharmacist. They must be on drugs'."
"We've been working on in-memory database technology for more than a decade. They just brought this Hanna thing out of the lab. We don't think it's a serious threat to us at all."
"I know on their road map SAP says eventually HANA will compete with the Oracle database. They'll never make it that far down the road. What HANA does right now it competes with Exalytics. It's an in-memory query accelerator that competes with Exalytics. And it cannot, it will not successfully compete with Exalytics, and it will never even begin to compete the Oracle database."
"Six years ago we made the decision to write CRM, HCM and financial applications for the cloud. We called it Fusion. SAP called in Confusion. Now it will take years for SAP to catch up. In the meantime the growing popularity of cloud computing gives us a great opportunity to replace SAP as the number one applications company in the world."
It is noteworthy SAP execs didn't mention "mobility" or "schedule optimization" anywhere in the conference call. They don't have a competitive next generation solution in either space. That is likely why Click beat Oracle for the contract with DirectTV... a major Oracle house.
SAP exec's take these comments personally and would love to pound Ellison & team at every opportunity. Mobility and schedule optimization are two promising ones. SAP can continue partnering with Click on a long term basis... or wrap the program under their umbrella via an acquisition.
Oracle currently has 70,000 business applications customers. Presumably SAP and IBM's customer list are not much smaller. For these tech giants, any leading edge mobility, schedule optimization or shift scheduling solution should generate plenty of cross selling opportunities within their existing customer base.
And these tech giants have acquisition cash available. Oracle, for one example, generated $13 billion in cash in the last 12 months and now sits on $30 billion.
My belief is Click will continue to be a solid, step-by-step company and solid long term investment. If an acquisition offer ever emerges, however, investors will have reason to smile.
Good insight. I spent more time researching Click's technology. They are heavily tied to SAP with Sybase and have a special SAP module. This seems like a perfect fit for SAP and possibly IBM as IBM is a partner of both Click and SAP.
Oracle doesn't seem to be a technology fit outside of the fact that they could throw an big wrench into SAP's plan.
I agree that it would make sense for SAP to attempt a buyout of CKSW but I wouldn't count on IBM being in the bidding. CKSW is not the type of buisness software IBM has been buying and adding to their offerings.
With this ongoing Oracle-SAP vendetta, I hereby reserve the right to modify UPWARD my target acquisition price for Clicksoftware as these 2 enemy combatants will not doubt be drooling over CKSW someday.
My current target is an initial $24 bid followed by competitive bids to bring it up to $30.
My brilliant mind is beginning to think that $30 is now too low as the months go by and CKSW continues to build its customer base thus expanding it revenues and earnings.
Thats my story and I'm sticking to it ... until someone more brilliant than me (that's just about everyone) says something otherwise.
at 13$ pps CKSW cap. is above 400M$ buyout @ 20$ or over = over 1000M deal. IMO it is unrealistic, the buyout DREAM has been on this board for almost a decade. a dream is no reason to hold. if it keeps a 20% y/y growth pps will continue to move up. all above is only IMHO