Today (April 1, 2015), Metalogix announced that it is acquiring MetaVis Technologies in a move designed to position Metalogix as a leader in migration of content to Office 365, other cloud services, and on-prem SharePoint implementations.
When two companies combine efforts, it signifies their belief that there’s an opportunity to add value—to shareholders and investors, to the companies and their employees, to their combined customer base, and to the broader community.
Having worked with and for several of the large ISVs in the industry, I was thrilled to have the chance to chat with Metalogix Chief Executive Officer Steven Murphy on the eve of the acquisition, and to ask him about why he believes this move is the right move—and what we can expect from the now even larger company and product portfolio.
A Brief Recent History of Metalogix
As recently as a few years ago, Metalogix had one product. “We set a big vision, and set our goals to build the framework to make this happen,” explained Murphy. The company built, and acquired, a broad portfolio of tools, making a particularly big splash when it purchased StoragePoint from Blue Thread Technologies, then acquired Syntergy and the SharePoint business and products of Axceler and Idera. Shortly thereafter, Metalogix was itself acquired by international private equity firm Permira, which has fueled the next phase of Metalogix’ growth.
The acquisition and eventual merger of MetaVis is the next big step in the company’s growth towards becoming what Murphy describes as a content, security, and compliance suite that is a “best-of-breed and fully-integrated cloud service management platform.” The combined portfolio of products of the two companies addresses the full information and service management lifecycle, from acquisition to storage to security, compliance, and control.
MetaVis and Migration
MetaVis—already one of the big names in migration—fits squarely in the “acquisition” phase of information lifecycle management. The acquisition might raise some eyebrows when you consider that Metalogix has been known for migration solutions for many years, resulting in one of its core products, Content Matrix.
When asked how the two products are positioned within Metalogix’ portfolio, Murphy explained, “We saw MetaVis innovatively pulling off an elegant, agentless installation that allowed us to accelerate the addition of features” to address migration scenarios, not only between versions of SharePoint on-prem, but also to Office 365 and other non-Microsoft cloud services. The simplicity of MetaVis’ install and approach complements Content Matrix, which is a high-fidelity solution for migration to on-prem SharePoint and Office 365.
In addition, Metalogix expects MetaVis to give the combined portfolio more flexibility in how it can be used by customers. “Not all content is the same,” said Murphy, “It doesn’t all need to move in the same way, in the same direction, and with the same fidelity.” Murphy anticipates pricing and packages tailored to fit specific industry verticals and use cases. “We have some complex, high-fidelity scenarios, particularly around migrating workflows, as well as [simpler scenarios of migrating] files to various cloud collaboration platforms.”
But the “big rocks” that Metalogix and MetaVis believe will be moved by combining forces are migration speed and fidelity. These are customers’ top concerns, says Murphy, who believes that after combining the investments, research, and labs of both companies, the result will “turbocharge migration speed by evolving our roadmaps together.”
Impact on Existing Customers
The SharePoint community has seen acquisitions that were designed to put a competitor out of business. Customers get understandably anxious when companies merge. Murphy insists that Metalogix acquisitions are aimed at enhancing the performance, security, and manageability of customers’ collaboration platforms. “We have a significant track record of do no harm acquisitions.”
In fact, Murphy explains, customers can expect “significant improvements in both platforms’ performance, specifically to Office 365 and other cloud environments by combining forces and labs to break speed barriers.” And he expects those benefits in the immediate timeframe.
He also highlighted that, starting today, customers of both companies will be able to take advantage of Metalogix’ 24x7, global support, which has won the Omega NorthFace ScoreBoard Award—a recognition of exceeding customer expectations—for two years in a row.
Over the mid-to-long term, Murphy pointed out, “We continue to invest in solutions that potentially have overlap. We allow customers and the install base to drive us towards a unified platform… a modern, more simple way to address challenges.”
I asked Murphy what he believes the biggest roadblock is to migration to Office 365 and the cloud in general. His response: “I hate to say it, but it’s the same old issue: What do I move, what metadata do I need, how do I secure it, and how should I organize it?”
What Drives Steven Murphy and Metalogix
As a business leader myself, and as a student of business, I’m always curious as to what drives a company and its CEO. For a company like Metalogix, with a reputation for regular and significant acquisitions, Murphy’s statement was insightful:
“A lot of attention is paid to how fast you’re growing and how quickly you’re acquiring customers. [But it’s really about] moving the ball forward. Finding new, faster and better ways to manage collaboration. [It’s] not necessarily about being BIGGER, it’s about building a premium platform. If we focus on that mission and goal, as corny as it sounds, customers will like it, will get more value from what they’ve invested in, and will come back to us to manage more of their platform, which improves our company value. It’s a shared value system: take care of the customer, enhance the management platform, build the company.”
And, Murphy highlighted, adding levity to the end of a deep conversation, “having a little fun doing it.”
That’s where Metalogix’ Best-of-Breed Awards and party fits in. At the awards, Murphy explained, “We showcase innovation and innovators who are driving workforce collaboration and platforms in a changing environment like the cloud.” Last year’s fete, around a swimming pool in Vegas into which at least one well-known MVP took an unexpected plunge, sets high expectations for this year’s event, during Microsoft Ignite on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at the House of Blues [Blues for Metalogix’ Blue… get it?]. I’m honored to be on the panel of judges for the awards, along with some very well-known and respected experts in the community.
Between now and then, Murphy and the leadership teams of both Metalogix and MetaVis will be quite busy integrating the companies’ operations, support, and products. Best wishes to all involved, and cheers to a big step in the SharePoint, Office 365, and enterprise collaboration communities!