Friday, January 23, 2009

Woah! Intertonomy!

While I was heads down working yesterday Autonomy announced that it will be acquiring Intwerwoven. I must say that for the past year or so Interwoven has been behaving like a company that wants to get acquired (little investment in the product, super-aggressive sales to existing and new customers) but I didn't expect Autonomy to be the buyer. I guess I expected one of the middleware or hardware vendors to step in - one of those "up the stack" plays.

From a philosophical point of view, having a search vendor own a CMS feels a bit strange - a little like the tail wagging the dog. It used to be that the search vendors were the acquisition targets. How does an independent search vendor continue to partner (and integrate) with CMS vendors after they become a competitor? I wonder what this means to Autonomy's OEM business. For a while Verity (since acquired by Autonomy) depended heavily on OEM deals. I would expect that the OEM market for search components is in decline with the widespread use Apache Lucene. But I am sure that there are other partnerships and business opportunities that this acquisition would risk. This probably creates opportunities for the middle tier search companies to step into partnerships that Autonomy has walked out of.