Geac finds another acquisition target

Only fifteen months after its last major acquisition, Markham, Ont.-based enterprise software maker Geac Computer Corp. Ltd. announced in June that it’s acquiring Comshare Inc., a performance management software provider.

Buying the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company is part of Geac’s ongoing effort to build a complete suite of front office applications, the company said.

Specifically, Geac is after Comshare’s MPC suite, which includes solutions for various business performance management tasks.

Paul Birch, president and CEO of Geac, said in a conference call that the company is simply trying to keep pace with customer demand. “Make no mistake, this is a customer-driven acquisition by Geac,” Birch said.

Geac also recently held its annual Alliance user conference in Orlando. In attendance at Alliance was long-time Extensity customer Maggie Lagana, director of treasury operations at The Thomson Corp. in Stamford, Conn. She said her initial reaction upon hearing about the Geac acquisition was unease. Geac bought Extensity Inc. last March. “I was extremely concerned,” Lagana said. “They were the ones that had all the install knowledge. I knew that if I called a Geac person, there was no way they [could] answer a technical question” about Extensity.

However, she said the move proved to be beneficial to Extensity customers in the long run, ridding it of the lingering doubt surrounding its ability to survive in a tough market. “Geac gave (Extensity) what they needed…we were concerned that it would go under.”

But Lagana said if Alliance 2003 was any indication, Geac still has work to do when it comes satisfying Extensity’s customer base. “The part I thought was unfortunate was there wasn’t enough information on the Extensity system, the intricacies of the system,” she said. “It was a way for them to let the Extensity customers know what their other products are.”