Open Text to acquire Centrinity

Waterloo, Ont.-based Open Text Corp. announced Thursday an agreement to purchase software developer Centrinity Inc. for just over $30 million.

Centrinity’s communication software designed for businesses, government and educational institutions was the main drawing card for Open Text, according to Richard Maganini, the Chicago-based public relations director for Open Text. The company is looking to integrate Centrinity’s FirstClass Communications Platform, which provides a unified mailbox for a user’s e-mail, voice mail and fax messages, with its Livelink product line. The software allows users access their mailbox by cell phone, telephone, computer or handheld device.

The addition of Centrinity software is expected to assist the integration between voice and data conferencing capabilities in Open Text’s Livelink product line. Livelink was designed to capture information created through online collaboration and preserve it for a company’s future use.

“The integration of voice and data to facilitate collaborative process is pretty important for our customers, and we believe it will be a key differentiator for us,” said Bill Forquer, Dublin, Ohio-based senior vice-president of business development with Open Text.

Forquer believes the combined product will also address the issue of unmanaged e-mail and voice mail.

“So in terms of the footprint of content and content management and repositories that we can have an affect on, we’ll take big step forward in being able to apply some of our management, records retention and management discipline on e-mail repositories,” he said. “We believe voice mail, in the same way, represents another significant data object that at this point is completely transient and lost, and not a part of most knowledge management systems.”

Open Text has agreed to purchase all issued and outstanding shares of Centrinity at $1.26 per share, Maganini said. The deal was unanimously approved by Centrinity’s board of directors, but is subject to regulatory and Centrinity shareholder approvals. It is expected to close in the next quarter.

FirstClass customers will be invited to an Open Text user conference where proposed functionality will be discussed in more detail, Forquer said. The LivelinkUp conference is scheduled to begin Nov. 4 in Chicago.

Open Text can be found at

Centrinity, in Richmond Hill, Ont. is on the Web at