Clickability - from Limelight to Upland and now downhill?

  • 3-Jan-2014

Someone's been naughty this past year. Or, since 2011. That was the year when Limelight acquired SaaS WCM vendor Clickability. It wasn’t a good fit then; it’s still not a good fit now. Hence, the near-Christmas announcement of unloading Clickability (the name will be reinstated) to a firm called Upland Software that specializes in cloud work management technology.

Why was it not a good fit then? Well, the sale speaks for itself. After a few years of trying, Limelight wasn’t able to fit in the content management story into its CDN bookshelf.

Why is it not good fit now? It doesn’t appear that Upland brings the right experience or vision to compete in the Web CMS marketplace. Their energy is squarely placed on cloud project management – not the closest neighbor to web and content experience management. Earlier in 2013, Upland acquired ComSci's IT Financial Business Management software. This acquisition is also part confusing, part far-reaching for a cohesive strategy.

By the time Upland figures out what to do with Clickability, even those customers who were interested in exploring this SaaS CMS, are likely to remove it from their short-lists. In general, it will take Upland a lot of effort to reinstate Clickabilty’s former position in the market. Reinstating the name is the easiest part, but will this be enough to be successful?

Saddest (and most telling sign) of all, the Clickability ship captain and long-time CTO/CEO Jeff Freund is not onboard with Upland, but will remain in an advisory capacity, according to the new vendor. This is probably the most unnerving part of the acquisition for current customers as well as prospects.

SaaS WCM in general is not exhibiting great vibrancy. Clickability’s closest neighbor and another longstanding SaaS player -- CrownPeak -- has been prettying up for several years now for a likely sale. With Clickability bouncing around, this does not bode well for that segment of the marketplace.

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