Mediasurface and The Three Bears

UK-based Web CMS vendor Mediasurface announced today its intention to acquire smaller UK competitor Immediacy. This follows a 2005 acquisition of a hosted Dutch solution that Mediasurface renamed "Pepperio," to target small businesses. I wasn't sanguine at the time about one vendor selling two products and I don't see how three offerings makes the company any stronger, even if it gets bigger.

To its credit, Mediasurface has dispensed with the usual bromides about "synergies" and offers a fairly straightforward rationale for adding a mid-range solution to it's current high / low set: Mediasurface salespeople can now sell Goldilocks a small, medium, or large solution. As Web CMS Report readers know, Immediacy's underlying technology differs quite substantially from Mediasurface's flagship Morello tool. The two companies also exhibit quite distinct cultures, although I think Mediasurface will absorb its new family member quite quickly.

Mediasurface's three bears

Because you see, the acquisition was pretty much an all-cash deal (£5.6m), to be paid by a Mediasurface supplemental stock offering (pdf). Seems like Immediacy's owners are cashing out rather than hanging in. So to the extent there are any risks here, I suspect they will fall to Immediacy customers and Mediasurface stockholders. Too early to tell if those two groups will find themselves brothers grim. For you the prospective customer, you'll need to decide whether getting a tool that's "just right" for your size is worth the downside of working with a vendor that must enhance and support three different products.

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