After 18 months of negotiations, the senior management team at iManage just announced that it has completed a buyout from Hewlett-Packard (HP) for the purchase of the complete iManage business, including its brand, products and services. iManage co-founder and current General Manager Neil Araujo is the CEO of the management-owned company, while Rafiq Mohammadi, also a co-founder and former CTO of iManage, is returning to the company as the Chief Scientist. The terms of the financial deal have not been disclosed.
“With this buyout now complete, the iManage team has rededicated itself to our customer and partner community around the world,” said Araujo. “They have trusted us with their most important assets, and we are proud to begin a new era of innovation and market leadership in partnership with them. For us, iManage is much more than a product; it’s a community that spans our people, partners, customer organizations and nearly one million users, many of whom have been with us for a decade or more,” said Araujo. “This buyout allows us to serve the community we care about and with a culture based on listening and working with customers, developing innovative products and providing best in class services and support.”
In addition to Worksite (document and email management – being rebranded as iManage Work), the HP products in this transaction include LinkSite (secure file sharing – being rebranded as iManage Share), Universal Search (enterprise search and analytics – being rebranded as iManage Insight), and WorkSite Records Manager (records and information governance – being rebranded as iManage Govern). iManage will also resell relevant HP products, including Teleform and HP Process Automation, and will have continuing access to other relevant technology.
It’s all about the White Rabbit
In an exclusive briefing, Dan Carmel, the new CMO (chief marketing officer), explained that while the company’s values would remain the same, iManage would not be complacent and was already engaged in an extensive R&D project – codenamed White Rabbit – to ensure their “work product management” applications evolved to meet the needs of a changing workplace and workforce. “Never mind New Law, this is the era of New Lawyers. Among our customers, between 40-to-60% of out attorneys are under 35.” To this end White Rabbit is placing a huge emphasis upon simplicity, flexibility, agility and security. “Customers want systems that ‘just work,’ are accessible anytime, anywhere, and are always on, on any platform,” adds Carmel.
Initial Industry Response:
“This is very exciting news. At Seyfarth we constantly look for better ways to serve our clients and iManage is key to our business as it helps our attorneys manage client work product. We believe an independent iManage will have the ability to have industry focus, scale and agility to drive the innovation we need to deliver legal services more efficiently, more effectively and more transparently.” …Andy Jurczyk, CIO, Seyfarth Shaw
“As stewards of information for our clients we need systems that enable us to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and rigor in how our client work-product is created, tracked and managed,” said Colin Smith, Director of Information Technology for Pinsent Masons LLP “iManage has served this very important need for us for over a decade and we are excited that the founding iManage team is taking the company back to its roots as an independent software company focused exclusively on our needs as an industry.” …Colin Smith, Director of IT, Pinsent Masons
“Worksite is by far and away the best software purchase I have made in my 16 years at Macfarlanes, and I’m looking forward to the return of the original team who I know will be breathing fresh life into the product.” …Maurice Millen, Head of IT, Macfarlanes
“Over the years, this team delivered innovations that have reshaped how lawyers and other professionals work with information. We look forward to continued innovations from iManage that empower our attorneys to be more productive from anywhere and on any device, while meeting the highest client expectations for security, reliability and governance.” …Chris White, Global CIO, Clyde & Co
“Welcome back boys, it’s like you’ve never been away.” …Nigel Blackwood, BIS Director, Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co
10 QUITE INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT iMANAGE:
• The management team owns the controlling interest in the newly independent iManage. HP has no financial interest.
• iManage counts among its global customers 1,800 law firms, including 80% of the top 100, and over 400 corporate legal departments, 120 government agencies and 250 financial services firms.
• All the most recent in-house legal deals have been been for hybrid cloud/hosted implementations.
• iManage continues to grow; in its last full fiscal year under HP, iManage added one new customer on average every two business days.
• The company is profitable and well capitalized through a financial partnership with Bank of Montreal.
• iManage will be headquarted in Chicago with offices in Silicon Valley, London and Bangalore.
• The iManage team first got together as NetWrite in 1995, with the original iManage business being founded in 1998
• Although the company was subsequently acquired by Interwoven, then Autonomy, then HP, the core DMS R&D, sales and management team has remained together.
• The business currently has 188 staff (including 12 in the UK) but plans to recruit a further 70 people (primarily in R&D and customer support) over the next few months.
• The corporate email format is Name.Name@imanage.com
COMMENT: And about time too. The core iManage DMS business has always been sound and has even managed to keep its act together despite the vicissitudes of its subsequent owners. The less said about the toxic Autonomy brand the better but with HP now splitting and continuing to shed staff, the iManage MBO means the company can now distance itself from the uncertainties that would have inevitably surrounded the longer term future of the business unit, had it remained with HP. As Geoff Hornsby (one of the management team who has been with the company from the beginning and is now General Manager EMEA) commented “The new iManage has the mindset of a startup but a startup that is already profitable and has an established customer base.”