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OpenText (news, site) is once again extending the functionality of its enterprise content management suite. This time, with the addition of business process management and business process analysis in a US$ 182 million acquisition of Baltimore-based Metastorm.

The deal, which has just been announced, is expected to close by the end of March and should put another spring in the step of OpenText shareholders who are already beaming after OpenText announced earlier this week that net income rose for Q4 by 7.9% to US$ 37.1 million from US$ 21.2 million.

Metastorm has been steadily growing its company and the products within, particularly its business management process software, which slipped into last year’s Gartner's ‘Cool’ BPM vendor list.

The agreement, according to a statement issued by OpenText, has already been signed off by a majority of shareholders, and once the deal is closed, OpenText will have access to Metastorm’s substantial international network, as well as customers like the US Airforce and even the Washington Wizards basketball team.

OpenText’s BPM

While this will give OpenText a substantial new customer base, it really looks like this deal is part of its continuing strategy to extend the functionality of its ECM.

The BPM offering from Metastorm will make a good addition. Gartner ‘s list of cool BPM vendors is a list of companies that, according to Gartner, are innovative, interesting, has or will have a business impact on the future of IT or have made key advances in BPM over the course of the last year

ICCM Solutions, an IT service management (ITSM) and service desk solution built on Metastorm BPM, made it onto the list as it offers companies scope for continuous improvement in processes.

Metastorm and OpenText

MetaStorm’s development policy has also provided it with commercial success, so much so that it filed for an initial public offering on the Nasdaq in May 2008 looking to raise US$ 86 million but was thwarted by the recession and decided to withdraw the offering six months later.

It’s these kinds of acquisitions that have helped build OpenText’s ECM in recent months. In the last three months alone, it has extended its reach through new acquisitions and collaboration with other companies. These include:

  • The first release from StreamServe -- following its US$ 71 million acquisition by OpenText -- saw StreamServe’s Persuasion software being added to Open Text’s enterprise content management suite offering users customized messaging as well as advanced document processing.
  • Last month, working with SharePoint, the ECM Suite 2010 achieved DoD 5015.02-STD certification, making it the first major ECM to do so. 
  • Before Christmas, OpenText and SAP -- who announced the release of Extended ECM just over a year ago -- announced the release of a number of upgrades to Extended that focus on enterprise collaboration and tighter integration between SAP applications and the ECM.

Combined, the upgrades will enable users to access shared workspaces from their preferred interface and more easily collaborate on content used in SAP business transactions.

And the list will undoubtedly continue to grow. This deal is due to close on March 31st. By that stage though, it’s not improbable that there will be other deals on the table too.