Shakespeare may have understood the true nature of roses, but he didn’t understand branding. Brand names can tell a lot about a company, but when a company’s focus changes, sometimes its name still points in the old direction. That’s what happened with NewsGator, which has now changed its name to Sitrion.
Expansion by Acquisition
Sitrion had been the name of a company that NewsGator bought back in October. The Germany-based Sitrion provided communications and self-services that were designed to improve SAP business processes, like getting approval for vacation time. The acquisition enabled NewsGator, a provider of social networked Sharepoint-based solutions for the enterprise, to expand into SAP business processes.
Sitrion’s motto, “Work Simplified,” was intended to show that its software allowed SAP business processes to work more efficiently because employees could self-manage expense reports, for example, and converse with approvers, with the conversation and the expense report then stored together.
Both companies provide tools for solving problems more efficiently, as exemplified in NewsGator’s motto of “Make Work Better.” At the time of the acquisition, CEO Daniel Kraft said in a statement that the combined company was “taking the idea of the social workplace to a whole new level, by combining the power of social directly with the process backbone of an organization.” The two firms had previously been partnering, so there was already product integration.
Earlier this week, NewsGator announced that the synergy of the acquisition was so positive it decided to adopt the name of its purchase. Stefanie Lightman, Senior Vice President for corporate strategy and marketing at the company formerly known as NewsGator, told CMSWire “this was a perfect time to pick a new name.”
She pointed out that NewsGator’s name stems from its origins as an RSS-based news aggregator, but now its RSS past is over. “We started with news aggregation as a way to get news to people,” she said, and evolved into using social technology to accomplish the next phase of information flows.
Lightman said the company had welcomed questions from customers about how the name NewsGator related to its social presence because it allowed the company to present its “storyline.” But now, she said, the company is talking to new HR people and has expanded its vision, so a name change was appropriate. NewsGator, the brand, will remain a historical memory and will not be re-appropriated for a new product.