Persistent Systems wants to help clients better deploy and manage Microsoft technologies like SharePoint. Akumina’s bread-and-butter product, InterChange, optimizes the SharePoint experience.

That made their partnership an easy choice, officials from each side told CMSWire this week. Pune, India-based Persistent Systems, which builds software that helps enterprises digitally transform, closed the deal Monday to acquire the digital content management solutions business of Nashua, NH-based Akumina. Persistent also announced a partnership and investment in Akumina, strengthening its partner ecosystem for digital transformation.

Why It Matters

What does it mean for the 15 employees of three-year-old Akumina’s Web CMS division? They are now Persistent employees. Akumina now has about 24 employees and is looking to add about a dozen more.

What does it mean for Persistent Systems, a 25-year-old company with about 9,000 employees? Mike Stipe, senior vice president of sales, said the firm gets content management experts to help them “build disruptive experiences and innovative solutions for CMO-led transformations for enterprises.”

What does it mean for people outside of each company? Just that another SharePoint player got some muscles.

“What’s really changing is we’re becoming a pure software company now,” Akumina co-founder Ed Rogers told CMSWire.

Building A Partnership

Rogers and Steven Sherkanowski, CEO and COO, respectively, founded Akumina after they both left fellow Nashua-based Ektron in 2011. At Ektron, Rogers was COO (brother Bill was CEO) and Sherkanowski was vice president of marketing.

Akumina's foundation was to build a CMS practice and use that revenue to start constructing a second line of business — what would become InterChange. Last spring, Rogers said InterChange gained enough traction to lead Akumina to “pivot the business and focus our capital and resources on the software side” of the business. Part of that was finding a partner that would work with them with InterChange.

“As clients run into that service delivery side, we wanted them to be serviced by someone we trust and someone who would protect our brand,” Rogers said. “Persistent had a proven track record in delivering client satisfaction.”

Persistent’s global reach — Stipe said it has about 6,500 employees in India, 1,200 in the US and does 85 percent of its business in North America — attracted Rogers to Akumina. Persistent made $82.76 million in revenue in its latest quarter.

“I really aligned with their vision,” Rogers said. “I had the opportunity to meet with (CEO) Anan (Deshpande) about how they’re looking to take traditional companies and really build them into software-driven companies.”

Content Rules

Stipe said with all the talk about digital transformation in the enterprise, “it all gets down to content.” 

“From our perspective,” he added, “leveraging the InterChange technology is what we like to call Lego blocks, building solutions for vertical markets.”

As an example, he cited a healthcare client that has a patient portal and a provider portal. “On the back end, there is lots of data to serve up,” Stipe said. “We believe the InterChange product and CMS practice we acquired will be key components of that solution for healthcare.”

InterChange “replaces the experience” for SharePoint users with purpose-built applications that can easily be deployed and used, Rogers said.

“Our software is innovative in how it transforms the way people experience SharePoint and its data,” Rogers said. “We create a transformative digital experience for business users, consumers, designers and developers. It is exciting to have an organization with such a strong commitment to digital transformation recognize how InterChange ensures end user adoption of their digital solutions."

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