Progress Software acquired today a web content management system (WCMS) provider that creates what company officials call a cloud and on-premise platform that enables developers to create "beautiful applications driven by data for any device or cloud." 

The Bedford, Mass.-based 1,000-employee company announced its intentions to buy Telerik, makers of Sitefinity WCMS, for $262.5 million. According to Progress Software officials, Telerik has a community of 1.4 million developers that create user experiences across cloud, web, mobile and desktop applications.

Telerik's revenue for the last 12 months was more than $60 million, with annual bookings growth of more than 20 percent. It has about 750 employees based in nine global offices, including three in the US.

"User experience is defining the way application software is being selected," Phil Pead, Progress CEO, said in a statement. "Telerik's strength is in helping developers create elegant, custom user interfaces for their cloud, web-based and on-premise applications."

What Progress Plans

The foundation of Progress Software's plan, according to a quarterly filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month, is its Progress Pacific Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) announced in April 2012.

Then, it said it would become a leader of next-generation application development and deployment capabilities in the cloud for the PaaS market by investing in OpenEdge, DataDirect and Corticon product lines and integrating components of those products into a single offering.

Progress Pacific, released in July 2013, allows users to choose development environment tools, data sources, deployment environments and devices. It is comprised of Rollbase and DataDirect Cloud, together with assets from OpenEdge, DataDirect and Corticon products.

Learning Opportunities

Acquisition History Challenged

In a conference call with investors this morning, one caller grilled Progress Software on its acquisition strategy, saying that from 2006 to 2011 it spent about $300 million acquiring technologies the company later divested for "substantially less."

Progress executives admitted to erring by moving away from the company's core focus with those acquisitions (which an executive clarified came prior to 2009). The Telerik acquisition "stays within our evolution and core competencies," they said.

In the SEC filing, Progress officials added its "new business focus and new strategy has required us to restructure our organization and the way we go to market, how we implement product roadmaps and how we operate and report our financial results, all of which caused additional disruption and could cause further disruption in the future as we implement our new go to market plans."

"Our cloud strategy," they stated, "will require continued investment in product development and cloud operations as well as a change in the way we price and deliver our products."

Progress was recently positioned as a "visionary" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Application Platform-as-a-Service. Telerik was positioned as a "visionary" in both the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms and for Integrated Software Quality Suites.