Autonomy (news, site) has just closed a very good year with the release of its final figures for 2010. While CEO Dr. Mike Lynch might be smiling, those of us in the media waiting for an announcement on Autonomy’s acquisition target are slightly less happy -- Lynch indicated that there would be delay in the deal because of changes at the target company.

In fairness, Autonomy had released a statement at the end of November, which indicated that there would be delays in the deal. At least we know from this statement that it is progressing, that the problem is not with Autonomy but with the target company, which always leaves the prospect of an alternative target being identified later in the year.

IDOL and Autonomy’s Revenue

That’s all speculation though. What is not speculation is success of not just its IDOL search technology, but maybe a little bit more surprising is that it is the cloud IDOL technology and its IDOL OEMs that have really pushed Autonomy’s figures in 2010.

Overall, end of year profits jumped 17%, up from US$ 323m in 2009. Sales were also up by 18% from US$ 740m in 2009. In a statement issued by Lynch with the release of the annual figures he said:

This year we have seen Autonomy become one of the leading players in cloud computing as our customers, who can choose to take up our core functionality by traditional licence, IDOL OEM or IDOL Cloud offering, have transitioned to the private cloud model faster than expected.

OEM and the Cloud

And looking further into 2011, it looks like Autonomy will be focusing considerable energies into exploiting those cloud and OEM deals as they have indicated that in many cases one-off sales have been turning into very profitable multi-year revenue streams. Broken down into their individual components, the streams look like this:

IDOL Cloud

IDOL Cloud offers IDOL capabilities on a SaaS basis invoiced monthly. This means that the figures from this are revenue that the company has already received. In 2010, IDOL Cloud revenue totaled US$ 190 million and the "commit" number rose to approximately $370 million, up from US$ 347 million in Q3 2010. In Q4 2010 IDOL Cloud revenue totaled US$ 51 million, representing 21% of revenues.


IDOL OEM is where Autonomy's IDOL is embedded inside other software companies' products. In 2010 IDOL OEM revenue totaled US$ 132 million, up 32% from 2009. In Q4 2010 IDOL OEM revenue totaled US$ 34 million (Q4 2009: $27 million) representing 14% of revenues. 42 new agreements were signed during 2010 with 10 new agreements signed during Q4 2010, including deals with Nuance, Xerox and Cisco. Growth in this area jumped to 32% during 2010.

Financial Highlights

Other noteworthy figures that bode well for the coming year include:

  • 57% of sales came from existing customers extending IDOL investment
  • Strong growth in the IDOL Cloud business, Q4 2010 up 12% year-on-year
  • Revenues at Idol OEM rose 32 per cent
  • Average Selling Price for IDOL technology rises to US$ 790,000 during FY 2010 and 94 deals in excess of US$ 1 million signed
  • US$ 115 million invested in R&D resulting in new product offerings to the Healthcare sector
  • Sales software grew by 12 percent in Q4, up from 10 percent in Q3

Autonomy also extended its international reach with the opening of new offices in Latin America, and investment in the infrastructure for this cloud capability which now handles over 17 petabytes of information in the cloud.

A good year overall that corresponds with results across the enterprise IT space. All we need now is news on the acquisition. When we know, you’ll know.