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North Plains Acquire VYRE

by Naresh Sarwan on December 6, 2012

North Plains, have announced today that they have acquired UK based vendor, VYRE:

This acquisition continues our rigorous focus on enabling North Plains customers to better connect and engage with their target audience by unleashing the power of their visual media,” said James Christopher, President and CEO, North Plains. “We’re fortunate enough to work with some of the most innovative brands in the world, helping them to create brand value and drive business growth.” [Read More]

VYRE’s products have covered a number of different areas using their ‘Unify’ media server platform, but their major focus is on marketing oriented DAM implementations such as MRM and Brand Asset Management.  Their clients tend to be marketing departments or some of the larger agencies (Lowe being a notable example).  The VYRE transaction gives North Plains a professional services base in London as well as North America.  In addition to VYRE, North Plains took control of Xinet earlier this year and have also recently received further funding from Accel KKR last year.  This is one of many other transactions going on in DAM right now, including WoodWing’s purchase of Elvis.

This seems to point towards the consolidation trend we anticipated some time ago where the major players merge together to see off threats from smaller competitors and also use it as a customer acquisition tactic.  There is overlap between VYRE’s products and those of North Plains.  The former has undergone some significant development work in recent years also.  As is often the case with technology acquisitions, it might be more North Plains employees who might need to be fearful for their future employment as the acquiring company’s management use their new found clout to get things done in the target company and ‘mow the lawn’ in their own operation.  I can’t see how they will be able to justify three independent platforms and development teams long-term.

In September we discussed how some of the larger vendors were keen on buying or integrating with partner products to create their own monolithic suites that attempted to cover all the different bases so they could maintain their ‘one stop shop’ positioning and grab as much of their client’s business as possible.  As I discussed in that post, I do have to wonder how long these kind of behemoth products have really got though?  Presumably the cost of the resulting platform is going to need to be pretty steep to make all this worthwhile which will limit the range of potential customers to the very high end deals.  I can see the ground being incrementally taken from beneath their feet though by emerging cloud platforms and smaller more discrete systems that are more modular and easier to couple and de-couple.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out – but probably more so as an observer rather than a vendor participant.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Courville December 12, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hi Naresh,

Thanks for your interest in our news about the VYRE acquisition. Since this article was written without any prior discussions with North Plains, I want to clarify a couple of points in your article:

North Plains acquired VYRE because it believes in the market, the company and its employees, and the opportunity to offer an expanded, complementary offering to our combined customers.

To that end, we don’t believe in a monolithic approach, and we will continue to invest in research and development on each of our best-of-breed products individually, as well as develop more seamless interoperability between On Brand and UNIFY with North Plains’ existing products, Telescope and Xinet, in order to help our customers better manage their creative marketing lifecycle from creation, management and distribution of their visual content. We will continue to sell these products as individual offerings and will continue to invest in all our personnel to support these offerings.

We’d love to provide you with more information about this acquisition and where we see the market, as well as hear your thoughts. My team will also reach out to you directly again.

-Eric Courville, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Development
ecourville@northplains.com.

Naresh Sarwan December 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Eric,

We don’t do private media briefings, press embargoes, or ‘reaching out’ to anyone, vendors included.

We comment based on how it appears to the outside world and with reference to what participants in the DAM market are saying to us (including some of your competitors and customers).

You are of course, fully welcome to rebuff any of that and present alternative evidence to support your argument. We encourage free, open and public debate on DAM News about any topics relating to DAM.

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