Sandy Maxwell almost pips Misys at the post to announce its rebranding as Open GI
So, Misys is no more…long live, er, Open GI!
The metamorphosis of Misys was announced last week in the salubrious surroundings of Picasso and Dali masterpieces at the County Hall Gallery on London's South Bank.
Helen Barker, operations director, was on message from the start, cleverly batting back a request from your humble correspondent for a business card before the actual announcement was made, thereby depriving me of the chance to rush out and announce the rebranding to an expectant world five minutes before the official unveiling.
Open GI (yes, I'm on message too) chief executive, Phillip Bell, was remarkably candid about the frustrations of working for a plc. In a less than subtle swipe at the Byzantine structures of Misys, Bell expressed delight that the new owner of 80% of the software house, Montagu Private Equity, is actually “interested in us” and “can just about spell insurance”.
Of course, the 20% share that Bell and his colleagues own in the technology provider following the MBO can only have increased his bonhomie.Bell was also upfront about the value of Open GI's assets. The private equity investor has spent £182m to acquire a grand total of £1m of assets.
Before you all assume that Bell has taken leave of his senses, his point was that software houses and their ilk have “no intrinsic value…the value is in the perception” and Montagu has essentially “bought our plan for the future”. So it's actually a major gesture of faith in Bell and his team.
Barker was right to indicate that it's not just about a cosmetic rebranding exercise: Open GI now has the opportunity to shake up the market and we should expect some activity over the coming months.
Ball was also keen to throw his weight around. He emphasised that “it is our stated intention to consolidate this marketplace”. And, in case we were under any illusions, he said it was “watch this space” when it came to acquisitions, apparently…
But you can't say the Misys – sorry, Open GI – guys, don't run a slick rebranding exercise. A seamless transition to the new website (yes, the Google redirection was up and running within seconds of the announcement) and spanking new signage.
Will this be the opening of a new era?