MKS Acquires Silvon’s SDM Unit

Mortice Kern Systems Inc. (MKS) acquired the Software Development Management (SDM) business unit of Silvon Software Inc. (Westmont, Ill.), increasing MKS’s software configuration management (SCM) market share and expanding its Global 2000 penetration in excess of 3,500 customers across 6,000 sites.

MKS (Waterloo, Canada) acquired the SDM business unit for $10 million and approximately 618,000 common shares of MKS. Silvon’s SDM business unit now provides MKS with a large AS/400 customer base and expands the Canadian company’s platform coverage, adding OS/400 to its existing support for Windows NT, Unix, OS/2 and OS/390.

"MKS’s vision for software and intranet management, scalable across the enterprise, combined with Silvon’s market leadership on the AS/400 platform catapults MKS into the powerhouse position in the SCM marketplace," says Randall Howard, MKS chairman and CEO.

The acquisition also indicates Silvon has decided to move ahead with its data management and business intelligence efforts, while divesting its application development unit, according to Howard.

MKS sees the AS/400 application development market as an area of growth. "There’s a lot going on in the AS/400 market. It’s growing at about a 20 percent rate," Howard says. "SCM in the AS/400 market is projected to grow 35 percent over the next four to five years, twice the growth of the AS/400 market itself."

Key personnel, such as SDM Business Unit Founder and General Manager Bill Skowera joins MKS as VP of product management and general manager. "MKS has a cross-platform, turnkey SCM solution which provides our customer base with a clear future migration path to Windows NT systems and Web development," Skowera says.

"This is a very smart acquisition for MKS," says Clive Burrows, principal SCM analyst at London’s OVUM Ltd. "They are clearly focused on building critical mass within the fast-growing SCM marketplace, and are executing aggressively on this strategy. Silvon’s leadership in the AS/400 marketplace is well established, and the complementary and incremental nature of this acquisition brings to MKS significant competitive value and future sales leverage."