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Technology executive, angel investor, independent director, adviser, and blogger. Formerly CEO of Host Analytics and MarkLogic, CMO of Business Objects and Versant, and independent director of Aster Data, Granular. Currently independent director of Alation and Nuxeo

7 responses to “Quick Thoughts on Tagetik Acquistion by Wolters Kluwer”

  1. Philip

    Hello Mr. Kellog,

    which is, in your opinion, the reason why WK acquired Tagetik?
    Which is the logic in spending 300M to acquire a company only to weaken its market share?

    Thank you


  2. Paul Giardina

    Dave – while some of your insights are interesting, it is hard to read without realizing you are trying to push a certain narrative. Tagetik has been a growing threat in the US market, and with the capital and connections brought with Wolters Kluwer it is certainly understandable how Host is even more threatened.

    Your simple guesstimations are unfortunate in that they don’t take into account many factors, one of which is the financial health of Tagetik which had always operated under the premise of sound financial principles and health. Unlike many of the cloud-based EPM solutions, they have not had many rounds of funding and would not be a tremendous financial burden on their acquirer.

    You also take a view on the cloud/on premise split so that it makes them seem less of a cloud provider. What you don’t take into account is the cloud growth trajectory that Tagetik had experienced while I was there, which was tremendous. I can only imagine it was even stronger for all of Fiscal ’16.

    So I give you credit for jumping on a dangerous situation for Host and trying to put it into your own narrative, but the reality is this is a tremendous opportunity for Tagetik and Wolters Kluwer.

  3. Paul Giardina


    Appreciate the reply. While I did work there, I don’t anymore and haven’t for a while, so my interest is not as vested as yours. And while I certainly don’t question you only write what you believe, your vested interest as CEO of a competitor certainly is swaying your opinion and observations, dare I say more than an ex-employee who no longer works in the space. I also have years of experience in EPM, having worked at Hyperion and Cartesis.

    So in my opinion and experience, I have seen investments from large connected companies who are looking to expand their portfolio work well. I don’t know WK as well as you, but from my understanding from the press release and looking at the company, they have an established software division that assists the office of finance already. It is, as you rightly point out, more on the accounting side, but we both know that EPM is for the CFO and has financial reporting, compliance and planning components. The CFO is concerned with all and the appeal of working with a vendor who can handle it all is something I am willing to bet the odds are much higher than the 0% chance you give it.

    And while FPA is certainly a big a part of the market, I wouldn’t discount the growth in the other markets as well. I also wouldn’t discount the expertise that Tagetik already has in that area, nor the hundreds of their clients who use it for that purpose.

    I also have had the pleasure of knowing the CEOs and the founder of Tagetik. You could not be more wrong in your opinion on why they sold. It’s culture was one that was family orientated, for sure. It is that very culture that instilled a sense of purpose and loyalty that is not found in most companies. The employees felt it, and importantly, so did the customers.
    The only situation in which they would sell is if it was in the best interest of both of those constituents. That I can assure.

    Where we can agree – a big congratulations to Marco, Manuel and Pierluigi. They have beat the odds and succeeded where many have failed. Oh – and they are still with the company with more resources and more access. Can’t wait to see what they do next.

  4. Philip

    Thanks for replying.
    now Tagetik is a healthy, growing company with a good product (not only for consolidation but also for planning), an experienced management (that remains in charge), an important name as a support (WK) and more resources to invest, especially in the US market where growth opportunities could be incredible.
    Taking into account that Tagetik is already performing very well in Europe, WK could (ideally) sit, watch and have a good return on the investment.
    Honestly, I do not see a correlation between this acquisition and a diminishing role in the EPM market (especially because WK does not have a specific product in which they could “drown” Tagetik).