Aptitude Software (Microgen PLC) acquired RevStream on August 30, 2017.
We sat down with Aptitude Software CEO Tom Crawford and RevStream CEO Rajiv Chopra to discuss the merger and future direction of both companies. This is an extract from the full interview which you can listen to here: CEO Q&A Video
Q: What was the primary driver for the acquisition?
Tom: At Aptitude, we wanted to add another revenue management product that would complement our existing product and portfolio. RevStream and Aptitude both focus on the CFO and the products are very complementary. Both companies have had significant double digit growth year-over-year. These are growth products for us. Over 50% of Aptitude’s revenue comes from North America, that’s rare for a U.K. company, and so we want to grow out our presence in the U.S.
Our focus was to bring in a product that had complementary sectors, operationally finance focused with modules that we didn’t have. RevStream has the strength in SSP engines, analytics, reporting, contract assembly, and a cloud boiler model. RevStream was the first pure player to go to market with revenue management on the cloud, and we want to learn from those experiences and that model. The revenue combined from our two customer bases nudges a trillion dollars, that is very powerful. We can go into new areas of the market and sectors with a cloud deployment model. There were so many ticks in so many boxes.
"RevStream was the first to go to market for revenue management on the cloud, and we want to learn from those experiences and that model.”
Tom Crawford, CEO, Aptitude Software
Q: What does the acquisition/merger mean for RevStream customers?
Rajiv: This is exciting news for everyone, particularly our customers, but mostly it will be business as usual, the RevStream platform stays, the team stays the same. This is more of a merger of two platforms and so nothing really changes. With Tom and Aptitude we will just build a bigger company. We now have a combined pool of 250+ employees worldwide who specialize in finance and revenue management. We have grown up, we have a bigger company, more resources, 24/7 support, and access to skills. Nothing changes now. In the future there is more to come, adding more things to the product. The most important thing is that this is great news for our customers and our product stays.
"The RevStream platform stays, the team stays the same, this is more of a merger of two platforms and so nothing really changes."Rajiv Chopra, CEO, RevStream
Q: What happens to existing customer contracts?
Rajiv: They continue. The company is now Aptitude RevStream Inc., we just added one word. The legal entity continues, it just has a rich parent. We will service and deliver on those just as you would expect. The commitment to our customers does not change at all.
Tom: We bought a growing company with a rich customer base and we want to add to that: scale the business, get more customers, allow more funding to go back into the business, product, more R&D, expansion, and marketing.
Q: What will leadership look like at RevStream?
Tom: The combined leadership team will consist of three executives from RevStream, three VPs from Aptitude, an Integration Director and me, to form a business leadership team. We go forward together with both of us in the leadership team. We will be implementing plans, techniques, resources, products, and market to go out together.
Q: What is the future direction of the RevStream platform?
Rajiv: RevStream software will continue to be enhanced per our roadmap and 24/7 support. RevStream will have its own funding model within the portfolio. The key is that we are complementary products in a growing market that we are both defining. RevStream continues as a software and a platform, on the cloud, as an end-to-end application. We are obviously going to leverage the smarts of Aptitude in all of the relevant areas that make sense. This is the product that will stay, continue to be enhanced, adding analytics, and who knows, we may add lease accounting to it.
Q: What is the future direction of the Aptitude platform?
Tom: At Aptitude we have a lease accounting product for ASC 842, and the equivalent in Europe. We would very much like to see lease accounting as a module on the RevStream cloud operations platform. We have a large professional services force that we deliver our projects with, and that is available to RevStream. By putting our products together in a portfolio we will be taking RevStream outside of North America, to Europe, to Asia Pac, and we will have our lease accounting platform leveraged through the RevStream platform to our customers. That’s the vision.
Q: What is the long term strategy for Aptitude RevStream?
Tom: To grow and dominate the market. To start with serving 100 CFOs and then get to 1,000 CFOs being served. We are going to dominate our space, define what revenue lifecycle management is, support companies with new business models, and deal with the sea of accounting changes.
Rajiv: I think revenue management is going to go mainstream, no longer be a niche product. It is essential software that the CFO needs to purchase and utilize. We will be a force to reckon with. The ERPs cannot do anything close to what we do. We are the new category for revenue management, financial, and controls.
Q: What do you want people to know?
Tom: We are the leader in revenue management and we are committed to serving this market, Aptitude RevStream has placed a huge investment into the global market. We want to ensure the CFO’s needs are met today and in the future. We will broaden out our portfolio, invest in our people, and be a real partner to the CFO.
Rajiv: This is not just about solving an accounting problem such as ASC 606 or any new regulation we see come. This joining of forces is about bringing a bigger value to the CFO in complex scenarios.
Q: Rajiv, we have heard you use the term “juggernaut of revenue management.” What do you mean by the term, juggernaut?
Large and powerful. Think Transformers. We are a very positive force. Aptitude RevStream is the juggernaut of revenue management!
Listen to the full interview: CEO Q&A Video