In a blog post from CBR last Friday 19 Aug, analyst Clive Longbottom is quoted saying that the acquisition of the software vendor Autonomy was a ‘sad day for UK company…’.

In the final paragraph, he went on to say –

‘…. it is almost inevitable that UK companies will be acquired by bigger US firms once they reach a certain size. “The UK has always been a great base for new technology. But the nature of the beast is that you can’t break into the US as an independent UK company; you just can’t compete with businesses there. It’s 60 million people compared to 300 million.”‘

KANA‘s Business Director, Bob Mann, takes exception to this statement and responds with:

‘The final paragraph that states that it is “inevitable” that “UK companies will be acquired by bigger US firms……because they …can’t break into the US”  might, from the outside, be deemed to be held true in the case of KANA’s acquisition of the highly successful Belfast-base Local Government CRM company Lagan in Qtr 4 2010… except for the fact that Lagan had already ‘broken’ the North American market becoming the market-leading provider of Government to Citizen software and Case Management solutions (known as ‘311 systems’) in the region, with customers including Minneapolis, San Francisco, Boston, Toronto, San Antonio, Houston, Vancouver, Winnipeg, New Orleans, etc.

When the technology is world-beating and when these acquisitions are handled in the right way – with mutual respect for all party’s products and people – then the results can mean overall growth and a win-win for both companies’ customers.