Serena Acquires Project Management Software Maker

Serena Software acquires Projity, maker of an open-source project management solution called OpenProj and a software-as-a-service project management offering. OpenProj is available for Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Unix, and works with leading open-source office suites including Sun's StarOffice, IBM Symphony and

Serena Software has announced its acquisition of Projity, maker of an open-source project management solution as well as a software-as-a-service project management offering.

"We're announcing the acquisition of a company called Projity to deliver open-source desktop project management and a SAAS project management solution to give us an on-demand project management offering along with the free desktop project management offering," said Rene Bonvanie, senior vice president of global marketing, partnerships and online services for Serena.

Projity's free, open-source desktop project management software is called OpenProj, and it is available under the Common Public Attribution License for individual project managers to download free of charge. OpenProj offers similar functionality as Microsoft Project-with support for multiple platforms.

Bonvanie said the success of OpenProj, with more than 600,000 downloads in 142 countries over the last year alone, shows there is considerable market opportunity for an open-source alternative to commercial desktop project management applications. OpenProj is available for Windows, Linux, Macintosh and Unix, compatible with Microsoft Project files and available in 11 languages. It is designed to work with leading open-source office suites including Sun's StarOffice, IBM Symphony, and, which boasts 100 million users, Bonvanie said.

Meanwhile, Projity's Project-ON-Demand SAAS solution is for small and midsize organizations where several users collaborate on multiple group projects, Bonvanie said. Project-ON-Demand helps to eliminate the complexity of deploying Microsoft Project for large, geographically dispersed teams. It builds on the functionality in OpenProj by delivering additional multiproject, collaboration, reporting and management features for a small subscription fee. Many companies use Project-ON-Demand, including Corning and Sun Microsystems.

Meanwhile, with this acquisition, Serena bolsters its Serena Mariner PPM (Project and Portfolio Management) offering. Serena Mariner provides visibility into project and portfolio status and metrics to ensure the right people are on the right projects at the right time.

"With this acquisition of Projity we achieve two goals: better integration of our project management solutions, and we also gain a fully functional alternative to Microsoft Project," Bonvanie said. "We have acquired the company and all of its employees," he added, but noted that the terms of the transaction would not be made public.

Ultimately, "We'll also produce a unified product that will deliver combined functionality of this product with Mariner," Bonvanie said, noting that Serena will integrate Project-ON-Demand's project management capabilities into Serena Mariner, the company's enterprise-level PPM offering.

Moreover, Serena will continue to offer OpenProj through open source under the name Serena OpenProj. Project-ON-Demand is available immediately as Serena Projects On Demand and is priced starting at $10 per user per month. Serena Mariner 2008 is available now for on-premises and on-demand implementations. Pricing for Mariner 2008 On Demand is as low as $18 per user per month. The integrated Serena/Projity product will be available in the first quarter of 2009, Bonvanie said.