Is that different from what Yogesh was doing?
I would say that were bringing together a variety of components, internally part of which Yogesh was responsible for. Weve decide that these are the goals for the office of the CTO. (Whats different is) the level of interest in integrating across security, storage ESM and BSO.
What will Yogeshs role be in the business development organization?
He will partner with Mike Christenson on M&A and strategy for the company, with Russ Arts in the business units, and with myself and our sales leadership to really get that dedicated focus on how do we drive a disciplined M&A activity.
Over the last year and a half, weve done a fantastic job of identifying those businesses that are in fast growing markets that have great technology and customers and can greatly benefit from an enhanced distribution organization.
All the way from Netgrity, Concord/Aprisma, Niku, iLumin and most recently the proposed acquisition of Wily—were looking toward Yogesh to continue that momentum.
How long has the Advanced Research Group been in place?
I believe Yogesh and Russ started these activities a couple of months ago. Were just beginning. It is resonating internally. We are looking to give it the right level of investment. Were starting to look beyond the business units. Whats new is the level of intention and its acceptance and excitement internally.
What is its function?
Development teams build product management and marketing to define what market segments we want to be in. They have a planning horizon of 18 months to three years, which is standard in the software business.
We would like to look beyond that planning horizon and say whats going to be critical to our customers three to five years out. Wind the clock back five years ago and think about adoption of VOIP or IP V6.
The function of the Advanced Research Group is to look beyond traditional planning horizons of 18 to 36 months and answer the question, What technologies will be key? and we can begin to plan to deliver products that will get foundations into the business units where we can accelerate the exploitation of new technologies.
Do these moves presage an increase in M&A activity?
If you look at our past behavior over the last year, that is the best predictor of what well do. You will see the same level of activity in the market. We continue to see many compelling companies. We want to continue that energy and momentum.
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