What Does the Vision Solutions Acquisition by Centerbridge Mean?

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In August of 2017, Centerbridge Partners based in New York finalized a $1.26 Billion acquisition of both Syncsort Inc. and Vision Solutions from Clearlake, who had previously acquired Syncsort in 2015 and Vision in 2016. Clearlake maintains a minority ownership stake in the new company. Nicolaas Vlok former long-time CEO of Vision has now become a senior advisor with the new company. What does all of this mean to both Vision and Mid-Range customers?

Mid-Range has been a Vision partner for many years and offers the MIMIX high availability solution on IBM i and AIX to customers.  This will not change. What may change is typical with many acquisitions and could include pricing and branding. The new company has already stated that the Vision Solutions brand name will disappear, while the MIMIX product name will continue but will be branded under the Syncsort name.

For those unfamiliar with Syncsort, this brand is well known in the mainframe world. It was originally a vendor for a sorting tool on MVS and later z/OS (which was introduced in 1971 called Syncsort MFX) that provided high speed data sort, join, and copy. It migrated in the 1990s into the client/server world offering a UNIX based sort utility and backup product. In 2004 it introduced its first ETL product called DMExpress. It has since repositioned itself as a “Big Iron to Big Data” vendor providing tools to move data from the mainframe into Hadoop and SPLUNK.

The acquisition of Vision, who has their own data migration tool MIMIX Share, provides SyncSort with the ability to sell tools to IBM i shops who want to move into the world of data analytics using Hadoop and SPLUNK. They will probably integrate or connect MIMIX share into DMX-h, the data integration product that Syncsort developed to move and transform data from mainframes into Hadoop.

While attracting IBM i shops with a new set of data analytic tools is the main strategy, Syncsort CEO Josh Rogers insists that the MIMIX and iTera product lines will continue to be enhanced and supported and this is good news for Mid-Range MIMIX customers. Nicolaas Vlok states that the merger will not impact planned acquisitions in the IBM i marketplace that are already in the pipe, as per the IT Jungle story at https://www.itjungle.com/2017/07/10/vision-buys-enforcive-gets-sold-merged-syncsort/ , however with IDC predicting that worldwide revenues for big data and analytics growing from $130B in 2016 to more than $203B by 2020, it’s easy to see where Syncsort will be allocating its resources.

It is a very interesting time to be in the IBM i world. Vendors like Rocket Software are expanding their footprint in IBM i, and Help Systems is now providing development and marketing resources for IBM’s Rational Development for i, PowerHA System Mirror for i and BRMS. Mid-Range offers both Rocket iCluster for IBM i HA and the suite of Help Systems products for monitoring IBM i systems, so we have a vested interest in what’s happening in this market. If you need help understanding where all this is going and what it means to your shop, contact us. Mid-Range can help.

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