Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is one of the companies leading the cloud computing revolution. One of the small Israeli companies in my portfolio, Attunity Inc. (Bulletin Board: ATTUF) has a chance, possibly its last chance, to become a much bigger company, because 20 years after it was founded as a developer of database solutions, the cloud revolution has created a real demand for the company's proprietary tools.
The answer to the question lies in the extent that Attunity, following its restructuring after its merger with RepliWeb early in the quarter, will flourish in the new era. This will depend on two things. The first is the skills of the man who has led it in the past two years, chairman and CEO Shimon Alon. The second is when it will get an acquisition offer that it cannot refuse: an early acquisition will turn it into a small department in a giant company, and we will never know what it might have achieved on its own.
As a man sure of himself when he took the job, Alon summoned Attunity's shareholders who had not abandoned the company for a meeting last Thursday at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) offices. There, he, an expert from Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq: MSFT) and another expert gave a presentation, which I think succeeded in renewing optimism about the company's future. This is the first time that this has happened since the great expectations seven years ago, when Alon and his partners made their dream exit in the sale of Precise Software Solutions for hundreds of millions of dollars and subsequently acquired Attunity from Aryeh Gonen.
Seven years ago, investors were sure that the Precise team were just about to make another dream exit with Attunity. It didn’t happen. Two years ago, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. At Thursday's conference Alon again mentioned the Precise dream as part of his business card, but this time, the investors want to see facts beyond last year's great achievement of intercepting a $9 million contract from Microsoft.
The progress on this contract enabled Alon to leverage Attunity's potential by acquiring RepliWeb. The merged company, which expects to have over $22 million in sales in 2012, now has the software tools that, according to the presentation, are critical solutions for the cloud computing marketed by the software giants.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 8, 2011
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