Smart Communications Buys Intelledox As WCA Heats Up
by Jim Lundy
The workflow and content automation (WCA) market is heating up. Earlier this year, Dropbox acquired WCA provider HelloSign and today, Smart Communications announced that it is buying Intelledox for an undisclosed price.
Why Did Smart Communications Buy Intelledox?
First, it is important to point out that Smart Communications is owned by private equity firm Accel KKR, who often are known for doing vendor roll-ups. The reasons for Smart making a move is twofold: first, the category is growing fast and second, Intelledox is one of the fastest growing WCA providers.
Smart built its brand around the traditional customer communications management (CCM) category, which was about creating and sharing documents with customers, often on a batch basis (e.g. sending monthly bank statements). So when a faster growing adjacent category arises, it is only natural to make a move and gain first-mover advantage.
Intelledox and WCA
Documents and forms can be automated and often it needs to be done in a real-time fashion. As the fast growing software category associated with digital transaction management (DTM), workflow and content automation (WCA) is all about the automation of document-based processes.
Intelledox, as one of the leaders in this market, was doing some large deals in accounts that were most likely accounts Smart dealt with as well. Given the fast growth of WCA, it makes sense for Smart to want to make a move. Intelledox counts DocuSign as a key partner, but it also has a growing and seasoned salesforce.
Smart Puts Other CCM Providers On Notice
Smart is one of the first CCM providers to make a move, but we don’t think it will be the last. The challenge is there are not that many strong providers in WCA. Now that both Intelledox and HelloSign are off the market, who is left?
One that is out there is Conga—and it has taken taken some major VC investment so acquiring it would not be inexpensive. Kofax and Nintex are both owned by private equity, but that does not mean they could not be sold. What is interesting about all of this is that for WCA, private equity firms have been the quickest to make moves, probably because they see a bigger payout down the road.
WCA and The Race to Automate Content
WCA shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, many robotic process automation (RPA) providers are turning to WCA providers to partner for document-focused process automation. There is still a lot going on in this market and Aragon continues to evaluate and track this market. Developing…