WeDo, vendors of business assurance software, have sold their Praesidium consulting unit to Mainroad, providers of managed IT and various continuity and security-related services. Mainroad’s press release can be found here.
WeDo and Mainroad are sister companies within the Portuguese Sonae group, so this move is more like an internal transfer than a conventional trade sale. WeDo CEO Rui Paiva also sits on the board of Mainroad. Nevertheless, no price was disclosed for the deal, a fact which was also picked up by Computerworld.com.pt. It is not known if the deal had any impact on WeDo’s reported 12% rise in revenues during FY13, though it would be reasonable to assume, based on the date of the announcement, that the transaction occurred after the FY13 year end. This still leaves an open question about how much Praesidium contributed to WeDo’s 2013 revenues, and if WeDo has any plans to compensate for the drop in revenues by building up or acquiring a replacement team of consultants.
Praesidium is now described as the ‘Information Security Division’ of Mainroad. WeDo originally acquired British-based Praesidium in 2007, also for an undisclosed sum. The transfer suggests that the core technical strengths of Praesidium’s consultants are best focused on giving advice about information security and business continuity. When Praesidium was a unit of WeDo, their consulting skills most naturally complemented WeDo’s product suite within the domain of fraud management and related risks.
On a final note, I want to apologize to readers for being unusually slow to report this story. The announcement was made in February, during the run-up to Mobile World Congress. It is unclear if the announcement was timed so Mainroad could feed into the usual pre-MWC rush of press releases, or whether the publicity was intentionally muted, to avoid drawing attention to the fact that WeDo has seemingly exited the consulting market. Either way, I failed to notice. I will follow-up, and report more as I learn more, but I did not want to further delay the sharing of this information. Though Praesidium is small, I believe this deal merits the attention of talkRA readers. Firstly, this may be another sign of declining demand for consultants working in the fields of revenue assurance and fraud management. Secondly, it reiterates a trend that some skills and services previously drawn into the scope of revenue assurance and fraud management may find a better home when teamed up with security and business continuity. Both of these observations are relevant to practitioners working in the field. They should be kept in mind when contemplating the pros and cons of a job in consulting versus being employed by a telco, and also when considering where certain jobs belong in the telco’s org chart. If I learn more about the motivation behind Praesidium’s transfer, I will pass it on.