IBM Venture Capital Group


"The value that an alliance with IBM brings to an emerging software vendor cannot be overstated. We are opening new doors every day by optimizing the opportunities for exposure and reach that IBM makes available."
— Eric Musser, CEO, OpenSpan, Inc.

The Company

OpenSpan, accelerates personal workflow management with its process automation and application integration software. Organizations leverage OpenSpan software to rapidly improve the productivity and performance of customer-facing staff and other knowledge workers by integrating the disparate applications they use daily, allowing the applications to work together seamlessly. With OpenSpan, organizations can automate time-consuming, repetitive manual tasks and give workers faster access to information residing in various applications.

OpenSpan is a venture-backed enterprise headquartered in Alpharetta, GA, USA and has been in business since 2004. To date, OpenSpan software has been deployed to more than 100,000 enterprise desktops around the globe.

The Market Opportunity

OpenSpan has successfully penetrated the financial services, telecommunications and high tech sectors, where the software is used to improve the interconnectivity and usability of existing applications, and further automate the business processes that span these applications, regardless of where the applications are hosted (Windows desktops, server rooms, web/cloud or even virtualized environments).

Clients primarily choose OpenSpan to improve productivity and customer service quality, while reducing cost within their contact centers, or other areas of the organization where repetitive manual tasks spanning multiple applications are common, such as in middle- and back-office processing departments. Additionally, OpenSpan enables these organizations to realize a prompt ROI by: delivering swift implementations; limiting the need for implementation services; extending the lifespan of existing applications; and lowering operational costs in areas such as staff training and turnover.

The IBM Strategic Advantage

OpenSpan is an Advanced Business Partner and has agreements in place which allow IBM GBS and Lotus to resell OpenSpan software and services globally. Additionally, OpenSpan offers a product specifically designed for IBM Lotus customers, the OpenSpan Windows Container for IBM Lotus, used by Lotus Notes 8.5+ and Lotus Expeditor 6.2+ customers. The OpenSpan Windows Container extends the capabilities of Lotus Notes by providing rapid, codeless integration of native Windows applications, including leading enterprise applications, in composite application solutions. This product is available as a free download for evaluation purposes both from the OpenSpan and IBM Lotus websites, and has been "Ready for Lotus" certified.

Together, IBM and OpenSpan can rapidly deploy powerful solutions that satisfy complex customer requirements, as evidenced by joint opportunities currently in progress in North America and the U.K.

The Venture Capital Firm

Several of OpenSpan's investors have ties to IBM. Funded by Matrix Partners, Sigma Partners, GlobeSpan Capital Partners and FTV Capital, OpenSpan was introduced to the IBM Venture Capital Group (IBM VCG) by FTV Capital. "IBM's commitment to supporting new business partners can be a game-changer for an emerging company," said Liron Gitig, principal at FTV Capital. "We recognize the exceptional value the OpenSpan platform is already delivering to clients in financial services, high tech, telecommunications, and other industries. We are confident that IBM's internal sponsorship and the many partner resources that are available will enable OpenSpan to further penetrate the market and establish a leadership position in the area of personal workflow management."

As a result of the relationships between its investors and IBM VCG, OpenSpan has benefited from the guidance and support of an IBM Client Manager. This association has led to collaboration on an internal campaign to introduce OpenSpan to various teams within IBM. It has also helped OpenSpan optimize use of the partner offerings available and identify the right groups within the IBM organization for joint marketing and sales activities.

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