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Thursday, Aug 18, 2005

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SumTotal eyes more buys, to invest $10 m more

V. Rishi Kumar

Mr Neil Laird

Hyderabad , Aug. 17

SUMTOTAL Systems Inc, a Nasdaq-listed provider of learning and business performance technologies, is eyeing more acquisitions in the human resource management-related area. It plans to invest about $10 million in its Hyderabad centre.

The Chief Financial Officer of SumTotal, Mr Neil Laird, told Business Line that SumTotal has established a clear lead with the recent acquisition of Pathlore.

"Acquisitions have been a strong contributor to the company strategy and we will continue to scout for right picks - - be it buying of select products from companies that fit into SumTotal product portfolio or a total buy-out of a company. This would typically be in the areas of human resource management, recruitment, performance management-related areas," he said.

The Learning Management System (LMS) has evolved into a specialised area every major corporation is looking at to adopt to make their internal processes of training and management better.

As opposed to the traditional in-house hybrid models, they are increasingly preferring a specialised platform.

The market is growing at about 10 per cent per annum and within this area, together with Pathlore, SumTotal market share will reach 30 per cent.

Traditional enterprise solutions providers such as Oracle, Peoplesoft and SAP offer learning management systems but what distinguishes us from them is the total solutions framework.

"Our customer base has swelled significantly after acquisitions of Docent and Pathlore. In fact, we have more customers than Siebel now. This is one of the reasons we are actively considering expanding the support centres. The other issue is with regard to services. Typically, we have been a products company. But given the advantage of offshoring, we are considering the option of offering services centred at LMS," Mr Sudheer Koneru, Vice-President of SumTotal explained.

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