Yesterday, the news hit the wire that Ping Identity had acquired the Sxip Access product line. I've written an article on the topic here (you may need to register, but it's free). When I heard the news, I immediately wrote to Andre and Dick asking them for some more info. Andre got back to me pretty much straight away (thanks, Andre!).
I was curious about the acquisition of the product line - and not the whole company. Many times in this space, whole companies are bought, especially when they are the size of Sxip. Andre confirmed that this had been Ping's original intent - to acquire Sxip entirely. Ping had been interested mainly in the Sxip Access product line. Dick apparently wanted to keep the company Sxip and Sxipper, and knowing that Ping did not really have a major interest in Sxipper, the deal was for Sxip Access, and not for the whole company.
Since these were the "crown jewels" of Sxip, I am very, very curious what Dick Hardt is up to now. I've sent him a couple of emails, but I'm sure that I'm not the only one... I can guess what his Inbox looks like, so it'll probably take him a bit to get back to me. So for now I can only guess! According to the Sxip press release, the company will now focus on consumer solutions, such as Sxipper. However, Sxipper was basically a freebie. Sxip is a commercial company, and needs to make money. Sxip can make revenue from future versions of Sxipper either through paid support, or by having a "light" and a "commercial" version. Or maybe Sxip will focus more on the consulting side.
I admit, I'm speculating. But I'm sure Dick is up to something, and as soon as I find out, I'll let you know!
Dick just got back to me and did confirm that in fact he is up to something:
Subject: Re: So what are you up to now?
From: "Dick Hardt" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, March 12, 2008 4:38 pm
To: "Felix Gaehtgens" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We are looking at a number of revenue streams from Sxipper including a
PRO version. Right now we are focused on building a great product
that provides value to users and that they will trust. We have a 2.0
release that is imminent.
I will be curiously awaiting what Sxip is going to be cooking next and report in due time. Good luck, Dick (although I don't think you'll need it because you seem to be on the right track)!