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Enablon’s Positive Trajectory Continues Following the Wolters Kluwer Acquisition

At the end of May 2016, the venerable Netherlands headquartered publishing firm Wolters Kluwer rocked the EH&S information management market by announcing that it had acquired Enablon for €250 million. Inevitably customers, partners and competitors wondered how the acquisition would impact Enablon’s strategy and market position. The departure from the business of CEO and Co-Founder Dan Vogel in June 2016 fueled the market’s appetite for news on plans for 2017 and beyond. The remaining co-founders, Phil Tesler and Marc Vogel, as well as Stacey Caywood, CEO of Wolter Kluwer’s Regulatory & Legal division which now owns Enablon, provided a comprehensive update on product, strategy and partnerships at the firm’s annual Chicago customer event.

Our view is that the Wolters Kluwer team are largely supporting the pre-existing Enablon strategy to invest heavily in product innovation, double down on aggressive marketing, rapidly expand the ecosystem and focus on a shift to cloud-based deployments. Enablon’s North America CEO Phil Tesler touted the benefits of the new version 8.0 of the platform with incentives such as a free upgrade to 8.0 from prior versions, significantly improved mobile capabilities and an offer to move customers from on premise hardware to an Enablon-hosted server. Co-Founder and CTO, Marc Vogel, explained how the firm plans to handle the smooth transfer of software configured on customer equipment to the Enablon technology stack. The HSE director from the global property group, Lend Lease, amply demonstrated the hefty investments in the Enablon mobile apps with a compelling live product demo of several usage scenarios.

Services partners at the event such as CH2M, E2Manage Tech, EY and Tetra Tech felt reassured by the messages they were hearing from the Wolters Kluwer team and remained committed to advocating Enablon software to their customers and investing in certification of consultants to use and implement Enablon applications. Compared to prior years, the breadth of the ecosystem partners at the summit has expanded into additional areas such geo-location hardware providers, risk analytics apps and industrial operations software vendors. This is an ominous sign for other EH&S software vendors who have only recently got started recruiting partners to rally round their platforms. Verdantix anticipates the next 2 years will see a battle between the EH&S software vendors to win mindshare with the top 10 environmental consultants and systems integrators. As deal sizes increase, consultants will play an increasingly important role.

Enablon customers and prospects were unperturbed by the acquisition. Few had prior knowledge of Wolters Kluwer but this was cast as neither a positive nor a negative. Their primary interest is in the quality of the product and a continued commitment to rapid innovation in key areas like user interface design, offline mobile apps, ease of integration with other IT systems and configurability. Nothing was disclosed about how Wolters Kluwer plans to leverage the Enablon toolbox – the secret sauce in the rapid development of the EH&S software platform – into other contiguous markets.

To keep up to date with the EH&S information management market attend the Verdantix EH&S Summit in Amsterdam November 8-9 in Amsterdam November 8-9 or book your diary for the Verdantix EH&S Summit in Houston May 15-17.