Tikit Group PLC has completed the simultaneous acquisition of
the IP rights and customer contracts for the Carpe Diem time recording
software from Sage Software Inc and the Canadian software company
PensEra, best known in the legal IT market for its TimeKM time recording
software application.
How do these exciting developments fit together and what are the benefits for existing users and prospective purchasers?

Background

Tikit is widely known in the UK and Europe as a reseller and
integration partner for best-of-breed software applications for the
legal and professional services markets, with over 1,000 customers
globally. In North America, Tikit is better known as the developer and
supplier of the eMarketing Suite for LexisNexis InterAction CRM, with
over 150 user firms. In addition, Tikit has a strong focus in the law firm accounts,
practice management and time recording sector, with customers ranging
from the global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, user of the
Tikit Firmware PMS,  to the 600 plus small-to-mid-sized law firms
running Tikit's Partner for Windows system. Set in this context, these
acquisitions represent the next phase in the Group's development as a
global software and services business.

The Acquisitions Technologies 

Carpe Diem is the de facto standard best-of-breed/point-solution for
time recording within larger law firms around the world, with over 200
firms running the software. Tikit was instrumental in helping the
product become established in the UK in the 1990s and for the past seven
years has been the exclusive UK reseller and support channel. TimeKM is a newer time recording application, which is building
traction both in the North American and UK/European legal IT markets,
attracting over 20,000 new user subscriptions. The application is based
upon a modern standard technology platform with multi-language support
and Unicode compliance.

The Acquisition Strategy

Although TimeKM has emerged as a product some firms are selecting as a
replacement for Carpe Diem, the strategy behind these Tikit
acquisitions is most definitely not to acquire an established user-base
with a view to migrating it over to a successor product. Instead:

  • there is a short-term strategy to meet the needs of current Carpe Diem users,
  • there is a longer-term strategy for the continued development and
    support of Carpe Diem users who want to upgrade to a next-generation
    time recording platform including mobile working, web access, e-billing,
    estimating and alternative fee arrangements.

A key element to note is there are no plans to end-of-life either
support or development of the Carpe Diem product. Instead, Carpe Diem is
now getting a roadmap for future developments with an optional upgrade
to a significantly enhanced product – but without the challenges
normally associated with a change of software application.

The Roadmap

With immediate effect, the Sage Carpe Diem product becomes Carpe Diem
Classic, with a new version – Carpe Diem Classic 2010 – scheduled for
launch in Q4 of this year. This release will incorporate many of the
enhancements users have requested from Sage over recent months.

The TimeKM suite (which along with time recording also includes
forecasting and budgeting) will be renamed Carpe Diem Enterprise and
will inherit its existing roadmap, supplemented by feedback from firms
using Carpe Diem Classic, to ensure it continues to address next
generation time recording trends and best practices.

During 2011 Tikit will be providing a new generation Blackberry,
iPhone and Android interface for both Carpe Diem Classic and Enterprise
called Carpe Diem Mobile. The Blackberry interface is scheduled for
release in Q1 2011 and will be showcased at LegalTech in New York and
Legal IT in London. Carpe Diem Mobile is a PMS agnostic application that
will run in conjunction with most major legal accounts and financial
management systems.

The Roadshows

From Q2 2011, Tikit will be running a series of roadshows, along with
regular user group meetings, on both sides of the Atlantic to explain
and demonstrate the future product strategy for both Carpe Diem Classic
and Carpe Diem Enterprise.

Tikit wants to hear users' views on how the products can be changed,
enhanced and taken forward. Along with the roadshows and user group
meetings, Tikit has set up a special area on its website where
suggestions can be made. In addition, Tikit will also be running Carpe
Diem related webinars.

Support

Tikit has been supporting Carpe Diem Classic in the UK for the past
seven years and will now be assuming full responsibility for supporting
both the Classic and Enterprise products on a global basis. With the
addition of the PensEra office in Montreal, Tikit has 25 support
analysts in North America and Europe and is committed to providing Carpe
Diem users with a top quality support service, including taking over
all outstanding open support calls from Sage.

The Future

The business of law is changing dramatically with law firms being
challenged by clients to deliver value at reasonable cost. At the same
time, new technologies are surfacing to create opportunities to better
capture and manage billable time. With Tikit's previous experience in
delivering time recording solutions, now supplemented by these two
strategic acquisitions, Tikit is making a major commitment to helping
firms address the problem of the 'missing timesheet' within the context
of the modern law firm.

The financials

And here are the financial aspects of the deal we would have carried earlier if our latest Microsoft Office upgrade hadn't frozen…

• Annual support revenues for Carpe Diem were US$2.2 million in the year to 30 September 2010, while the total consideration was US$1.35 million, paid in cash from Tikit’s existing resources.

• PensEra had total revenues of C$0.99 million in the year to 31 July 2010. The initial consideration of C$0.73 million has been paid in cash from Tikit’s existing resources, and there is an additional capped deferred consideration payable over the next three years, dependent on software sales growth.