divine acquires marchFIRST's SAP practice

Literally minutes before consulting firm marchFIRST filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, divine inc. completed its acquisition of the SAP implementation arm of the ailing firm. This acquisition, the second of a two-part transaction to acquire certain marchFIRST assets, netted divine 19 of marchFIRST's offices, including marchFIRST's Central Region business unit and the majority of its outstanding accounts receivable, as well...

as marchFIRST's value-added reseller unit and its Blue Vector venture capital arm.

Anti-trust regulatory approval and receipt of third-party consents was achieved at 3:30 p.m. on April 12, and marchFIRST filed for bankruptcy protection at 3:34 p.m., according to Mike Kerrigan, executive vice president of the SAP global practice at divine/Whittman Hart.

"We feel more positive about where our practice is sitting," Kerrigan said, noting that marchFIRST did just file for bankruptcy. "We've struggled with clients (as part of marchFIRST) from the standpoint of: Are we going to be around."

The SAP practice that divine bought consists of 250 employees and is self-contained, according to Kerrigan. It includes business development, marketing, consultants and management, as well as ABAB coders and other technical staff members, he said. "It's a powerful asset. That's why divine bought it," Kerrigan added.

"The practice is going to continue to grow steadily, based on the market," Kerrigan said. "Over the years, we focused on mid-market companies," but that is changing, as the practice wants to work with larger enterprises.

Over the last six years, the SAP implementation practice's customers typically were $100 million to $1 billion in revenue, and the practice did a full implementation of SAP for those clients, including financials, production planning and sales and distribution, he said.

"Specifically, from the install base, we're seeing a lot of people start to move to mySAP.com," Kerrigan said. "CRM is so huge, it's hard to define all the things underneath it. We're helping clients upgrade to new versions and helping them realize better ROI with what they have as back office, and extending them to the Internet."

SAP implementation is "not typical anymore," Kerrigan added.

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