Appligent, Document Solutions Merger Complete

Two veteran third-party PDF vendors–one a software company, the other a service provider–join forces to create Appligent Document Solutions.

Appligent and Document Solutions announced merger plans last fall, which became legal a few weeks ago.

Both parties to the merger are longtime players in the PDF landscape: Appligent’s server products and specialty software performing specific tasks such as document redaction actually predate Acrobat and PDF, going back to 1988; Document Solutions, run by frequent trade-show presenter Duff Johnson, provided enterprise clients with services relating to Acrobat and PDF that they couldn’t do in-house, or as he puts it, “far faster and more proficiently than people who don’t spend all their time doing this stuff.”

The two companies’ business had little overlap. Appligent president and CEO Virginia Gavin says that her company started out as a software consultancy and service provider before devoting most of its bandwidth to software publishing in the mid-1990s.

Appligent started working on projects cooperatively with Document Solutions a few years ago, she says, before the idea of merging the two companies came on to the radar. The new company merges Document Solutions’ hands-on understanding of market needs in the PDF space with Appligent’s ability to execute software to meet them.

“We considered a revenue-sharing arrangement, but ultimately felt that the most effective alliance would be one in which we leverage the fact of becoming a complete, vertically integrated PDF company,” Johnson says.

“My new job is, in part, to bring my services experience to software development. Appligent founder Mark Gavin’s new job, in part, is to bring his awareness of software development to services problems and opportunities. These dynamics made it clear to us that a merger was the best way to take maximum advantage of our various capabilities, and it’s generating tremendous creativity.”

“Duff won’t be writing code of course,” says Virginia Gavin, “but he will be very much involved with defining feature sets for our software products as well as developing marketing strategies.”

The new company will be called Appligent Document Solutions and have offices in Appligent’s Lansdowne, PA home and Boston, where Johnson moved his company from Oakland, CA a few years ago.

While the economy is forcing a lot of companies nationwide to take belt-tightening measures, Gavin and Johnson feel the rapid proliferation of PDF across government and enterprise will help their business expand in the coming quarters, especially since they’re working on the same team now. The educational market, Gavin says, is booming, too right now.

“Colleges and universities have been using our AppendPDF Pro software for many years for on-demand publishing, ” Gavin says. “The use of PDF in education will continue to expand as more colleges and universities institute customizable distance learning programs.”

Originally appeared in PDFZone
By Don Fluckinger