Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thomson Business Intelligence Realigns Assets, Selling off NewsEdge and Profound

This doesn't seem to have hit the news wires yet but it's public on the Thomson Business Intelligence site (link) . Key sections:
After carefully analyzing our product portfolio, we have decided to realign specific services within Business Intelligence Services. Our goal is to best align our products and resources to the markets and customers we serve...We have determined that our Broker Research and Insite services are best aligned with Thomson Financial, the Thomson business unit that is a recognized leader in financial information and business intelligence....We are selling Market Research (Profound(R)) and NewsEdge. We are currently in discussions with potential buyers and will keep you apprised of our progress.
This seems to parallel the realignment of Thomson assets in the education sector, pushing some assets back towards financial, legal and STM verticals where they're best used and ceding the rest to more effectively positioned business information competitors. Unfortunately Thomson Business Intelligence never quite coalesced into the integrated offerings for market verticals and functional verticals that other business information offerings have formed over the past few years. Instead the individual cultures and architectures of each of the product offerings under the umbrella were never put aside in full and wound up being an "old" Thomson division of standalone offerings under a common sales umbrella.

This is all for the best in the long run, but especially in the instance of NewsEdge you have to wonder what could have been done if product politics had been put aside and it would have been positioned as key infrastructure to make Thomson's licensed content assets more accessible to a wider corporate audience. As it is too much time was lost, so it's up to someone else to consider what to do with NewsEdge's infrastructure in an era in which news monitoring is shifting to online services and more specialized and powerful enterprise business intelligence services. There will be takers, but probably not at premium prices. Best of luck to everyone in this deal, in the end better things are bound to happen as a result of this move.
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