I was just going through some of my old email, trying to cull out the old ones. I came across one from Austin Scee of Versata from early this year and wanted to see if anything was new. I found out that Scee is out as the former GM and a new GM (Shannon Willems) is managing what’s left of the acquisition, which ain’t much. The links on the think3.versata.com site don’t work and there seems no way to get info on the products.
I had the chance to speak with Willems earlier today, hoping that I could get some additional info on their plans and how the relationship with the Italian think3 organization is being resolved. Alas, I learned little that was new. To Willems’s credit he stated that “he and Versata were excited about the think3 software and that they were investing substantial resources in the product.” I repeatedly pressed Willems for more information about what substantial was, but could not get any details, other than that they had development firms in Boston, Russia and Italy working on the product.
If you go to think3.com it leads you to a page with lots of complex court filings, with no reference to Versata or their website. No real surprise here since Versata did not acquire think3, just the intellectual property (IP)- the think3 software. One look at the Versata website at think3.versata.com leads me to believe that Versata is putting as little resource into the acquisition as possible. Clicking on the products page reveals not one link to another page for more info. What could be more revealing about their intent?
Willems indicated that there is still revenue being derived from maintenance from existing customers. The US courts seem have decided that Versata owns the worldwide IP for the products. But, the Bologna, Italy courts seem to have made a similar decision for the Italian company. Customers can get the software from either company except where local legal decisions have been made supporting Versata’s claim, notably Japan and Dubai. Even then policing installations seems virtually impossible.
My conclusion is that Versata continues to provide minimal support and virtually no product enhancements for think3. The legal machinations continue to be fought around the world, apparently aimed at Versata preventing the Italian organization from gaining revenue.
On the other hand, the Italian site appears operational and moving ahead.
In addition, there were many LinkedIn contacts showing think3 as their active company, mostly from India and Italy.
My first choice as a customer would be to abandon this mess and go with other well-supported software. Lacking that choice, I would choose to do business with the think3 provider that is most open about the product and its future.