Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lattelecom eyeing Pionit, a stealth IT company?

Lattelecom, in the midst of an MBO, is already looking beyond that for forging closer ties with selected IT companies. The most interesting of these may be Pionit AG  in Germany, where one of the chief "assets" is Mikus Grasmanis, a Latvian software engineer and one of the key inventors of GRADE, a business process analysis toolkit developed initially by the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Latvia in the early 1990s. Also behind Pionit is Janis Gobins, the "godfather"  of the modern Latvian IT industry (Software House Riga, which later morphed and merger into Dati and Exigen/merged with Dati/).
Pionit was founded in 2006 and is still kind of a stealth company, but apparently looking to do sophisticated projects in business process management and the "industrialization" of software development projects. Pionit is the foothold in Germany that Lattelecom's new business directions in outsourcing and IT solutions need and have been looking for.  Valdis Lokenbahs,  formerly a major honcho at Dati, also recently joined Lattelecom. One reason he was recruited may have been his experience setting up a Dati operation in Germany and his ideas about building what he called a global software factory (assembling resources in a number of countries to optimally produce a software solution).
I predict that, by the end of 2008, Pionit (which already advertises its cooperation with Lattelecom) may become one of the first acquisitions of  the newly privatized Lattelecom.  Indeed, Nils Melngailis, Lattelecom CEO, strongly hinted that Lattelecom will grow in the future by major acquisitions, even of companies of similar size as Lattelecom at present. He was speaking at an annual conference for Lattelecom business customers and partners on September 19.

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