I was wondering why the VCG guys were looking so forlorn at the staffing conference last week.  

Bond International is buying them for a reported $9 million, that is if you count almost $8 million in debt that needs to be paid off.

When I went to my first staffing show in 1995 searching for staffing software, VCG (then Caldwell-Spartin) was the gorilla.  Big booth.  Talented sales people.  An FBO (front-back office) that ran bullet-proof on not unpopular midrange servers.

VCG (Caldwell) was the best choice at the time but the Manpower operations we were working with needed electronic invoicing features ASAP, so converting them to another platform was not in the cards.

My next contact with VCG was in 1997 when TempWorks first exhibited at the annualimage staffing conference.  Unlike many of the players on the software side, the VCG (Caldwell) guys were super congenial.  Two of their guys even lent me a screw driver and helped me hoist the banners on my puny booth that stood next to their gigantic one.

Cordial as relationships were I didn’t follow them much after that, only learning second-hand about a “merger” with a private-equity backed dotcom during the internet bubble.    Nevertheless the impression was always there of cordial professionals.

Private equity.  I’ve seen it so many times.  Once the money-men get involved, all the focus is on the bottom-line.  All the attention goes to the money-men and communicating with them instead of with clients or developers.

Commenting on the acquisition, Steve Russell, Chief Executive of Bond International Software writes on the VCG website  “Clearly this acquisition is an exciting moment in our company’s history and will allow us to secure ourselves a highly enviable position in the staffing software market, from both a US perspective and internationally.

The clear synergies [emphasis mine] between the two companies and their respective offerings provide us with the confidence that no changes to brands, products, company structure or delivery of the products are required – clearly a huge advantage in any acquisition.”

Synergies?   Private equity loves synergies.

Tags: Staffing Software, Technology, Bond, VCG, Acquisitions, Steve Russell