24 April 2003 | Robin Parker
Agile Software has extended its reach in the product lifecycle management market with the purchase of ProductFactory.
The deal allows Agile to offer its customers a hosted environment in which they can manage project data such as timeline and product change information.
The purchase is the culmination of a partnership that began when Agile started using ProductFactory's programme and portfolio management software in July last year.
But in a report, e-commerce analysts Gartner warned that while Agile had the means to enter the product portfolio market, the size of the deal means it may not build on this potential.
"Agile may bury the potential value of ProductFactory," the report said.
"Investors won't pressure Agile's management to prove its value, and tactical priorities could overwhelm its good intentions to capitalise on the purchase."
Agile has also teamed up with Adobe Systems to make it easier to share, review and archive PDF files - portable document formats that can be read by anyone with Adobe's software - from a variety of sources along the supply chain.
In particular, the companies will target firms that rely heavily on outsourcing but want to collaborate on, control and manage intellectual property with their supply chain partners.