The accountancy software market consolidated further last week when Freecom.net shelled out £32m for an 80 per cent controlling stake in Systems Union.
The deal was Freecom.net's second major buy of the year, following its purchase of Pegasus in January for £52m, and fuels its aspirations of becoming a leading supplier of hosted and managed software services.
Meanwhile, Pegasus plans to meet its top 100 partners on 19 May and rumours have been circulating that the vendor will cut-off its smaller resellers and hand over their customer lists.
Chris Leak, commercial director at Pegasus, said that this is absolutely untrue. "Everybody is just nervous after the takeover," he said.
Hugh Scantlebury, indirect sales manager at Systems Union, claimed that the resellers of Systems Union's Sun Systems product, which number about 200 worldwide, were surprised by the Freecom acquisition.
"The plan will continue for Sun Systems to be hosted in a managed data centre, which will be sold on to a customer by a reseller," he said. "The reseller will receive a margin for this and will be able to add delivery and project services."
Speaking about the hosting model, John Tate, chairman at Systems Union reseller Tate Bramald, said: "The jury is really out as to whether it will take off, and just offering an outsourced accountancy package isn't enough for most businesses.
"There are too many hurdles to make it a good solution, except maybe in a few niche areas."
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