Peregrine roadmaps turnaround in fortunes

After three years of bulking out through acquisitions, culminating in its $1bn purchase of Remedy, IT management software maker...

After three years of bulking out through acquisitions, culminating in its $1bn purchase of Remedy, IT management software maker Peregrine Systems shocked its customers last May with the sudden sacking of two top executives and the disclosure of massive accounting irregularities. 

Now Peregrine is regrouping, and has issued a product roadmap for what it pledges will be its successful turnaround as a smaller, more focused company.

Now, with its PricewaterhouseCoopers-audited financial statements released and mediated negotiations under way with its creditors, Peregrine officials said the company was ready to focus on its 3,500 customers.

The company held this month the first meetings of its newly constituted Customer Advisory Councils in North America and Europe. The goal of the organisations is to ensure that Peregrine's development is in line with customer needs. 

Peregrine also announced its product roadmap, which focuses on consolidating its technologies into two flagship software suites, ServiceCenter and AssetCenter.

Peregrine will always sell its products piecemeal to customers who prefer to purchase them that way, but the company will concentrate on increasing integration between its components and pulling them together into unified packages.

"All of our customers are focused on driving cost out of their IT budgets, and one way they're doing that is through more consolidated software," said Nicole Eagan, senior vice president of global marketing.

"For a time, ERP vendors had point solutions, and so did Peregrine. Now they're offering more integrated solutions that can be deployed modularly. We are moving toward the same sort of functionality structure."

AMR Research analyst Colleen Niven said Peregrine is on the right track. "Nobody is out there buying best-of-breed anymore. They're looking for an integrated suite."

Peregrine has managed to retain most of its customer base throughout its troubles, according to Niven.

"The kind of product Peregrine sells is not something that you can get from just anybody," said IDC senior research analyst Fred Broussard. "If you're looking for, say, a large service desk application, there's serious reasons to look at Peregrine, even with the other issues."

He added that new customers thinking of signing on with Peregrine should not be put off by the company's recent problems, but they should increase their level of due diligence before purchasing.

Broussard also recommended that existing customers take a very active role in managing their account.

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