To understand why Corum has sold (and continues to sell) more software companies than anyone, it helps to learn a little of the history. The company started in 1985, mentoring software companies with strategic and business modeling advice, utilizing a proprietary Strategic Audit Process. The Audit surveyed users, distribution, as well as confidential interviews with staff and management utilizing the latest psychographic tools. Findings were correlated with best practices. Our tech business modeling principles were the basis for the book "Power Planning: How to Structure Your Software Company for Success".
The Audit covered the building blocks of software, sales and support – money, marketing, management, and manufacturing. Upon completion, real world strategic and operational recommendations were made to management and investors. Corum, staffed by successful former tech CEOs, would then help them implement recommendations through a 90 Day Action Plan process.
The greatest needs from the report were typically around money and marketing. Predictably, many of these companies needed to raise venture capital or merge with a larger partner in order to fully commercialize their technology worldwide.
Because of the trust built through that process, we were repeatedly asked by clients for transaction counsel. Timing, valuation, process – and who should they hire as an advisor. We extensively surveyed the M&A advisory service options around the world for our clients (many of whom were international). As successful businessmen, technologists, strategists and business model experts, we were very disappointed at what we found. So were our clients.
It's important to realize that you as a company founder or CEO go through this process only once or twice in a lifetime, and you should work with someone who has more experience with it, just like your acquirer does. That was specifically critical for us with Corum as we still had to run our day-to-day business.