Reflection on the Datatel SGHE Merger
I think the shock of Datatel absorbing Sungard Higher Education, SGHE, has worn off enough for a short post. OK, it wasn’t really Datatel acquiring SGHE, it was Hellman & Friedman LLC who owns Datatel acquiring SGHE. But no matter how you present it, concerns abound. Concerns about the future for both Datatel and Banner customers. I am not affected since we are a PeopleSoft shop but my concerns are for Higher Education in general. This acquisition merger dominates a significant portion of institutions of higher ed and I don’t think it spells advantage or relief for any of them. And this will just put more stress on our industry.
At first word of the acquisition I immediately flashed back to when I heard that the holder of our old ERP had been acquired by a similar investment capital takeover. And all my fears that arose from that event have come true, however, we were lucky enough to make a move to a new ERP solution based on current software design and a stable holding company (Oracle). Some of the customers affected by the Datatel Banner merger may be fortunate enough to escape but now is not a good time for most to be venturing into that type of a change or investment. So it is truly unfortunate for all of higher education that so many of our institutions will not be given the opportunity to benefit from current ERP development that is critical now for dealing with the changing economic landscape. Unfortunate indeed that higher education becomes a pawn of financial greed. Maybe this merger should not be allowed. An investment firm controlling the lifeline of more then half of our institutions of Higher Education may not be good for our country.