I don’t mean to be cruel, but I do have to wonder what went through Compuware’s mind this month when it announced it is transforming itself into Compuware 2.0. With the new tagline for the company, “We make IT rock around the world”, you would be forgiven for thinking the firm thinks it is the new Apple or Nintendo, not a firm that does mainframe software, application and IT service management, IT portfolio management and services. The company has even chosen a set of guitar plectrums to jazz up its new logo.
I’m all for companies reinventing themselves. I greatly enjoyed it when E.piphany, after years successfully riding the dot-com hype in the CRM market in the late nineties, eventually dropped the dot to become plain old Epiphany. At its peak it bought Octane for $3.2bn. By July 2003 it was bought by SSA, its quarterly loss of $9.4m out of all proportion with its sales of just $22m, dot or no dot.
But visit Compuware’s site www.wemakeitrockaroundtheworld.com and you will see what I mean: it’s all a bit full on. Comparisons with Led Zeppelin. Guitars. Mucho rock and/or roll.
Worse still, the company seems more downbeat about its former self than it has any right to be. COO Bob Paul is featured saying that, “We have limited brand equity outside our client base and our corporate identity is frankly none existent.” Having survived to reach its 35th anniversary this year, and with over 23,000 customers including 80% of the Fortune 500, does it really matter if it’s only well known by its own customers?
I’m hoping to talk to Bob Paul next month to find out what Compuware 2.0 really means, and to find out whose idea it was to make guitar plectrums part of the company’s new identity. Rock on.