What Does the Thoma Bravo Acquisition of Apttus Mean for Businesses?


It’s been a busy few weeks in the commercial relationship software space. On Tuesday, private equity firm Thoma Bravo took a majority stake in Apttus. This news follows the acquisition of SpringCM by DocuSign just a few weeks prior. These deals point to the rapid maturing of the quote-to-cash (QTC) and contract lifecycle management (CLM) sectors.

It’s fascinating to watch the maneuverings of the various players in this vibrant marketplace, but what does it all mean for businesses?

The answer is – maybe not that much. Apttus focuses on automating the CPQ and CLM processes within the larger Quote to Cash space. SpringCM makes document generation and contract management software. Both vendors tackle specific, though important, parts of an increasingly urgent task facing enterprises: building a comprehensive understanding of customer relationships.

At Pramata, our take is bit different. Our focus—front and center and always—is revenue. We help large B2B enterprises eliminate the revenue leakage that results from the gaping holes between CPQ, CLM and billing systems. Even with all of the modern tech systems inside the enterprise—and indeed, to some extent because of the complexity of those systems—we see many companies struggling to capitalize on the full value of their contracted commercial relationships. That includes the financial value of those relationships as they stand today, and, perhaps more importantly, over the entire relationship lifecycle. Companies are leaking millions, often tens of millions, of dollars in revenue each year—some estimates put it at 5 percent of EBITDA on average. It’s a massive, chronic problem, and companies are waking up to the fact that they must tackle it.

We believe that as companies continue to advance their Q2C deployments, they will need to extend their investments to address the inability of sales, renewals, and customer success teams to fully understand their existing commercial relationships. Customer facing resources need to have all the details on pricing, products, and service levels available to them in a way that enables them to drive upsell, renewal, billing, and customer satisfaction objectives. This isn't about process automation—it’s about optimizing actions across the revenue lifecycle.

I predict this won’t be the last of the consolidation in the commercial relationship space as the market continues to heat up. We at Pramata will be keeping a close eye on developments, but that won’t distract us from our laser focus on making sure that our customers hold on to every dollar of their hard-earned revenue.