Last week’s announcement of Appirio’s $500 million acquisition by Indian IT services company Wipro was a surprising and welcome bit of news for the Midwest tech community, given that it shied away from discussions of a sale as recently as April of this year. With a customer base that includes global companies like Coca-Cola, Home Depot and eBay, Appirio has built a stable and growing workforce in Indianapolis. As a part of Wipro, Appirio can extend its already considerable reach into the enterprise, and offer true competition to consulting firms like Accenture and Deloitte.
But this acquisition also signals a shift in how attractive Indianapolis has become to the industry. While growth for Indy tech companies has been relatively slow this year, it’s also been steady; and global enterprises like Emarsys and Determine, Inc. have moved their headquarters or established offices in the greater Indy area. Appirio’s acquisition points toward a trend that could guide the trajectory of growth in the region.
Mining for Gold
As the tech industry moves into a variety of areas throughout the country, companies are viewing the Midwest as an increasingly viable option for both establishing and expanding their businesses. It’s a trend that’s given local companies of all sizes the opportunity to partner with organizations across the globe. Interactive Intelligence, recently acquired for $1.4 billion by West Coast company Genesys, is just one example of how tech companies have tapped into the potential in the area. And a commitment to keeping offices here – the Indianapolis office will have more Genesys employees than any other company location – ensures that enterprise organizations can make a real financial impact.
Commitment to Steady Growth
Of course, not every Indy startup will become as large as Interactive Intelligence; but the rising tide of an acquisition can lift many boats. ExactTarget’s acquisition by Salesforce in 2013 resulted in dozens of its alumni building startups or joining growing tech companies, and that ripple effect is sure to continue as more companies choose the area. For instance, Salesforce’s commitment to adding as many as 800 jobs in Indianapolis ensures that Salesforce and companies like it have a vested interest in developing talent in the area.
There are few enterprise-level companies in the Indy area like Appirio, but as consolidation through partnerships and acquisitions accelerates, Indy’s influence on the tech industry might continue to strengthen. It’s an encouraging sign for both the companies that settle in the area and the employees who work for them.