Help/Systems

New Product Lines Inspire Growth for a Successful Niche-Market Leader

Summary

Five acquisitions expanded Help/Systems’ geographic footprint and product offering, which resulted in significant cost savings and cross-sell opportunities.

Background

Headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Help/Systems is a leading provider of data center automation, security and business intelligence solutions for IBM i, Unix, Linux and Windows operating systems. At the time of its sale to Audax, Help/Systems provided automated operations and business intelligence software for the IBM System i market. Its products were originally designed to make the System i more reliable, cost-effective and productive by minimizing human operator involvement and enhancing access to valuable data.

Challenge

While it was clear that Help/Systems had leading technology and a solid customer base, there was a perception that the IBM iSeries hardware installed base was shrinking in favor of new lower-maintenance server technologies.  After significant due diligence, the Audax team determined that not only was the turnover from iSeries going to be slow, but also the opportunity to grow Help/Systems through add-on acquisition and product-line expansion was excellent.

Audax acquired Help/Systems in September 2007 and subsequently sourced and integrated five add-on acquisitions, introduced three new product lines, and grew the company through international expansion. The management team co-invested alongside Audax and the CEO of Help/Systems continued to lead the company throughout Audax’s tenure.

The Audax Difference

Audax Private Equity was well positioned to increase value at Help/Systems because of its market vision and demonstrated ability to identify and execute strategic add-on acquisitions quickly. The five add-ons brought breadth to the product line by adding security and cross-platform functions and significantly increased the customer base to incorporate international and SMB markets.

Help/Systems now delivers products and services that help address powerful IT growth trends including an increased focus on automating IT management, virtualization, the rapid growth of data that requires processing and analyzing, and the increased need for security and network management.


The Audax Private Equity team took the time to understand our business. They understood our vision and were able to accelerate growth and build value. They are very good at identifying companies and making transactions happen quickly. It was a pleasure to have them as part of the team.”

  • Janet Dryer CEO, Help/Systems

Janet Dryer and the Help/Systems management team did a stellar job working with us to build the company through add-on acquisitions and product diversification. These initiatives positioned Help/Systems to become a leading provider of systems management solutions.”

  • Hiren Mankodi Managing Director, Audax Group