Soverain Software continues a strong history of leadership and innovation in e-commerce, originating over a decade ago when Open Market, Inc. was pre-eminent in the Internet commerce software industry. Open Market’s e-commerce solutions have been implemented worldwide and by a distinguished roster of global clients, including 11 of the world’s top 14 national telephone companies, and six of the top 15 Internet domains.
Open Market was formed in 1993 when the e-commerce industry was in its infancy. The company’s founders envisioned a powerful, complete solution for managing and processing purchases securely over the Internet. The technology that would evolve into Transact was developed in 1994 and 1995 as custom software for Open Market’s original customers.
The product “OM-Transact” was initially released in May 1996, contemporaneous with Open Market’s successful initial public offering. Even then, the Internet software industry was highly competitive, and Open Market faced challenges from well-known companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, InterWorld, Netscape and Broadvision. Open Market rose to that challenge and by 1997 ranked first with a 30% share of the worldwide Internet commerce software market, three times that of the nearest competitor and more than the next five competitors combined. Open Market’s total revenues in 1997 were more than $60 million, and Open Market had a market capitalization of nearly $600 million in early 1998.
By 1999, trends in the Internet software industry led Open Market to acquire FutureTense, Inc. in order to broaden its e-commerce solution with content management functionality. In the year following the Internet downturn, Open Market’s strategy focused increasingly on publishing and content management. Transact revenues remained solid in international markets and with telecommunication companies who offered Transact to their customers as “commerce service providers.” After a company restructuring in late 2000, Open Market was acquired in 2001 by Divine, Inc.
Soverain acquired the Transact software business and its related intellectual property from Divine in 2003, and we are dedicated to developing and supporting that technology today.