Carmel firm acquired by Silicon Valley company

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A 10-person technology firm in Carmel plans to hire 25 people in the next year after being acquired by a Silicon Valley company.

Anacore Inc., which develops software for touch-screen programs, was purchased last month by Prysm Inc., a San Jose, Calif.-based company that makes big-screen video walls that use Anacore’s technology. The companies did not disclose financial terms of the deal.

“We are now able to get laser-focused on developing a great product and free of the distractions that come with the other aspects of running and growing this business,” Anacore founder and President Brandon Fischer told IBJ on Monday.

The company started in 1999 under the name Solocorp., a more general custom software developer. One well-known program the company worked on was the original version of ChaCha Search Inc., noted company founder and President Brandon Fischer.

In 2006, the company changed names and soon after unveiled the first of its two main products, MediaStation, for digital signs and interactive kiosks. The NCAA’s Hall of Champions became one of the first major customers. After a fire scorched the building in 2007, the organization installed interactive kiosks with MediaStation as part of the rebuild, Fischer said.

The product has since applied to everything from marketing display for Miller Lite to customer phone call dashboards for The Hillman Group

Anacore, a few years, expanded the touch-screen concept into the much more elaborate Synthesis platform.

The technology goes beyond that of more basic projector displays or smart boards. Touch screens let the users move and alter dozens of documents, charts, videos and other displays. Multiple computers and other mobile devices can plug into the system. And companies can also access a single display from multiple locations, as long as they have the hardware set up.

Anacore sells its Synthesis system as a massive efficiency measure, especially for major clients such as Eli Lilly and Co. that spend hundreds of hours of employees’ time in meetings trying to pull together research. The multi-site capability also eliminates needs for costs of travel and the accompanying downtime, said Darrin Brooks, Anacore’s chief marketing officer.

“You think of the issues. It’s ‘Alright, why are we travelling so much? Because we can’t get work done over distance,’” Brooks said. “So now if we get work done over distance, we start to take that travel out of it, so we can start to leverage that human capital.”

Anacore, whose Synthesis system costs up to $280,000, targets Fortune 500 companies—Lilly, Intel Corp. and Twitter, to name a few—and colleges as large as Columbia University.

“And these customers aren’t just buying one or two systems,” Fischer said. “They’re considering this for massive adoption.”

The acquisition will let Anacore focus on product development and pursue industry-specific products for its customers.

New parent Prysm, which has about 250 employees worldwide, intends to keep Anacore’s Indiana workforce in place—it was something Fischer said he was adamant about during negotiations.

“That’s a center for excellence for us,” said Prysm spokesman Tim Messegee. “Rather than try to reinvest that [in California], we want to build that up.”

The acquisition doesn’t limit Anacore’s technology to only Prysm’s screens. Part of the Indianapolis build up will also mean finding sales people to sell Anacore’s systems for other companies’ hardware.

And the company has grand, nearly futuristic ambitions for the future, in which these systems will appear in people’s homes.

“We’re kind of inventing the future interface,” Fischer said. “In five, 10 years, this could actually be on your living room wall. I don’t know. That’s crazy to think.”


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