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Staffing Software Vendors Settle Legal Feud

Apr 27, 2009
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

The lawsuit between two Eagan, Minn. staffing software and services vendors has been dismissed.

Neither TempWorks nor its upstart competitor Avionte would discuss the terms of the settlement, though John Long, Avionte founder and president, said in an email, “Can’t disclose any terms, though I’d like to. The result was as expected and we are pleased with it.”

TempWorks CEO Gregg Dourgarian said about the same thing: “We’re delighted with the outcome.”

The two companies sued each other last year, with Avionte claiming in a state court lawsuit that TempWorks was badmouthing it to clients and was sending them letters demanding they stop using Avionte software. TempWorks countersued in federal court, charging Avionte had pirated parts of its staffing software.

All the players know each other, and though Eagan is a Minneapolis suburb, it’s small enough that the principals might run into each other. Long was previously president of TempWorks, and one of the company’s original employees. His partner and Avionte Chief Technology Officer Phi Ngo had been a senior analyst at TempWorks. Sandeep Acharya, chief operations officer, had been TempWorks director of consulting services. And Samar Basnet, chief software architect at Avionte, had been a senior software analyst for TempWorks.

Whatever the agreement, neither company apparently had to give up products or clients. Both companies told us they are continuing to sell their front- and back-office software and other services. “Avionte is definitely continuing to sell our products and business,” says Long.

TempWorks, which broadened its offerings a few years ago, has been moving strongly into payroll services, according to Dourgarian.

“We got a ton of business taking customers away from ADP,” he says, attributing it to the economy which has forced companies to cut expenses. TempWorks, he explains, provides equivalent payroll servicing, but at much less than what ADP charges. And, he points out, it integrates with the TempWorks staffing software.

Avionte’s CEO, meanwhile, says the company’s software business “has been great” (tripled year over year last year, doubled so far this year).

Avionte was founded in 2006; TempWorks in 1994.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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