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Unica Rounds Out Email Offering with Acquistion
The $17.8 million cash purchase of email deliverability specialist Pivotal Veracity is intended to help the marketing automation pioneer compete with best-of-breed email service providers.
Posted Jan 19, 2010
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Enterprise marketing management vendor Unica recently acquired privately-held Pivotal Veracity to enhance its enterprise and on-demand email marketing solution. According to the company, the move brings few technology overlaps to its Unica eMessage product and will therefore be an incremental improvement both financially and technology. While the announcement isn't what Shar VanBoskirk, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, would call "earth moving," she does note that it was certainly a smart move for the company - one that will allow them to be very competitive with other email service providers.

Unica's core competency has been focused on helping marketers create relevant messaging, explains Elana Anderson, the company's vice president of products. What Pivotal Veracity now brings is the ability to ensure that the messages actually get delivered. Deliverability, she says, can be broken down into three main concerns:

  • Has the email arrived in the inbox?
  • How does the email render in the client or device an individual is using to read that email?
  • What is the reputation of the sender? Are they kept off the blacklist?

In the releases of Unica 8 and on-demand Interactive Marketing solution last year, the company launched the latest version of its eMessage solution with Pivotal Veracity as the deliverability original equipment manufacturer. The decision to acquire Pivotal Veracity over competitor Return Path, which was also evaluated, was motivated from both a financial and technology-fit perspective, Andreson says.

With this acquisition, Unica is attempting to amp up its suite of marketing solutions to create a one-stop-shop for marketers that may be using Unica for campaign management, for instance, and another vendor for email. "This make their suite more best-of-breed than it has been in the past," VanBoskirk says. In addition to making it as easy as possible for marketers to get as many different online solutions as possible from Unica, she says, "this solution made their email capability much more competitive."

In terms of customers, Pivotal Veracity furthers Unica's opportunities with its existing clients namely large enterprises and marketing service providers, which includes Unica competitors that the company will continue to be responsible given the acquisition.

Anderson agrees that, from a market perspective, the acquisition isn't groundbreaking, because it doesn't take Unica into a new market segment, but that it "completes our email technology solution," she says.

VanBoskirk adds that Pivotal Veracity will bring skills and technologies Unica did not have, including:

  • message auditing;
  • deliverability;
  • Internet service provider management;
  • experience with varying state or country email regulations.

As the company continues to build out its enterprise offering, Anderson adds, "we've always got our nose and ears to the ground."

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