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January 4, 2005
Online holiday sales climb dramatically; Autobytel and ChannelNet expand their technology partnership; TechTeam Global makes another government services acquisition; and more.
Posted Jan 4, 2005
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NEWS According to a new report compiled by Nielsen NetRatings in conjunction with Goldman, Sachs and Harris Interactive, online holiday shopping climbed by a dramatic 25 percent over 2003, to more than $23 billion for all online, nontravel expenditures. Established online shopping categories led the overall leaderboard, with clothing, toys and video games, and consumer electronics leading the way. Jewelry led all categories in growth, more than doubling 2003's performance, to $1.9 billion. TechTeam Global, a business-process and IT-services company, announced the purchase of Sytel, an IT solutions outsourcer focusing on network security and enterprise infrastructure. Sytel logs about $30 million in services revenue annually, largely derived from government clients. TechTeam has indicated it plans a major push into the professional government-services market in 2005, having purchased last year another outsourcing firm, Digital Support Corporation, which specializes in the public sector. MAPICS, a developer of enterprise software for the manufacturing industry, has signed Adjoined Consulting to its technology partner roster. The pair has already secured at least one customer win in the leisure manufacturing space, and plans to capitalize on a joint expertise at the top of the supply chain and renewed interest in optimization and outsourcing among manufacturing firms. CUSTOMER WINS Autobytel and ChannelNet have extended their existing technology partnership to incorporate the Web Control Internet Sales Management tool from Autobytel's Applied Virtual Vision subsidiary into ChannelNet's eRetail Advantage suite for auto dealers. Web Control is already in use by some dealerships with an online presence, and is designed to manage customers who initially visit the dealership online, but it extends to cover the entire sales process, including walk-in and face-to-face transactions. Salesforce.com has been selected by Fios to provide a sales-and-service tracking platform. Fios provides legal research and discovery services to corporate clients, and employed the sforce integration toolkit from Salesforce.com to tie the tracking system into a business process package already in place at the company. The integrated platform allows Fios sales staff and client services staffers to access current customer data, pending work orders, and customer service status from any browser-based device.
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