Software companies Kana Communications and Broadbase Software merged in April forming a new company that claims to be the largest enterprise relationship management company in the industry.
Kana, a provider of enterprise relationship management solutions, and Broadbase, a provider of customer interaction solutions, announced the agreement just days after each reported less-than-expected earnings for the first quarter. The new company, called Kana Software, will bring together Kana solutions, such as the e-business platform, the Kana Service contact center and cross-channel workflow solution, with the Broadbase Knowledge Server, the Broadbase e-marketing suite and the Broadbase Analytics for marketing, commerce and service.
"We're bringing together two companies that are very strong in ERM," says Michael Bettua, vice president, corporate communications for Kana. We've competed before on situations. Now we're saying, 'We're going to do this together.'"
The new company will have a customer base of 1,300. Chuck Bay, from Broadbase, will serve as president and CEO, and Jay Wood, from Kana, will become chairman of the board of directors. The headquarters will shift to Broadbase's Menlo Park, Calif. location.
Steve Robbins, director of product marketing for Broadbase, says the merger will drive down expenses, pull down revenue and provide a great benefit to the bottom line. "Both companies are very complimentary. Kana brings its e-business platform and Broadbase brings its knowledge base and sales analytics. By combing the two, it's deep in functionality, but broad. Analytics can be applied to other areas, such as customer service, rather than just marketing."
Harry Watkins, research director in the CRM practice at Aberdeen, says this merger works for a variety of reasons, including Kana's need for cash, and the companies' complimentary product lines. "They're coming from different points of strength for knowledge access and a full range of functionality," Watkins says. "They have strong analytics, an e-business platform, messaging and handling capabilities. It's a very compelling, strategic merger."
Boston-based Xchange, a customer interaction software vendor, has expanded its presence in the Asia Pacific region with two new offices located in Singapore and South Korea, supporting a total of 24 clients.
Precision e-mail marketer e-Dialog, of Lexington, Mass., has opened a London office to serve the growing demand for online direct marketing services in Europe. Simone Barratt, former group director of online marketing at Zentropy Partners, has been named UK managing director, and will oversee the operation providing e-mail marketing services to the European Community and building e-Dialog's international presence.
PEOPLE & PROMOTIONS
Randolph, N.J.-based Enablix has named Alan R. Shandler vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He will oversee finance and administration functions, including HR and legal, as well as executive administration of the company's customer call center. For the last six years, Shandler worked as vice president of finance and administration/chief financial officer for Chick Master International, a poultry equipment manufacturer.
Beverly Ulbrich has joined RightNow Technologies, a Bozeman, Mont.-based provider of Web customer service solutions, as vice president of business development. Ulbrich is responsible for developing strategic relationships for RightNow and establishing the company's new Bay area office. Prior to joining RightNow, Ulbrich served as president of BJU Consulting Services, a CRM consulting firm she founded in 1997 that specializes in strategic business, partnering and marketing consulting.
NuEdge Systems, a provider of marketing automation solutions to the retail, catalog and financial services industries, has named Gary Bakker chief technology officer. In this newly created position, Bakker directs the company's product development and technology strategy and manages a team of software development engineers who design and develop advanced solutions for CRM. Bakker joins the company from eFunds, where he was vice president of software development and managed more than 400 IT professionals.
Westminster, Colo.-based MatchLogic, an interactive marketing solutions company, has appointed Mike Oldham chief operating officer. Oldham will implement and manage MatchLogic's day-to-day strategic operations. Oldham will assume responsibility for sales, account management, product management, engineering and operations for the company's customer acquisition, Internet ad serving and relationship marketing services. Most recently, Oldham served as chief operating officer of Columbine JDS Systems (now Encoda Systems), a supplier of B2B technology solutions for broadcast television and radio, cable MSO and advertising agency clients.
Responsys, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based provider of optimized interactive marketing solutions, has appointed Amanda Barber to vice president of business development. Barber is charged with defining the strategy to extend the reach of the Responsys solution via technology partnerships, influencer partnerships and partner marketing programs. She will help to direct the company's operational and business strategy. Prior to Responsys, Barber worked as vice president of corporate accounts at global market research firm AC Nielsen before her promotion to a national sales role.
PARTNERSHIPS & ALLIANCES
Microsoft has formed a partnership with Internet commerce company Commerce One. Under the agreements of the deal, Microsoft said it would lend Commerce One $25 million to help the software company develop two products that will allow businesses using Microsoft's software to more easily integrate with online exchanges powered by Commerce One. Commerce One would deliver two joint products later this year designed to work with Microsoft's BizTalk server product, which lets companies integrate their disparate applications both internally and externally with their partners and
DataFlux, a Cary, N.C.-based developer of data quality control tools that increase the usability of corporate database assets, and YellowBrick Solutions, a provider of real-time, multichannel marketing campaign solutions, have aligned to take advantage of cross-marketing opportunities throughout the world. YellowBrick targets its solutions primarily at companies that have established database-marketing capabilities in vertical markets such as financial services, telecommunications and retail. DataFlux targets companies and organizations that need to enhance the quality of their data. As a key part of this alliance, DataFlux and YellowBrick have agreed to host workshops to cross-train their sales teams in the usage of each other's software systems.
Sybase, an enterprise-wide e-business hub in Emeryville, Calif., and Oncontact, a CRM software developer in Cedarsburg, Wis., have partnered. Oncontact will serve as a premier provider of CRM software within the Sybase Enterprise Portal (EP), which, via the Web, brings together customers, partners, suppliers and employees. EP provides channels with personalized, integrated access to data and technology applications critical to their business performance. The Sybase/ Oncontact Software partnership enhances EP with a fully integrated CRM solution that allows users to manage sales, marketing and customer service. Oncontact Software and Sybase will co-market and co-sell the integrated portal and CRM package.
Nortel Networks and PricewaterhouseCoopers plan to jointly develop, implement and promote a network of customer contact centers for outsourcing of B2B and B2C interactions under a strategic alliance. The two are combining Nortel's Internet and communications solutions with the end-to-end process capabilities of PricewaterhouseCoopers. The customer contact centers will be based on a central, integrated platform for Web and voice-enabled customer interactions. This platform will feature Nortel Networks Clarify eFrontOffice, a CRM application suite for routing, integrating and consolidating customer interactions; Nortel Networks Periphonics IVR system; and Nortel Networks Symposium Call Center. The two companies also plan to upgrade the centers over time with technology to service customer needs, and to showcase joint products and services.