News In Brief
New CRM Group Formed in Atlanta. Plus: More CRM news from around the industry
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CRM Group Formed in Atlanta

An independent organizing committee of CRM consultants, analysts and high-tech journalists has formed a new membership organization called CRMSouthEast in Atlanta. The group's goal is to help businesses better understand and leverage CRM technologies and processes.

CRMSE held its inaugural meeting in May at which Pat Sullivan, SalesLogix founder and CEO, delivered the keynote address. "CRM is redefining the marketing landscape, creating a seamless interface between an organization's customer facing processes and those implemented in the back office," says Sullivan. But despite high interest in CRM, business executives remain confused by the vast number of vendors and technologies, according to CRMSE. The group hopes to foster education that will assist organizations that have implemented or are contemplating a CRM solution. Additionally, CRMSE wants to create an environment in which CRM providers can learn more about the needs and concerns of users.

CRMSE is sponsored by both the GartnerGroup and The Yankee Group. "We're very excited about seeing a southeast CRM community coalesce in the Atlanta area," says Chris Selland of The Yankee Group. "Not only is Atlanta home to significant Fortune 500 businesses with global customer bases, but also there are a number of CRM technology and consulting providers in the community. Bringing them together will allow information exchange and networking synergies that will benefit both users and providers."

The August meeting will be at The Ravinia Club on Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Atlanta. Steve Bonadio of META Group will speak. For more information, go to www.crmse.org or call Kerri Milam at 770-492-0373.
--Louise Bullis Yarmoff

Partnerships & Alliances

V2Commerce announced it has teamed with Exodus and WebEx to provide small and midsize companies with a solution for managing customer relationships on the Internet. With this agreement, V2Commerce is taking advantage of Exodus' Web hosting services. The WebEx alliance gives the V2Commerce service an interactive environment for conducting real-time communication via the Web.

Locus Dialogue, a developer of speech technologies, has joined the Clarify Solutions Alliance. The Locus Dialogue SpeechPortal platform will be used to enable access to Clarify eFrontOffice applications using natural speech, extending Web access to business users via any telephone.

PRM provider Partnerware announced an agreement with USinternetworking, an application service provider, to offer Partnerware's eXtended Enterprise 2000 application over the Usi Global Services Platform. Partnerware XE helps companies launch extranets to improve channel sales and marketing processes, facilitating collaboration between companies and their partners. The hosted solution enables companies to minimize up-front investment.

People & Promotions

Ockham Technologies has added private investor, business consultant and technology community leader Don House to its board of directors. House was elected chairman of the board. Prior to his current activities, House had a 19-year career with Management Science America (MSA), a developer of application software.

Epicor has appointed Thomas Kelly chairman, president and chief executive officer of Blaze Software, to it board of directors. Blaze is a provider of rules-based e-business software enabling adaptable and personalized interaction across multiple corporate contact points. Kelly has over 20 years experience in the technology industry.

Interface Software, developer of the InterAction CRM product for professional services firms, has filled two posts. Alec Wilson will be the company's vice president of worldwide sales and Mark Crosbie will be vice president of software development. Prior to joining Interface, Wilson was a partner at KPMG and held sales positions at Red Brick Systems, Computer Associates and Productivity Software. Crosbie was director of software development for San Francisco-based McKesson HBOC.

CRM Update

eMarketing provider MarketFirst Software has filed for an IPO. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette will act as the lead manager of the proposed offering. SG Cowen, Dain Rauscher Wessels and DLJ Direct will act as co-managers of the proposed offering.

CRM performance maximization software provider CenterForce Technologies has expanded its patent infringement lawsuit against Austin Logistics to include a second patent for CenterForce's "best time to call" software. CenterForce's suit alleges the infringement was willful and seeks to recover treble damages and attorneys' fees.

The Software Support Professional Association has selected ServiceWare.com's customer, Yamaha Corporation of America, as the winner of the first SSPA Webstar Service Award. The SSPA honors companies for outstanding online customer service and support. Yamaha uses ServiceWare.com's eService Suite for service and support across more than 350 Yamaha products.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Applix, of Westboro, Mass., announced the acquisition of Cosource.com, a collaborative reverse-auction Web site that acts as a market maker between consumers and developers of open source software. Bernie Thompson, founder and CEO of Cosource.com, will become president of Applix's Linux Division. The acquisition will enable Applix's Linux Division to continue to expand its revenue base through active partnering with Linux operating system vendors, Web portals and ASPs.

E-marketing automation vendor Annuncio announced the acquisition of privately-held brightinfo.com, a provider of online merchandising and personalization applications. Annuncio Live lets marketing professionals design, automate, personalize and analyze marketing campaigns using Internet and traditional channels. The brightinfo.com solution complements Annuncio Live by providing online merchandising and personalization capabilities for targeting offers and content to Web-site and Web storefront visitors.

Expanding its reach into the midmarket, Great Plains announced the acquisition of Solomon Software, a business management and e-business solutions provider. The combined company, which will be called Great Plains, will have more than 130,000 customers, 2,200 team members and a worldwide network of 2,000 channel partners. Solomon Software will operate as the Solomon business unit of Great Plains. Michael Rupe, current president and CEO of Solomon Software, will serve as president of the Solomon business unit.

SalesPage Technologies (formerly Unitrac Technologies) and Cyborg CDS, the SalesPage distributor in the U.K., have announced a merger. Cyborg's staff and premises will become SalesPage Technologies' European Headquarters. Anita White, managing director of Cyborg, will assume the title and responsibilities of vice president of European operations.

NCR, a provider of CRM software for the retail, financial, communications, travel and transportation and insurance industries, has announced the acquisition of Ceres Integrated Solutions, a provider of retail targeted marketing applications. The cash and stock transaction is valued at approximately $90 million. Peter Heffring, president and co-founder of Ceres, will head the new NCR division, which will be headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.

Siebel has announced an agreement to acquire OpenSite, a provider of Web-based dynamic commerce (dCommerce) solutions. OpenSite's solutions include both software and services that allow a business to conduct dCommerce on its Web site. dCommerce consists of a variety of pricing options--such as forward auctions, reverse auctions, auction networks, cross-auction portals and exchanges. OpenSite will remain in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and operate under the Siebel Systems name. Kip Frey, currently OpenSite CEO, will head up the Siebel Systems dCommerce unit.

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