CRM update
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Closing the Loop

With the acquisition of Reston, Va.-based Paragren Technologies, Siebel Systems moves into a new space: high-volume database marketing. In the past, high-volume systems existed on a stand-alone basis, sorting large mailing lists for such customers as banks and catalog merchandisers. Siebel now claims to make these sophisticated marketing techniques more available to companies across all industries. Previously a wholly owned subsidiary of APAC Customer Services, Paragren provides campaign management capabilities with its One-By-One suite. Together, Paragren One-by-One and Siebel Marketing will allow companies to access information from multiple sources, analyze and segment the data, execute targeted campaigns and monitor performance. By merging the products, the two vendors are creating a fully integrated marketing automation application, says Dan Lackner, former COO and general manager of Paragren, and currently vice president of marketing automation systems at Siebel. "We can now deliver the closed-loop, out-of-the-box marketing automation our customers have been asking for," he says.

Evolve Software received $25 million in venture capital during its mezzanine round of funding. Investors included Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, SunAmerica Ventures, Citicorp, Whitman Capital and previous investors Sierra Ventures and Altos Ventures. Evolve's ServiceSphere, a full-service chain solution for the Professional Services Automation market, has generated more than $10 million in the six months since its launch. Evolve plans to use the investment capital to finance further product development and to expand sales to large- and mid-market service firms.

Braun Consulting, an Internet professional services provider, has acquired Emerging Technologies Consultants (ETCI), a professional services firm specializing in CRM solutions, for approximately $27 million in cash and stock. ETCI, a privately held firm, has strategic alliances with Clarify, Siebel Systems, Vantive and Broadbase Software.

Exchange Applications and PricewaterhouseCoopers are co-developing interfaces to link Exchange's neXtricity software to customer-facing applications from vendors such as Siebel Systems and Broadvision. The first public demonstration of neXtricity, a real-time, multi-channel decision-making software for eCRM, took place at a trade show in Orlando, Fla., late last year. Companies can gain a complete view of all channels' customer activity and use that information to make real-time decisions.

A provider of financial software for mid-sized businesses, Foresight Solutions has partnered with SalesLogix, a provider of front office and e-commerce software. The partnership will enable Foresight to provide a range of comprehensive solutions, particularly to distributors and manufacturers. Foresight has also opened a Boston office to be headed by Gunnar Larsson. Larsson will direct Foresight's marketing proposals for SalesLogix solutions.

In other SalesLogix news, the company has also partnered with Glyphica, an intra- and extranet portal solution provider. Glyphica will provide a private-labeled version of its InfoPortal product line, allowing users of Interact.com, the new SalesLogix Web-based mix of content, commerce and community services targeting for sales forces.

Remedy has added advanced customer training, in the form of Action Request System applications, to its Skilled Professional program. Designed for Remedy customers who want to learn more about developing AR System applications, the program is offered in Pleasanton, Calif., and Columbia, Md. A Bracknell, UK, center is scheduled to start offering the program this year.

e-assist.net, a full-service provider of Internet-based customer care management services, has named David Dembitz as senior vice president of sales and marketing. The former AboveNet sales and marketing executive will lead the launch of the company's eCRM solutions and services. Dembitz will also be in charge of growing sales operations, increasing revenue streams and establishing leading market share.

David Blackledge was appointed vice president of sales of SEDONA, which develops and markets enterprise scale Internet-based application solutions that enable organizations to quickly visualize new and changing customer information, thus enhancing the customer relationship and increasing satisfaction and retention.

Novell Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Sheri Anderson has joined the board of directors of Remedy. A provider of adaptable solutions for e-business, Remedy offers deployments for IT service management, CRM and e-procurement.

Yuval Scarlat, vice president of technical services and support for Mercury Interactive, a provider of Internet application testing solutions, has been named to the advisory board of the Software Support Professionals Association (SSPA).

Positioning itself as a midmarket provider of CRM solutions for five midwest and western cosmopolitan markets, Business FX has changed its name to Customer FX. The company says it has implemented more users of SalesLogix and GoldMine than any other reseller.

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