Joining in the rush to offer hosted CRM solutions, Clarify has followed Siebel, SalesLogix and numerous other vendors and partnered with an external application service provider (ASP). Clarify recently announced that Breakaway Solutions of Boston will host its eFrontOffice suite. According to Charles Born, Clarify's director of service marketing, the company's decision to seek an external ASP is in response to increased demand from companies with limited budgets. "Most mid-market or small companies get frustrated," he says. "They want to get the benefits of a Global 1000 [company], but they can never really afford it." The Clarify/Breakaway service will range in price from $500 to $1,200 per user per month, depending on the number of seats.
- CRM vendor Vantive recently announced that KPMG, an accounting, tax and consulting firm, has become a Platinum member in the Vantive Alliance Program. The two companies will jointly assess, plan, design and deliver the Vantive Enterprise suite for the e-customer. Vantive and KPMG have a long-standing relationship that this agreement enhances. In the past, they have teamed to deliver Vantive QuickConnect for PeopleSoft, which enables the integration between the two solutions. Currently, KPMG is implementing Vantive applications at several other sites and is concurrently developing a Vantive practice within its own organization.
- Rubric, a provider of e-Marketing applications, and Tessera Enterprise Systems, a CRM consulting and integration firm, recently announced that they have formed an integration partnership. Tessera will implement Rubric's best-of-breed e-Marketing application for clients seeking such capabilities.
- Norbert Technologies has entered into a two-year agreement with Compaq to distribute and provide integration services for Norbert's CorWorks software. CorWorks will become part of Compaq's Marketing Automation for CRM set. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
- Siebel Systems and IBM recently announced a significant extension of their global alliance. IBM Global Services has become a Siebel strategic Alliance Partner to deliver support services for Siebel Front Office applications. To provide this support, IBM Global Services is forming a worldwide team within its CRM Services for Siebel.
- Canadian call center operators Phonettix Intelecom and The Minacs Group have recently merged. The combined company, called Minacs Worldwide, is the twelfth-largest publicly traded company of its kind in North America. Minacs Worldwide employs about 2,100 people and operates call centers in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Michigan. On a pro forma basis, the combined company had Cdn $65 million in sales during fiscal 1998 and over Cdn $20 million in sales during the first quarter of 1999.
- CitX, a privately held Internet e-commerce/e-business company, has acquired a 15-percent equity stake in iReactor Technology Group (iTG), a software development company specializing in data mining and intelligent, relationship-management marketing technologies for e-commerce. CitX says the partnership's initial focus will be on combining the two companies' technologies to offer businesses the ability to automatically predict and profile the personal habits of consumers as they use the Internet or traditional point-of-sale systems. A pseudonym system will protect consumers' identity, according to the company.
- CAS Americas, a CRM software provider for the consumer products industry, is developing the next generation of collaborative planning processes for the manufacturing and retail industries. Using Extricity Software's family of business-to-business integration products, CAS will develop a new class of Consumer Products Requirements Planning (CPRP) processes to be used between consumer products manufacturers and retailers. The company says the CPRP processes will manage all aspects of the manufacturer/retailer relationship, linking the front and back offices and integrating users' e-commerce strategies.
- Firstwave Technologies, an Atlanta-based provider of Web-based CRM systems, has procured $1.5 million in venture capital funding in a private placement of 500,000 shares of the company's common stock. This investment brings Firstwave's total of new equity investments over the last five months to $3.5 million.
- Claritas has licensed iMarket's desktop data access, user interface and matching technologies and will incorporate them into a new business-to-business market analysis product, BusinessIQ. BusinessIQ allows sales and marketing professionals, at their desktop, to match their own business files to the Claritas Business-Facts database of more than 10 million businesses. The software can help users find cross-selling opportunities and identify what types of companies are likely to become repeat customers. Business-Facts data is refreshed quarterly and runs on a multi-user network.
- Call center software vendor Quintus will join forces with Net Perceptions, a provider of real-time personalization solutions, to offer real-time recommendation technology in conjunction with CRM contact center software. Net Perceptions' Recommendation Engine interacts with customers on a one-to-one, real-time basis, automatically gathering data about their individual wants, needs and interests. The engine uses this data to predict an individual's preferences and to make specific recommendations on products and services. Quintus' eContact product suite routes calls and manages customer interaction across all forms of electronic and voice-based media. Together, the companies will be able to synchronize selling techniques between a Web site and a call center agent. Customer information from Quintus' eContact data repository can be linked to Net Perceptions' Recommendation Engine, which, the companies say, will make the real-time recommendation process even more targeted and effective.
- Siebel Systems has signed up the LGS Group as a strategic Consulting Partner, the highest level of partnership Siebel offers. LGS, a Canadian information and technology consulting company, will train over 300 consultants on Siebel Front Office applications. LGS is Siebel's first strategic Consulting Partner to be headquartered in Canada.
- Web-based CRM vendor Onyx and the consulting company BDO Seidman have formed a strategic alliance whereby BDO will deliver implementation services for the full suite of Onyx customer relationship management solutions. BDO's certified teams of professionals and proven methodology speed up customer implementation, the partners say.
- Vantive has become the first CRM vendor to be certified to integrate to PeopleSoft's new Enterprise Integration Points for CRM. Vantive QuickConnect will allow out-of-the-box integration between Vantive's front office applications and PeopleSoft's ERP platform. Vantive QuickConnect based on Active Software's ActiveWorks Integration System is built on a commercial Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) platform, which the company says makes it easily customizable. KPMG, an accounting firm with experience implementing PeopleSoft, Vantive and Active software, served as a consultant on the project.