News In Brief
Invensys To Acquire Baan; More CRM news from around the industry
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Invensys To Acquire Baan
Baan's pain could be over--or then again it could be just beginning. London-based industrial-controls and engineering group Invensys plans to acquire the ailing Dutch company for $708.8 million. At 2.85 euros per share, this is only a 9 percent premium on Baan's closing stock price before the deal was announced. The ERP/CRM vendor will continue to operate under the Baan name and will keep competing in the open market with its full range of products, says the company, but henceforth it will be part of Invensys' new Software and Systems division.

Bruce Henderson, currently the chief executive of intelligent automation at Invensys, will manage the division, with Laurens Van der Tang, currently executive vice president, research and development at Baan, becoming president of Baan upon closing. Baan's interim chief executive, Pierre Everaert, who called the transaction "an excellent outcome for shareholders, customers and employees," will go back into semiretirement when the deal closes.

Invensys CEO Allen Yurko admits his company is taking a big risk in acquiring Baan, a company that saw its last profit seven quarters ago. But he says the acquisition is "a significant step toward our stated goal of becoming an integrated software and systems provider, offering technical solutions across the entire automation and controls value chain." The 49-year-old American sees Baan as a visionary in the software field and calls the company an "excellent fit" with Invensys' existing software and systems businesses.

To restore Baan--which Yurko characterizes as being in "dire financial straits"--to profitability, Invensys plans to carry out a restructuring plan, which will cost the company $400 million over 18 months. Yurko believes this plan will return Baan to breakeven within 12 months. The plan involves cutting as many as a thousand jobs from Baan's payroll.

Invensys was formed in 1998 by the merger of British industrial groups BTR and Siebe. Since then, the company has carried out several acquisitions, bringing the acquired companies back to profitability. As Yurko says, "We know how to do this." Baan customers--including Boeing, with whom Yurko talked before announcing the deal and who he says is "pleased" with it--certainly hope so.

--Louise Bullis Yarmoff

Mergers & Acquisitions

Vancouver, Canada-based Pivotal has signed an agreement to acquire 100 percent of the common shares of Simba Digital Conversations, a division of Simba Technologies. Simba Digital Conversations is a privately held developer of eMarketing analytics solutions that give companies insight into the interests and needs of Internet customers. Its technology aggregates and analyzes all Internet customer interactions--such as e-mail messages, Web chat sessions and Web site surfing--into a single, integrated "digital conversation." This technology will be available on a stand-alone basis and integrated with the Pivotal eRelationship 2000 and Pivotal eSelling 2000 product suites.

Magic Software has completed acquisitions of two of its partners in Israel. The acquisitions are aimed at strengthening Magic's position as a provider of e-commerce and CRM solutions. Magic purchased a majority interest in Sintec Call Centers, the developer of a leading call center management solution in Israel. Magic has also acquired ITM, a company with expertise in the development and implementation of e-commerce projects.

As part of a strategy to extend its workflow process technologies into the eCRM application areas, staffware has acquired Arlington, Texas-based MarketForce. All 34 of MarketForce's employees will be retained, including the management team. They will be absorbed into a new company, staffware eCRM, which will be the Center of Excellence for staffware in CRM applications offering specialist design and integration tools and services, including adapters to link staffware with CRM products.

Partnerships & Alliances

Siebel and Quintus have announced a worldwide reseller, marketing and technology alliance. Quintus will market and sell Siebel eBusiness Applications in conjunction with Quintus eContact through Quintus' worldwide sales force and distribution channels. Siebel has licensed Quintus eContact universal queuing technology to add multimedia queuing and intelligent routing capabilities to future Siebel eBusiness Application releases. And Quintus has become a strategic Software Partner in the Siebel Alliance program, which provides for extensive joint marketing and sales programs between the companies.

Mediaplex, an advertising technology company, and ClickAction, a provider of permission-based e-mail relationship management services, have announced a marketing and technology partnership to integrate online and e-mail marketing efforts. The collaboration allows clients to deliver real-time online and e-mail messaging campaigns that are personalized for each potential customer, and also reflective of the marketer's current business status.

Swallow Information Systems and Kana Communications have formed a partnership to help companies manage greater volumes of customer complaints and inquiries over the Internet. The combined technologies will provide e-businesses with a multi-channel solution for customer contact management covering all forms of communication including Web form, e-mail, telephone, fax and letter.

Nortel Networks and IEX, a Tekelec company, have announced an alliance to integrate and cooperatively market Nortel Networks' Symposium Call Center Server with IEX's TotalNet Network Call Routing and TotalView Workforce Management, enabling companies to create virtual contact centers. This combined solution will allow the consolidation of agents in multiple locations into a single, virtual team.

CRM Update

In response to a growing demand to help place all levels of CRM-experienced marketing professionals in B2B and B2C environments, Peppers and Rogers Group has launched 1to1Jobs.com (www.1to1jobs.com), an online service that provides a one-stop, one-to-one solution for all CRM hiring and career needs. The new service is an extension of Peppers and Rogers Group's 1to1 Executive Search, a traditional executive recruitment practice that specializes in the placement of top-level executives with experience in CRM. Unlike that service, however, the new site will service marketers at all levels of salary and experience.

American Management Systems (AMS) has launched an interactive CRM benchmarking tool to highlight CRM strategies within the financial services industry and determine whether or not they have been effective. AMS's CRM Scorecard is a free, online resource to help financial institutions assess their current CRM capabilities to determine aptitudes, as well as those areas where improvement is necessary. Go to www.ams.com

Salesforce.com has announced the close of $35 million in financing, bringing total funding for salesforce.com to $52 million. Salesforce.com will use this newest round of funding to expand its product offering and grow operations domestically and abroad. New investors include Credit Suisse First Boston, WR Hambrecht & Co., Ted Waitt, CEO of Gateway, stratton Sclavos, CEO of VeriSign.

People & Promotions

Sam Gallucci has joined PeopleSoft as executive vice president. He will head PeopleSoft's CRM division. Gallucci was a founding member of one of the first CRM companies, Brock Control Systems (now Firstwave Technologies) and has been active in the CRM industry for over 15 years. According to PeopleSoft, Gallucci pioneered the design of the first mobile sales force automation product. He was then a partner and senior vice president of eLoyalty. And he also has experience at such companies at Utopia, sterling Software and IBM.

GoldMine has appointed Dana Buys as CEO. Buys is one of the founders and the chairman of GoldMine's South African parent company, Ixchange Technology Holdings. Buys started his first software company in 1981. The company, Workgroup Systems, became South Africa's first Microsoft distributor. Buys merged Workgroup's software division with two other businesses to form Ixchange in 1996. Buys has worked closely with Ixchange's U.S. operations since its acquisition of Bendata in August 1998 and of GoldMine in 1999.

Quintus announced the appointment of Paul Bartlett as chief operating officer. Bartlett will assume direct responsibility for Quintus' worldwide sales, customer services and engineering activities. He will report to Alan Anderson, Quintus chairman and CEO. Bartlett has served on Quintus' Board of Directors since 1995. He was most recently president of Hall Kinion & Associates, a public IT staffing, professional service and recruiting firm. Prior to that, he was a partner with the Sprout Group, a venture capital firm that was an original investor in Quintus.

Astea announced the appointment of Zack Bergreen as president and CEO, replacing Bruce Rusch who resigned from that position. Bergreen had been the company's CEO from its inception in 1988 until August 1999. He will remain as chairman of the Board of Directors.

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