News in Brief
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Mergers & Acquisitions
eGain Communications and Inferenceannounced a definitive agreement under which eGain will acquire Inference in exchange for common stock. The acquisition brings together eGain's strength in Web-based, multi-channel customer communications with Inference's customer profiling and contact center support capabilities. As a result, eGain will more than double the size of its global sales, integration and development organization and customer base. It will also expand its European business.

E.piphany, a provider of analytic, campaign management and personalization applications, has signed an agreement to acquire Octane Software, a provider of customer care applications for sales, service and support. The combination establishes a Web-based solution that coordinates and unifies all inbound and outbound interactions with customers in real time. E.piphany will issue about 12.8 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Octane, or approximately 26.5 percent of the combined company.

People & Promotions
FirePond appointed Larry Weber to its board of directors. Chairman and CEO of Weber Public Relations Worldwide, the ninth largest PR firm in the world, Weber has long experience counseling a variety of clients and is identified by FirePond as a visionary in the converging worlds of technology and communications. "Larry has gained a reputation in the technology world for out-of-the-box thinking," says Klaus Besier, FirePond president and CEO.

CRM Update
Partner relationship management player Webridge, based in Portland, Ore., has filed for an IPO with the Securities Exchange Commission. The offering will be managed by FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Banc of America Securities.

Andersen Consulting and Montgomery Research have joined forces to publish a book and Web site that examines how today's e-economy is transforming the nature of relationships companies have with their customers. The book, titled Defying the Limits: Reaching New Heights in Customer Relationship Management, is a collection of the latest thinking and a review of current technologies from 70 contributors. Go to www.crmproject.com

SalesLogix has donated products to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative headquartered in New York City. With assistance from computer consulting company Infinity Info Systems, IAVI will deploy the CRM software to streamline communication among its network of staff, researchers, consultants, advisors and partner organizations around the world. In other SalesLogix news, the company has partnered with Live Wire to create student Relationship Management (SRM), a product designed to help institutions of higher education deliver personalized services to students, parents, faculty, administration and alumni.

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