January 20, 2005

IN THE NEWS Atos Origin has agreed to buy
Contrado Technologies from Dutch telecom firm KPN. Contrado was KPN's CRM development subsidiary, largely focused on developing management software for telecommunications operators, including KPN. Atos says it will retain 270 Contrado employees and has signed a five year services agreement with KPN to extend their existing IT outsourcing relationship. Siebel has finalized its acquisition of billing systems developer edocs. A cash payment of $115 million was made to shareholders in edocs, with future payments contingent on certain edocs performance benchmarks in 2006. Siebel says it intends to blend the billing and service elements of edocs' technology into its core CRM suite. The takeover of edocs is also expected to help Siebel expand its range of online self-service offerings. Raising the stakes of its pitch to secure PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards customers, SAP has purchased TomorrowNow, a technology firm specializing in extended support services for PeopleSoft and JDE applications. TomorrowNow has received a great deal of attention in the midst of uncertainty following the Oracle acquisition of PeopleSoft, as the company offered support and maintenance services that directly competed with the annual support contracts offered by PeopleSoft. SAP has already begun contacting customers of its own software and PeopleSoft or JDE applications to encourage integration and eventual migration to the SAP platform. CUSTOMER WINS Big River Telephone has selected SalesLogix to help drive its customer support and customer relationship management efforts. The midwestern telecommunications provider integrated SalesLogix with its internal support and billing software in a bid to improve customer satisfaction ratings and sales performance. Using the integrated package to replace disconnected software systems at recently acquired subsidiary companies freed up over one-fifth of Big River's support resources. NEW PRODUCTS Cypress Software Systems has released Mark IV version 2.0, a new revision of its consumer lending automation application. Mark IV is an application processing and credit scoring system targeted at smaller banks, credit unions, and finance companies. The new version provides a wider range of loan terms, improved reporting and Internet integration, and better policy exception handling. Aderant has announced initial details of its new CRM suite, dubbed Aderant Front Office CRM. The developer, which claims over 600 corporate clients of its various back-office automation products, will target the new CRM package at professional services companies. Aderant's CRM suite will offer relationship tracking, service opportunity management, and event management in a Microsoft Outlook-integrated front end. Apropos Technology has introduced a credit union-specific edition of its multi-channel contact center administration package. The company says the product is tuned to focus on membership-based credit union clientele, focusing on long-term satisfaction and growth in financial products carried. Related articles: Customers' Changing CRM Expectations Despite Billions in CRM Investment, Financial Customers Still Ready To Walk
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