KANA: On the (e)Verge of an Acquisition
In an attempt to add more muscle to its professional services portfolio, KANA Software announced today that it intends to acquire eVergance Partners, a management consulting and systems-integration firm specializing in CRM, knowledge management, and Web self-service. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close during the second quarter of KANA's 2007 fiscal year and be accretive to KANA for 2007.
The announcement comes just a few days after KANA revealed that Mark Angel, former CTO of Knova Software, now a division of Consona, had joined KANA as its senior vice president of corporate development and strategy. Angel founded Kanisa, which merged with ServiceWare Technologies to form Knova in 2005. M2M Holdings, now Consona, acquired Knova earlier this year.
KANA expects the transaction will double the size of its professional team and expand its professional services expertise in a range of areas including deployment support, customer service strategy, optimization, and managed services, according to the company. "Having leading customer service technology is one piece of the puzzle," says Marchai Bruchey, CMO at KANA. "Having the people and process expertise is a second piece of it. Being able to make these projects more successful, being able to help our customers with their existing implementations of KANA [to take] them to the next level and being able to do assessments, that's what eVergance brings to KANA."
Bruchey adds that KANA was looking to bring the company on board to help new customers as well as KANA's partners from a planning and implementation perspective. "We are going to operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary to allow them to continue to do their business consulting and transformation work out in the market with other clients as well, not just KANA customers," she says.
Since eVergance's inception in 2002 it has provided its expertise to more than 100 clients. In October 2005 eVergance and Allen Bonde Group, a strategic advisory firm with an emphasis on self-service apps and market trends, announced a merger. "We're excited to become a part of the KANA family yet continue to work with the industry's leading software and technology providers to deliver top-notch CRM solutions," said Chad Wolf, president and cofounder of eVergance, said in a written statement. "We remain committed to offering best-in-class capabilities and support for a range of customer service solutions while working closely with KANA's professional services team and partners to deepen the service programs available to KANA customers."
Esteban Kolsky, a research director at Gartner, says that the deal is something that KANA needed to do to continue to grow. "It's a good choice," he says. "[The company has] experience and the knowledge of the market." Kolsky notes that KANA has to get eVergance's staff up to speed on KANA's platform and products. However, he adds, "it potentially puts them in a position where they can compete better in the market and take on bigger deals because they have a lot more people available to implement the projects."
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