KANA to Acquire Hipbone

KANA announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Hipbone, a provider of online customer-interaction solutions. The agreement is expected to close in the first quarter of 2004, and under terms of the deal KANA will issue 250,000 shares for Hipbone, valued at around $750,000. "We were already handling email well with KANA Response, but we didn't have a solid solution for the online channel, including chat and cobrowsing capabilities, and we were seeing more and more demand for those capabilities," says Brian Kelly, executive vice president of products at KANA. "We're taking what was a niche product and integrating it with our solutions so that all channels are coming into one contact center." The addition of Hipbone's online assisted service channel to the KANA iCARE suite combines Web-collaboration capabilities in assisting consumers with KANA's knowledge-powered approach to managing customer relationships, according to Kelly. The combination of these two solutions will also provide agent-to-agent collaboration for agents within the contact center. KANA will continue to offer Hipbone as a stand-alone product and will also integrate the Web-collaboration solution into KANA Response, KANA Contact Center, and KANA IQ to extend the functionality and value of those products and further enhance KANA's knowledge-powered offerings. "It's all about getting the answer to the agent much faster than they could by accessing it on their own," Kelly says. In addition Kelly says Hipbone's vertical focus in key markets like financial services, insurance, high-tech, and travel allows KANA to extend its reach into those verticals. KANA will integrate Hipbone products into the company's growing vertical market product lines as well, Kelly says. Hipbone's customers include leading financial services companies like Wells Fargo Bank and Diversified Investment Advisors, as well as leading high-tech manufacturers like Veritas and NCR Corporation. "We are confident that in tandem with KANA's knowledge-powered solutions, our customers will benefit from providing a well rounded experience," Mike Burkland, president and CEO of Hipbone, said in a statement. "This acquisition will strengthen the KANA iCARE suite with the leading Web-collaboration software on the market, providing KANA's customers with a complete multi-channel CRM offering."
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