Reynolds and Reynolds Acquires Boat Ventures

Reynolds and Reynolds, which provides CRM solutions exclusively to the automotive industry, announced Wednesday that it has made its first foray into servicing other markets with the acquisition of Boat Ventures, a Virginia-based e-commerce solution vendor focused on marine and recreational businesses. The company also says it has created a New Markets Group that will focus on securing partnerships in new markets outside the automotive industry. Lloyd Waterhouse, CEO, chairman, and president of Reynolds and Reynolds, says of the new group, "Our goal is to create a nimble, aggressive, and efficient business unit to drive new business and alliance initiatives. We are confident that the New Markets Group will deliver material, sustainable, and value-producing growth by providing genuine strategic value--not merely a product offering--for businesses in these areas." Waterhouse also says the company has begun providing document solutions to companies in markets adjacent to automotive retailing. He notes that the company's experience in the auto industry will easily translate into working solutions for related industries. The terms of the Boat Ventures acquisition were not disclosed. However, Doug Ventura, vice president, general counsel and head of the Reynolds New Markets Group did comment on the deal, saying, "The combination of the Boat Ventures platform with Reynolds's process-based solutions and training capabilities creates a powerful solution for manufacturers and their dealers to identify, satisfy, and retain customers." Though some may argue that a company leaving its specialized niche market may result in the company spreading itself too thin, Erin Kinikin, vice president and research leader of enterprise applications at Giga Information Group, tells CRM that this move is a natural positive progression for Reynolds and Reynolds. "The line is blurring in CRM between the systems that track the customers and the systems that run the business," Kinikin says. "Reynolds and Reynolds is one of the premier automotive operational vendors, and is installed in many dealerships. By running automotive dealer sales, service, parts management, and financials, Reynolds and Reynolds captures a great deal of customer information. It makes sense that Reynolds and Reynolds is now trying to help companies use that information to increase service loyalty, increase repeat sales, and get new customers. "
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