The Week in Review: 2/28/03

M&A News The Cobalt Group, provider of e-business software and services to the automotive retail market, announced Thursday that it has acquired Cowboy Corp., which provides automotive CRM solutions. The acquisition brings together Cobalt Lead Manager, a customer lead management system, with Cowboy's Prospector CRM system. Cobalt expects the combined product will help dealers increase sales, customer loyalty, and customer retention. According to John Holt, president and CEO of the Cobalt Group, the combined capabilities of the two systems will create what he feels is the most complete CRM solution available to the automotive retail vertical. Sybase's $38 million acquisition of AvantGo, initially announced in December, officially closed Wednesday following approval by AvantGo's shareholders. AvantGo will now operate in conjunction with Sybase's iAnywhere Solutions subsidiary.
Product announcements Alinean announced this week the availability of the latest version of its ROI calculator, ValueIT version 2.0. The product is designed to help technology decision-makers assess and justify proposed projects, create balanced budget plans, and benchmark IT spending and resultant performance against best-in-class peers, according to Alinean. The company says the software is able create realistic business cases that identify "hidden" costs, potential risks, and hard and soft benefits to optimize project selection and improve the value derived from technology. FrontRange Solutions, a provider of relationship software solutions (including CRM), announced a new version and name change within the company's GoldMine product family. GoldMine Business Contact Manager (BCM) Corporate Edition, version 6.0 (previously branded as GoldMine Sales & Marketing), joins the company's software lineup, targeting small and mid-size businesses. ServiceWare announced the availability of ServiceWare Enterprise 5.0, previously named eService Suite. This new product is built on 100 percent J2EE compliant architecture and is highly customizable for companies seeking to gain better control of important information, the company says. Executive changes Connextions, a business outsourcing company, announced the appointment of Nancy Wehrell Dougherty to director of sales. Dougherty has 13 years experience working with CRM and call center companies. Prior to joining Connextions, Dougherty worked with Edify, Genesys, and Ask Jeeves. Curl Corp. , which provides business optimization services, announced three new appointments this week. David Wilner joins Curl as senior director of sales, Chris Lesar is Curl's new senior director of business development, and Sted Dowd is Curl's new senior director of channel sales and development. Model N, a provider of revenue execution software, today announced the appointment of Robert Brown as vice president of product development. Brown previously headed product development departments at Blue Martini Software and Silicon Graphics (SGI).
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