The Week in Review: August 1, 2003

Salesforce.com has signed its largest user deal to date, a 1,000-user deal with SunGard. The move lends further credence to the growing popularity and viability of the hosted CRM model for enterprise level firms. "The on-demand model is no longer just for small- to medium-sized businesses," Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO, said in a statement. Enterprise buyers are demanding that IT service providers offer a range of global sourcing alternatives, including onsite, domestic, nearshore (services delivered from an adjacent or nearby country) and offshore capabilities. Nearshore and offshore capabilities are absolute necessities for IT services providers to even compete, according to the latest research from Gartner. "Despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties, IT service providers with resources in India continue to be the dominant choice for U.S. enterprise buyers with estimates that exceeded $10 billion of IT services delivered in 2002," Frances Karamouzis, research director for Gartner, said in a statement.
Etalk has opened a new office in Sydney, Australia, headed by Tom O'Sullivan, director of Asia Pacific channel sales. The company says the move was made to help capitalize on the rapid growth of the Asian call center market. IDC predicts the offshore contact center market in India and the Asia Pacific region will grow at around 40 percent annually. Answerthink has acquired Beacon analytics, a company specializing in implementing Hyperion analytics solutions, for an undisclosed sum. Answerthink says that the deal will result in increased annual revenue of $8 million. Earnings roundup... Business Objects reported revenues of $129 million for the second quarter ended June 30, a 16 percent increase over the previous second quarter. Income remained flat at $11.5 million. MicroStrategy reported revenues of $43.6 million for the second quarter ended June 30, up from $36.8 million the previous second quarter. Income was $2.3 million. Onyx reported revenue for the second quarter ended June 30 of $15.8 million, compared to $18.5 million in the second quarter of 2002. Reported net loss for the second quarter of 2003 was $0.9 million, compared to a net loss of $4.7 million in the second quarter of 2002. Executive changes... Call center software provider TuVox appointed Larry Miller as the company's new president and CEO. Prior to joining TuVox, Miller was President and COO of WorldChain, a supply chain software company he cofounded in 1999. Harte-Hanks has named Chris Stam its new managing director for direct marketing. Stam will lead two consumer call centers for Harte-Hanks, as well as the company's teleservices consulting team. Previously, Stam has held call/contact center management positions with Applied Card Systems and InsLogic. Expitar has announced the appointment of four executives to support expansion plans that call for approximately 4,000 call center seats in India and the Philippines, with additional facilities contemplated in South Africa in FY 2004. Sneharthi Roy has been named senior vice president call center operations; Kurt Protzman was named senior vice president, business development; Gideon Javier will fill the position of managing director, Philippines; and Jonathan Smith will become vice president, call center operations/Philippines.
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