The Week in Review: December 12, 2003

In the news... Business with integrated sales, marketing, and customer services operations saw a 28 percent increase in customer satisfaction through CRM initiatives, according to market intelligence and advisory firm IDC. Companies with nonintegrated operations saw a 22 percent increase in customer satisfaction through their CRM programs. In addition, IDC says integrated businesses saw cross-selling and upselling revenue increase from 13 percent to 16 percent of sales revenue. Aqueduct and
ChannelWave Software announced that the two companies have merged and formed a new company called ChannelWave Inc. The merger combines ChannelWave's Partner Relationship Management solutions (recruiting, training, planning, marketing, sales) and CRM, with Aqueduct's managed B2C and B2B commerce services, which enable manufacturers to sell and support products directly online or through dealer, VAR, and retail channels. "One of the strategic decisions was that we clearly had heard from our customers that they wanted more CRM as a part of our offering," says Rob Hagen, chairman and CEO of ChannelWave. "We were going to build it in house, but found that it's a long, expensive process. A merger would allow us to get to market faster." According to a recent Yankee Group study, 71 percent of companies surveyed increased spending on applications that improve interactions with customers, suppliers, and service providers during 2003, compared to 2002. Spending on edge-of-the-enterprise technology rose more than 75 percent in 2003, the study says. Acxiom Corporation has reached an agreement to acquire the Claritas Europe group of companies from VNU N.V., a Dutch information and media company, for $40 million in cash. "We are very excited about this opportunity to combine Acxiom's data integration and solutions capabilities with Claritas' data assets and broader presence in Europe," Acxiom company leader Charles D. Morgan said in a statement. As a result, Morgan said, Acxiom will be able to help companies doing business in Europe improve their marketing effectiveness and prospecting results in ways previously not possible. Deals of the week... SAP AG has announced that Varian, a supplier of scientific instruments, vacuum technologies, and specialized contract electronics manufacturing services, has selected mySAP CRM to enhance the effectiveness of its customer service and sales activities and to standardize processes across its global business units. RightNow Technologies this week announced Conklin Company, a diversified manufacturer, has selected RightNow to create a company-wide online knowledge base to capture and share information about more than 130 products across six major divisions. MicroStrategy this week announced that Meredith Corporation has selected the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform for enterprisewide enhanced customer analysis. Executive changes... Salesforce.com announced this week that Bruce Culbert has joined the company as senior vice president and general manager of global services. Culbert joins the company from BearingPoint, where he was senior vice president and CRM global solutions leader. Amdocs announced that Harel Kodesh has been appointed to the new position of chief product officer. Kodesh joins Amdocs from Wingcast, a joint venture between the Ford Motor Company and Qualcomm, where he served as president and CEO. Epsilon, a relationship marketing company, has promoted Lynne Mysliwiec to vice president, analytic consulting.
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