The Week in Review: November 14, 2003

In the news... Oak Investment Partners announced that it believes its current all-cash offer is superior to the unsolicited stock-for-stock proposal from Onyx Software to acquire Pivotal Corp. Oak believes the Onyx proposal poses significant transaction completion risks because it contemplates a stock-for-stock transaction: Both parties would have to perform significant due diligence on the other, and the transaction could not be completed without the approval of both companies' boards of directors and shareholders and governmental regulators. Moreover, Oak believes that the due diligence and approval requirements related to the Onyx proposal would impose significant business risks on Pivotal, because they would create a protracted period of customer uncertainty regarding Pivotal in the highly competitive CRM software market. More than 75 percent of contact centers still claim not to have achieved the holy grail of a "single view of their customers" across all touch points, according to a new study by Dimension Data. It appears corporate culture, not technology issues, is the major hurdle. According to the report, more than 70 percent of contact centers cited the issue of "coordinating across departments" as a major stumbling block, which is almost double the 37 percent who were concerned with "integrating the technology with legacy systems." Online retail sales should reach roughly $60 billion in 2003, growing to $208 billion by 2007, according to AMR Research. However, about $5 billion could be lost in this holiday season alone due to shopper dissatisfaction, the firm warns. To make the most of online sales opportunities, retailers must handle inventory correctly, as well as have additional staff on hand to handle heightened store traffic for online shoppers using "store pickup" options, AMR suggests.
Deals of the week... Salesforce.com announced that AMD has signed a three-year contract to standardize 800 global subscribers on Salesforce.com's new Winter '04 release. Dendrite International announced that Clinitrac, a Swedish developer of wireless patient diaries, has selected Dendrite Clinical to provide telephone support for a year-long, multicountry clinical study for one of Clinitrac's pharmaceutical customers. Inquisite announced that La Senza, a Canadian retailer, will begin using Inquisite Web survey technology to help maintain strong relationships with its employees at its more than 300 stores across Canada and the United States. Executive changes... SPL WorldGroup has announced the appointment of Harry Debes as president and CEO. Debes comes to SPL from senior positions at J.D. Edwards. Dendrite International also announced this week the appointment of Stefan Janssens as general manager of its operations in Belgium and the Netherlands. Janssens previously served as vice president of global strategic solutions for CRM solutions provider Synavant. Merkle Direct Marketing has named Dale Hogg as its senior vice president of human resources. Hogg previously served as vice president of human resources at Warner Communications, a division of Warner Brothers.
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