Unica Bows Out of Xchange Bid

In the wake of data-synchronization software provider Xchange's cessation of operations, analysts fingered marketing management software producer Unica as the most likely buyer of the company. However, Unica announced today that it has elected not to make a bid for the company's assets. Rather, Unica has announced a migration plan from Xchange's solutions to Unica's Affinium platform. The company has decided not to participate in tomorrow's auction of the company, because its main assets--the software developers--are no longer with Xchange, says Carol Meyers, vice president of marketing at Unica. "The employees who developed the Xchange software have all left, meaning it will be difficult for an acquirer interested in the solution to continue to enhance Xchange's platform," Meyer says. Meyers says that Xchange's product does not offer any additional functionality or value to that offered in Unica's Affinium suite, thus making an acquisition even less advantageous. Finally, Meyers says Unica has already migrated approximately 15 percent of Xchange's customer base to Affinium. "The Xchange solution was not delivering value for some companies, and they saw they needed to change, especially given the state of the company," Meyers notes. Unica believes that regardless of which company takes ultimate ownership of Xchange's remaining assets, converting to Affinium will be the most attractive solution for Xchange customers. "While we'd like to see 100 percent of the remaining Xchange customers migrate to our product, realistically we expect at least 50 percent to do so in the near future," Meyers says. Analysts lend credence to Unica's expectations, noting that Xchange users need to make migration decisions soon. "All Xchange customers need to begin immediate work to define migration options and contingency plans," says Elana Anderson, senior analyst with Giga Information Group. "While customers that have their campaign management process well tuned and have no major upgrades planned may choose to sit tight while closely watching the situation play itself out, customers anticipating major upgrades or enhancements should halt these efforts and consider their options." Kevin Scott, senior analyst at AMR Research, says that Unica is poised to make serious customer wins. "Xchange customers will be looking for options, and Unica is likely to benefit the most," he says. "It has migrated some customers already and will be going after the installed base with much fervor. Unica also has a more robust system and more dedication to marketing than suite vendors."
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