• November 19, 2004
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Wires: News and Technology for November 19, 2004

Convergys announced it has acquired Finali, a contact center analytics firm. The purchase is for $25 million in cash. The acquisition will be neutral to fourth quarter 2004 and 2005 earnings per share. Finali uses analytics, consulting, and automation to help customer care operations turn into BI centers. Companies use this information to better optimize their business processes at customer care centers. Jack Freker, president of Convergys' customer management group, stated in a release that the acquisition of Finali would strengthen Convergys' leadership position in customer interaction outsourcing. Sento, a provider of integrated, multichannel customer support, announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the operating assets of Xtrasource, an advanced contact solution provider. Xtrasource is a privately held company with annual sales in excess of $10 million, and has contact center operations in North Carolina, France, and the Netherlands. Together, they serve 18 countries in 13 languages. The transaction is expected to close by the end of November 2004. It includes the purchase of assets and assumption of certain liabilities of Xtrasource, as well as acquisition of all stock in its wholly owned European operations.
White Pajama unveiled its new company name, Contactual. The rebranding effort begins immediately, and is expected to unfold throughout the end of the year. Delivered as a hosted application, Contactual OnDemand Contact Center is designed as a solution that integrates across customer contact channels. RightNow Technologies and UCN announced a strategic partnership aimed at delivering a complete on-demand contact center solution. The companies plan to use RightNow's on-demand CRM applications for customer service and UCN's hosted communications infrastructure for call centers to provide customers rapid implementation of contact center capabilities without having to take on installation costs, integration, or maintenance. BlueRoads announced BlueRoads Deal Registration Manager. This solution is designed to help vendors and channel partners automate the process of managing a deal registration program. Deal Registration Manager will streamline program administration through a centralized Web-based system. The program will centralize deal submissions and allow both partner and vendor real-time status and feedback throughout the deal life cycle. SugarCRM announced Sugar On-Demand, a hosted version of its Sugar Sales Professional CRM application. The program is a commercial open source CRM service offered as a hosted product-deployment option to customers. The Sugar On-Demand service will give businesses either lacking the IT resources or needing an immediate solution the ability to utilize this CRM solution. The service is aimed at organizations with between five to 500 users, and will deliver the same comprehensive set of sales force automation that Sugar Sales Professional does, including managing new leads, contact information, documenting customer interaction and tracking marketing activities. PeopleSoft announced PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne Rapid Start 8.11. The program was designed with small to midsize manufacturers in mind. PeopleSoft Rapid Start will combine PeopleSoft EnterpriseOne applications, consulting, education services, hardware, and financing into a deployable enterprise offering. This new release will extend existing financial, distribution and manufacturing functions to provide companies with solutions for human resources and CRM. Nextance, a solutions provider of enterprise contract management, announced the launch of Nextance Revenue Optimization Suite. The new suite focuses on the fundamental business imperatives of growing revenue, reducing business risk, and improving speed of execution. The program is designed to accelerate business processes by optimizing contractual relationships with customers, partners, and distributors by managing all processes surrounding contract initiation, execution, and analysis. The suite aims to improve sales force effectiveness, revenue generation, cash flow, financial reporting accuracy, and customer satisfaction. BetterManagement, a Internet resource for leadership, is offering a free, self-paced learning series for executives and managers responsible for CRM programs. The five-part series deals with answering across all industries questions like Who are your best customers, How do you retain them, How do you acquire new customers, and How do you increase the profitability of customers. There will be no charge to participate in the Learning Series as all business management articles and live and archived Web casts are free with a registration on BetterManagement.com. Acetta, a business process improvement company, launched Turning Point Program, designed to help midsize organizations extend the value of their existing, traditional CRM technology. The program provides a diagnostic look at a company's current CRM technology and provides tools and practices specifically for the customer facing team. The tools of Turning Point Program are designed to align the technology with existing business processes to increase sales and improve customer satisfaction. Related articles: The Week in Review: May 7, 2004 Customer Choice Drives New Product
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