Talisma Acquires KnowledgeBase.net
Talisma merged with KnowledgeBase.net this week in a move designed to strengthen both companies' market value in the multichannel CRM and customer-interaction management space. The acquisition comes following an 18-month relationship during which Knowledge Base.net software and functionality were incorporated into Talisma's multichannel CRM solutions. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two companies began working on entering into an OEM agreement in late 2003. This culminated in Talisma version 6.0 plus, which was incorporated with the KnowledgeBase.net offering and integrated into Talisma's multichannel marketing solution. Strong feedback from Talisma customers deploying the solution and using both companies' support services eventually led to the decision for Talisma to acquire KnowledgeBase.
"We told customers we were going to push ahead with incorporating self-service document and knowledge management into our multichannel CRM offerings," said Jim O'Farrell, Talisma vice president of corporate marketing. "They got back to us and said we're on the right track. Also, our Global Advisory Board felt this was a very good direction for us from a market standpoint."
Robin Goad, senior CRM analyst at Datamonitor, says Talisma will become a force in the customer interaction management market. "Talisma will be able to expand its market presence to become a significant solution provider for both Enterprise and SMB customer-interaction management solutions," he says. "With customer interactions on the rise, companies are recognizing the value of optimized multichannel CRM solutions. As a result, they are turning to providers like Talisma for solutions that are easy to implement and result in a rapid return on investment."
Talisma's customer base will total more than 500, while the acquisition of KnowledgeBase has opened the door to new markets globally through Talisma's service and support offerings in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and India. KnowledgeBase customers can expect to use Talisma's multichannel management software while keeping KnowledgeBase's customer interaction management functionality "sitting on top of that Talisma platform, gaining a comprehensive suite of customer-interaction management solutions, all under one umbrella," says James Segil, KnowledgeBase COO. Talisma customers can expect to continue leveraging KnowledgeBase's customer interaction management as before, with more tightly knit integrations in the future, according to Segil.
"We [were] a small software company,...which was constraining us to some degree. [Now we're] a global software provider," Segil says. "This acquisition gives us the ability to play in a much larger pool." For now Talisma will work on integrating its own functionality within KnowledgeBase's next offering, Net Agent version 6.7, set to be released in second quarter 2005. By the end of the year the solution will be fully integrated as Version 7, which will incorporate all the tools and functionality that Talisma offers combined with the complete Net Agent software.
The merged firm's aim is the overall management of every kind of customer interaction across all channels with one consistent code base that enables systemwide updates without human intervention. Building out of the gradual integrations of this year is, Talisma's O'Farrell says, "our goal--to deliver that kind of infrastructure and those kinds of solutions."
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