• June 20, 2006
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

And the Survey Says...Solutions

Investment firm Austin Ventures bought Perseus Development and WebSurveyor Corporation for an undisclosed amount today. It will combine the two companies into a single entity that will be lead by Dean Wiltse, former CEO of Greenfield Online. Wiltse will become chairman and CEO of the new company. The new company will continue to support both product lines, and plans its first product release for the end of this year or beginning of 2007, according to Wiltse. Perseus Development designs Web-based enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions. They provide enterprises with a surveying and reporting platform to poll customers and employees alike, allowing companies to leverage and compare the results from multiple surveys. WebSurveyor provides online survey and data collection services to help companies determine what existing and potential customers are looking for. The acquisition and resulting technology integration will create a full "suite" of surveying solutions for its customers, according to Wiltse. Despite their similarities, Wiltse says he never saw Perseus and WebSurveyor competing directly with each other. The merging of the two companies will work, Wiltse says, because of their differences. "Depending upon their needs, it's great for customers. They can start at the departmental level with a tool like WebSurveyor, and then move up to an enterprisewide platform from Perseus. We're seeing a lot of customers making that jump up to an EFM solution." Esteban Kolsky, research director at Gartner, agrees with Wiltse, and says both brands "are a perfect complement to one another. Both of these companies were leaders at what they did. Combining them makes perfect sense." The acquisition also represents the maturity that the EFM/surveying market has reached, according to Kolsky, who expects the acquisition to kick off a series of purchases. "The market for these tools is a highly fragmented one, with no single provider. It's going to jumpstart a bunch of acquisitions as larger vendors look to work EFM and surveying into their growth strategy." Related articles: Surveys: A Dying Breed?
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