First Coffee for 23 May 2006: CRM's RightNow Acquires Salesnet, Corda Goes East, Radicati Looks At Microsoft, 3Sixty's VoIP for CRM, The Perfect Nobel Lit Winner

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David Sims
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First Coffee for 23 May 2006: CRM's RightNow Acquires Salesnet, Corda Goes East, Radicati Looks At Microsoft, 3Sixty's VoIP for CRM, The Perfect Nobel Lit Winner

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Loudon Wainwright III’s “Dead Skunk:”

On-demand customer relationship management (CRM) vendor RightNow Technologies, Inc. has announced the acquisition of Salesnet, Inc., an on-demand software firm focused on sales workflow automation. 

Initial integrations between the Salesnet application and RightNow applications will be completed this summer with all major features expected to be included by summer of 2007.

Under the terms of the acquisition, RightNow has acquired Salesnet through an all-cash merger. RightNow expects the transaction to be neutral to cash flow from operations and dilutive to GAAP EPS in 2006.  

Salesnet’s corporate office in Boston will become RightNow’s Boston office and will continue to include development, sales, marketing and support functions.

Salesnet was acquired to “accelerate RightNow’s customer experience management development efforts by combining RightNow’s knowledge foundation with Salesnet’s workflow engine,” according to company officials.

With the acquisition, RightNow adds 26 employees and a dozen off-shore development contractors with experience in sales automation products to mid-market and enterprise customers.

“Our acquisition of Salesnet brings substantial sales workflow domain expertise to our business, accelerates our roadmap by more than a year and adds hundreds of customers to our client base,” Greg Gianforte, founder and chief executive officer at RightNow, said. 

Jonathan Tang, president and co-founder of Salesnet, will become vice president of sales products at RightNow.

Salesnet sold on-demand sales force automation, focusing on sales methodologies. The acquisition brings RightNow added expertise in customer-facing sales functions, as well as vertical expertise in financial services and business-to-business.

Salesnet provides tools needed to handle “more complex selling environments,” according to Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research Group.

RightNow will support Salesnet’s existing customers and provide an upgrade path to other customer experience management products. Rich Perkett, chief technology officer and co-founder of Salesnet, will join RightNow as a director of product development, responsible for the integration and expansion of Salesnet’s technology into RightNow’s product.

Salt Lake City-based Corda Technologies, Inc., which sells dashboard and visualization products for business intelligence, has announced the expansion of its sales and technical support team with the addition of three new sales offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and Dallas.

The new branch locations will have a two-fold purpose, Corda officials say, to “provide high-touch reach to customers” and “receive immediate feedback that will help shape the next level of products for customers’ needs.”

Each office will have a business development manager as well as IT/sales support staff to support the company’s efforts to try to boost their flagship product, CenterView, to the enterprise level.

“We are investing resources in these areas to be more in touch with our customers and their needs,” said Tom O’Dea, chief revenue officer for Corda. “Our offices will have experienced sales and business intelligence individuals who can provide quality service to our customers.”

This expansion will act as “a precursor to future growth” for Corda Technologies, O’Dea thinks.

The Radicati Group, Inc.’s latest study, “Microsoft Exchange and Outlook Analysis, 2006-2010,” looks at the current and forecasted MS Exchange installed base, with extensive breakouts by version, business size and region.

According to the report, Microsoft Exchange currently commands a 31% installed base market share and a 52% revenue market share of the corporate insourced messaging software market. The next version of Exchange, called Exchange 2007, is expected to be released in early 2007.

Microsoft is also currently beta testing a hosted e-mail service called Office Live.

The good folk from Redmond have aggressively expanded their reach into the hosted e-mail market since 2003, and Radicati expect that Microsoft’s revenue in this market will grow at an average annual rate of 25% over the next four years.

Microsoft clearly leads the e-mail client market with Outlook, Outlook Express and Outlook Web Access, and the study finds that uptake for Outlook Mobile, the company’s e-mail client for mobile devices has also been strong, due to increased demand for smartphones.

Happy birthday to Swedish writer Par Lagerkvist. What? Never heard of him? No wonder, he’s a Nobel Prize laureate for literature, a group only slightly less anonymous than North Dakota governors.

Actually he’s the perfect Nobel Literature winner. Here’s his career, according to the Writer’s Almanac: “He began writing for socialist journals and was considered one of the most promising socialist writers of his day. Between 1915 and 1945, he published more than twenty-five plays and novels, none of them very successful. He wrote about the anguish and the meaninglessness of the universe, and many of his characters were disabled, deformed, or dead. His short-story collection The Eternal Smile (1934) is about a group of spirits passing the time in eternity by telling stories about their former lives.”

He’s got the whole Nobel checklist: He was a depressing socialist who wrote about repulsive people hopelessly mired in despair in works nobody read. Keeping this guy out of the Nobel pantheon is like keeping The Beatles out of the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

He did achieve some popular recognition with his novel Barabbas in 1950, but because the rest of his career was so Nobel-worthy they overlooked that one lapse of writing something people other than the Nobel nominating committee liked, and gave him the 1951 Nobel Prize for Literature. Heck, they should’ve put his picture on the medal.

It’s also the birthday of Margaret Wise Brown, who contributed more value to world literature than 98% of the combined output of Nobel Lit laureates by writing Goodnight Moon in 1947.

3Sixty Systems, a CRM and software development company, has partnered with managed services provider InTechnology to offer 3SLive customers access to InTechnologys IP Voice Connect hosted IP telephony service.

The partnership has announced its first customer, law firm Robin Simon LLP, which has registered over 100 users in 4 UK locations to the service.

3Sixty has itself been a user of InTechnology’s managed network services for a number of years and, company officials say, was “keen to integrate its web-based 3SLive product with an IP telephony product specifically targeted at small to medium-sized businesses.”

InTechnology currently hosts the 3SLive platform in its data centers. The service is charged on a per user, per month basis offering minimal start-up costs for prospective customers of all sizes.

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