CRM Vendor Cegedim Buys Dendrite, Ascendix's Real Estate CRM, BPT Steppin' Out and, RightNow CRM, Sage Software

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CRM Vendor Cegedim Buys Dendrite, Ascendix's Real Estate CRM, BPT Steppin' Out and, RightNow CRM, Sage Software

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Miles Davis Twofer -- Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way:

Ascendix Technologies has announced the availability of its Real Estate Advantage CRM offering in a hosted model. It's being pitched for situations where an on-premise installation of Real Estate Advantage is not possible or desirable, so hosting options have been made available and are packaged in two different offerings.

Wes Snow, President of Ascendix Technologies, puts it a bit more precisely: "Commercial real estate companies now have an industry-specific choice as opposed to to manage their business in a hosted environment."

There's the "subscribe/host" option. "If it is desirable to follow more of a Software as a Service model, the Subscribe/Host product has been provided," company officials say. They say the advantage with this product is that "there is no ownership of Real Estate Advantage but rather an annual subscription to this service that grants the company rights to use the product over the contracted period of time."

Naturally this option is targeted to those companies with tight constraints on cash, or those with minimal investment in technical infrastructure.

Then there's the "purchase/host" option. If you want to own the software, but choose to have it hosted offsite, this is for you. Essentially this is the same as purchasing the software but eliminates the need to acquire the hardware and associated server software to run Real Estate Advantage on premise.

In addition, the administration and maintenance of the servers are offloaded to the hosting provider. This is ideal for those companies who might consider moving the product on premise in the future. Additionally, this option has a lower Total Cost of Ownership than the subscribe/host offering outlined above when projected over a three-year model.

Real Estate Advantage is a framework for commercial real estate companies seeking a product more specific to the industry. Real estate agents manage much more than just prospects and clients, and therefore may not be well served by generic CRM and contact management products. The functionality native to the embedded Microsoft CRM system is used in conjunction with the specialized system developed by Ascendix.

Founded in 1996, the Dallas-based company is celebrating its 10th year in business focused on the implementation of CRM systems for companies in both the mid and enterprise market space.

BPT Partners, a vendor of CRM Certification training and education and industry research led by the estimable Paul Greenberg, has announced as the winner of its 2007 Steppin' Out Award. 

" is one of the most innovative companies in the customer centric space," the aforesaid Greenberg, Chief Customer Officer of BPT and author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light, a book frequently compared to the works of early 20th century American humorist S.J. Perelman for its use of definite articles, nouns and the striking combination of dark print on white pages, noted. "They won not only because they are able to dominate a market, but can create markets at extraordinary speed." has a vision and worldview fully integrated into its strategy and its product/services map, Greenberg said, explaining that they have been consistent in maintaining their strategy to become an agnostic platform and be the ubiquitous technology and architecture for what the company's founder and President, Marc Benioff, calls the "Business Web."

The Steppin' Out Awards originated with the 3rd edition of Greenberg's book. The award is given out for the combination of excellent customer engagement and experiences with market impact that goes beyond any single customer.

Steppin' Out Awards recognize a CRM company's vision, strategy, corporate worldview and how well integrated it is into the company's plans and roadmaps.

"Salesforce beat the other five finalists in a very close battle," said Greenberg, "but what put them over the top was that they have been able to execute on their strategies and identify the trends that the customers of the present and future are driving – and then develop the institutional presence to capture the business opportunities."

The other five finalists, in no particular order, were NetSuite, Microsoft, Zoho, Rearden Commerce and Neighborhood America, an enterprise social networking leader.

With corporate headquarters in Atlanta, BPT also has offices in Dallas and Washington, D.C. as well as partnerships throughout the world. 

CRM vendor RightNow Technologies has unveiled a CRM application geared exclusively for the retail sector, the company has announced.

Called RightNow Retail, the new tool is based on RightNow 8, the company's enterprise-class software-as-a-service, and incorporates RightNow's experience working with retail clients, including Cabela’s,, and The Sharper Image.

RightNow Technologies is headquartered in Bozeman, Montana and has long been prominent in the on-demand CRM space.

Sage Software has announced that it is realigning its business units, forming a new Business Management Division to bring its accounting, ERP, CRM, and related businesses into a single organization to serve small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

The new Industry & Specialized Solutions Division provides industry-specific products for businesses and organizations in the construction, real estate, and nonprofit industries, as well as offering human resource management systems, online payroll services and other employee-managements products.

These two new divisions join the company's Healthcare Division, which serves healthcare practices, and the Payment Solutions Division, which supports merchants' payment processing needs.

Sage Software is the North American business of The Sage Group, plc, a vendor of accounting and ERP systems for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The company has acquired and integrated into its portfolio 22 businesses since 1998, including brands such as ACT! by Sage, Sage SalesLogix, Sage Timberline, Sage MAS 90 ERP, Sage Abra HRMS, Peachtree by Sage, Simply Accounting by Sage, and others.

European firm Cegedim S.A. has announced the completion of its acquisition of Dendrite International, Inc. in accordance with the terms of an Agreement and Plan of Merger announced on March 2, 2007.

The combined company will create a firm with diversified sales, marketing and compliance products to the global life sciences and pharmaceutical industry, especially by merging Cegedim's European strength with Dendrite's US and Asia-Pacific key position.

Under the terms of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, Cegedim will pay $16.00 per outstanding share in cash for each share of Dendrite International common stock outstanding, that is a total purchase price of $751 million. On a pro forma full year basis, the combined entity is expected to have estimated revenues of $1.1 billion.

Dendrite's shares will cease to trade on the NASDAQ at the close of business today. Cegedim sells CRM to large pharmaceutical companies. Its CRM tools are backed by the Group's databases.

Founded in 1969, Cegedim employs around 5,000 people and generated turnover of EUR 541 million in 2006 in 75 countries.

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