Exact Software's MAX, Blackbaud and Kintera, Expert System in Italy, SaaS Apps Report, E-Zest Clients

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Exact Software's MAX, Blackbaud and Kintera, Expert System in Italy, SaaS Apps Report, E-Zest Clients

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is The Beautiful South's Blue Is The Colour:
Exact Software, a vendor of products that "connect the people, processes and knowledge essential to an organization," has announced the release of Exact MAX Version 5.0.
MAX 5.0 features the same manufacturing functionality of MAX 4.0, redesigned for the popular Microsoft SQL Server database platform. MAX 5.0 is certified to work with Windows Vista, and supports both Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and 2005.
"To meet modern economic demands, most companies need a business product that is reliable enough to operate without constant maintenance, secure enough to protect valuable business information, and flexible enough to meet unique business requirements," said Ken Lam, Exact MAX General Manager.
MAX 5.0 features what company officials describe as "flexible reporting and query options," that "help users get more from their ERP system," along with features like enhanced customization and/or integration capability with other SQL applications, including Web-based products like Exact Synergy and EDI, enhanced data security with data management access restricted to database administrators, and streamlined installation.
Exact MAX is being pitched to mid-sized manufacturers who want ERP functionality -- "MAX is affordably priced, can be rapidly implemented, and is well-suited for independent companies as well as multi-site corporations," company officials say.
Established in 1984, Exact Software is headquartered in Delft, the Netherlands.
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Blackbaud has announced the completion of its tender offer by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Eucalyptus Acquisition Corporation, at $1.12 net per share in cash for all the outstanding shares of common stock of Kintera.
Blackbaud, Blackbaud...why is that company name reminding me of summer vacations near Cape Hatteras?
The tender offer expired at 12:00 midnight, New York City time, on Monday.
The depositary for the offer has advised Blackbaud and Eucalyptus Acquisition Corporation that, as of the expiration of the initial offering period, approximately 37.3 million shares were tendered, delivered, and not withdrawn in the tender offer. Those shares represent approximately 92 percent of Kintera's outstanding shares as of the expiration of the initial offering period.
As of that time, approximately 750,000 additional shares, or another 1.8 percent, were tendered pursuant to guaranteed delivery procedures and are subject to delivery of the shares within three trading days after the date of the guarantee.
Blackbaud expects to effect, without a vote or meeting of Kintera stockholders, a "short-form" merger as soon as practicable to complete the Kintera acquisition. Following the acquisition, Kintera will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Blackbaud. Following the merger, Kintera's common stock will cease to be traded on NASDAQ.
Blackbaud sells software and services designed specifically for nonprofit organizations.
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Expert System, a vendor of semantic software for text information, has announced that the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage has chosen COGITO Semantic Search to "improve and simplify the search of its online content and provide accurate, multi-lingual search results."
The mission of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage is to preserve the artistic and cultural heritage of Italy through art, theatre, nature conservation and athletics. Millions of users consult the organization's online portal to find information about events and museum exhibits.
The Ministry was using standard keyword search engines within its portal, but found the results were often inaccurate and too numerous to sort through. The organization sought to improve general usability and develop multilingual wireless systems so visitors could receive information regarding cultural events via text messaging.
By implementing COGITO Semantic Search, the Ministry can support requests online in natural language -- "What hours will the Van Gogh exhibition be open today?"
Expert System also developed a multilingual information system via Short Message Service, so the Ministry can answer text-messaged requests regarding culture and tourism in either English or Italian.
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Here's hoping the absolutely transcendent Federer-Nadal match boosts tennis's popularity in America. We might never equal the glory days of Connors, Evert, McEnroe, Navratilova, Ashe, Borg and Nastase, or even the silver era of Sampras, Graf, Agassi, Seles, Courier, Becker and Chang, but there are too many good players out there besides Roger and Rafa and the Williams sisters for tennis to remain a niche sport.
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E-Zest Solutions, an outsourced product development and software vendor, has won what the e-Zestians describe as "two big e-learning clients from Europe." Both clients have established offshore development center teams with e-Zest.
The E-Learning ODC team will act as an extension to clients' on-site team working at their locations, company officials say: "This team will initially handle projects involving flash course development, SCORM compliance, courseware development, multiple e-learning training delivery for distributed learning, distance learning, computer based training, Web based training and instructor-led training, API integration with other systems and media controllers.
Also e-Zest has been hired to provide product engineering services like enhancing existing e-learning software products, independent software testing services.

Devendra Deshmukh, Founder and Director of e-Zest, said that in his opinion the e-learning industry is poised to surpass $52 billion by 2010.
. . . .
Research and Markets, in its new report, evaluates the influence of the demand for SaaS business applications, segmented by size of United States businesses.

The ''Demand for SaaS Business Applications Segmented by US Size of Business'' report details how demand for SaaS business applications in the US business market is growing at a steady pace -- "across all sizes of business and verticals," company officials say.
In its March 2008 SaaS survey, 800 US-based decision-makers were asked about their usage of six specific business function-related applications delivered in the hosted model: CRM, ERP, SCM, HR, Salesforce automation, and Web collaboration applications are highlighted.
Respondents were also questioned about their use of Microsoft Office-esque productivity applications -- word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications, et al -- delivered as a service "specifically to gauge the impact that hosted productivity applications might have on Microsoft's dominant position in this space," Research and Markets officials explain.
The report is broken into two sections: the first focuses on demand for hosted business function-related applications, and the second focuses on demand for hosted productivity applications. Covered are the reasons why businesses are, or are not, interested in these applications, as well as who they turn to as providers, R&M officials say.
Survey data in this report is in three segments: small, medium, and large business. Data is further broken out by sub-segments within these segments. Data in these sub-segment breakouts is compared to results from respondents across the entire US market.
A forecast of total US business application hosting revenues through 2012 is also included.
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