Broadbase Software Incorporated, a CRM vendor focused on the dot-com and
Fortune 1000 markets, recently purchased Servicesoft Incorporated for
$645M in stock. Broadbase's current suite of applications offers primarily
analytics components including a personalization/recommendation engine,
campaign management, and sales order tracking. Missing from Broadbase's
offering are operational components geared towards service and support.
The acquisition of Servicesoft will add web-based service and support
functionality to broaden Broadbase's offering and remain competitive with
E.piphany, their biggest direct competitor.
Broadbase and E.piphany have gone through an intense period of acquisitions
and alliances since late last year to become the single vendor source
for both analytic and operational CRM applications. Broadbase's recent
- A week after plans to acquire marketing automation vendor Rubric are
announced, Broadbase makes their E-business Suite 3.3 available. The
suite incorporates Rubric's campaign management software with Broadbase's
customer analytics software.
22, 2000 - Broadbase partners with Art Technology Group (ATG). The
two companies plan to deliver e-business applications by combining Broadbase's
customer analytics and ATG's personalization engine.
- Broadbase agrees to acquire Aperio, Incorporated. Aperio has expertise
in designing and implementing marketing automation systems in Fortune
- Broadbase agrees to acquire Panop.com to incorporate Panop.com's real-time
personalization technology into Broadbase's suite of applications. The
technology is designed to work via the web, WAP (Wireless Application
Protocol) devices, e-mail, and call centers.
16, 2000 - Broadbase forms an alliance with Decisionism to provide
analytics for B2B e-marketplaces. The analytics applications are designed
for marketplace members to analyze transactions and supply chain efficiency.
6, 2000 - Broadbase forms an alliance with Ericsson that promises
to bring CRM applications to telecommunications service providers. The
focus of the agreement is to develop applications for mobile users.
- Broadbase acquires Servicesoft.
A look at the press release history for the past 12 months of top CRM
vendors E.piphany, Siebel, Onyx, and Broadbase indicates significant consolidation
in the CRM market, and TEC believes this is just the beginning. Many organizations
prefer to purchase full CRM suites from a single vendor with the functionality
of best of breed applications. The easiest way for large CRM vendors to
do this is to form alliances or purchase the firms that provide the functionality
demanded by the market, thereby incorporating best of breed technology
into their own offerings. Such agreements are often necessary because
the large CRM vendors are too resource constrained to develop these applications
in-house within the timeframe that the market demands.
Organizations using Broadbase or Servicesoft software should question
the vendor's long-term plans for the product line. TEC believes that there
is more synergy than overlap with these organizations' offerings, but
both vendors have personalization engines and campaign management applications.
Before implementing these products ask the vendor which applications are
going to be supported over the next 12 months. Furthermore if the product
line is going to be simplified, find answers to the following questions:
products are going to be supported in the future?
- How do
you plan to migrate users of the discontinued product to another product?
you still offer support and maintenance for the discontinued products,
and if so for how long?
the long-term strategy of any CRM vendor is also beneficial before making
a purchase decision. Ask the vendor what their plans are for acquisition
and product development. Overly aggressive plans may indicate that the
vendor is not allocating enough resources to provide service and support
for their existing customer base. Conversely, overly conservative product
development plans will cause the vendor's product line to become obsolete,
requiring your organization to find a new vendor in the future rather
than install upgrades from the current vendor.