Magazine article American Banker

Deal Said to Signal Trend in Customer Management

Magazine article American Banker

Deal Said to Signal Trend in Customer Management

Article excerpt

The acquisition of CustomerAnalytics by Exchange Applications Inc. is seen by experts as a sign of consolidation among companies specializing in customer relationship management. Last week's $5.2 million deal combines the software and training that Dallas-based CustomerAnalytics offers for branch employees with the more centralized, back-end technology of Exchange Applications. The deal fits a pattern, expected to become more common, in which different disciplines within customer relationship technology are merged. With so many companies focusing on different techniques of nurturing relationships, a convergence of companies is inevitable, observers said. "We are going to see a lot more of this type of consolidation as time goes on," said Kimberly Collins, a senior research analyst at GartnerGroup. "There is going to be consolidation between companies that have different pieces and different technologies." For the company that was founded in 1979 as Action Systems and bought Burlington, Mass.-based CustomerAnalytics in November, the deal continues an effort to expand beyond its roots as a provider of branch-based software and expertise. "The merger with Exchange is a logical extension of that" November deal "because the impetus of both is that CustomerAnalytics needed to move further," said Robert E. Hall, chief strategy officer for the new Exchange Applications and formerly chief executive officer of CustomerAnalytics. The former Action Systems, which booked revenue of $17.7 million last year, was started to carry out customer relationship management strategies at the branch level. …

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