Race for CRM dominance.

It is expected the offer by Newcastle-based Sage for the US-based CRM software provider should go through without any problems. The first closing date for tender offer is 3 May.

Only last month, mid-range software provider Exchequer Software revealed plans to expand its product range into the CRM market, following a tie-up with Databank Software.

The joining of forces was announced last week and will see the Bournemouth-based vendor link its Enterprise package with Databank’s Prospect CRM tool.

At the same time BASDA chief executive Dennis Keeling predicted a number of members would be announcing similar moves during the course of the year.

Providers are being encouraged to supply the CRM packages, which allow businesses to capture and analyse customer data at all points of interest.

The Sage offer valued Interact at $12.00 (#8.50) in cash for each share – a premium of 51% to the closing market price on 27 March 2001.

Interact has two products, ACT!, which is targeted at small businesses, and SalesLogix targeted at medium-sized businesses, and the acquisition of Interact will provide Sage with the opportunity to sell Interact’s range of market-leading CRM products into it’s customer base.

Paul Walker, Sage’s chief executive, said: ‘Interact is a strong business in its own right and gives us a leading position in the important CRM market.

‘We are confident Sage’s global presence and channel strength will open up additional opportunities for Interact’s products in new and existing markets.’

He added: ‘While penetration of CRM software among Sage customers is currently estimated at less than 10%, research suggests demand is already high and likely to grow significantly over the next few years.’

It is understood Sage had been looking for opportunities in the CRM market for some time – while the move will help it to meet its objective of linking its back-office accounting software with front-office sales and customer management tools.

Exchequer Software to make CRM move

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