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CRM vendors go shopping

Siebel wasn't the only one making holiday purchases. Witness Systems bought Blue Pumpkin and LexisNexis purchased Interface.

While Siebel Systems Inc.'s acquisition last week of Edocs captured most of the headlines, it wasn't the only movement in the CRM market.

Witness Systems Inc. and LexisNexis both made acquisitions.

Legal, news and business information provider LexisNexis Group of Miamisburg, Ohio, purchased on Monday Interface Software Inc. of Oak Brook, Ill. Interface provides CRM applications primarily to legal and professional services firms focused on leveraging client relationships, enhancing marketing and developing their business. More than 70% of the largest U.S. law firms and 38% of the U.K.'s top 50 firms use Interface's InterAction application, the company said.

For more information

Read about Siebel's acquisition of Edocs


Learn about the importance of workforce management in the call center

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Reed Elsevier Group plc, the parent company of LexisNexis, will purchase all outstanding shares of privately held Interface.

LexisNexis applications that provide client development and practice management will be combined with InterAction's CRM tools to carry out growth strategies, target marketing and improve ROI.

Meanwhile on Friday, Witness Systems, a performance optimization software company in Roswell, Ga., purchased Blue Pumpkin Software Inc., a workforce management company in Sunnyvale, Calif. Witness paid approximately $75 million for the company, $40 million of which was paid in cash, the rest in Witness stock.

The combination of customer interaction with workforce management will anchor the quality monitoring and workforce management segments of the broader workforce optimization market, according to Witness Systems. Companies are looking for a complete workforce optimization application tool, executives said.

"Efficiency has been the first area to be addressed, most significantly through workforce management's automation of the scheduling and planning of resources in the contact center," Doron Aspitz, chairman and CEO of Blue Pumpkin, said in a release. "Quality monitoring software was the first solution to initiate effectiveness change."

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2005.

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