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Meritage Technologies acquires Denver consulting firm

Looking to expand their wireless and CRM offerings, as well as their reach across the United States, Meritage Technologies, which specializes in transforming businesses to e-businesses, has acquired Denver-based consulting firm Strategic Innovations.

Strategic Innovations brings expertise in wireless technology and Onyx-based CRM to Meritage's e-business portfolio, which includes services to increase revenue, reduce operating costs and improve profitability for brick-and-mortar companies. Strategic Innovations will also form the mountain states' hub for Meritage's Internet offerings.

"We've had a pretty aggressive growth plan in place for this year, which included gaining a footprint in the Denver market, Pacific Northwest and Southern California," said Bill Lawler, vice president of sales for western operations at Meritage. There are also plans to expand into Phoenix and Portland, Ore., he said. "Strategic Innovations provides us with a CRM hub for all of the West."

Strategic Innovations also has a lot of experience with wireless technologies, according to Lawler. They were already ahead in the usage of sales force automation tools in the field, in addition to their work with Onyx software, he said.

"We were focusing on wireless for well over a year," said Alan Ruth, founder of Strategic Innovations and now Meritage's Denver market development manager. Strategic Innovations worked with applications that leveraged wireless technologies, which enabled the real-time transmission of data to field workers. The company even prepared a prototype for a large telecommunications customer that allowed a field technician to access data on a customer wirelessly, such as the repair history, through the CRM software, Ruth said.

Additionally, the experience that Strategic Innovations has in the CRM space attracted Meritage to the company, according to Lawler, as well as their vertical market expertise in the oil and gas industry.

Strategic Innovations has worked with companies to unify their views of their customers, Ruth said. By integrating repair histories and sales information, sales opportunities were able to spring up for a company's sales force, he said.

"The offering focuses on enabling companies to have one representative view of the customer and gain value from the aggregated view, to enhance revenue opportunities, to increase customer service, to build a competitive advantage against competitors," Ruth said.

"We've got 330 current customers... that can benefit from both CRM and wireless technologies," said Lawler. Meritage's customers include The Mead Corp., Termo Electron Corp., Munder Capital Management, General Electric Company and Roche Diagnostics. Meritage itself is implementing Onyx and was looking at a four to six month rollout. With the help of Alan Ruth, Lawler said, Meritage plans to accelerate its own internal implementation, as well as accelerate implementation for customers.

Strategic Innovations' customers, which included companies in the oil, gas, mining, telecommunications and financial services sectors, will roll over into Meritage, as well as Strategic Innovations' employees, Ruth said.

"One thing we look at is what is the talent of the people [in the company to be acquired] and the opportunity to integrate them quickly," Lawler said. The customer base of Strategic Innovations was also important, full of future opportunities, he added.

"All our customers were excited about the new opportunities... which Meritage brings, such as Meritage's solid experience in e-business," Ruth said. Strategic Innovations' customers include Autodesk, Cerulean Technology, MCI Systemhouse and Rational Software.

For more information, visit Meritage Technologies' Web site.

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