Sage resellers in the UK could be among the first to benefit from the accounting giant's acquisition of US company Interact, the company said last week.
The vendor is buying Interact, a customer relationship management (CRM) software supplier, for $263m (£183m).
Interact targets the SME market with its contact management and salesforce automation product Act! and its Sales Logix CRM suite. Act! has more than 3.5 million licences worldwide, while Interact has over 3,500 corporate customers for Sales Logix.
Paul Walker, Sage's chief executive, said the acquisition would give Sage an advantage against rival vendors because it would be able to combine its accounting software with Interact's CRM offering, allowing SMEs to take a unified view of their customers.
"We are confident that Sage's global presence and channel strength will open up additional opportunities for Interact's products in both new and existing markets," he said.
"Growth in the CRM market is significant and Interact has seen good growth. This will be a big benefit to Sage's 2.5 million customers worldwide," he added.
According to Sage's own figures, CRM-solution penetration of Sage's customers is less than 10 per cent.
Pat Sullivan, Interact's chief executive, said: "Both our organisations understand the unique needs of small and medium-sized customers and believe the best way to support these customers is through a reseller channel."
Paul Harrison, finance director at Sage, claimed the acquisition will benefit UK resellers because Sage will offer the integrated package in this country first.
"Ultimately we will migrate this software to the UK business because it will become another valued element in the Sage range," he said. Resellers have been encouraging Sage to include CRM software in its range for "quite a while", he added.
John Linney, managing director of Sage partner Object Support, agreed that the purchase will provide real opportunities for resellers.
"The acquisition of Interact is a prudent one," he said. "In the SME marketplace particularly there are signs that companies are interested in signing up to the benefits of CRM, which is good news for the UK channel."
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