Customer Relationship Management (CRM) specialist Onyx Software has bought CRM support company Market Solutions for $6m.
The buyout, for $5m in cash and $1m in assets, took four weeks to negotiate and increases Onyx's UK operations six-fold.
Howard Hawk, international vice president at Onyx, claimed there is little overlap between the companies and hoped the deal would give Onyx the critical mass to compete for corporate accounts, assist partners better and be among the leaders in the CRM space.
Hawk said: "The sort of skillset and reputation Market Solutions has is difficult to find. We realised we could not grow fast enough organically to maintain a leadership position and keep pace with the other leaders in the CRM market."
Tania Holmes, who was managing director at Market Solutions, has now taken up the unfilled position at Onyx.
Holmes said that her aim at Onyx would be to provide more pre-sales support and education for the company's partners. "CRM is a market for solution providers rather than a traditional product licence reseller model. CRM projects are also ongoing, without a defined beginning and end, which challenges the reseller and the ways in which we support them," she said.
The acquisition will give Onyx a bigger market presence, more ability to promote the Onyx brand, and access to innovative technologies, according to Tony Compton, a partner in the management systems division at Onyx premier reseller, Deloitte and Touche.
He added that even though the acquisition is the third in 12 months at Onyx, integration was not a big issue. "IT had been suffering from a lack of resources in the UK, but this will give it the critical mass needed to steal market share," Compton said.
Commenting on the future of the CRM market, which according to recent studies from AMR Research will reach $16.8bn by 2003, Holmes said she expects new entrants as well as more consolidation.
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