Siebel Systems will buy ecommerce software developer OpenSite in a deal worth more than $440m.
The company has also posted a first quarter profit that is nearly double the amount for the same period last year.
The posting has prompted analysts to predict that Siebel's results are echoing previous forecasts about the customer relationship management (CRM) market. For the first quarter ending 31 March, Siebel earned $46.3m on $309.4m in sales, against $21.8m on $141.5m in sales in the same period in 1999.
Peggy Menconi, research director for CRM at analyst AMR Research, said: "CRM is incredibly hot."
Over the past year, Siebel has advanced into areas such as marketing automation, and wireless and small and medium sized enterprise applications. The acquisition of OpenSite is the latest development in the company's plan to become a major player in the CRM market.
OpenSite has developed software which allows companies to provide a host of traditional auction and reverse auction sales transactions. The acquisition is expected to be completed this quarter.
Forrester Research predicted that auction based transactions will become increasingly common in ebusiness. On the back end partner relationship management (PRM) side, Siebel, which has been adding these functions to its overall ebusiness software package, has struck an alliance with ChannelWave Software.
As part of the deal, ChannelWave will integrate its PRM applications with Siebel's business applications. The companies claim to have the most complete offering for direct and indirect sales channels.
OpenSite will operate under the Siebel Systems name, and chief executive Kip Frey will become vice president and general manager of Siebel's eCommerce unit.
First appeared in Computer Reseller News
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