SAGE BUYS NORWEGIAN SOFTWARE FIRM: The Sage Group has a deal in place to acquire Norwegian software and accounting firm Visma for approximately $584 million.With 200,000 customers, Visma is the largest Scandinavian vendor of business management solutions for small and midsized businesses. Visma's revenues for 2005 were approximately $290 million, up almost $40 million from the 2004 figures. As of December 31, Visma had gross assets of approximately $345 million.

"The proposed acquisition of Visma is consistent with the Sage strategy of expanding geographically into new and attractive markets," said Sage chief executive Paul Walker, in a statement. "We see significant potential to build on Visma's leading position in the Scandinavian SME market."

In a statement, Visma chief executive Øystein Moan said that the acquisition by Sage is a huge positive for the future development of Visma. "To a large extent, Visma supplements Sage, and there is very limited overlap in the two companies' market positions," he said.

PROTIVITI SEALS CONTRACT MANAGEMENT PACT: Risk consulting and internal audit services provider Protiviti has teamed with enterprise software company diCarta to provide a contract management compliance solution for Protiviti clients.

Under the terms of the agreement, Protiviti will implement San Carlos, Calif.-based diCarta's proprietary solution, Contracts, a contract management product that allows users to manage contract controls, implement increased transparency in contract obligations, and manage compliance mandates with agreement terms through an ongoing analysis process.

The companies said that the partnership would enable users to pare down their legal and financial risk and lower procurement costs.

CCH ACQUIRES DOCUMATTERS AUTOMATION TOOLS: CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a provider of tax and accounting law, software and services, bolstered its paperless workflow process with the acquisition of a pair of automation tools from Bradenton, Fla.-based DocuMatters.

Included in the transaction were BOCDIP, an automated document identification tool, and paperless workflow solution PDFlyer. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

BOCDIP and PDFlyer will be integrated into the CCH portfolio of software solutions, with BOCDIP being rebranded ProSystem fx Scan. The PDFlyer product will continue to carry its current name.

BOCDIP combines its database engine with a data dictionary to read and recognize client documents such as W-2s, K-1s and interest statements. The software then sorts, bookmarks and outputs the documents to a PDF file. PDFlyer is an Adobe Acrobat plug-in, which facilitates working with multiple PDF files in a paperless, dual-screen environment.

SOFTRAX RELEASES PAPER ON BILLING STRATEGIES: Softrax Corp., a provider of billing and revenue management solutions, has released a white paper titled "Billing Strategies for Innovative Business Models: How Boring Old Billing Could Be the Competitive Advantage You Never Knew You Had."

Not surprisingly, the paper offers a number of strategies available directly from Softrax, but it does explore the complex billing requirements for a range of businesses - including business process outsourcing, software as a service, information providers, telecommunications, e-learning and e-commerce business services.

"Companies that rely on business-model innovation to drive growth have unique billing requirements," said vice president of marketing Gottfried Sehringer, in a statement. "Their billing systems must continually adapt to new ways of bundling, pricing and charging. Companies that manage billing and related financial processes as an integrated strategic asset are able to go to market faster, increase market share and outmaneuver their competition."

For companies with periodically recurring contracts, subscriptions and complex services, there are a number of processes that the paper explores, including pricing, metering, billing, and contract and revenue management.

The paper is available for free at, after a short registration process.

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