SIEBEL ADDS TO HOSTED CRM OFFERINGS: Nearly a month after launching a hosted customer relationship management service, Siebel Systems Inc. moved to round out its on-demand offerings with the $5 million purchase of Austin, Texas-based hosted contact-center services provider Ineto Services Inc. The acquisition ultimately allows Siebel to deliver contact-center capabilities to smaller companies that can’t afford to build the required telephony infrastructure. It also will let companies beef up call center operations to meet seasonal demand or set up a departmental call center.

In December, Siebel launched Siebel CRM OnDemand in a move to compete with rival hosted CRM provider Inc. Siebel is already offering the Ineto service, renamed Contact OnDemand, as an add-on to its hosted CRM offering. The company has integrated phone-call-related information entered into Contact OnDemand with its CRM products, and in the second quarter of this year it will integrate e-mail and chat support with information in the CRM system.

The purchase of Ineto is the latest in a series of acquisitions that Siebel has made in the past few years — the most recent being in October 2003, when it paid $50 million for hosted CRM provider UpShot Corp.


XBRL GROUP ROLLS OUT NEW TECH SPECS: XBRL International, a global consortium of accounting, technology and financial services companies and government agencies, has released version 2.1 of its Extensible Business Reporting Language technical specification.

The latest release of the specification clarifies and enhances the manner in which business reporting software applications produce or consume XBRL-tagged data to make the specification more readily usable.

The consortium also released as a public working draft an XBRL Conformance Suite of over 200 tests for use by companies to test their XBRL implementations. The XBRL 2.0 Specification released in December 2001 and all XBRL taxonomies developed in conformance with the XBRL 2.0 Specification will remain valid.

In August 2003, an XBRL software vendor survey showed that two-thirds of U.S. accounting software vendors polled have either already XBRL-enabled at least one of their accounting software packages or will do so by December 2004. Vendors included Oracle, Microsoft, Hyperion, SAP, PeopleSoft, CaseWare International, Accpac International, JD Edwards, Best Software and Cartesis.


BEST CONTINUES ACQUISITION PATH WITH MACABE BUY: Best Software has purchased the development division of Macabe Associates, one of the accounting and business application software vendor’s largest third-party developers, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal involves the purchase of Macabe’s Easy Solutions products, which include hundreds of add-on packages for Best’s MAS 90 and MAS 200 software. Alan Bryant, Macabe’s vice president, joins Best as president of its mid-market division and will manage the Easy Solutions development team, which will remain in Seattle. The group will work to incorporate Macabe’s products into the MAS product line’s Master Developer tool set.

According to the Accounting Today 2003 Pacesetters report, Macabe employed 34 and had an estimated $4.5 million in annual revenue.


SAGEWORKS TO GENERATE REPORTS FOR LEXISNEXIS: Web-based research giant LexisNexis has licensed reports generated by e-business application developer Sageworks Inc.’s ProfitCents Public, a software program that converts the financial statement numbers of publicly traded firms into plain-language reports.

The application loads the Securities and Exchange Commission data of publicly traded firms in the United States (excluding financial institutions) into Sageworks’ proprietary “Find” technology, which converts the numbers into text.

The ProfitCents Public tool will be available within the month through and through the LexisNexis Company Dossier within LexisNexis Academic.

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