EXACT ACQUIRES RESELLER TREADSTONE GROUP: Enterprise resource planning product maker Exact Software has acquired the Treadstone Group, one of its long-time resellers, which will now serve as a regional office for the Cincinnati market.

With the new Cincinnati office, Exact now maintains 12 regional offices across the U.S. and two in Canada. Supporting Exact’s efforts in North America is a network of approximately 75 business partner organizations that provide local sales and service support.

“A critical factor in continuing to grow and strengthen the Exact brand in North America is our ability to serve the emerging needs of users of our products,” James Kent, chief executive of Exact Software North America. “Through this acquisition, we believe that we are in an even stronger position to help mid-market organizations in the region improve their businesses.”

In addition, as a result of the buy, Treadstone will no longer be a Microsoft Great Plains reseller.

BEST SELLS ACCOUNTMATE TO EMPLOYEES: AccountMate, which was acquired with Best Software’s purchase of Softline Software last year, has been sold to an employee group headed by former executive vice president of sales David Dierke, who has become president and chief executive.

Joining Dierke is Tommy Tan, formerly vice president of development, who will now be chief technology officer, and David Render, who will be chief operating officer. Render served as sales manager under Dierke when Dierke was sales vice president for the former SBT Accounting Systems. Dierke left SBT before its purchase by Accpac in 2001 and joined AccountMate after Softline acquired that company.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Softline purchased AccountMate in 2000 for $4.25 million. Best has sold Datafaction, acquired by Softline in 1999 for $3.2 million, back to its founder Brian Kleinman. Of the North American companies bought by Softline, Best is keeping only BusinessVision, which now operates under Accpac, also acquired earlier this year by Best.

IBM REMOVES THE E: After over seven years, IBM is dropping the red “e” symbol that it adopted in its corporate advertising to signal its support of e-business, according to a report from the Financial Times.

The company will now promote its “on-demand” business services by incorporating the word “on” into its logo, in a new global corporate marketing campaign designed by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, according to the article. The intent, according to IBM, is to portray the company as a problem solver rather than a provider of particular computing services.

The new IBM corporate slogan is said to be more in tune with its revised profile as a result of its $3.5 billion acquisition of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consulting division in 2002.

USE YOUR WEB SITE TO MARKET: Many accounting firms need to coordinate their marketing efforts more with their Web site, according to Robert Algeri, a partner with the New York-based Web and print design firm Great Jakes.

Algeri maintains that sites are critical to accounting firms, as they are to other professional services companies. He said that research indicates that 15 percent to 20 percent of established businesses look for a new accounting firm every year. Algeri also noted that 73 percent of law firms have reported that they have good clients who first found them via the firm’s site.

All sites should have marketing the firm foremost in mind, integrating the site’s look and feel with that of the firm’s brochure, direct mail pieces and other marketing materials, according to Algeri. He further suggests that the firm’s marketer or marketing department should be in charge of the site.

He also recommends devoting sections of the Web site to the firm’s niche areas, including case studies, articles and links to biographies of partners involved with the niche. He also recommends including downloadable PDFs, quotes and staff headshots in a press section.

Get rid of links, says Algeri, unless they help clients and prospective clients in some specific way. Finally, should a firm merge with another or become acquired, Algeri recommends gradually changing the firm Web site.

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