HOSTED CRM GAINS IN POPULARITY: Information technology researcher Aberdeen Group says that 35 percent of businesses it recently surveyed said that they already use Internet-hosted customer relationship management products, and 85 percent said that they would evaluate hosting as they enter the market for CRM solutions.

“Application hosting in the CRM market is clearly showing signs of robust growth, bucking the trend of retrenchment in the IT sector as a whole,” Boston-based Aberdeen said. “The survey data also suggests that companies are looking beyond the current slowdown to a period of more vigorous growth, and that application hosting is an important part of their growth strategies.”

The findings are good news to accounting software vendor Accpac International, which in mid-August launched a hosted CRM program. Aberdeen’s report is available on its Web site,

BAAN PARENT SSA CONTINUES BUYING BINGE: Chicago-based enterprise resource planning vendor SSA Global Technologies Inc., the parent company of European ERP software maker Baan, has reached an agreement to buy Dallas-based EXE Technologies Inc., a supply chain management software vendor.

In addition to Baan, SSA’s acquisitions include Elevon, Ironside Technologies, Infinium Software and InterBiz, the electronic business division of Computer Associates.

EXE, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SSA, which had 16,000 customers prior to the agreement, said that it expects the deal to be consummated before the end of the year.

IT SPENDING PLANS UP IN MANUFACTURING, BUT DOWN IN SERVICES: Businesses’ plans for information technology spending have been increasing in the construction and manufacturing sectors, but weak spending continues in key service industries, according to suburban Philadelphia global consulting firms Wendover Corp. and Global Insight Inc.

During August, some manufacturing and construction companies indicated plans to reverse previous IT spending cuts, and the manufacturing sector overall reported a 16 percent gain in planned spending, according to the “Wendover-Global Insight IT Spending Index,” a survey of the intentions to invest in new IT projects at 80,000 large corporations in the United States and England.

However, the survey also found continued weak IT spending among services industries, “suggesting that very little pull to overall spending is likely in the coming months.” While health services industry IT spending plans dropped dramatically, finance, real estate and insurance sector spending “continued to stagnate,” according to the index.

CONTENT PROVIDER “XBRL-IZES” INFO ON 750,000 COS.: OneSource Information Services Inc., which warehouses and distributes operations information on businesses around the world, has upped its commitment to the XBRL programming code by making data on over 750,000 U.K. and European companies available in XBRL format.

The Concord, Mass.-based company, which gathers data from more than 2,500 sources, began supporting XBRL in March with a program that made information in that code available on some 20,000 companies worldwide.

Product marketing director Joe Tarragano said that OneSource’s extension with XBRL represents its commitment “to delivering the technology, services and support our customers need to maximize productivity from both external and internal business information.” The company makes its information available in XBRL format via a product called Applink SDK, whose starting price is $10,000, according to a company announcement in March.

The information that OneSource gathers and organizes includes details on companies’ financials, industries and key executives, as well as news, analyst reports, and trade and business press articles on the companies.

OneSource’s customers include the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., Bank One, Citigroup, Cisco Systems Inc., and Big Four firm Deloitte & Touche.

-- Compiled by John M. Covaleski

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