Exchange Applications, Inc, provider of software and services, announced at the end of August that it has acquired privately-held software vendor GBI of Seattle.
Through the $24 million acquisition, Exchange Applications adds personalized e-marketing incorporating Web, email and inbound response processing to its arsenal of customer relationship optimization products and services. It also gains GBIs Application Service Provider (ASP) and software-hosting capabilities.
Based in Seattle, GBI becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Exchange Applications. All of its current 28 employees and contractors are expected to remain with the company. Founder Gino Borland will become chief operating officer of the division.
The software will continue to be sold by GBI for standalone use; Exchange Applications also plans to sell the product via its direct sales force as a part of its customer relationship optimization solution.
By combining GBIs e-marketing technology with its established customer optimization processes and applications, Exchange Applications are able to expand their channel-capabilities to include the Internet, alongside existing channels such as call centers.
Exchange Applications president and CEO Andrew Frawley said, "This capability is a key component of Exchange Applications growth strategy" adding that the Webs speed, flexibility and cost effectiveness are changing the dynamics of customer relationship management, providing businesses with new opportunities for optimizing customer value.
Management see several new capabilities arising from the acquisition:
- Utilize data warehouse information to plan, create and execute electronic customer communications via the Web and email;
- Dynamically generate electronic customer communications based on complete, up-to-the-minute customer profiles that capture customer behavior from all channels;
- Better coordinate e-marketing campaigns with other marketing channels; and
- Accurately measure ROI of e-marketing communications.
"In the online world, your competition is just a click away," said Gino Borland, founder and chief operating officer of GBI. "Message relevance is the key to forming lasting relationships with customers. One of the reasons we're excited about becoming a part of Exchange Applications is that it will enable us to offer a data-warehouse centric model for e-marketing - a significant advantage that will enable our clients to view the entire customer relationship, and synchronize their online and offline marketing efforts."
Exchange Applications Dan Haley will assume operational responsibilities for the GBI division. "Many of our customers are looking to expand their direct marketing programs to the Internet, so we see an immediate market for GBIs products within the Exchange Applications customer base. Similarly, several of GBIs customers who are currently marketing exclusively via the Internet are looking to tie in other channels such as call centers."
According to ExApps, several well-known companies, including Microsoft.com and Expedia.com, are currently utilizing GBIs software to manage electronic communications with tens of millions of customers.