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 NCR Corporation has acquired Ceres Integrated Solutions, provider of customer relationship management solutions and retail targeted marketing applications. The cash and stock transaction is valued at approximately $90 million.

The combination of NCR's Relationship Optimizer CRM suite and Ceres will form the NCR CRM Solutions Division. The new division is expected to drive sales of new data warehouses and expansion of existing warehouses.

Peter Heffring, president and co-founder of Ceres, will head the new NCR division, which will be headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. The new division will be supported by NCR's global data warehousing sales force and professional services consultants as well as a growing set of channel partners.

NCR and Ceres have a partnership that already serves customers such as Wal*Mart, Lowe's, Kmart, Office Depot and Wells Fargo Bank, and, in the retail arena Eddie Bauer, Blockbuster, JCPenney, Marks & Spencer, Federated Department Stores and Neiman Marcus and will be a strong complement to Relationship Optimizer. NCR's Relationship Optimizer customers include Bank of America, Continental Airlines, KT Freetel, National Australia Bank, Union Bank of Norway and others.

“The integration of NCR and Ceres clearly shows our commitment to being a world-class solutions provider. We are fortunate to have Peter Heffring, a proven leader in CRM applications software, to head the new division,” said Mark Hurd, senior vice president of NCR’s data warehousing group. “Our combined development team will quadruple in size, thus increasing our speed to market with superior data warehousing and CRM solutions for all customers, especially those engaged in e-business.”

“NCR’s Relationship Optimizer and Ceres deliver a complete end-to-end customer relationship management suite, providing us with strong differentiation over competitors such as Exchange Applications, Prime Response and E.piphany. We will focus on the Teradata and Oracle database platforms for best-of-breed application and performance,” said Heffring.

“The CRM applications are fully optimized around Teradata active warehouse to give us the fastest and most scalable CRM solution,” Heffring added. "“We will continue the technology roadmaps of both Ceres and Relationship Optimizer and merge the best of both products.”

As a part of the transaction, NCR also acquires the 25 per cent stake in Ceres owned by Acxiom Corporation since June 1998. Acxiom will continue as a partner to the new NCR division.
Ceres Integrated Solutions, a privately held firm based in Raleigh, N.C., is a provider of intelligent operational software and analytical services. 

NCR Corporation provides Relationship Technology solutions for the retail, financial, communications, travel and transportation, and insurance markets. NCR’s Relationship Technology solutions include store automation, ATMs and privacy-enabled Teradata warehouses.


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