Pending E.piphany Acquisition Could Tighten Siebel Gap

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E.piphany's announcement that it plans to acquire one software concern and the technological assets of a second firm potentially tightens the competitive gap between E.piphany and customer relationship management software leader Siebel Systems Inc.

E.piphany, San Mateo, CA, a provider of intelligent customer interaction software, said after the close of the market on Feb. 20 that it plans to acquire Moss Software Inc., Irvine, CA, and the intellectual properties of defunct business-to-business software firm Radnet Inc.

Under terms of the deal, E.piphany will cough up 1.9 million shares, or $46.3 million in E.piphany stock at the Feb. 20 closing price.

E.piphany's flagship customer relationship management software product, E.5, would be bolstered by Moss' sales force automation capabilities, allowing E.piphany to give Siebel Systems, the leading provider in these categories, a run for its money, according to a report issued by brokerage firm Lazard Freres & Co.

Siebel is the leading provider of customer relationship software that automates the sales and customer service operations of large corporations. Its flagship Siebel 2000 eBusiness Applications suite offers client information and decision support to call centers, direct sales teams, resellers, retailers and Web-based sales forces.

"E.piphany is one of the few now left standing that have a chance to make inroads," said Dana Serman, a Lazard Freres analyst. "The negative, of course, is that it puts them more in the gun sights of Siebel and probably causes Siebel to know that E.piphany is going right after them."

In other news, E.piphany said yesterday that it has extended its relationship with direct marketing services company Harte-Hanks, San Antonio. Under terms of this agreement, Harte-Hanks will become an application service provider and reseller of E.piphany products while E.piphany will offer Harte-Hanks Trillium Software System as an integrated option with its E.5 technology. The integrated technologies will provide customers with a single application that plugs into multiple touch points, including the Web.

"Our extended relationship with Harte-Hanks not only enables us to work with a key partner to go after important vertical segments, but also enhances the E.piphany solution by offering the choice of data cleansing and quality assurance from a clear market leader," said Karen Richardson, executive vice president and general manager at E.piphany, North America.

E.piphany and Harte-Hanks have provided marketing solutions for the U.S. Postal Service, Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. and the Financial Times.

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