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Acquisition of the Week: RightNow and Salesnet

RightNow has announced its intention to acquire Salesnet for its workflow automation capabilities and, in a surprising show of honesty, its customer base in all all-cash merger of the two companies.
When last we looked at RightNow, it compared well to competitors in reporting and core functionality. But in terms of standardizing sales practices and supporting larger environments, RightNow fell behind market leaders such as salesforce.com and Salesnet.

Standardization of sales practices across an organization is one way of improving productivity of your sales force. But without a strong workflow component, it's nearly impossible to enforce best practices or organizational standards in a hosted environment. Salesnet, however, has always focused on just that aspect of selling - best practices and standardization. But RightNow brings to the table more advanced analytics and campaign management, which will surely benefit existing Salesnet customers.

RightNow indicates that the acquisition will accelerate its roadmap and that integration between Salesnet and RightNow applications will be initially completed this summer, but is not expected to be wholly complete until the summer of 2007.

RightNow CRM has always been a .NET focused solution and Salesnet's love affair with Microsoft technology has been similarly obvious over the years, so they share at least a common technological ground from which to begin integrating features and functionality.

The announcement is unsurprisingly light on details of future product direction, but states states, "The acquisition will accelerate RightNow???s customer experience management development efforts by combining RightNow???s patented knowledge foundation with Salesnet???s sophisticated workflow engine."

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