Pivotal Buys Personalization Company



Pivotal Corp. is buying Simba Digital Conversations for $12 million in stock in order to get Simba's E-commerce analysis and personalization software.

Pivotal, a customer-relationship management vendor, will exchange 550,000 of its shares for all shares of Simba Digital Conversations, a division of Simba Technologies Inc. Simba Digital Conversations writes software that helps marketing personnel glean information from Web, E-mail, and chat interactions with customers. The software analyzes that data, helping the marketing department personalize future electronic interactions with those customers, thereby building stronger relationships.

The acquisition is the latest example of the confluence of traditional CRM and analytical software, says Chris Selland, a Yankee Group analyst. Analysis and personalization are critical tasks for E-commerce, which is inherently impersonal. "It's really a matter of doing on the Web what you can already do in person," he says.

Pivotal intends to sell the Simba technology as a standalone product and integrate it with its Pivotal eRelationship 2000 and Pivotal eSelling 2000 product lines. The Simba acquisition is part of a larger attempt to broaden the Pivotal line; Pivotal acquired sales-configuration software vendor Exactium Inc. in April.

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