Open Text pockets Eloquent for US$6.7 million

Collaboration software vendor Open Text on Thursday announced plans to acquire Eloquent, a provider of rich media technology designed to bolster the effectiveness of sales and marketing teams.

Open Text plans to leverage Eloquent's LaunchForce sales readiness software to enhance the Open Text real-time virtual meeting tool, dubbed Livelink MeetingZone, and to create a separate packaged application combining collaboration and sales readiness.

Eloquent's platform unites video, graphics, audio, and slides into an integrated application designed to communicate complex product and training information to field sales organizations.

"Instead of taking PowerPoint slides and throwing them over the wall to a large sales organization, the idea is to attach a video presentation, together with slides and audio; package it; and distribute that to a sales team to get a much richer experience for consuming product information," said Bill Forquer, senior vice president of business development at Open Text, in Waterloo, Ontario.

Marrying this rich media package with Open Text's collaboration and knowledge management suite aims to add more of a human touch to meetings and product training, he said.

"The goal here is that rich media makes for a more engaging user experience, so when people consume the content it sticks better than with traditional methods," Forquer said.

In addition, Open Text's technology can save video presentations and meeting content, such as who attended, issues discussed, and action items, back into its Livelink system, according to Forquer.

"At the end of a meeting we save artifacts of the meeting back into the Livelink system and back into the context of the overall business process, which is the reason people were meeting in the first place," Forquer said.

Another feature of Eloquent's LaunchForce allows sales manager to track meeting attendance, which helps close the loop on training projects, according to Forquer. LaunchForce can also plug into learning management systems or CRM systems.

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