IBM and Kana forge global strategic alliance

Kana Communications will integrate its Web-based relationship management technology with IBM's middleware, hardware and online business services,the companies announced on Wednesday.

Kana is a customer relationship management (CRM) software developer that provides an automated e-mail customer communications system with customer service support.

In a statement, the companies said the alliance is driven by customers demand for assistance with on-line business. The partnership will assist customers with:-- Managing interactions across communication channels such as Web, e-mail, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), fax and storefront;-- Delivering an "intelligent and personalised experience" across all points of contact;-- Granting customers, partners and the enterprise a clear view of relationships;-- Attracting new customers through insight into customer preferences and behavior;-- Employing a Web-based platform that is scalable and can communicate and enable information from a variety of sources; and-- Growing revenue, reducing costs and increasing profits.

IBM and Kana will jointly market and sell Kana enterprise relationship management (eRM) technology, which will support IBM's hardware like the Netfinity (NT) and the R/S 6000 AIX. The companies said they will enure that Kana's products work with IBM's middleware and component-based technologies, such as its DB2 Universal Database, MQ Series, WebSphere Commerce Suite and WebSphere Application Server.

In February of this year, Kana bought Silknet Software for $US4.2 billion.

Kana gained Internet commerce and support applications in the deal.

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