E.piphany Acquires Octane Software

SAN MATEO (03/15/2000) - CUSTOMER ANALYTICS, CAMPAIGN management, and real-time personalization applications will become married to multi-channel CRM (customer relationship management) solutions with the E.piphany acquisition of Octane Software for approximately $3 billion, announced today.

The acquisition has been driven by brick and mortar as well as dot.com companies who are in "a phenomenal rush to be able to conduct business via the Web, and to be able to reach out to them and interact with [customers]," said Roger Siboni, president and CEO of E.piphany.

The Octane acquisition will fill a gap in E.piphany's service offerings, said Siboni. "Where E.piphany stops, Octane starts," Siboni said. The combination of the two companies' products will bridge "a final gap...and provide intelligent CRM solutions in real-time [for] consumers, partners or suppliers," he said, adding that there is "almost no overlap in the customer bases" of the two.

The combined sales and engineering forces, part of a unified employee roster of 500, will strengthen E.piphany's hand in its competition with Siebel Systems, Primus, and others, Siboni said. Ultimately, Siebel will serve as the main competitor because it will be the only company to have the breadth of offerings to match E.piphany's.

"We do remain focused on the ultimate competitor," Siboni said. "It is between us and Siebel."

According to the agreement, E.piphany will issue approximately 12.8 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Octane, or approximately 26.5 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, officials said. The addition of the Octane work force will "double the sales and engineering organization staffs," and will comprise approximately 40 percent of the combined staff of E.piphany. The merger and staff integration are expected to be finalized by the end of this spring, and unified product development will be available by this summer, Siboni said.

As for the ASP (application service provider) hosting services of Octane, "a key executive" will be apppointed to push those initiatives forward, said Tim Guleri, CEO of Octane. Also, Octane will be continuing with its plans to port its products to the Unix, IBM DB2, and Oracle environments, Guleri said.

Octane Software, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is on the Web at http://www.Octane.com. E.piphany, also in San Mateo, is at http://www.epiphany.com.

Eugene Grygo is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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