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Unica snaps up MarketSoft

Barney Beal

Roughly a year after going public,

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Unica Corp. is spending some of its capital, buying up MarketSoft Corp. for $7.25 million.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company will add the lead management and event detection technology of its Lexington, Mass.-based neighbor to its enterprise marketing management suite, Affinium.

"This acquisition represents a natural extension of Affinium," Yuchan Lee, Unica's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "Today, companies are increasingly looking for a vendor that can meet their end-to-end needs for marketing automation and optimization, and Unica is uniquely positioned to serve this need. Evidence of the synergy between MarketSoft's and Unica's applications is the fact that one-third of MarketSoft's customers also use Unica's Affinium suite."

The deal was effective Dec. 20 and under the agreement Unica acquires all of MarketSoft's assets, including its technology and customer contracts. It comes six months after Unica's competitor Aprimo Inc. bought the enterprise marketing solutions unit of DoubleClick. @16649

"This was not a big surprise, it's a good match," said Elana Anderson, senior analyst at Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc. "I think it was quite clear two years ago that what MarketSoft was selling wasn't a standalone application. It needs to be tightly integrated to campaign management. One thing [companies] -- particularly retail banks -- are looking for is how to identify changes in customer behavior and push that out as a lead, but that needs to be integrated with campaign management."

MarketSoft's technology includes an event-detection capability that monitors the behaviors of customers to identify immediate sales or service opportunities. Additionally, its lead management system automatically qualifies, distributes and tracks the effectiveness of leads passed between internal groups, as well as external partners and agents through distributed rules engine. The system allows corporate marketing, field sales and channel partners to tailor their own lead management strategies.

"Long term, it's very good news for customers on both sides," Anderson said. "For MarketSoft customers, it ends a lot of questions as to the future of the company. Also, there's a lot of functionality they didn't have. For Unica, the event detection and strong lead management capabilities MarketSoft is bringing will bolster Unica's suite significantly."


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