Teradata announced today that it was entering into an agreement to acquire Aprimo, a privately held enterprise marketing platform company, with a strong focus on Campaign Management and Marketing Resource Management (MRM). Coming on the heels of the acquisition binge by IBM who acquired Unica, Coremetrics, and a bunch of other analytics and data management companies, we can safely say that marketing automation and campaign management solutions are up for grabs.
I was briefed by Teradata and Aprimo executives on the rationale for the acquisition. They expect the deal, valued at US$525 million, to close in Q1 2011. Now this is an even greater premium than IBM paid for Unica. So besides this being a very happy holiday season for Aprimo executives and the board, what does this mean for marketers, CI professionals, and competitors? Here’s my take on the deal:
Signals Teradata’s seriousness about the application business. Clearly all the data that drives Teradata's revenue isn’t enough. This acquisition signals a belief that Teradata views the business application space as critical to drive the utilization of the enterprise data warehouse. The fact that Aprimo has a strong on-demand marketing software business isn’t lost on Teradata either.
Strong complementary fit. In my experience covering this market and helping CI professionals select marketing technology, I rarely see Aprimo and Teradata compete in the same deal. Aprimo is always a better fit in B2B, mid-enterprise, or process management focused deals while Teradata TRM is a better fit in high-volume, retail-centric, or analytical campaign management propositions. So the coming together of these companies means strengthening the other’s weakness. In addition, they share some marquee clients like Walmart and Dell, which always helps.
As salesforce.com keeps adding more clouds to its SaaS development platform, some sales and marketing leaders are thinking that their annual user and developer conference doesn't have much to offer non-techies. But at Dreamforce 2010 last week in San Francisco, there were several big themes that marketers should be watching, whether or not you are a current salesforce customer. Here are a few that I made note of during the Analyst Summit:
Everything's a feed. Salesforce is making a big bet that the "feed" will become the new workplace for knowledge workers and is integrating Chatter (its group collaboration tool that it doesn't want you to think of as Facebook for the enterprise) into everything it does, including the sales and service apps (or clouds). A sales rep needs help on a deal? He starts a Chatter, and the whole company comes to his rescue. You need your expense report approved? Your manager sees it in her Chatter feed. Salesforce claims that there are 60,000 companies using Chatter that are seeing big productivity improvements, along with a 10%-15% decline in email. Perhaps the biggest news about Chatter is Chatter Free, a brilliant account penetration strategy that gets Chatter into the hands of the other 80% of employees in a client site who don't have salesforce seats. Salesforce thinks that the killer app for Chatter will be file sharing, just as the killer app for Facebook is photo sharing. And expect Chatter to be opened up beyond the user base of a single company to allow collaboration with prospects, customers, and partners. Start thinking now about how this will affect your customer experience, and let me know if you have plans to use it like this.