J.D. Edwards is buying privately held Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor YOUcentric for about $86 million in stock and cash.
The move is the latest in a series of purchases and partnerships by J.D. Edwards in the CRM field.In 1998 it acquired Premisys, a visual product configurator In late 1998, it launched the Customer Service Management System (CSMS), a customer service and warranty management application In 1999 it agreed to resell market powerhouse Siebel’s CRM suite In 1999 and 2000, it delivered a suite of customer self-service applications.
"It’s a very strategic move and will be the unifying platform for a potentially strong CRM story for B2B buyers. With YOUcentric, J.D. Edwards gains expertise in CRM, specifically in sales, which it was sorely lacking, and YOUcentric’s core technology, which is based on J2EE and has a strong reputation for integrating data across multiple systems," comments market analyst Joan Harbin with AMR Research. "JD. Edwards has a huge opportunity in the mid-market to be the first with an entire supply-chain view of CRM. And with only 3% of its 6,000 customers already having a CRM system in place, it’s got a lot of selling room."
One casualty of the purchase will be J.D. Edwards’ relationship with Siebel, which is being terminated. J.D. Edwards says it will continue to support its 50 customers already using Siebel, but it is likely that those users will eventually be strongly encouraged to move to the J.D. Edwards-YOUcentric product.
"The real questions are how soon and how quickly J.D. Edwards can integrate its various CRM applications and, perhaps more importantly, unify the data model, architecture, and development tools. The first wave will happen relatively quickly with plans to release a first level of integration and common user interface by the end of December," says Harbin. "The true integration of the applications and architectures will take longer, and will require product rationalization and significant rewrites. AMR Research believes this to be a smart acquisition by J.D. Edwards, but customers will not see the full benefit of the investment until the end of 2002."