Siebel Systems plans to add auction facilities to its customer relationship management (CRM) suite through a $440m acquisition of software developer OpenSite.
As a result of the purchase, OpenSite said it will drop plans for an initial public offering and scrap its intended acquisition of auction search site Bidder's Edge.
OpenSite enables businesses to buy and sell services through auctions and exchanges. Thomas Siebel, chairman and chief executive at Siebel, said the deal will provide customers "with the opportunity to choose both how they prefer to interact, as well as transact, when they communicate with a company".
The auction specialist was set up in 1996 and sells to ISPs, web portals and businesses. Kip Frey, its chief executive, will become vice president and general manager of Siebel's online auction unit.
Separately, Siebel began shipping its latest release of eBusiness 2000, which allows companies to manage, synchronise and co-ordinate sales, marketing and customer services by call centre, field sales, reseller channels and the web.
The company said it has improved the product's application integration feature with extended connections to enterprise resource planning software from SAP, Great Plains, and JD Edwards.
It is expected that today (19 April) will also see the launch of the latest version of its flagship CRM package, Siebel 2000.
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