SBI to Acquire Lante
Specifically, Lante brings services in the areas of extended enterprise framework development, business-to-business integration, enterprise application development, as well as portals, content management and business analytics. SBI in a fire sale acquisition string similar to that of Divine Inc., had already acquired some assets of MarchFirst and acquired Emerald Solutions Inc. in Portland, Ore.. But SBI officials maintain that Divine is taking a riskier approach."Our approach is more pragmatic we too have a software business that adds value to the services we deliver. We have business process optimization software thats an add-on to the solutions weve delivered. Divine is trying to create a services business around the next ERP type application," said Coleman Barney, senior vice president and cofounder of SBI. Few of the Web boutiques whos fortunes rose and fell swiftly when the dotcom bubble burst are left as independent companies. Divine is in the process of completing offer to buy Viant Inc. Sapient and Razorfish remain as battered, but still independent companies. "Sapient has been hit really hard, but they are still a good company. Razorfish made a profit last quarter, but they have some challenges," said Mark Tebbe, Lante cofounder in Chicago. Tebbe is pleased with the deal struck with SBI. "We got the opportunity to team up our clients and employees with a company that has good management. For us, getting out of the spotlight of being a publicly owned company is a good thing," he said. SBIs moves are intended to position the company for fast growth when IT spending picks up, although officials asserted that its acquisitions will be profitable from day one. Its strategy to offer a more diverse range of services could pay off when and if the recovery starts. "With professional services, you have to have a way to go back and sell more work to existing clients. You build relationships with existing clients, learn more about them and then go back and sell additional projects that capitalize on the relationship and the knowledge," said Jim Shepherd, senior vice president of AMR Research Inc. in Boston. SBI has a diversified business model and is much healthier than other independent boutiques, he added. Related Stories:
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Divine Inc. as a publicly held company has made a string of acquisitions while operating at a loss.