Sometimes being the first mover in an emerging market is not always the best thing.
InsideView on Nov. 27 agreed to purchase TrueAdvantage in a merger of rivals in the on-demand sales intelligence software sector.
An offshoot of business intelligence software, sales intelligence applications use aggregation and analytics technologies to help sales and marketing executives sift through information about companies to find better sales leads.
InsideView and TrueAdvantage are part of a long tail of SAAS (software as a service) providers that includes Salesforce.com, SAP, NetSuite and scores of others.
TrueAdvantage was a first mover in this space. Since 1999, the company has accrued more than 200 customers by letting them collect and analyze data from the Internet and more than 20,000 sources to boost sales. However, to do this, the Southborough, Mass., company employed roughly 150 employees to monitor and react to the leads.
Read more here about the summer of SAAS.
These workers, and most of the rest of the employees, will not be retained, InsideView co-founder and CEO Umberto Milletti said. This is because InsideView, created in 2005, uses software that automatically discovers selling opportunities, alerts salespeople in real time and delivers information on companies and connections needed to engage customers and close sales.
"[TrueAdvantage] blazed a path maybe at a time when the technology was not quite as mature," Milletti told eWEEK. "We were able to come in a little bit after and really leverage the search engines and the new technologies to do what they required people to do."
InsideView also uses mashups to helps customers mine online social networks to generate more sales leads. For example, InsideView provides a direct link to LinkedIn from within its on-demand application, helping users establish corporate-level connections to boards of directors, reference customers and a users previous employers.
The San Bruno, Calif., company features another mashup that ports contact and company information from Jigsaws online directory of seven million business contacts directly to InsideView.
Such deals highlight the crossover of such walled gardens from the consumer side to the enterprise in an era where people are looking to share information about themselves and their work with other people.
Click here to read more about how a social networking river runs through Web mail.
Milletti said InsideView plans to integrate the TrueAdvantage lead generation services in places it does not overlap with InsideViews services. It isnt yet clear exactly how this will be done.
InsideView already employs a proprietary aggregation technology to zero in on vertical markets and companies, but will try to tuck in TrueAdvantage triggers it doesnt already use.
InsideView has a modest customer base, including GlobalKnowledge, Rearden Commerce, RightNow Technologies, Symantec and WebEx.
However, Milletti promised his company will offer TrueAdvantage customers, which include Yahoo, IBM and ADT, a "fluid migration" to InsideViews sales and marketing intelligence application.
Moreover, TrueAdvantage customers will get all of the sales triggers around business events they had through TrueAdvantage, plus InsideViews access to social networks and integration with Salesforce.com and SugarCRM.
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