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Enterprise software vendor J.D. Edwards & Co. is forging deeper into the customer-relationship management market. The company announced today it has acquired Premisys Corp., a privately held maker of sales configuration software. The deal, in cash and stock, is valued at approximately $12 million.
Sales configuration software typically allows manufacturers of complex products, such as PCs, to quickly determine which parts will work together and how much a finished product will cost. J.D. Edwards has its own, internally developed configurator, but analyst Harry Tse of the Yankee Group says that product is rudimentary. He says the Premisys configurator goes a step beyond because of its highly graphical nature and its ability to generate technical, three-dimensional drawings that visually piece together the configuration process.
William Goodison, VP of worldwide marketing at J.D. Edwards, says the company will make both configurators available to its customers, depending on their requirements. He adds that the Premisys product should be completely integrated with the rest of the J.D. Edwards application suite within six to 12 months. Goodison says the two companies currently do not share any common customers.
"J.D. Edwards bought Premisys because its underlying technology was very promising," Tse says. He predicts that J.D. Edwards will focus all new development efforts on the Premisys configurator, rather than on its own product. For example, he believes J.D. Edwards will ultimately turn the software into an E-commerce tool so that its customers' customers can begin to configure products over the Web on their own.
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