FrontRange pumps Maestro into e-business suite

FrontRange pumps Maestro into e-business suite


Local CRM software specialist FrontRange Solutions has acquired Chicago-based Maestro Commerce to expand its e-commerce and CRM application suite, targeting SMEs globally with "business on the Internet" solutions.

Under the cross-marketing deal, FrontRange will sell Maestro's Web-based e-business applications to SMEs, allowing them to integrate their back and front office operations.

Maestro will offer buy-side CRM tools to create the "customer responsive" business, according to FrontRange chairman and CEO, Dana Buys. Maestro will sell FrontRange and its own applications direct.

Maestro Commerce's range will sit under FrontRange's Goldmine product division, which designs CRM applications for help-desk environments.

FrontRange's expanded suite will hit the Australian and New Zealand markets first, followed by North America.

SME business software users will have to wait until early to mid 2001 to see the first set of offerings from the alliance, according to marketing manager for FrontRange Solutions Asia Pacific, Martyn Riddle.

The dual-solution would fit "fairly and squarely" into middle-market companies across the finance, legal, consulting services, real estate and sporting association industries, he said.

FrontRange will sell the expanded suite direct to its 60-strong local reseller base, according to Riddle. Resellers could bolster current FrontRange sales by deploying additional Maestro products via an ASP business model, implementing solutions for more Internet and ASP-centric SMEs, he said.

"e-commerce solutions are expensive. Companies don't want to wait two to three years for return on investment. They want returns in three to six months," said Riddle. "The CRM business is significant in its own right, so the addition of this third key [Maestro] will help us carry on our dominance in the SME e-commerce market."

FrontRange's resellers include Bits in Sydney, Marsh Hill in Melbourne, Millenium in Perth, Data 3 and Olympic Software in New Zealand.

The acquisition was brokered by FrontRange's US executives. Martyn would not disclose financials on the deal, only saying it had "significant" market value. The company's Australian product managers will drive business strategy for local sales.

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