Siebel adds to banking products with Eontec buy

Siebel Systems Inc. said Tuesday it has acquired Dublin-based banking software developer Eontec Ltd. to add transactional capabilities to its banking CRM (customer relationship management) and analytics offerings. Siebel paid US$70 million cash for the company, and will pay up to US$60 million more in cash throughout 2005 if revenue and customer-satisfaction targets are met, according to executives.

Eontec’s 140 employees will join Siebel’s San Mateo, Calif.-based retail finance division, now led by Eontec’s former chief executive officer, Patrick Brazel. Brazel and Eontec’s staff will continue working out of Dublin, a Siebel spokesman said. Eontec’s worldwide offices include a North American headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., which has a staff of around 20.

Ten-year-old Eontec developed a Java-based suite of applications for handling branch, call center and Internet transactions. Its nine customers — three of which are also Siebel customers, according to Siebel — include Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which supports three million customers on Eontec’s Internet banking system, and Canada’s CIBC, which runs its teller systems in 1,200 branches on Eontec’s software.

Siebel and Eontec began working together at the end of last year at the behest of several joint customers, according to Richard Campione, general manager of Siebel’s financial services and public sector group. Their integrated software, available now, gives Siebel a fairly complete package of banking transaction, sales, service and analytics products, he said.

Siebel sees the banking industry as one in the midst of billions in IT spending as companies replace aging systems and build infrastructure for new channels such as online banking. Executives said in October that a new customer console system for branch banks would be a major addition to Siebel’s 7.7 software release, due shortly.

That console is now linked with Eontec’s software and part of Siebel’s expanded banking product lineup, Campione said.

Siebel’s competitors in the banking market include Fidelity National Financial Inc., which provides banking technology systems and services to institutions that outsource those functions, and S1 Corp., which sells a variety of multi-channel financial services applications.

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