The best-publicized activities in the customer analytics market are the numerous recent acquisitions among software vendors of packaged analytic applications. The "holy grail" that most vendors seek is a large, comprehensive application suite that covers the full range of customer-oriented business tasks. This includes customer relationship management (both operational and analytic CRM), e-commerce customer analysis (whether real time or offline) and marketing campaign management and analysis, possibly mixed with other Internet- oriented business tasks such as Web site administration and content management. For example:

Packaged analytic applications aside, other recent acquisitions involve tools for data movement and data mining. For instance, the point of Oracle Corporation's acquisition of Thinking Machines and Carlton was to acquire mining and cleansing capabilities, respectively, for customer data. Similarly, Sagent is in the process of acquiring Qualitative Marketing Software (QMS), which will add for the ability to cleanse customer data to Sagent's data-mart- building products.

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