Channel Marketer Report

Channel News

Zyme, the CDM Company, Completes Acquisition of Incentive Management Firm, CCI

Zyme logoZyme, a leading channel data management company, has acquired CCI, the channel incentives management firm. With the acquisition, Zyme now offers its customers the added capabilities of a comprehensive data-driven incentive management solution supporting rebates, MDF, co-op, SPIFS, and referrals.

The purchase of CCI is in line with Zyme’s mission to create “the new smart channel,” said Paul Carmody, senior vice president and general manager, products and solutions at Zyme. The company, whose zymeCDM solution processes more than a billion transactions a year from channel partners across 150 countries, remains vigilant to amend its technology to “make data more actionable,” he told CMR.

In an email announcing the deal, Steve Kellam, president of CCI, wrote, “The fit with CCI and Zyme is strong on a cultural, product and executive level, and allows us to continue to pursue a vision of growth and the pursuit of excellence, all within a framework that enhances and augments our existing platform.”

Kellam and other CCI managers will assume key positions at Zyme, said Carmody.

Zyme will continue to enhance its solution offering through internal development, acquisition of capabilities not yet resident on its platform, or other means, said Carmody. With the New Smart Channel – Zyme has a registered service mark on the phrase – the company’s goal is to help vendors and partners access and use data in a more common and integrated way.

Channel Tech Consolidation

Zyme’s announced acquisition of CCI came almost a week after news about the merger of channel management technology companies Zift Solutions and Relayware.

Those companies stated that the merger will position them to offer current and prospective customers enterprise channel management technology and services via Zift’s Channel as a Service (CHaaS) platform. Relayware clients can integrate new capabilities for digital marketing, content syndication and social media syndication provided by Zift.

Mergers and acquisition among companies likes these are expected to continue, industry experts and analysts agree.

“Channel software has been run in ‘silos’ for decades – these include PRM, incentives, marketing, and data,” said Jay McBain, principal analyst, global channels at Forrester. “With the two examples in the past two weeks, I think we are going to move through a wave of consolidation – and the breaking down of these silos.”

“Channel software companies will look to add value layers above the CRM with the logic, workflows and big data crunching that comes along with a fully-baked channel program,” he added.

“We will continue to see consolidation among companies that are offering channel technologies,” said Diane Krakora, principal at PartnerPath, a channel partner services company. Adding that the industry is fragmented with too many suppliers, she said that consolidation is a “good thing.”

Tim Harmon, managing director at Nuvello, a research and consulting network, pointed CMR to a blog he wrote following the announcement of the Zift/Relayware deal. Asserting that consolidation of channel tech vendors will ultimately benefit the vendors that rely on these solutions, he wrote that the chantech industry, “rife with fractured point solutions, has been in need of rationalization.”

The Zift/Relayware news, wrote Harmon, “signals the beginning of the long-time-coming consolidation of the chantech market.”  He echoed a comment made to him by Laz Gonzalez, Zift’s Chief Strategy Officer: companies “shouldn’t have to deal with pain of having to work with multiple vendors as they seek to scale their channel operations and digitalize their partner journeys.”

Ryan Brier, managing director, global channel practice at Frontier Strategy Group, agreed that in the near-term, channel chiefs are likely to benefit from the feature enhancements resulting from the consolidation of technology companies. He cautioned, though, that while mergers or acquisitions of companies can provide an installed base of customers with feature enhancements, the need for technology companies to acquire new business can divert their attention away from their core customers.

“Consolidation in my view is being driven by a need to break out of traditional markets and find new customers, which means that R&D is more likely to be focused on products and features for new customer segments rather than existing users moving forward.”