Zelerate, Jabber Partner to Offer IM-based CRM

Banking on e-commerce businesses’ attraction to the ability to instantly communicate with customers, open source e-commerce solutions provider Zelerate Inc. (formerly OpenSales Inc.) Monday struck a strategic alliance and referral agreement with up-and-coming open source instant messaging technology provider Jabber.com Inc., a subsidiary of Webb Interactive Services Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zelerate will promote Jabber’s open source technologies and commercial solutions and professional services for instant messaging to its customers as a real-time customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Jabber will offer its customers Zelerate’s e-commerce software and professional services. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the companies said they will immediately engage in joint promotion, market development and customer referral activities.

“Businesses running Zelerate software depend upon us to offer an array of options that best reach target audiences,” said Bonnie Crater, president and chief executive officer of Zelerate. “Our arrangement with Jabber will provide a full set of communications tools that can enrich the offerings of our customers.”

Jabber.com is convinced that the instant messaging sector has not plumbed the commercial applications of the technology, and is looking to deals with companies like Zelerate and last week’s partnership with iWon, to show-off the robustness of its XML-based solution.

“We’re pleased that Zelerate has selected Jabber as the foundation for solutions that integrate e-commerce and instant messaging,” said Andre Durand, founder of Jabber.com. “We believe that partnerships such as this with world-class enterprise software vendors will accelerate the adoption of Jabber within the enterprise markets and help drive growth and demand for our commercial products and services. Our relationship with Zelerate will help us identify new markets where instant messaging can play a critical role in customer retention.”

The offerings of both companies are designed to work with major operating systems. Zelerate’s WAP-enabled ALLCommerce application suite, launched in May last year, contains a core set of extensible modules to support Internet business models and includes end-user interfaces to provide marketing managers with the ability to customize online pricing, inventory and order information. Jabber’s open source IM platform, built on XML technology and a distributed client/server architecture, is intended to give customers complete control over their IM services, applications and branding.

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