|OutStart announced the acquisition of Participate Systems, a provider of online customer and sales support solutions. Operating under the OutStart name, the new company will provide solutions that create a blended approach to learning and knowledge sharing that ultimately results in higher proficiency and productivity across an organization. |
"As enterprises strive to ensure that employees have access to the most current and relevant information available, the need for having an effective learning and knowledge sharing solution in place becomes critical," said Jim Lundy, vice president and research director at Gartner. "By taking advantage of a solution that integrates knowledge sharing and blended learning capabilities, companies are able to benefit from faster time to market and shorter sales cycles that directly impact the bottom line."
"The catalyst for the Participate-OutStart merger was the common vision the companies shared around the value of a blended approach for knowledge transfer," said Massood Zarrabian, CEO and President of OutStart. "In the real word, companies need to capture and transfer knowledge through many different channels, including formal training, knowledge bases, online communities, dialogues with experts and the like. This acquisition allows OutStart to be the first to offer customers a far more complete solution that captures and transfers knowledge using a broad range of methods, including formal learning, knowledge bases, and online communities."
Designed to drive the broad market adoption of learning and knowledge sharing solutions, the acquisition enables OutStart to develop industry-defining offerings that leverage and blend the best of both structured training and knowledge-sharing approaches. The resulting solution, which will be released in the first half of 2005, will allow companies to more effectively train, educate and inform their employees, customers and partners.
"The OutStart-Participate combination creates a tremendous opportunity for our customers and our company," said Alan Warms, CEO and president of Participate Systems, "OutStart is committed to maintaining the leadership position of our flagship expertise management software, Participate Enterprise and by integrating our Chicago-based operations into OutStart’s growing organization, the combined entity will be in a unique position to offer a robust set of proven knowledge sharing solutions."
In order to ensure outstanding value for all Participate Systems’ customers, Alan Warms will remain on board reporting directly to Massood Zarrabian and Participate Systems Vice President for R&D Steve Henkels will be leading the R&D organization for the combined company.
Combining best-of-breed self help, expertise and community management systems in one comprehensive collaboration platform, Participate Enterprise 3 is designed to:
- Deliver all of the critical functionality required to build and grow both customer-facing and internal sales and marketing self-help communities and knowledge sharing networks
- Automate and streamline daily management tasks by providing comprehensive administration and reporting capabilities
- Control, manage and safely distribute content through enterprise grade security
- Integrate seamlessly with leading CRM applications