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OneSource Information Services, Inc. Soars with CorpTech Under Wing
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Posted On September 27, 1999
In a strategic move designed to significantly enhance customer base, increase operating margins, and expand services, database aggregator OneSource Information Services, Inc. (Concord, Massachusetts; http://www.onesource.com) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Corporate Technology Information Services, or CorpTech (Woburn, Massachusetts; http://www.corptech.com), for $8 million in cash. This will be finalized October 1 after the shareholders vote.

OneSource, which went public earlier this year, provides an integrated Web-based research service that contains more than 2,500 sources from 25 premium information providers. The OneSource "Ready-to-Use-Business Information" system contains textual business and financial information from news sources, trade press, executive biographies, and investment analysts' reports as well as numeric data such as in-depth company financials, stock quotes, and industry statistics. OneSource says that its customers, who are both U.S. and global, have consistently demanded more high-quality, in-depth information about private companies. The CorpTech acquisition is intended to address this particular need.

CorpTech is well-known to information industry professionals for high-quality company profiles that cover emerging, typically private, technology companies. The CorpTech database is available both on the Web and from third-party vendors. It is also sold in other formats. The growing list of CorpTech distributors includes supermarket vendors and aggregators like Dialog, DataStar, and NewsEdge. A widening array of companies who find CorpTech data beneficial to users are FirstMark (http://www.firstmark.com), Knowledge Express (http://www.knowledgeexpress.com), Skila (http://www.skila.com), Data Downlink (http://www.xls.com), MoneySearch (http://www.moneysearch.com), Career Search (http://www.careersearch.net), and others. CorpTech's alliances with all of these companies, plus Infonautics (http://www.infonautics.com), Investext (http://www.investext.com), and most recently Hoover's (http://www.hoovers.com), have been responsible for increased revenue.

The CorpTech product line, in addition to the flagship database, consists of a four-volume print directory, the EXPLORE CD-ROMs (with two options), 13 Regional Technology Guides (soft cover print directories), and comma-delimited data on ASCII diskettes for mailing list applications. All of the products are based on the CorpTech database, which, additionally, is available for site licensing.

OneSource and CorpTech have had an ongoing business relationship for many years with CorpTech as a contributor to OneSource. The OneSource acquisition, however, adds some new dimensions. OneSource spokesperson Christine Eyre explained that the new alliance will not only enhance the OneSource customer base, but that OneSource will also gain control of editorial operations. This should lead to additional content development, although specific plans have yet to be developed. An obvious area for expansion beyond the current database, which contains some 50,000 high-tech company profiles, is to add private company information for other industries. International company data is also on the radar screen. Eyre says that putting the two companies together is "wholly positive and additive" because there is no overlap and each company provides unique services.

Since CorpTech was undercapitalized, OneSource will be able to improve and maximize usage through slicing and dicing it in different ways. There will be no disruption of current relationships or price changes. All signs indicate that OneSource intends to make a good product better while enhancing services that benefit the OneSource bottom line.

OneSource president Dan Schimmel said that OneSource will continue to execute a growth strategy that "... focuses on adding new customers, growing revenues within existing customers, and expanding our product line." OneSource also plans "... additional strategic acquisitions and alliances that afford a competitive advantage ... and generate increased shareholder value." CorpTech's 50 employees will move to the OneSource facility to join the OneSource staff of 170. The CorpTech telesales force and the OneSource field sales force, together, will enhance the overall marketing program, said Eyre.


Amelia Kassel is president of MarketingBase, a global information brokerage, and a columnist for Searcher.

Email Amelia Kassel
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