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Harte Hanks Announces the Sale of Its B2B Research Business

NEW YORK, NY – April 14, 2015 – Harte Hanks (NYSE: HHS), a leader in developing customer relationships, experiences and defining interaction led marketing, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its B2B research businesses, Aberdeen Group and Harte Hanks Market Intelligence, to subsidiaries of Halyard Capital. The company intends to use the proceeds from the transaction to support its strategic development.

Aberdeen Group and Harte Hanks Market Intelligence represented less than 5% of Harte Hanks’ total 2014 revenues. The company expects to take a pretax charge of approximately $10 million in the second quarter for the sale.

Robert Philpott, Harte Hanks’ Chief Executive Officer, commented, “When we announced our corporate strategy last year, we described our ambition to become a leader in Customer Interaction. As part of this re-focusing of our core activities, we recognized the need to acquire significant new capabilities and to divest a small percentage of our existing operations. In combination with the previously announced 3Q Digital acquisition, the sale of Aberdeen Group and Harte Hanks Market Intelligence emphasizes the continued excellent progress we are making towards our strategic goal. The expected positive impact of these actions on our financial performance underscores our commitment to delivering enhanced stockholder value and executing against our stated objectives. I want to thank our employees at Aberdeen Group and Harte Hanks Market Intelligence for their years of service and the contributions they have made to Harte Hanks. I wish them well in the next stage of their development.”

About Harte Hanks Harte Hanks partners with clients to deliver relevant, connected and quality customer interactions. Our unique approach starts with discovery and learning; leading to customer journey mapping, creative and content development, analytics and data management; and ends with execution and support in a variety of digital and traditional channels. We do something powerful, we produce engaging and memorable customer interactions to drive business results for our clients, which is why Harte Hanks is famous for developing better customer relationships, experiences and defining interaction led marketing. For more information, visit the Harte Hanks website at www.hartehanks.com, call (800) 456-9748, emailpr@hartehanks.com or follow us on Twitter @hartehanks or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HarteHanks.

Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the use of proceeds and expected positive financial effects of the transactions described. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause a different use of proceeds, or cause actual results to differ materially from currently anticipated results (including risks and uncertainties relating to divestiture costs, retained liabilities and market reactions). Additional important factors and information regarding Harte Hanks that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements are set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC and available in the “Investors” section of our website under the heading “Financials & Filings.” We specifically disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the future even if circumstances change and, therefore, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views after today.   As used herein, “Harte Hanks” refers to Harte Hanks, Inc. and/or its applicable operating subsidiaries, as the context may require. Harte Hanks’ logo and name are trademarks of Harte Hanks, and all other marks used herein are the property of their respective owners.  

How Do the Best-in-Class Manage a Virtualized Environment?

By Sean Butler

My recent research on capacity planning for virtualized environments found that Best-in-Class organizations are 45% more likely to be utilizing a capacity planning tool to help manage their virtualized environment. IT departments are feeling the pressure to get more applications virtualized while continuing to keep IT costs down.

On top of these pressures, IT is faced with limiting downtime – a task that is becoming increasingly expensive as companies become more reliant on their network and technology to drive productivity forward. These pressures are pushing IT to seek tools that will give them greater insight into their environment. Our studies …read more

Source: Aberdeen Group

Upcoming Webinar: Improve Cash Forecasting and Risk Management with Integrated Cloud Solutions

By Nick Castellina

My recent research on treasury and risk management found that Best-in-Class organizations are 50% more likely to have implemented an integrated business solution to support treasury and risk management. But as these solutions evolve, not all solutions are created equal. Emerging technology vendors have introduced, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Treasury and Risk Management (TRM) solutions that bring new functionality and enhanced benefits. As organizations begin the process of choosing a solution that enables them to holistically access treasury and risk data, they must identify their key needs …read more

Source: Aberdeen Group

Is Your Wallet About to Become Obsolete?

By Katie Martell

Apple Pay Aberdeen Group

That was the question posed to Aberdeen Group’s senior research analyst, Jim Rapoza. Boston’s WCVB News recently caught up with Jim following the announcement by Apple of its new feature, Apple Pay, that promises to change how buyers pay with “breakthrough contactless payment technology” plus a layer of security features.

Watch Jim’s interview with WCVB at this link.

…read more

Source: Aberdeen Group

7 Reasons to Re-think How You Manage Freelance Workers

By Michael Moon

Freelancer - Architect working at home talk with a client on the

Freelance workers have been on my mind a lot lately. No, I’m not taking on additional duties outside of my Aberdeen Group responsibilities (to quote Sweet Brown, ain’t nobody got time for that). I’m preparing for an upcoming live webinar on November 13th dedicated to best-in-class workforce management strategies.

For context, consider that in a survey of nearly 200 organizations, Aberdeen research discovered that 22% of their employee population would be made up of freelance or independent workers by 2015.

Clearly, freelance labor is a growing component of the modern labor force, one that is forcing organizations to develop …read more

Source: Aberdeen Group

Business Planning and Execution Report Roundup for October 2014

By Nick Castellina

I’m back again with another roundup of research reports that I’ve posted over at Aberdeen.com. This time, we’ve got a few reports that explored best practices in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Additionally, you’ll find reports on how cloud technology can be utilized to create agile plans, budgets, and forecasts. I hope you find these reports interesting. Check out the links below; I’ve also included some sample data points to whet your appetite.

Why CPQ? Why Me?

By Peter Ostrow

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Welcome to the first of our five-blog journey focusing on the fast-growing niche of Configure / Price / Quote deployments. My job here is to leverage Aberdeen’s objective research findings to detail when, where, and how CPQ is most effectively used to reduce friction in the sales cycle. Your responsibility is to learn, not so much from me, but from your peers, contemporaries, and competitors, whether your sales engine is running in top gear or not.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

3 Must-Read Research Reports during Customer Service Week

By Omer Minkara

Happy National Customer Service Week, everyone! In honor of this whole week dedicated to delighting customers and improving customer experience, I wanted to highlight recent Aberdeen Group research reports on the topic. All are available at no charge with a free Aberdeen membership.

1. Social Customer Care: Steps to Success in 2014

Social media has drastically transformed the modern-day customer experience management (CEM) programs. Findings in this report outline the characteristics of firms that reap maximum results from social customer care, and provide a roadmap for others to improve their performance.

Read More >>Source: Aberdeen Group

A Sales Rep, Accountant and Data Scientist Walk Into a Bar…

By Peter Ostrow

“Everyone is talking about it, but very few are doing it.” The phrase can be applied to all sorts of cultural, comedic, and business scenarios, yet the concept of marrying the highly technical nature of the “big data” frenzy to the Wild West environments of professional sales and marketing cultures seems relatively far-fetched. Or does it? Aberdeen’s Sales Effectiveness research practice has frequently covered sales forecasting with the perspective that more analytical approaches toward deal management are directly correlated with both better forecasting accuracy and stronger business results.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Why Replenishment is Keeping Supply Chain Execs Up at Night

By Bob Heaney

Worker standing in doorway

In today’s modern warehouse, 94% of all distribution companies are looking to either enhance existing, or implement new dynamic and interactive, warehouse processes. But one area that is often overlooked, or pushed off until the last minute, is replenishment.

Omni-channel replenishment is inherently dynamic and event-driven. Web orders and ecommerce sales tendered before 2:00pm typically require fulfillment and shipping to occur on the same day.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

The Journey from ‘Experience’ to ‘Engagement’ – How do you Describe your CEM Program?

By Omer Minkara

Customer experience management (CEM) and contact center space is one that is rich of concepts used to refer to different ways of managing buyer / seller interactions. However, with the wealth of terms and concepts its very easy for practitioners in the field to be confused on how (and if) each term differs from one another.

Multi-channel and omni-channel are some of these terms that are used frequently and often interchangeably in the marketplace. To help end-users avoid confusing these terms, I wrote a brief overview of my view of the differences between the two terms.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group Announces Ms. Michael M. Moon as New Human Capital Management Research Director

By Katie Martell

HR Industry Leader Expands Depth and Expertise of Aberdeen HCM Research Practice

Aberdeen Group, A Harte Hanks Company, today announced the addition of Ms. Michael M. Moon as Research Director of its Human Capital Management research practice. In her new role, Moon will conduct primary research and publish critical analysis alongside research analyst Zach Lahey related to managing human capital within organizations.

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Read More >>Source: Aberdeen Group

Sage Summit 2014: Making Mobile ERP Functional and Usable

By Nick Castellina

Last month, I attended the annual Sage Summit in Las Vegas, NV. At the event, Sage reinforced its commitment to providing SMB customers with ERP supported by emerging technology including cloud, mobile, social, and analytics. Much of my past research has promoted how top performing organizations look for ERP systems that have evolved to take advantage of these technologies in new and exciting ways. After Sage Summit in particular, I though it would be a good idea to illustrate how Sage’s mobile strategy aligns with a top performing mobile approach to ERP.
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Source: Aberdeen Group

Tribal Knowledge and Campfires, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Borg

By Peter Ostrow

Every great salesperson is a great storyteller. What is the best way for a complex, mobile sales organization to capture and disseminate all the right knowledge to all customer-facing stakeholders?

Do you remember how, some years ago, the new-fangled content and knowledge management platforms we invested in were going to single-handedly replace the office water cooler as the source of all corporate knowledge? How did that work out for you?

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Sales and Marketing Alignment: A Primer on Successful Collaboration

By Peter Ostrow

Thumbnail for 6002In the business-to-business (B2B) arena, a well-known source of tension has often been associated with the delicate relationship between the marketing and sales lines of business. Whether born out of legitimate complaints or the mutual frustration of not achieving adequate customer acquisition results, the finger-pointing can become predictable, if not childish: “These leads stink!”… “You couldn’t close a screen door in a hurricane!” Fortunately, modern leaders in both practice areas are increasingly held accountable for fact-based, measurable business results that take emotions off the table, and are empowered by contemporary technology tools that promote and reward a more collaborative and are empowered by contemporary technology tools that promote and reward a more collaborative and team-oriented approach. – See more at: http://blogs.aberdeen.com/customer-management/sales-and-marketing-alignment-a-primer-on-successful-collaboration/#sthash.A5cQBf7J.dpuf

Read More >> Source: Aberdeen Group

Combatting Reactionary Recruitment

By Zach Lahey

Thumbnail for 6000It’s no secret that contemporary candidates, with the help of Internet and social mediums, have grown increasingly savvy about what employers expect – both on a skill front as well for the job application and interview process. What’s more, candidates have, similar to consumers, grown increasingly reliant on employers to provide a seamless, smooth application process, whether that be online, via a job board, on a social site, or on their mobile devices.


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Source: Aberdeen Group

Tips for Creating More Robust Views of Treasury and Risk

By Nick Castellina

Today’s finance department is in a state of evolution. No longer is finance purely looked at as a back office process that lacks innovation and does not serve any strategic function. Rather, a modern finance department can be a source of efficiency, collaboration internally and externally, and as a source of valuable insight that can be used in decision-making. Aberdeen’s The Integrated Approach to Treasury and Risk: Achieving Greater Returns through Automation and Visibility noted that the second and third leading priorities of finance departments are the automation of core functions and promoting collaboration across all finance roles.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Don’t Shoot the Messenger…Buy From Them

By Peter Ostrow

Thumbnail for 5993The previous blogs in this series have introduced Sales Enablement as a must-have that’s essential for modern marketing and sales teams that hope to keep up with the pace of change they see in the B2B buyer’s journey. Tell a better story than that of your competition, I’ve preached. Make it all about the customer’s needs, we’ve proved with data. Get in front of your buyer with every relevant app loaded on your tablet, say the research findings.

Read More >> Source: Aberdeen Group

It’s all About Visibility: How the Best-in-Class Establish a Clear Line-of-Sight into Their Business

By Peter Ostrow

I recently heard about a scenario that, unfortunately, may ring familiar for the reader. A substantial, multimillion-dollar B2B sale – months and dozens of players in the making – was delayed, and nearly lost, due to miscommunications among disconnected members of the selling organization. The embarrassing details? An overdue invoice unpaid by the buyer, worth less than $5000 and suffering from a comical, Murphy’s Law lack of internal controls and routing, almost killed the deal because the accounting, sales, and operations teams in the selling company were all singing off different sheets of music.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Business Planning and Execution Report Roundup for July 2014

By Nick Castellina

This month we’ve got quite a few reports on financial management, which are topics that you may have not seen quite as often from me. I’d especially like to call attention to the report on treasury and risk, since it is one of the first to come from this year’s financial management survey which has produced some really interesting insight on how today’s finance department is transforming.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Gamification in B2B Sales: Is it Time? Part II

By Peter Ostrow

Part I of this series demonstrated the ways Best-in-Class companies lead under-performing firms in the adoption of various game mechanics practices, as well as in the utilization of externally provided gamification technologies and solutions. In the context of supporting Sales Effectiveness, the most successful sales teams indicate to Aberdeen that game mechanics measurably impact their ability to meet, and beat, sales quota numbers at a higher rate than Industry Average or Laggard companies – Figure 1.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Consumer Passwords Keep Falling, Like Domino’s

By Derek Brink

Quick – how many times in the last couple of months have you been advised to change your password, because of a high-profile security breach or vulnerability?

Let’s see now … there was the highly sensationalized Heartbleed bug, which probably affected several sites that you use regularly. Then there was the breach at eBay, which compromised a database containing the passwords and personal information of 145 million subscribers.

More recently, we have the breach of servers at Domino’s Pizza in France and Belgium, which compromised the following personal information of about 650,000 consumers (592,000 in France, and 58,000 in Belgium):

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Source: Aberdeen Group

Only One Thing Matters. Do You Know What it Is?

By Peter Ostrow

Do you remember the great chemistry between Jack Palance and Billy Crystal in “City Slickers”? Jack’s rugged character, Curly, shared a famous “one thing matters” philosophy that aptly applies to this blog series on Sales Enablement: the only thing that really matters in B2B enterprises is the customer. No longer do we sell products; customers buy solutions. No longer is hitting our quota number the only pursuit; it’s all about the buyer’s journey. Let’s face it: much as it’s a great time to be a New England sports fan, it’s a wonderful time to be a customer.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

What Field Service Can Learn from LeBron James

By Aly Pinder

Whether you are a casual sports fan or a die-hard NBA-er, the saga of LeBron James returning to Cleveland (his home is actually Akron, OH) has taken over the Internet. If you don’t believe me just take a break from work and browse the headlines on USA Today, CNN, ESPN.com, and even The Huffington Post.

But reading past the headlines to dive into James’ letter from the heart, I was most intrigued by his ultimate goal in returning home. Beyond bringing a championship trophy to his state, LeBron stated he wanted to lead and teach the next generation of Cavs and kids. With maturity, LeBron now understands that many things are fleeting, but being a leader means you identify and train the next group of leaders.

Read More >> Source: Aberdeen Group

Gamification in B2B Sales: Is it Time? Part I

By Peter Ostrow

As long as salespeople have walked this earth, they have been driven by money, first and foremost. Be it the straight-commission, somewhat distasteful used-car lot sales rep, or the enterprise software business developer attempting to beat quota, the promise of additional, usually unlimited compensation serves as an effective motivator for individual contributors.

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For as long as commissions, spiffs, overrides, bonuses and President’s Club trips have dangled in front of sellers, their managers have also used short-term contests and game mechanics to inspire additional layers of behavior.

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Source: Aberdeen Group

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