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SQL Financials' new identity

The maker of back-office management software is changing its name to Clarus and buying Elekom, a maker of electronic procurement software.

SQL Financials is getting a whole new identity.

The Atlanta-based maker of back office management software announced it is changing its name to Clarus Corporation to reflect the company's move beyond just financial software. To prove that point, Clarus also bought Elekom Corporation, a maker of electronic procurement software.

Clarus is buying Bellevue, Washington-based Elekom for $8 million in cash and 1.35 million shares of common stock, worth about $7.1 million. Pending approval, the deal is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Elekom is the No. 2 player in the electronic procurement software market. The two companies were already partners with SQL integrating Elekom's procurement product into its financial and human resource product suite.

Electronic procurement is a burgeoning market that Gartner Group estimates will be worth $1.3 billion in the next four years. It allows companies to streamline such basic operations as ordering supplies like paper clips and maintenance products.

Besides its product line, Clarus gains Elekom's customer base which includes such heavyweights as MasterCard, First Data Corporation, and Investment Technology Group.

As for the name change, Clarus executives said the identity shift is to reflect the company's shift to a broader product base. No longer does SQL Financials only supply financial management software. It now offers human resource management systems, and other corporate service products, which include procurement, budgeting, travel and expense services, time entry, document management, decision support, and facility services.

"With the planned acquisition of Elekom, it is the right time to take the strategic step of changing our name to Clarus," said Steve Jeffrey, chief executive and president of Clarus. "The name Clarus, Latin for clarity and clearness of purpose, reflects our strategy to evolve our traditional financial and [human resource management products] with our newly expanded capabilities to take advantage of the emerging market opportunity for corporate service applications."

Now trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol SQFL, Clarus will begin trading September 2 under the symbol CLRS. The company is also switching domain names.