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Technology Highlights
October 2001

Oktoberfest-ival Of Web Solutions


2001 Editors' Choice Awards

Entigo's New Reality For B2B Relationships
www.entigo.com/703-394-3040
Entigo Corp. credits much of its success to teaming with clients throughout their product development processes, thereby gaining experiential knowledge of the problems companies face in the e-commerce sphere. Mark Demers, vice president of marketing and business development for Entigo, commented that "manufacturers in the B2B e-commerce world confront constant changes and challenges, not the least of which are improving their sales and service processes, integrating with messy back-end systems and realizing a quick ROI. Many are demanding complete, flexible solutions where they -- as well as their channel partners and customers -- browse products, place and track orders and file claims online and in real-time." With the latest release of its Entigo Reality suite of business-to-business e-commerce software, Entigo provides global companies seeking to implement sell-side private exchanges with more options for doing business with their channels. The solution allows manufacturers and their channel partners to manage all aspects of marketing, selling and servicing their products in real-time on the Web. Manufacturers can have more flexibility and control in automating, managing and improving their online content, product ordering and product registration, and warranty processes. Entigo Reality features a modular set of applications geared for delivering ROI through reduced costs, increased sales, greater customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Entigo Catalog facilitates online order processing by integrating multiple catalogs. Entigo Order features one-click order processing and real-time order tracking. Entigo Warranty streamlines the registering and processing of product warranty programs and claims. Entigo Reality Builder combines a preferred industry standard e-commerce platform with a unique framework, enabling users to graphically develop business processes, seamlessly integrate with any back-end systems and adapt to changes in real-time.

In addition to running on most e-commerce platforms, the product suite is certified to run on IBM WebSphere v.3.5.3, offering out-of-the-box support for multiple EJB application servers for deploying a scalable, Web-ready solution. In addition, Reality provides XML support using xCBL and cXML. Clients' channel partners can select and purchase products directly from Entigo Catalog and Entigo Order using their standard procurement package, such as Ariba or Commerce One. This provides interactivity from an existing buy-side solution to the Entigo sell-side solution.

Version 2.5 of Entigo Reality includes promotions management for conducting calendar-based marketing campaigns to channel partners and pricing management of contract pricing and discount rates for channel partners. In addition, the suite provides TaxWare integration for automatic tax calculation for orders, based on geographic location; RMA Management for managing and tracking returns; and pricing management for administration and maintenance of contract pricing and standard discount rates for channel partners.

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2001 Editors' Choice Awards

Hosted Human Resources Solution From ThoughtWare
www.thoughtware.com/800-225-0885
ThoughtWare Technologies, Inc. recently released a hosted workforce management solution designed to achieve operational efficiencies and engender loyalty in best-performing employees with collaborative career development and learning technologies. By integrating staffing, career planning, training and performance measurement tools, ThoughtWare's Workforce Lifecycle Management (WLM) solution uses self-service functionality to track an employee's career development, work performance and skills throughout the course of a career, thereby providing employees and managers better information to leverage those corporate assets. WLM is proactive and personal in motivating and pushing learning for personal growth and strategic change.

According to Jim Gionfriddo, president and chief executive officer of the company, "The philosophy behind WLM is that an employee succeeding in work and proactively charting a career path is a more satisfied worker, less likely to leave for another opportunity and more likely to keep customers satisfied. It's less costly to keep a good employee than to hire a replacement. Frequently, employees who pursue self-development are more motivated, inventive and productive. If a company can hold onto its very best people through good and bad times, that's a competitive edge."

The solution also provides employees with a dynamic way to handle job reviews and daily "to do" development lists. For management, WLM's analytics help managers make better staffing and development decisions. Based on job function, expertise, location or other demographics and career goals, WLM automatically relays new product or service features, upcoming training opportunities, internal job openings and more. HR and training managers can proactively "push" out training to groups of employees who need training. ThoughtWare uses content-driven indexing and an intelligent interface to simulate an interactive exchange between users and the system, similar to a one-on-one relationship between a career counselor and client or reference librarian and writer. In essence, ThoughtWare learns the meaning of inquiries, examines all the resources that can be applied and reduces search results to a manageable level. Pre-loaded in WLM are 15,000 U.S. Department of Labor job descriptions and corresponding competencies that human resources departments can use "as is" or customize for their particular environments. WLM tracks individual employees' stated career goals, as well as their evolving set of skills, based on assignments, length of experience, job performance and training. It compares this profile to job requirements and updates company records automatically so that the pool of qualified candidates for open positions is readily available to managers across the organization.

[ Return To October 2001 Table Of Contents ]


2001 Editors' Choice Awards

Chordiant: Toward A Kinder, Friendlier Interaction
www.chordiant.com/888-246-7342
Complex online purchasing mechanisms mean more than frustrating experiences for customers: they can spell disaster for your e-commerce goals. Marketing research surveys suggest that between 65-75 percent of online transactions are abandoned due to difficulties in order placement experienced by would-be customers at many Web sites. Chordiant Software Inc. focuses on facilitating higher levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing new technology that improves Web site usability, which it sees as critical in the quest to reduce abandonment rates. Drawing on its resources as a provider of enterprise-based CRM software, Chordiant unveiled the Dialog Interaction Server, a general-purpose Web interaction solution that speeds the deployment of engaging and dynamic Web interactions.

Dialog Interaction Server is based on Chordiant's JX Architecture, which provides native support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and XML software standards. The JX Architecture allows developers to code at a higher level of abstraction than just at J2EE, meaning developers can work with Chordiant's solutions and XML format data in "application pure" Java, which augments application development and deployment. Dialog Interaction Server features a runtime engine that manages the merging and delivery of dialogs to the browser; manages mid-session connectivity for validation and population of content; and manages the export of an XML instance document to the enterprise. The customization tool for Dialog Interaction Server, called Dialog Designer, provides a graphical development environment for the rapid creation of customized, dynamic Web dialogs. Marketed as both a stand-alone Web interaction solution and as a complement to all of the Chordiant CRM products, Dialog Interaction Server enables the deployment of more dynamic, engaging Web interactions to increase close rates, maximize revenue and customer acquisition and reduce selling costs.

To establish proof of concept, a Dialog Interaction Server-enabled site was measured against the original design and process flow of an award-winning site. The objective was to measure the usability of each site as respondents completed an online loan application. The test was conducted and analyzed by Human Factors International, a Web design consulting company. Users who worked with the Dialog Interaction Server-enabled site were nine times more likely to successfully complete the complex online transaction than those using the original site. Additionally, users completed the required task 35 percent faster with Dialog Interaction Server versus the original site. Users also reported having a more satisfying experience than did those using the original site, and 91 percent of the Dialog Interaction Server site users indicated they would do business with this company again based on their experience. Sixty-four percent of the original site's users indicated they would return to that site.

[ Return To October 2001 Table Of Contents ]


2001 Editors' Choice Awards

Self-Service Satisfaction From noHold
www.nohold.com/408-946-9200
A significant component of satisfying Internet customers is an effective service-side solution. Cybershoppers want the same assistance online they would expect to get in a face-to-face interaction: instant help with specific problems or product information. Unfortunately, far too many Web sites lack a reliable way to provide information or deliver satisfactory service. Customers remain frustrated in their searches for information, having to contend with slow e-mail response times, search engines that yield marginally related links leading to tangential safaris off the information highway and FAQs that are too general to have any value.

noHold, Inc. provides Web-based, self-service solutions that diagnose and solve problems. Its flagship solution, noHold Instant Support, is built on noHold's proprietary artificial intelligence technology. Instant Support helps users solve technical problems online quickly and effortlessly through a chat-like interface built into a company's Web site. It simulates live, person-to-person chat via the Web to troubleshoot complex problems and provide the right solutions. Customers type in their questions or problems in their own words, and the responses pop up on the screen immediately. When the questions are broad or unclear, Instant Support carries on an interactive conversation with the user until it has enough information to present an accurate, relevant response. In most cases, customer problems and inquiries are solved online during the first session. This frees your support staff from handling repetitive, routine phone calls and e-mail so they can address more complicated questions and problems.

noHold's Knowledge Platform is the database that contains a company's information on products and services. noHold's professional services team, through its QuickStart Implementation program, transfers a company's product information into a central Knowledge Platform created for the company and can deploy it in six weeks or less. The Knowledge Portal is the user interface, a chat-like window that pops up on a company's Web site -- at the technical support page, for example. When users access the Knowledge Portal, noHold's DynamicDialog technology, its artificial intelligence engine, allows them to describe problems in their own words. The Portal Manager, an "always on" reporting tool, captures, analyzes and reports on each Instant Support session as either aggregate data or as individual interactions -- information that provides valuable metrics about each support session that can be used across the enterprise to improve service and product. An optional solution, Dynamic Link, provides integration of all information sources within a company, including existing legacy databases and external programs, for incorporation into the solutions.

[ Return To October 2001 Table Of Contents ]


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