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David Sims - TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist[March 28, 2005]

Salesforce.com Saves Company 50 Percent

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

Salesforce.com, an on-demand customer relationship management provider, today announced that OpenTV Corp. has cut its CRM operating costs nearly in half and significantly improved reporting capabilities using Supportforce, salesforce.coms on-demand customer service application.

OpenTV needed a CRM solution for its support staff that would not require heavy maintenance from IT, and would come equipped with a customer Web portal. Now theyre one of the 13,900 companies of all sizes, industries and geographies that comprised the salesforce.com customer base as of Jan. 31, 2005.

Nick Ryan, OpenTVs business applications manager said with the new on-demand customer service technology we have realized a reduction in our CRM operating costs by approximately 50 percent, and enhanced collaboration with our customers to provide better support.

OpenTVs support engineers, based in the United States, Europe, China and Australia, now track customer cases in less time, and can easily generate reports and provide fast answers to customer queries.

The Customforce tool, a custom tab for installed products, was added to allow the support team to track installed products for each OpenTV customer. In addition, using Sforce, salesforce.coms on-demand integration platform, OpenTV has integrated its CRM system with its Lawson enterprise resource planning system. In tandem, this customization & integration allow for the integration of data between OpenTVs ERP system and the customized Salesforce application.

OpenTV Corp. reported two weeks ago that its fourth-quarter loss narrowed on increased royalty revenue, but said it found material weaknesses in its internal controls.

Shares of the company fell 13 cents, or 4.3 percent, to $2.93 in recent extended trading after closing up 4 cents at $3.06 on the Nasdaq.

The company posted a loss of $6.3 million, or 5 cents per share, narrower than a year-ago loss of $12.9 million, or 11 cents per share. Revenue increased 50 percent to $24.1 million from $16 million, boosted by royalties from set-top box deployments by Sky Italia, the company said. Fourth-quarter results also benefited from $1.6 million in sales that were deferred from the third quarter. For the year, OpenTV's loss narrowed to $22 million, or 18 cents per share, from $54.1 million, or 57 cents per share, in 2003. Revenue rose 20 percent to $77.2 million from $64.2 million.

Analysts were looking for a 2004 loss of 17 cents per share on sales of $72.7 million. The company also said a review found material weaknesses in its internal controls on financial reporting. OpenTV said it has begun to address these weaknesses.

David Sims is contributing editor and CRM Alert columnist for TMCnet.

To discover how contact centers can save money and increase productivity by making the switch to IP Telephony, be sure to attend TMC's IP Contact Center Summit May 24-26, 2005, in Dallas, Texas.

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