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January 2001



UniPress Software, Inc. Launches FootPrints Version 4.5
UniPress Software, Inc., a provider of issue tracking and help desk software, has announced the general availability of FootPrints v.4.5, the latest release of the company's Web-based issue management solution. FootPrints 4.5 was designed to help make it easy for users to expand their help desks into online support centers and improve project workflow for a broad range of CRM, development, consulting and sales activities. Version 4.5 has a number of enhanced features for organizations to offer faster, easier customer support online, including a live chat facility and remote control support. The system now also offers integrated, two-way communication with wireless PDA devices, extending the reach of the FootPrints solution beyond the desktop browser to the wireless Web. FootPrints 4.5 also includes expanded escalation features, the ability to sort FAQs by popularity and additional customization, e-mail and reporting options. The new version offers Instant Talk, a comprehensive live chat facility for FootPrints users to exchange messages and troubleshoot problems with help desk technicians live online in real-time. Users can send each other pop-up messages to instantly discuss open projects and issues. Message alerts appear on the recipient's screen as soon as they are sent, enabling technicians to immediately address urgent problems or questions. FootPrints 4.5 also supports a comprehensive remote control functionality, enabling help desk agents and technicians to remotely connect to a customer's machine running on any PC or UNIX platform, and directly access the system and all applications to detect and resolve problems. 

Vodavi Delivers IVR Applications Via The Web
Vodavi-CT, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodavi Technology, Inc., a provider of traditional and next-generation business telecommunications solutions, has announced that it has successfully implemented several Internet-based interactive Web response applications via its new PathFinderIWR product. PathFinder Interactive Web Response is the newest capability added to the NT-based PathFinder family of voice processing products. PathFinderIWR gives businesses and call centers the opportunity to take the next step in round-the-clock customer service by offering enhanced Internet-based IVR applications. IWR technology allows access to data across the Internet via standard Web browsers. PathFinderIWR allows end users to save time by "visually" navigating the information they need to process. By further automating routine queries, businesses free employees to focus on more vital functions. The end user can conduct self-service transactions using the computer in addition to the telephone. A customer would log onto a company's Web site and choose a special link that would connect him or her to the IWR system. The page maintains the look and feel of the company's Web site while adding the abilities of the IWR. All information submitted on the Web page is handled through Secure Sockets Layer (or SSL), providing encryption and privacy for all transactions. The Web pages are actually generated by the IWR server, which passes requests to the Pathfinder via TCP/IP. Once the PathFinder receives the information, its primary task is to act as a proxy server to the ODBC-compliant database or host computer and communicate with it. PathFinder poses the requested query to the database or host computer and awaits a response to communicate back to the customer. 

ProCure.com Releases Results Of Web-Based Order Management Survey
ProCure.com Inc., a provider of a hosted supplier enablement network that empowers suppliers to connect to multiple procurement applications through a single point of integration, has revealed survey results on the current penetration of Web-based order management systems among U.S.-based Fortune 1000 companies. The survey was developed by ProCure and conducted in conjunction with Leflein Associates, an independent market research firm. The company surveyed top executives from 200 of the U.S.'s largest manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. Survey participants confirmed that a significant portion of today's businesses still process the bulk of their orders through traditional, manual processes such as phone (89 percent), fax (93 percent) and paper-based (69 percent) methods, despite the availability of Web-based order management solutions. These traditional methods account for 73 percent of all orders received. Survey results indicate the existence of multiple integration barriers, which include time and cost considerations, as well as a lack of supplier-centric solutions, resulting in a shortage of end-to-end integration in the market. The survey indicated that the most significant considerations survey participants identified as critical integration barriers included cost (63 percent) and time (52 percent), as well as disruption to current business activities (39 percent). Other key issues that were identified as severely impeding a supplier's entry into the digital marketplace were the multitude of e-commerce standards that suppliers must adhere to in order to launch an online order management system and a shortage of viable, supplier-centric solutions. Survey results indicate that even in those companies that have successfully implemented electronic data interchange (EDI), which allows business data to be communicated electronically, 70 percent reported they are still not able to process an order without some form of human intervention along the order lifecycle. 

Ineto Introduces New Customer Communications Service
Ineto Inc., a customer communications service provider, has announced the launch of the Ineto Service, the company's flagship service for e-businesses that want to provide improved customer service by integrating customer communications across multiple channels. The pay-as-you-go Ineto Service offers integrated telephone, voice mail, e-mail, chat and CRM applications in a browser-based service, helping eliminate the need for onsite communications infrastructure. The service can be accessed from any location with access to the Internet and a telephone, and can be up and running within one day. Customers receive an allotted bank of toll-free numbers from Ineto and a log-in password to a secure site, where any customer-facing employee can log into the hosted Ineto service. All customer contacts, including telephone calls, voice mail, e-mail and chat sessions, are relayed to the right person within the company, regardless of location. 

eshare Releases Upgrade Of Chat Software
eshare communications Inc., a provider of customer interaction management solutions, has announced the release of Expressions 4.3, an enhancement of the company's chat product. Expressions is a turnkey solution for adding chat, threaded discussion forums and online presentations to Web sites. It enables businesses to conduct virtual meetings, live training and conferencing, distance learning, moderated events and social chat, and integrates with a company's existing software and services. Version 4.3 adds several new features, including the ability for administrators to assign room-based control to agents, creating "sub-administrators" who are allowed to handle many of the tasks that need to be addressed but can often slow the global administrator. Additionally, version 4.3 includes new features for chat interface customization, forum postings, article searches and new configurations for Java Light Chat. 

ON!contact Software Launches Web-Based CRM Solution
ON!contact Software Corporation, a developer of CRM systems for mid-sized companies, has announced a new product called eCMS. The company has applied the same functionality of its Client Management Software (CMS) to eCMS, a 100 percent Web-based CRM suite designed to fuse customer and e-business strategies into a single application suite. eCMS aims to streamline communication between a company and its employees, customers and partners and, as a result, the product is comprised of three parts: EmployeeNet, ClientNet and PartnerNet. EmployeeNet helps enable employees to build relationships with customers and prospects by providing real-time access to customer information through a Web browser. ClientNet taps the Internet to give customers improved control over their relationships with an organization. Customers can purchase products, research product offerings and communicate with company employees through a Web site. PartnerNet provides a way for a company's business allies to better manage their customers, accounts and sales opportunities. eCMS can be accessed through an organization's Web site, delivering a more consistent look and feel for employees, customers and partners. 

Minacs Launches Web-Enabled Contact Center Solution
Minacs Worldwide Inc., a CRM and e-customer outsourced solutions company, has launched its new Web-enabled contact center solution. Minacs WebCentre is a modular suite of Web-enabled services designed specifically for eCRM. The product delivers live assistance via text chat, Web callback and scalability for voice over IP. It also offers e-mail management capabilities and intelligent routing, Web collaboration for better customer interaction and enhanced e-commerce with secure links and credit authorization. Agents may initiate contact with Web site visitors who meet a set of predefined business rules, based on clickstream analysis or time spent on a specific URL. Once a Web customer reaches the threshold of the predefined criteria, an agent is automatically instructed to engage the customer by offering assistance. The goal is to help clients streamline their Internet sales process by providing immediate, personalized assistance and selling to customers while they are on the company's Web site. 

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