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New & Noteworthy
For the rest of the February 2003 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Customer service ServiceWare Technologies Inc. has added an optional component to its eService Suite software called SmartMiner 2.0. The eService Suite allows companies to compile knowledge to help service agents answer questions via both emails and call centers; SmartMiner 2.0 adds the ability to view corporate information outside of a structured knowledge base, and to add new information to that base. The solution is capable of viewing multiple file types, including PDF, HTML, and Microsoft Office documents. www.serviceware.com

Marketing Traction Software Inc. is introducing a competitive intelligence (CI) and market research solution to its TeamPage Enterprise Weblog. The new CI and market research tool addresses the five steps of a competitive intelligence and research cycle: planning, collection, analysis, dissemination, and retrieval. It's completely JAVA based, so is compatible with any number of operation systems, including Microsoft, Linux, Solaris, and Mac OS X. www.tractionsoftware.com

Reporting Actuate Corporation's information delivery product, e.Spreadsheets, now includes something the company says is a first in the market: The new e.Spreadsheet Designer, a report-creation tool designed to let users create Web-based, Microsoft Excel reports with no training. The solution is able to extract information from a number of disparate data sources to create the reports using a drag-and-drop interface. Don't be surprised if that interface looks a great deal like Excel--it was designed to. This program allows users to open existing Excel files and modify them within the e.Spreadsheets' interface. Vice President of Marketing Strategy Mike Thoma says the new product will let people generate reports "without compromising corporate security or data integrity." www.actuate.com

Analytics Aspect Customer DataMart 3.0 is the latest offering from Aspect Communications Corp. An analytical solution built for contact center management, Customer DataMart 3.0 is designed to integrate with both Avaya and Nortel switches, which should allow this new solution to be easily integrated into existing systems. The product also offers the ability to connect and analyze customer contact centers and their information across all communications channels. Users can either choose DataMart's standard reports or use the program to customize their own reports to meet specific needs. www.aspect.com

Training Contact center e-learning solution provider Knowlagent has announced a new training methodology: PROPEL (profound results of performance enhancement leadership). PROPEL is broken into three phases--client discovery, implementation, and life-cycle management. It's designed to help improve B2C relationships. The client discovery phase identifies the company's business objectives to help contact center agents identify expectations; the implementation phase identifies measurable performance indicators; the life-cycle management phase measures and validates results. www.knowlagent.com

Customer support Do you offer your customers a direct connection to assistance when they visit your Web site? Livehelper v4.0, from Livehelper, is an online customer service tool that allows support staff to not only chat in real time with customers, but offers options like a real-time spell checker, HTTP remote control, voice chat functionality, and cobrowsing. With more than 30 new features and advancements like remote illustration creation to create an online whiteboard and 128-bit encryption to ensure privacy, this CRM solution is designed to help customer service reps serve their clients better, and allows managers to supervise those reps effectively. www.livehelper.com

Self-service Targeting mid-market customers, Surado Solutions Inc. recently released its new Web self-service module. Based on Microsoft .NET technology, the module is the first in a series that Surado will release to make its Web-based CRM solution, SCM WEB. Slated for complete rollout by first quarter 2003, Surado's online CRM solution is designed to provide anyone who needs to manage contacts and supply chain the ability to offer customers a number of self-service options like order-tracking and customer support, and access to marketing materials via the Internet. www.smartcontactmanager.com

Real-time data More and more companies need integrated views of enterprise information from sources like databases, XML files, Web applications and integration adaptors. BEA Systems Inc. has released BEA Liquid Data for WebLogic, which promises real-time information visibility to front-office applications, such as customer self-service portals, customer service and support, and supply chain applications. The objective is that moving to graphical development tools can help cut down on the need for companies to generate customized code for common requests for information. www.bea.com

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