Apropos to Power JD Edwards' CRM Suite

Apropos Technology said earlier this week that it has signed a definitive agreement with J.D. Edwards, wherein Apropos will embed a private-label version of its Multi-channel Interaction Management Suite within the J.D. Edwards CRM application suite, creating what Apropos calls a fully integrated CRM solution.

According to Apropos, the integrated solution will enable J.D. Edwards to provide its contact center customers with an environment for handling both real-time customer communications, including voice, voice-over-IP (VoIP), email, Web collaboration, and fax, in the same unified queue with case-based events triggered by their CRM application. With this new offering JD Edwards will now offer a totally unified queue, to prioritize, escalate, and report on all interactions in the contact center, driven through one set of business rules, one set of user profiles, and one common reporting engine.

"Companies, particularly those in the mid-market, can benefit from a complete CRM suite that includes a robust interaction-management application capable of prioritizing the value of customer interactions," says Mary Wardley, vice president, CRM applications research at global IT consulting firm IDC. "This type of integration from Apropos and J.D. Edwards, which automates all customer communications as part of an overall CRM strategy, is an indication of where the industry is headed, as vendors move toward providing a solution that streamlines the processes and systems that touch customers."

Kevin G. Kerns, president and CEO of Apropos, says, "The contact center is undergoing an enormous sea change in how it does business. Over the past couple of years, driven by the continuous pressure on reducing costs and retaining customers, the traditional contact center now finds itself in a very difficult predicament. Contact centers have purchased too many siloed applications to manage. They do not have enough staff to support and maintain the integrity of the applications, and continue to incur huge costs to maintain the systems on a year-over-year basis."

Kerns sees fully integrated front-to-back contact center solutions as the wave of the future, since these solutions have the potential to dramatically reduce the costs of supporting and administering multiple point applications.

The JD Edwards CRM suite powered by Apropos will be available in late 2002 or early 2003, Apropos says.

Apropos also reported earlier this week that it saw a 6 percent rise in revenue, to $5.2 million for the third quarter ending September 30, 2002, compared to $4.9 million for the previous third quarter. Net loss for the company was slightly cut, to $4.4 million compared to $4.5 million in the previous quarter.

"We have proactively reviewed all of our expenses, from staffing levels to marketing programs, field office requirements, and travel and entertainment related costs in order to further reduce overall operating expenses. These steps, along with a strong financial position with cash levels over $44 million, puts Apropos in a strong position to continue its investment in new product development and to execute its long term business strategy," Kerns says.

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