Genticity's New Customer-Facing Face: Customer1

With a new name on the door, multichannel CRM software group Customer1 -- formerly known as Genticity -- is hoping to change users' expectations of CRM software in the contact center and beyond. The company's announcement this week of the Version 2.5 edition of its software is turning heads with its unified desktop and internationalization capabilities. Moreover, the announcement is reminding the industry of Customer1's presence in the marketplace. The name change became official on Feb. 5, as five-year-old Genticity became Customer1, taking the name of its leading software product. Despite what for many firms can be a tricky and often dangerous branding move, Dan Derin, Customer1's president of U.S. operations/global sales & marketing, suggests that his company will be better served under the unified corporate/product brand. Derin hopes the switch will result in more recognizable branding for the Atlanta-based company. "The brand recognition of 'Customer1' was very strong," Derin says. " 'Genticity' was hard to say, hard to remember, and hard to spell. There was not a lot behind the name." He says customers have already responded favorably to the change, and that the company has received an increase in inquiries and hits on its Web site since the announcement. Customer1's motto, he adds, is "Your customer, our one priority." Aside from the company-name switcheroo, Customer1 is now getting attention with its 2.5 release, an expansion and upgrade to the Customer1 contact center software. The new solution features such capabilities as true Unicode support for multilanguage global enterprises. Users are now able to choose among a long list of languages and to work in that language throughout various applications. Customers can also add and introduce new languages to the applications. This capability is what Paul Stockford, chief analyst at Saddletree Research, thinks is unique. "What stands out the most is the company's ability to start serving the international market," Stockford says. "From an economic market standpoint, it's a smart move -- especially since our economy is somewhat in question for the next year or so." The solution will offer Asian-dialect recognition, since the company is well established in the Asian-Pacific market and Customer1 recently deployed in Korea. The company also boasts of a strong presence in Europe. Version 2.5 features additions to the application's search mechanisms, specifically with search filtering, which Derin estimates can reduce time spent finding answers and information by around 30 percent. Customer1 is also going beyond the contact center in terms of Web self-service and email, and there is an obvious appeal at the enterprise level with the program's ability to handle multiple lines of business. Version 2.5 gives users a code-rewrite capability, reducing programming time by as much as 30 percent to 40 percent, Derin says. Customer1 also thoroughly redesigned the software's interface, adopting one reminiscent of Microsoft Vista, thereby offering customers a level of familiarity. Stockford estimates that Customer1 will have helped make the notion of a unified desktop not just a reality, but a necessity. Customers will ask for this capability and Customer1's competitors will soon have to follow suit in providing it. "What's most noteworthy about the announcement is the announcement," Stockford says. "It's essentially Customer1 reminding the industry, 'We're still here. Take a look at what we've done now.' " He adds that, as Genticity, Customer1 had always been on the leading edge -- the company just needed (and needs) some momentum. "They are a success story waiting to happen," he says.

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