• April 3, 2007
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Perseus|WebSurveyor Remonikers

Perseus|WebSurveyor has gotten a makeover: The combined company, a result of investment firm Austin Ventures's June 2006 acquisitions of Perseus Development Corporation, a provider of Web-based enterprise feedback management (EFM) solutions, and WebSurveyor, a provider of online survey software, has changed its name to Vovici. The new name, according to the company, was inspired by the idea that listening to the voice of the customer lends vision to the direction of savvy organizations. The rebranded company has also made generally available its EFM Continuum product suite, which combines functionality from both product portfolios. Still in its relative infancy, EFM is a burgeoning market that essentially encompasses tools and services that help companies collect and manage feedback from customers, partners, and employees. "As in other industries that have changed and have grown dramatically, we have seen large adoption across corporations in wanting to gather feedback faster, easier, and in a timeframe that's more relevant to making very important strategic decisions," says Dean Wiltse, chairman and CEO at Vovici. The company's client foster, which includes more than 3,200 active customers, features more than half of the Fortune 500. "When you look at the needs of corporations, they start out by wanting to try a survey to see how they can get some information back quickly and more easily than they have in the past," Wiltse says. "That's where a lot of the market has been; it's been an experimentation. But then after they've done it for a while they realize that they should be managing how their respondents are contacted, what the survey looks like, how secure the data is--their needs become more mature. Once...they see how valuable [that information] is, they want to integrate it into their total business process." With its product suite, according to Wiltse, the company now offers products delivering on the continuum of knowing, managing, and integrating feedback into business processes. According to the company, solutions within Vovici's EFM Continuum product suite include:
  • EFM Feedback, which replaces the WebSurveyor tool, is a survey management system for designing questionnaires, managing survey campaigns, and analyzing survey responses.
  • EFM Community, replacing Perseus SurveySolutions/EFM, helps companies expand collaboration on the feedback process.
  • EFM polls, formerly WebSurveyor Polls, is a free online polling solution for crafting one-question polls and presenting them online.
  • EFM for CRM, rebranded from CRMSurveyor, is a Salesforce.com add-on that allows Salesforce.com users to embed feedback into their CRM processes. It also features APIs, enabling integration with other systems such as Microsoft's CRM functionality, Oracle's Siebel Systems CRM capabilities, and homegrown CRM systems.
  • EFM Reporting, a new tool, delivers reporting capabilities like data analysis, sharing, and filtering. "We can span that entire continuum, so a customer can come in just needing to do a survey, or [make it more enterprise-oriented]," says David Alison, Vovici's CTO. "The direction they are heading in is the right direction, being able to support the occasional, casual user, right up to the professional market research-type person," says Ed Thompson, a vice president and distinguished analyst, CRM, at Gartner. "Enterprise Feedback Management: Assessing the Current Market," a Jupiter Research report, contends that opportunities for existing vendors abound. "Spending on feedback management tools will grow from $598 million in 2006 to $939 million in 2011, driven by popularity of feedback surveys," the report states "However, this nascent market is highly fragmented, presenting challenges to vendors looking to sell unified feedback management solutions to enterprises." Related articles: Feedback Mountain And the Survey Says...Solutions All Hail EFM
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