• June 26, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Worldtrak: Back On Track as Axonom

After shutting down in May, Worldtrak is going again thanks to an acquisition of all its assets by two-month old Axonom Inc. While the name and the equity structure changed, the company's strategy has not, say Axonom executives. Roughly 90 percent of Axonom's 20 employees come from Worldtrak, including Clark Dircz, former chief executive of Worldtrak and current chief executive of Axonom. With the new financial backers, approximately 85 percent of the company's ownership has changed hands, he says. What makes the company more competitive? Its tie-in with the Microsoft platform, Dircz says. Worldtrak provides a full suite of CRM solutions in a Microsoft Outlook-native environment and also Microsoft Web technology browser-based solutions that automate customer interaction throughout the enterprise. Microsoft's plan to enter the mid-market CRM space, however, sends mixed messages to existing mid-tier CRM vendors, such as Axonom. "Microsoft CRM is going to change the infrastructure of the mid-tier and low-end of the market," Dircz says. While Microsoft's move validates the CRM market, it could be a competitive threat to companies such as Axonom. "We need to stay ahead of [Microsoft]. You want to stay one-and-a-half years ahead of them. We're comfortable staying sixty days in front of them as long as we're in front of them," Dircz says. To do this, Axonom is considering other focus areas such as vertical product extensions and a Web hosting model. "We're looking at acquisitions in the application service provider space," Dircz says. "It fits this market space well." While he acknowledges many software vendors have traditionally not fared well in the hosting market, Dircz says, "It seems to be something that is growing in popularity from a customer standpoint." The move to hosting services solves three main customer concerns: "low integration costs, easy installation, and the ability to get up and running easily," says Dimitri Mantzouranis, chief marketing officer at Information Systems Marketing (ISM), a CRM consultancy based in Bethesda, MD: Worldtrak is a six-time ISM award winner, recently landing on the top half of ISM's list of the 30 top CRM software applications. ISM selected the top 30 vendors after testing dozens of packages in its CRM Software Lab. The top 15 scored the highest in accordance with the 166 selection criteria, including 107 business functions, 41 technical features and 18 user friendliness/support features.
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