Callidus Software Wins DIRECTV Deal

Callidus Software, a vendor of enterprise incentive management solutions, is expected to unveil next Tuesday that it won a multi-million dollar deal with DIRECTV Inc. The deal calls for the satellite television company to deploy Callidus Software's compensation-based product called TrueComp to 25,000 independent dealers. TrueComp handles variable compesation and incentive compensation for both internal sales representatives and external sales dealer channels. The product sits between the CRM and ERP systems, and is classified as a "system of record" with respect to the sales commission and sales performance process. For instance, with 75 percent of Callidus' customers running Siebel to manage the pre-sales opportunity, Callidus' TrueComp product manage the transaction and post-sales process. It interfaces into the sale force automation application and tracks products down to the SKU level giving credit to the right sales person. The application is one of necessity for CRM applications, says Reed Taussig, chief executive officer at Callidus. "Siebel is herding cats, and we are feeding cats," Taussig said. The DIRECTV deal was a major win for San Jose-based Callidus, a four-year-old company started by Taussig, an industry veteran. Taussig says the sales process with DIRECTV was an arduous one with more than handful competitors vying for the contract during the past 18-months. "DIRECTV was very deliberate and very well informed," said Taussig. DIRECTV chose Callidus because of its scalability needs, said Robert Pacek, senior vice president and CIO of DIRECTV. "We needed to implement an incentive management system that could scale with our business needs and accurately track compensation for thousands of independent dealers and suppliers nationwide," Pacek says. "By implementing TrueComp we have the ability to quickly make changes to our dealer compensation plans, allowing us greater flexibility." While having a tough sales period last year, and making a small profit, the privately held company with 175 employees has seen an upswing in sales this year, Taussig said. "While last year was not easy, business has taken off this year. There is a return to sobriety. Companies want a demonstrable return on investment and want to make sure their sales guys are driving business to the bottom line and not just the top line," Taussig says. Callidus has about 70 customers using TrueComp. "Our customers span 30 different SIC [standard industrial classification] codes. It's a very horizontal solution," says Taussig, adding that it is targeted at high growth portions of the market in financial services and manufacturing where companies are working hard to drive profitability. Callidus also have another product called TrueChannel, an application that manages promotions, co-op marketing dollars and rebates. The company has invested more than $37 million into the R&D of TrueComp, a Java-based application, says Taussig. A component called TrueIntegration allows TrueComp to integrate into the legacy source data. The current version of the software is TrueComp 2.5, and a 3.0 release is expected by the second quarter which improves performance and will have a built-in natural language query engine.
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