Group 1 Hopes to Go Global
Group 1 Software, looking to solidify itself as a provider of customer communication management (CCM) solutions, today introduced the latest release of e2 Suite, version 5.2. New enhancements improve, according to the company, enterprise capabilities for e-billing, online account management, and customer care. Group 1 is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes. The announcement comes following Pitney Bowes's failed attempt to acquire its second data quality vendor within the past year. Earlier this month the company announced that it would not acquire all remaining shares of FirstLogic.
e2 Suite, one of Group 1's flagship products, provides electronic distribution and document management, the e2 Vault database for storing and retrieving customer data, e-billing, online account management, and call center capabilities for CCM. In this release the company placed emphasis on improving the software's ability to be implemented worldwide. Now, both e2 Vault and e2 Service offer full Unicode support to provide index and retrieval capabilities for a number of new languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai. "As we continue to expand our global presence, our e2 Suite is playing a significant role in filling a wide gap for the need of electronic presentment in these languages," says Alan Slater, president, DOC1 at Group 1.
The e2 Vault can now import images from other archive and legacy systems, and provides export capabilities for faxing and use in other business applications. It also offers a full Java and XML-based architecture and supports Oracle and SQL databases. "External business customers and their internal call-center representatives will be able to resolve disputes and pay invoices online, accelerating the process, reducing costs and increasing cash flow," Slater says. "Their high volume of invoices and reports are stored and archived in e2 Vault."
In addition, Group 1 beefed up e2 Suite's rendering and operating speeds to answer client demands. "Lots of companies that have tremendous storage needs are looking to move information off the mainframe and onto server platforms. As a result, they're looking for the best speed," says Jeff Cohen, vice president of marketing at Group 1. "All of our major clients are pushing more detail into their bills and statements."
Robert Lerner, senior analyst at Current Analysis, says this release is a perfect example of Group 1 "doing what they do best. It's all part of this CCM mantra they've been selling for some time. Their enhancements are going to be good for this." Though Group 1 has traditionally been, and still is, a data quality vendor, Lerner says their entry into the CCM space changed when Pitney Bowes purchased them last year. "The acquisition changed a lot of Group 1's products, focus, and energies in the market. One of the original reasons Pitney Bowes wanted Group 1 is because it had all of these products other than data quality."
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