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Chordiant's CRM App Acts As Online Guide For Shoppers

Vendor also updates Dialog Interaction Server from its ActionPoint acquisition
Chordiant Software Inc. last week shipped a new customer-relationship management application and Dialog Interaction Server, spawned from its $7.2 million acquisition of ActionPoint Inc.

The E-selling software, Selling Director, is a Web application that can run on a thin client. It uses information stored in legacy databases and other CRM applications to guide customers through complex online purchases based on the information that they provide. Pop-up windows, for example, act as an instant help desk to steer customers through the online buying experience. Chordiant executives say this will reduce the number of incomplete online sales.

Users can configure, select, and order products and services through the use of custom-configured online forms. Administrators can configure the software to dynamically deliver questions and content based on the responses customers provide.

The Dialog Interaction Server manages the delivery of online customer service, posting of content to a Web site, and export of XML data. The server comes with a customization tool called Dialog Designer, which lets an administrator design the Web site's customer-service and ordering features. The Interaction Server is based on a Java Architecture, with native support for Java 2 Enterprise Edition and XML software standards. The vendor says this architecture allows for faster development of online customer-service interaction capabilities.

Selling Director will see most of its competition from Siebel Systems Inc.'s Siebel Sales application. "Selling Director requires a lot more up-front customization work than the Siebel's app," says Eric Schmitt, senior analyst at Forrester Research. "But Siebel's application has much more rigid business-process flows."

Pricing is based on usage and other factors. Analysts say that the average price for such software is $1.5 million.