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E.piphany To Ship 'Hybrid' Call-Center App

Service 6.0 combines sales and service capabilities.
E.piphany Inc. next week will ship Service 6.0, a new module for its customer-relationship management suite that combines sales and service capabilities in one call-center application.

Service 6.0 gives call-center employees access to marketing recommendations, campaign information, and customer profiles. The sales/service hybrid app is ideal for industries such as banking and financial services where call-center employees can cross-sell financial products to help customers manage their finances or acquire life insurance.

Service 6.0 and Sales 6.0, which shipped in March, are both tied to E.piphany Dialogs, an interactive management system for customer-service representatives. Service 6.0 lets a call-center rep enter details of a conversation while the customer is on the line, and a list of suggested products with a sales script will pop up on screen for the rep. The sales application includes more service-oriented features to help sales associates create a more personal relationship with a customer. For example, a sales associate can view previous interactions with call-center representatives and sales professionals, identify sales data, view marketing campaigns, and evaluate suggested cross-selling opportunities.

Service 6.0 may help change companies' CRM strategies. The products of the late '90s were focused on the agent's point of view, but E.piphany's product is focused on the customer's point of view, says Eric Schmitt, senior analyst for Forrester Research. In addition, the application is based on XML and java 2 Enterprise Edition, which makes it easier to pull customer data from disparate sources. "But for every advantage E.piphany's product has from a technical standpoint or a design point of view, they pay for in not having as long of a track record as other players in the market," Schmitt says, adding that while E.piphany has some large-scale call center deployments, it's customer base is not as strong as Siebel Systems Inc.'s.