Customer management company Clarify Inc of San Jose, California, is carving a vertical market product out of its ClearSupport customer request and trouble management software for the telephone company, cable and Internet service provider industries, called ClearSupport CommCenter. Specifically, Clarify has rewritten the data model that provides a definition of the rows and tables to […]
Customer management company Clarify Inc of San Jose, California, is carving a vertical market product out of its ClearSupport customer request and trouble management software for the telephone company, cable and Internet service provider industries, called ClearSupport CommCenter. Specifically, Clarify has rewritten the data model that provides a definition of the rows and tables to be created in the host database to support a set of functions it says are specific to the telecommunications industry. It claims CommCenter ties front-end customer management into back-end network management and can link device information, such as hub and router configuration and usage, with details of the services that are available across each, such as IS DN. Clarify says that this ability adds a new level of depth to customer service, enabling users to develop a one-stop shop for customer account information on anything from products and services to historical records and contacts. Clarify says Comm Center work order management will enable a phone company to assign a new ISDN connection to a customer and update all records and initiate all actions from a Clarify screen.
ClearSupport already includes an application programming interface to Hewlett-Packard Co OpenView network management which the customer must be running to take advantage of CommCenter’s network integration. Another application programming interface enables developers to build a Clarify graphical user interface that maps a user’s existing graphical front-end. Clarify says the phone company offering is not part of a wider vertical market business orientation, rather a reflection of the fact that the industry doesn’t ship products, but services. Clarify’s other main markets, hardware, software and medical equipment houses, use a standard data model that they modify accordingly. ClearSupport CommCenter server and client costs $80,000 from September on Sun Microsystems Inc, IBM Corp, Hewlett-Pack-ard and Silicon Graphics Inc Unixes and Windows NT, supporting Oracle, Sybase and SQL Server databases and Motif, Windows and Mac clients. There’s apparently no demand for Informix support. Clarify counts Swedish phone company Telenorda AB – owned by British Telecommunications Plc, Tele Danmark A/S and Telenor A/S – as the first CommCenter user. It expects its other phone company customers, including Avantel SA, MCI Communications Inc, Securicor Wireless, Concert, Grupo Iusacell SA, L M Ericsson Telefon AB, Aspect Communications Inc, Centigram Communications Corp and VTEL Inc to upgrade their installations over time. Clarify reckons the telecommunications market to be 12% of its bus iness, behind software and networking, 16% each, computer systems, 15%, and manufacturing and business systems, 13%. Clarify claims that a quarter of its 30,000 users at 160 sites are now using Clarify Web support tools, enabling them to process queries from browsers. It says one third of all the support calls it gets are now addressed through the Web and that only one tenth of these 1,000-odd hits turn into problems that need to be addressed by people rather than Web pages. Clarify says it will soon begin to offer Inference Corp’s CBR3 case-based reasoning engine alongside its own diagnosis engine: it says the majority of its customers use the Clarify product but that the Inference engine it has offered for some time is important for se veral of its key users. Clarify is currently Java-enabling all of its products and promises they will roll out before the end of the year. Clarify says its March acquisition, Palo Alto, California-based Metropolis Software Inc, has now been fully integrated and the Metropolis sales force automation software, now called Clear-Sales, will be running against the Clarify data model by the end of the year. Clarify is taking a $1.5m to $2m charge against its second quarter figures to June 30, to write off purchased research and development at Metropolis. The share-swap deal valued Metropolis at $13.2m. Clarify did $24m in its fiscal 1995 and plans to report its second quarter results in a couple of weeks.