Dramatically widened market opportunity positions NetByTel to become top-tier voice commerce supplier
BOCA RATON, Fla., June 18, 2001- NetByTel has formed a strategic partnership with Ecometry (NASDAQ: ECOM) to offer NetByTel’s entire suite of voice commerce services to hundreds of retail and manufacturing customers worldwide. These services will give Ecometry’s customers a quick way to join the voice commerce world and voice-enable their systems in a low-risk, cost-effective way.
Ecometry, a provider of enterprise software solutions for multi-channel retailers, will resell NetByTel’s voice commerce modules as part of its suite of integrated applications, adding voice commerce to its beginning-to-end e-business and direct-commerce solutions. Ecometry Retail Enterprise provides business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies with an unprecedented level of customer lifecycle management while automating all multi-channel sales, service and fulfillment functions, regardless of whether the customer interacts via Internet, retail store, call center, catalog, broadcast or wireless device.
Its global client base of more than 300 companies includes some of the world’s largest retailers, manufacturers, direct marketing and Internet businesses, such as Nordstrom, Time-Life, Hallmark, Lego, Nine West and Hickory Farms. This dramatically widened market potential puts NetByTel in a position to rapidly gain market share in the top tier of voice portal/voice commerce companies.
“NetByTel makes it easy and cost-effective for our clients to seamlessly voice-enable their systems by leveraging Ecometry’s open architecture,” said Mary Philips, Ecometry’s director of business alliances. “This partnership gives our customers new alternatives for enhanced functionality with the potential to reduce call center operational costs and greatly enhance their business model.”
NetByTel’s nominal set-up costs and pay-as-you-go pricing lower the bar for entry into speech recognition-based customer self-service. NetByTel’s currently deployed customers estimate the company’s voice commerce modules can reduce per-call costs 87 percent by making it feasible to free up call center agents for more valuable tasks. Other retail strategies use voice commerce as a buffer for seasonal and holiday consumer spikes.
Voice commerce as a Web service
NetByTel and Ecometry are using Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) architecture and extensible markup language (XML) to make their products work together. Since both Ecometry and NetByTel are COM and XML-enabled, NetByTel need only create the interface once, clearing the way for Ecometry customers that wish to voice-enable their systems to do so without creating their own back-to-front voice interface. Once the NetByTel-Ecometry interface is in place, Ecometry’s customers can tie their back-end systems to NetByTel’s voice commerce technology through Ecometry’s e-business solution. This kind of integration – tying back-end systems to front-end voice commerce applications – has been a stumbling block for many voice portals and other aspiring speech recognition-based companies.
The NetByTel voice commerce modules themselves will stay on NetByTel’s servers, with Ecometry delivering their functionality over the Internet. Customers use the NetByTel modules for fielding product ordering and customer service calls, conducting survey research, fulfilling catalog requests and providing information to customers such as store locations and order status.
“Ecometry has provided tools since 1990 that implement multi-channel business strategies and manage the entire lifecycle of the customer. Voice commerce opens yet another avenue to its clients’ customers,” said NetByTel vice president of marketing Stephen Avalone. “Integrating NetByTel into Ecometry’s customers’ systems shortens the implementation cycle and ensures the voice commerce application will go live in less than 30 days. As Ecometry’s clients embrace sales strategies that include multiple purchasing points, NetByTel is providing them with fast-track voice technology that provides customer-centric, end-to-end self-care that they can count on.”
Pricing and availability
Ecometry will begin offering NetByTel’s voice commerce modules to its customers in the next quarter. Pricing will be based on NetByTel’s current model; Ecometry customers will pay for the service on a per-transaction basis. Initial startup costs run less than $5,000, and applications can be operating in weeks.
Ecometry Corporation (NASDAQ: ECOM) is the premier provider of enterprise software solutions for multi-channel retailers. Its flagship product, Ecometry Retail Enterprise™, is a customer centric, high volume e-business suite of applications designed to completely automate front-end and back-end operations across multiple channels; Internet, Retail, Catalog, Broadcast, and Wireless Devices. Founded in 1988, the company is headquartered in Delray Beach, Florida, and serves more than 300 clients, including leading retailers such as Nordstrom, Time-Life, Brookstone, Zales, Hickory Farms, MicroWarehouse, KBKids.com, Nine West, Coldwater Creek, Hallmark, Urban Outfitters and RedEnvelope.com.
NetByTel™ makes the World Wide Web wider than ever with voice commerce solutions that connect online e-commerce systems and telephones using Speech recognition as the interface. The NetByTel Voice Commerce Platform™ gives click and mortar companies the ability to offer quality self-service to millions of customers and employees who use their voice to conduct Web-based transactions, such as product ordering and customer service inquires, freeing up personnel and lowering inbound customer call costs by as much as 87 percent. NetByTel`s plug-and-play Voice Commerce Modules take advantage of current e-commerce infrastructure, making implementation fast, easy and cost-effective. NetByTel`s solutions have won several awards including the 2001 Call Center and CRM Solutions Best Speech Product, PC Magazine`s 2001 Innovation in Infrastructure as well as Frost and Sullivan`s 2001 Business Development Strategy Award for Voice Commerce. NetByTel partners with world-class organizations such as SpeechWorks (Nasdaq: SPWX), Vicinity (Nasdaq: VCNT) and Dialogic, an Intel Company (Nasdaq: INTC). For more information about NetByTel, visit the company`s Web site at www.netbytel.com.
*NetByTel the NetByTel logo and NetByTel Connected are trademarks of NetByTel.com, Inc. All other products or services mentioned are the property of their respective holders.