Specialized Systems Integrator FMG Technologies Uses New Insurance Template to Rapidly Deploy SalesPerformer Suite at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
WALTHAM, Mass., November 27, 2001 - Firepond (Nasdaq: FIRE), a leading provider of guided selling and online customer assistance solutions, today unveiled a new rapid implementation methodology that dramatically accelerates deployment of its best-in-class guided selling system. The company’s new accelerated approach leverages industry-specific implementation templates that quickly deliver a working production system. The company’s first rapid implementation industry solution, designed specifically for the health insurance market, is already in general use.
In fact, FMG Technologies, a specialized systems integrator, proved the new approach successful by leveraging the insurance industry solution to implement Firepond’s SalesPerformer Suite at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ). FMG Technologies has extensive experience implementing enterprise software solutions in the insurance industry and had been Horizon BCBSNJ’s systems integrator of choice on a number of other projects prior to the Firepond implementation. Horizon BCBSNJ went into production with the Firepond guided selling system in early October.
"FMG is an aggressive systems integrator with many years of experience installing enterprise software solutions in a variety of industries," stated Ned Moore, Vice President of Operations for FMG Technologies. "It has been our experience that, for software vendors, choosing the right systems integrator makes an important difference in how the project is scoped, managed, and ultimately concluded. We share Firepond’s commitment to the rapid application deployment process and are pleased to have worked with them on the Horizon BCBSNJ implementation. We look forward to working with Firepond on similar integration projects in the future. It is clear that the SalesPerformer Suite delivers a meaningful return on investment."
Under Firepond’s new accelerated implementation approach, the company is developing a series of industry-specific implementation templates – starting with insurance – that enable customers to activate a production-ready guided selling system within approximately 120-180 days. Within that timeframe Firepond, or a third party systems integrator like FMG Technologies, will install components of the SalesPerformer Suite including the SalesPerformer Configurator and an industry data model, generate select content (e.g. proposals, comparisons), brand the application, deliver localized language support (if required), develop a style guide, and provide training.
"Our customers want to get their interactive selling systems up and running quickly," said Klaus Besier, Firepond Chairman and CEO. "Based on our extensive experience deploying these kinds of solutions in the insurance industry, we know that our rapid implementation solution fulfills the vast majority of our customers’ needs out-of-the-box. This allows our customers to quickly begin seeing a return on their investment and creates the time to scope out a more detailed, customized implementation."
About FMG Technologies
Headquartered in Conshohocken, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, FMG is a specialized systems integrator and software development firm focusing on delivering enterprise level solutions. More information about FMG can be found at www.fmgtechnologies.com.
Headquartered in Waltham, Mass., Firepond (Nasdaq: FIRE) is a leading provider of guided selling and online customer assistance solutions that help companies more profitably acquire and retain customers. Firepond`s product lines leverage proven intelligence engines and patented automation technology to drive new revenue streams, increase profitability, and manage customer interactions across all channels and throughout the sales and service cycle.
Firepond`s SalesPerformer™ Suite of guided selling software products help companies improve their sales performance across all selling channels, with products for web selling, field sales, channel sales, sales configuration, and sales administration. Firepond`s complementary eServicePerfomer™ Suite of guided service software products delivers superior online service experiences at every eCustomer touchpoint, with web, email and live assistance products.
Firepond`s global blue-chip customer base of more than 100 companies includes: ABB, Abbey National, AT&T; Wireless, BestBuy.com, Borders.com, Compaq, Continental Airlines, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, France Telecom, Freightliner, Hitachi Construction Machinery, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, John Deere, KLA-Tencor, Renault VI, SBLI Mutual Life, Nationwide Building Society, Steelcase, Sikorsky Aircraft Company, TD Waterhouse and Ticketmaster.com. More information about Firepond can be found at www.firepond.com.
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Portions of this release contain forward-looking statements regarding future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties. We wish to caution you that there are some factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results indicated by such statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: uncertainty, costs, and potential damages associated with material litigation; economic and other factors affecting the demand for e-business sales and service solutions; difficulties with the implementation and integration of Firepond products; market acceptance of Firepond`s SalesPerformer and eServicePerformer Suites and their components in chosen vertical industries; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; quarterly fluctuations in operating results attributable to the timing and amount of orders for our products and services; our ability to keep pace with changing product requirements; difficulties and financial burdens associated with acquisitions; and other risks detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, copies of which may be accessed through the SEC`s website at. www.sec.gov.
Firepond and Firepond product names are trademarks of Firepond, Inc. All other product or company names are the properties of their respective owners.
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