Commentary & Analysis
FREE Special: Kelley Sloane of Exstream Software: Presenting Dialogue v3.5 & Dialogue WebVerse
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: October 22, 2002
October 22, 2002 -- In booth 933, Exstream Software will be introducing Dialogue WebVerse and the just-released Dialogue v3.5 at Xplor 2002. Exstream Software helps businesses around the world connect with the eGeneration through higher quality, fully personalized customer communications--delivered by mail, email and the Internet. Companies in the financial services, insurance, telecommunications, retail, service provider, and other industries benefit from increased revenue through improved customer retention and faster time to market. (Names like CIGNA, AFLAC, Time Inc., TPSi, DST Output and more) Kelley Sloane is the company's Vice President of Marketing. WTT: Kelley, tell us about the Xplor event and why Exstream exhibits at this show. Kelley Sloane: One of the most important goals of an effective trade show is bringing qualified buyers together with suppliers who provide the latest solutions to various business application requirements. Xplor understands this, and works to provide a trade show environment that attracts key decision makers to its exhibits and conference sessions. The attendees are a serious group—most of which have a shopping list of document system requirements for which they hope to find technology solutions. Xplor is a perfect forum for Exstream to showcase our Dialogue™ software to these industry-leading decision makers. In fact, many Exstream customers first discovered Dialogue at the Xplor conference. Xplor also presents an excellent opportunity for Exstream’s customers to share best practices using Dialogue. WTT: Which of your customers who will be speaking at Xplor 2002? Kelley Sloane: This year, six Exstream customers will present at Xplor: - Mon, 10/28 at 9:30 am, Room 304C—"Putting the Extra into Ordinary," Pershing - Tue, 10/29 at 9:30 am, Room 209B —"Production, Security, and Standards," Certegy - Tue, 10/29 at 11:00 am, Room 208AB—"The Composition Engine of 2007: What Will It Be?" panel with Dan Kloiber, COO/CTO, from Exstream - Tue, 10/29 at 2:00 pm, Room 304D—"Turn Everyday Documents into Relationship Opportunities," CIGNA - Tue, 10/29 at 2:00 pm, Room 209B—"Enhancing Print-Based CRM," APT Digital and Certegy - Wed, 10/30 at 9:30 am, Room 209B—"In House or Outsource? Which Way to Go When It Comes to Document Fulfillment," TPSi and LASON WTT: What is Dialogue WebVerse. Kelley Sloane: WebVerse is now available for early adopters, and allows business users to rapidly build and deploy personalized web applications. CSRs, sales agents, and even customers and prospects themselves, use these web applications to produce fully personalized web pages or documents in real-time based on their collected input. No java programming is required, which means companies will significantly reduce web application development costs and get to market faster with accurate, consistent, and fully personalized communications created on the fly. WTT: We have discussed Dialogue with you and Davis Marksbury (CEO) in previous interviews. What is new with version 3.5? Kelley Sloane: Dialogue v.3.5 offers a number of significant benefits to both corporations and service companies, including distributed content design and development, customized workflow, advanced color printing, and a number of new features to further improve productivity and performance. The new Enterprise Workflow module allows users to design their own multi-stage approval processes, and the new Application Consolidator module provides commingling of applications for reduced postal costs and advanced householding. Version 3.5 also includes enhancements for the extended enterprise, such as third-party advertisers or distributed marketing groups—designers not connected to the enterprise can independently design and submit 1:1 marketing campaigns, using their own Dialogue design database, for dynamic inclusion into customer communications at run time. This will allow service companies to offer customers more control over document content design, and corporations will be able to outsource different parts of the workflow without compromising business objectives. We believe these enhancements have the potential to change the outsourcing model currently used by many production print services companies. Dialogue v3.5 also includes a number of other enhancements, including line data support, advanced check-in/check-out and object locking, hyphenation for sixteen different languages, CMYK color output in addition to RGB, AFP and Metacode print stream analyzers, and more. WTT: Today, how does Exstream view the opportunities related to multi-channel personalization – is it growing rapidly or has a challenged economy slowed the momentum? Kelley Sloane: Personalization remains a hot requirement for large corporations and their outsourcing partners. As everyone knows, the economy has had a significant impact on corporate IT spending. At the same time, the slowed economy has created a much more competitive environment for our customers, resulting in an even more compelling focus on cross-selling, up-selling, and customer relationship management to grow their customer base. The economy has also created a need to do things faster and cheaper. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in demand for Dialogue and related services. This comes from both corporations and their outsourcing partners. In fact, we expect Exstream’s revenues to grow by more than 200% this year. We also expect the momentum to continue to build, and will therefore stay two steps ahead by providing high quality product enhancements and services to meet ongoing business requirements for complex enterprise personalization across multiple delivery channels. WTT: Service bureaus are a big part of our audience. How can they benefit from Dialogue and how does Dialogue stack up against competitive offerings they may consider? Kelley Sloane: One of our customers recently called Dialogue "a service bureau in a box." I think this speaks directly to your question and why our Dialogue solution is being adopted so rapidly. Exstream’s goal from the beginning was to provide a complete personalization solution that meets the needs of services companies of all sizes. What this requires is a product set that drives down the cost/time to deliver solutions, while simultaneously providing more value-added services to customers. The key to driving down costs is having an easy-to-use, comprehensive, and totally integrated software solution for content development (documents, marketing information, etc), integrated campaign management, and multi-channel delivery. Additionally, service bureaus need capabilities to build new offerings that differentiate themselves, generate additional revenue, and create more profitable and value-added offerings. Dialogue gives them what they need to accomplish this, including distributed authoring technology so their customers can participate in the development of marketing and other content, and flexible deployment technologies to deliver through new channels (like XML or TIFF output for archive) without any significant incremental cost. Exstream’s newest innovation, Dialogue WebVerse, take this strategy to the next level—allowing service bureaus to rapidly build, deploy, and deliver personalized web applications for their customers. This will provide service companies with an even greater opportunity to differentiate their offerings, while at the same time increase productivity and decrease costs.