Commentary & Analysis
FREE: Doubling Sales for the Past Three Years: Exstream Software's Dialogue and WebVerse
Cary Sherburne October 23,
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: October 24, 2003
Cary Sherburne October 23, 2003 -- Attendees at Xplor will have the opportunity to visit with key executives from Exstream Software, including CEO Davis Marksbury, CTO Dan Kloiber, and VP of Marketing Kelley Sloane. Last year at Xplor, the company previewed its Dialogue 4.0 release, which is now commercially available and will be featured at Xplor this year. Dialogue is enterprise personalization software for high quality, fully personalized document creation. Dialogue v4.0 offers new modules and enhancements that give users greater flexibility and control when creating documents, including a Quark plug-in, which allows users to easily import Quark designs into Dialogue and make them variable; ODBC Access, for directly retrieving data and updating any ODBC data source; VIPP output driver for high quality output on Xerox high-speed, variable color printers; and IJPDS output driver for duplex, black and white and full color printing on Scitex Digital inkjet printers—a low cost way to produce high-volume color. In addition to Dialogue, Exstream will also be showing Dialogue WebVerse, a complete web environment announced in the summer of 2003 that allows business users to rapidly develop and deploy personalized web applications. WebVerse eliminates the need for Java and ASP programming and reduces dependencies on the IT staff, allowing businesses to meet time to market requirements for web applications that deliver fully personalized correspondence and fulfillment in real-time. WhatTheyThink spoke with Exstream's Sloane who said, “Our customers are typically companies in the financial services and insurance industries, and service bureaus producing output for those segments. These operations are typically focused on producing high volume multi-channel communications.” Sloane also stated that a real advantage of WebVerse is its full integration with Dialogue. She continued, “WebVerse uses same Dialogue engine that produces personalized documents or pages. WebVerse applications are ideal for customer self-service implementations. Customers can visit a WebVerse-enabled site and request a wide variety of materials and information by completing a customized web form. At the end of the process, they can choose to create a PDF to be presented online or emailed, or the request could be queued for printing in a batch cycle that might run that evening for mailing the next day.” She also points out that the application is ideal for use by customer service personnel who need ready access to customer information. Exstream has five customers fully up and running on WebVerse and, according to Sloane, “the product is ready for prime time.” Sloane also told WhatTheyThink that despite the difficult economy, the company has experienced 100% revenue growth year-over-year for the past three years, growing from about 30 customers at the end of 2000 to its current level of 200 customers worldwide (40% outside the U.S.). While the majority of the company's customers are in the Fortune 1000, Exstream also looks toward the $5 million to $20 million service bureau who serves the Fortune 1000 as a prime candidate for its products. In addition to the U.S., the company has operations in Europe and Australia. Sloane cites Exstream's announcement yesterday (October 23,2003) of the acquisition of $2.3 million Connexion Informatique (CI), located in Paris, as further evidence of the company's continued expansion. CI has provided software and expertise in business document printing since 1986 and will immediately establish operations to directly sell and support Exstream's Dialogue throughout France and southern Europe. Exstream executives and customers are represented in a number of Xplor conference sessions. Customer speakers include Michael Lambert from CIGNA Corporation; Walter Riddock from Certegy; Nicholas Brusco from Applied Printing Technologies; and Robert Reeder from W.A. Wilde Company. Exstream can be located in Booth 1327.