Enterprise support management vendor Software Artistry Inc is to expand its European operations, opening new UK facilities and announcing plans to grow its European network of resellers. The Indianapolis, Indiana-based firm certainly looks to have better prospects than this time last year: despite a 34% growth in revenues to $34m the company took a loss of $62,000 for the first half of 1996 compared to profits of $1m for the same period this year. Software Artistry is now predicting revenues of between $45m and $50m for 1997. In June, the company announced a partnership which will see Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG selling the company’s service and support software application suites. Software Artistry was formed in 1988, launching its first product, a call logging and diagnostic system, in 1991 and first moving into Europe in 1993. European business currently accounts for around 25% of revenues. Since its flotation in 1995 the company has been seeking to grow more rapidly, expanding its core business from enterprise support management tools for help desks and support centres to the new field of customer relationship management systems. Senior vice president Michael Robbins describes the move as a logical and natural step, estimating that, while the total market for its core business products is currently worth between $400m and $600m this year, with growth of around 27%, the newer customer relationship management market is growing much faster and is currently worth around $900m.
The company says this growth is attributable to an increasing recognition of the importance of customer satisfaction and to a more scientific means of measuring it. SA Expertise for ESM is Software Artistry’s flagship product for enterprise support management, a modular software suite used to field calls, and providing problem diagnosis and resolution for help desks and call centres. The customer relationship management version of Expertise expands the interaction and request management capabilities and is designed to enable management of customer requests and suggestions. The company says it is aiming at the top end of the marketplace, particularly retail, utilities, banking and finance customers, and competes directly with five to six other help desk companies. It cites its main rivals as San Jose, California-based Clarify Inc – although Seer Technologies Inc has also launched similar software. Further expansion into the Middle East and South Africa is planned for the future, and an interest in sales automation and field dispatch could lead to future acquisitions in this field.