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April 05, 1999 11:18

NCR links customer support software to databases

DAYTON, Ohio, April 5 (Reuters) - NCR Corp. on Monday unveiled a set of software "plumbing" products
that allow a company's customer support staff to mine massive back-office databases for valuable clues to
serving customers. 

NCR said its InteractionPlus software allows businesses to pipe customer transaction data stored on
NCR's massive back-office Teradata databases to front-office systems used by a company's services staff
to manage customer relationships. 

NCR, a leading supplier of computer systems for the retail and financial services industries, ranks as one
of the top three suppliers of so-called data-warehousing systems. 

InteractionPlus expands NCR's reach into the fragmented market for "customer relationship management"
software, where it competes as well as and partners with companies like Siebel Systems Inc. , Vantive
and IBM's CorePoint. 

Scott Walters, NCR's director of worldwide marketing for customer interaction solutions, said Interaction
Plus software pulls together several existing NCR products and links together the consumer-facing
systems and the back-end database systems. 

"What this does is extend a company's knowlege of its customers out to where the customer interacts
with the company," Walters said in an interview. 

InteractionPlus can be used to link telephone operator call centers, Internet customer service systems,
and information kiosks -- the freestanding terminals located in retail stores, airports and stadiums -- to
NCR Teradata data warehouses. 

Terradata is NCR's high-capacity database system for managing huge volumes of data, used by some of
the world's largest companies to analyze and predict customer behavior. 

By analyzing such data, businesses can increase their knowledge about consumers and deliver enhanced
services -- based on this knowledge -- back to customers. 

The newly developed InteractionPlus software suite, which works with NCR's Teradata for Windows NT,
includes two modules. 

The Customer Information Manager module was designed for drawing together customer information
collected across multiple customer support systems, including phones, the Internet and kiosks. 

The Customer Personalization Manager module in turn allows companies to generate personalized
responses back to customers, whether they are connected by phone, Internet or kiosk. 

The new product is available immediately, though it will take months to install. 

Reflecting growing interest by major computer and telecommunications players in the customer
relationship marketing software industry segment, Lucent Technologies Inc. agreed Monday to buy
Mosaix Inc., a supplier of customer relationship management software, for $145 million. 

NCR stock gained 94 cents to $50.375 in mid-morning composite trading Monday on U.S. stock markets.

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