Free software and new board members for IMA

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IMA has launched Freefire inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary, and an online marketplace for electronic Customer Relationship Management (eCRM).

Al Subbloie, whose vision has made freefire a reality, will be president and CEO of Freefire and serve on its board of directors. He will continue as a board member of both IMA and Buyersedge.com, IMA’s other internet subsidiary which he co-founded.

Donald Miller, IMA board member and former president and CEO of Posi-Seal International, Inc., will be interim president and CEO of IMA until the company finds a replacement for Subbloie. Miller will replace Gary Martino as chairman of IMA. Martino will remain an IMA board member and will continue working with Buyersedge which he co-founded with Subbloie. 

“The Internet has revolutionized the way businesses communicate with their customers,” said Subbloie. “Freefire is creating a frictionless eCRM purchasing environment and levelling the competitive landscape, allowing corporate buying decisions to be based on the best combination of software, support and delivery resources. With this bold new move, the company is changing the way eCRM software is developed and acquired in this market space.”

Freefire is offering its Java-based eCRM suite free of license fees normally associated with the purchase of enterprise application software. Today, eCRM products available from the site include freefire Multi-Channel Management, E-mail Response, Chat, Collaboration, Voice-Over IP, and CTI. This suite of components is available for download from the prototype site 24 hours a day, 7 days per week beginning April 10, 2000. As an initial offer, freefire products will be delivered as a bundled suite and accrue the support fee of a single component. The full freefire site launch is planned for June 2000. 

Representing leading technology, a market changing pricing and distribution model, a network of implementation partners, and resources and educational opportunities, freefire aligns all the constituencies and resources necessary to building an end-to-end enterprise-wide eCRM solution. 
Freefire components and framework technology are Java-based and support multiple Unix OS, Windows 2000 and Linux operating systems. The products support open technologies such as Corba, COM/DCOM, and EJB; best-of-breed components such as an Object database from IONA, and a rules engine from Blaze Software, and standard integration to CTI devices and middleware, web servers, e-mail servers, fax servers, and legacy systems. 

Customers can use freefire software free of license fees, virtually eliminating the evaluation and procurement process that is standard today. For example, the typical overall investment cost for software and support in an eCRM solution can be reduced by as much as three-quarters because the only investment is in support. 

Freefire web-based distribution gives rapid time to market, and reduced financial risk. Freefire software, and other technology represented on the site, is available to anyone, 24 hours a day, sevem days a week, from the freefire web site. 

“ECsoft has been selected as one of the first new implementation partners for freefire in the UK,” commented Terje Laugerud, CEO of ECsoft UK Ltd. “We are delighted to be working with freefire to implement eCRM as part of our e-business solution offering for innovative organizations in the UK and beyond.”

Based in Irvine, CA, freefire employs over 100 employees and will appoint additional senior level executives during Q2-2000. 

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