Bright star joins FirePond’s firmament
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FirePond is to buy Brightware for $9 million in cash and three million shares of its common stock.

The acquisition allows FirePond to add the following solutions to its offering:
• Contact Center provides an intelligent information center to support all online touch points
• Web Assistance gives real-time self-service to customers
• Email Assistance automates responses to incoming emails.
• Live Assistance enables real-time chat and Web collaboration between customers and service agents.

“This is the type of functionality that customers are looking for in a comprehensive eCRM suite. Innovative companies realize that by offering higher value to their customers with interactive selling and service technologies they can fuel growth and increase revenues,” said Klaus Besier, chairman of FirePond.

“Brightware was the clear choice to add to our solution to deliver a powerful one-stop-shop for increasing customer acquisition and retention,” he added.

Brightware’s customer base is aligned with FirePond’s targeted vertical markets with 40% in financial services, 25% in telecoms and the remainder in high tech, retail and travel. Brightware adds customers such as Abbey National Bank, AT&T Wireless, AAA National, Continental Airlines, Network Solutions, Swiss Air, TD Waterhouse, and Virgin Mobile to FirePond’s existing list of customers.

“For the first time customers can get the best of interactive selling and service technology from one source,” said Chris Erickson, Brightware CEO. “With our complementary customer-focused technologies and proven track records for helping customers achieve ROI, we anticipate the rapid acceptance of our combined offering.”

Using the combined suite, customers will be guided to the product or service that best matches their needs, based on their description of what they are looking for. Customers can then select the product, configure it, obtain a quote and complete the purchase. Throughout the selling process, support inquiries will be seamlessly handled by email and chat capabilities, while customer profile and order information is captured to drive sales, service and marketing.

The combined organization will have more than 700 personnel worldwide. FirePond will retain Brightware’s San Rafael, California, facility as its key west coast development hub.

Headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, FirePond is a leading global provider of integrated e-business selling solutions. FirePond helps companies to sell more by making it easy for their customers to buy complex products and services. By establishing a single selling solution across all channels, companies can provide consistent expertise and seamlessly manage all aspects of the sales cycle.

Brightware helps companies build better customer relationships, one interaction at a time. The complete and integrated Java-based product suite includes web, email and live assistance solutions.




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