SUNNYVALE, Calif, March 18, 2002 – eGain Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: EGAN), a global provider of eService software, today announced the release of eGain Live Web™ 5.0, the industry’s most complete solution for real-time customer service and support via the Web. eGain Live Web fully integrates Web collaboration and chat, technical support, and online meeting functionality, and is an integral part of eGain eService Enterprise (E3), eGain’s comprehensive suite for eService.
A modular solution composed of 4 products, eGain Live Web 5.0 includes a significantly enhanced version of eGain Live for real-time text chat; a completely re-architected version of eGain Interact for proxy-based co-browsing; eGain Control, a new product module that enables remote diagnostics and desktop sharing; and eGain Meeting, a new product for online meetings and training sessions.
When used together, the eGain Live Web products provide a complete solution for real-time Web collaboration that spans Web and phone-based customer service, technical support and remote repairs, internal help desks, and online meetings and training. In addition to providing an integrated solution, the products can also be used stand alone, or deployed incrementally as a company’s needs evolve.
According to Gartner’s eService predictions for 2002, the combination of integrated chat and co-browsing creates a powerful new solution for customer relationship management (CRM) — one with significant growth potential. “By integrating chat and co-browsing, several eService vendors are creating powerful collaboration solutions that overcome the flaws of previously available chat and c-browsing offerings,” said Esteban Kolsky, lead eService analyst at Gartner. “By 2003, 40 percent of electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) implementations will include collaboration tools as a standard feature for customer service and sales.”
Market experts at the Meta Group say that the new real-time service options improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. According to Tim Hickernell, senior program director for Meta Group’s Web & Collaboration Strategies, “Collaboration with customers must move beyond simple first level support to include subject matter experts and sales and marketing personnel,” said Hickernell. “Service solutions that include online meetings and remote control can deepen customer relationships by increasing the number of touchpoints within a company — improving the customer service experience and efficiency, while increasing customer switching costs.”
Improving Agent Productivity, Lowering Service Costs
Taking chat to a new level of maturity for customer service applications, eGain Live Web 5.0 provides a new “Express Console” that enables agents to handle up to 16 simultaneous chat and page-pushing sessions within a single browser window, thus dramatically improving agent productivity. In contrast, competitive products require a new browser window for each chat conversation — an architecture that becomes unwieldy within a service environment. To help agents keep track of session status, eGain Live provides visual cues to indicate which sessions require agent response, which sessions are awaiting customer input, and hot keys to navigate to the customer that has waited the longest.
Although in practice, most companies limit agents to 4-8 active chats at a time, from a workforce management perspective, having the extra chat slots keeps the agent queues from being clogged — even if a few clients are inactive or slow, agents have plenty of extra chat slots available.
Improved Scalability & Performance
The new versions of eGain Live and eGain Interact support load balancing across multiple servers, thus improving scalability, reliability and availability. Failover support is built-in, ensuring smooth operation 24/7.
In addition to the load balancing features across the eGain Live Web product line, eGain Interact has been completely re-architected, doubling its scalability, improving overall co-browsing speed by 30%, and agent productivity by 50%.
Improved Co-Browsing for Real-Time Web Help, Enhanced Phone Support
With support for multiple concurrent co-browsing sessions, and an easy-to-use graphical user interface for setting co-browsing business rules, the new version of eGain Interact provides an efficient tool for mainstream customer service. While obviously useful for providing “in-band” service for Web transactions and inquiries, eGain’s co-browsing also offers a powerful adjunct to phone-based support, enabling agents to provide a guided tour to the company’s Web self-service resources. Both timely and relevant, these Web tours can potentially deflect future support calls.
Similar to the help a customer has in a physical store, eGain Interact provides point-of-purchase support for completing complicated business transactions, such as online loan applications, security trading, and online purchase of complex products like computers, automobiles, and insurance.
“Meet Me ” on the Web
When agents are ready to start a co-browsing session, they can instruct their customers to “meet” them at a designated URL, or request a specific agent in a queue for chat and co-browsing. From there, eGain’s true proxy-based co-browsing ensures that the agent and the customer are seeing the exact same page. Unlike page-pushing technologies, eGain Interact 5.0 eliminates issues such as double form submission, personalization, and authentication failure. eGain Interact also eliminates the frustration caused when the agent says to “click here, look there” — only to have the customer say they can’t follow along. With eGain Interact, either agent or customer can highlight or fill out forms on screen — and both will see exactly the same thing.
To ensure that the co-browsing sessions comply with security regulations and prudent business practices, eGain Interact includes a graphical user interface that enables companies to easily apply certain business rules to agent co-browsing sessions. For example, agents can be blocked from seeing customer information such as Social Security numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs), and credit card account information. Also, and very importantly, companies can ensure that only the customer can hit the “submit” button for orders, a business rule that is essential for SEC compliance in the financial industry.
eGain Control targets the $1 billion industry for external technical support and internal help desks, offering an alternative to the costly process of sending technicians on field service calls — whether within a company, or to its customers. For companies in the software and telecom industries, it is estimated that 20-40% of all customer inquiries are technical in nature, requiring expert customer support agents, lengthy phone calls, and often costly onsite visits.
eGain Control provides remote diagnostics and desktop sharing that enables technical support experts to solve problems remotely. To initiate a remote service session, the customer downloads a very small applet, and agrees to one of the three permission levels for the technician’s access: low, medium, or high system access. This built-in security check enables customers to require permission for each repair step at the lowest level of system access, whereas internal tech support and help desk teams might be granted a high level of desktop access within a company. A security log automatically records any system repairs done. Because it uses standard Internet protocols, eGain Control works with firewalls.
To speed remote repair sessions, eGain Control automatically checks a computer’s “vital signs” and inventories the system information technicians need, e.g., memory usage, registry entries, browser or application version, and running tasks. From there, depending on the level of system access granted, the technician can easily compare files, and perform system repairs. Unlike competitive products that impose a coarse “toggle” system for application sharing — either on or off — eGain Control provides a more granular approach to security settings, enabling customers to fine-tune which sorts of repair they will authorize — or not.
“eGain Control is like PC Anywhere on steroids,” said Jack Chawla, director of product management at eGain. “With its Web-native architecture, eGain Control overcomes the limits of older client-server technologies. The result is a much more flexible and practical solution for handling remote diagnostics and repair.”
Using standard http protocol, eGain Meeting lets any enterprise group hold business meetings, training sessions and product demonstrations online, thus reducing the costs and productivity drain of staff travel. Its extensive tool set includes desktop sharing, proxy-based co-browsing, presentation support, file exchange and “whisper” features for private messages — without requiring any plug-ins or holes in corporate firewalls.
In contrast to products that require the download of a client application and administrative privileges to install it, eGain Meeting operates within a browser and its Java virtual machine, eliminating persistent client downloads. eGain Meeting also provides budget-friendly pricing via a license model, enabling companies to eliminate the variability and expense of event-based meeting fees.
eGain Meeting’s default settings give the meeting host control of the session; however, the meeting host can decide to “pass the baton” and enable others to control the meeting. eGain Meeting can be used in moderated mode for marketing and training webinars, and peer mode for collaboration meetings.
Packaging & Availability
eGain Live Web 5.0 is available now as a complete suite for real-time Web collaboration. The individual products of the solution are also available in stand-alone configurations: eGain Live for text chat, eGain Interact for co-browsing, eGain Control for remote diagnostics and desktop sharing, and eGain Meeting for online meetings.
eGain (Nasdaq: EGAN) is a leading provider of eService software. Selected by 24 of the 50 largest global companies to improve phone and Web-based customer service, eGain solutions increase service efficiency and customer retention – thus delivering a significant return on investment (ROI). eGain eService Enterprise – the company’s integrated software suite – includes applications for email management, Web collaboration and self-service, and enterprise-wide knowledge management. eGain has an operating presence in 18 countries and serves more than 800 enterprise customers worldwide – including Vodafone, DaimlerChrysler, and ABN AMRO Bank. To learn more about eGain, please visit http://www.eGain.com or call the company’s offices – United States: (888) 603-4246; London: +44 (0) 1753 464646; or Sydney: +612 9492 5400.
Trademarks: eGain, the eGain logo and all other eGain product names and slogans are trademarks or registered trademarks of eGain Communications Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other company names and products mentioned in this release may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: All statements in this release that involve eGain’s plans, forecasts, beliefs, projections, expectations, strategies and intentions are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to eGain at the time of this release, are not guarantees of future results; rather, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in this release. These risks include, but are not limited to, the challenging economic environment; the uncertainty of demand for eGain products; the anticipated customer benefits from eGain products; increased competition and technological changes in the markets in which eGain competes; eGain’s ability to manage its expenditures; and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed on September 28, 2001, and the company’s quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. eGain assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
eGain Communications Corp.