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Calico to streamline sales

Calico Technology will announce an ActiveX-based sales configuration and quote system next week called Concinity, designed to make sales forces more efficient.

Calico Technology will announce an ActiveX-based sales configuration and quote system next week called Concinity, designed to make sales forces more efficient.

Concinity will deliver a client-server sales force automation tool for LANs (local area networks), mobile users, and the Internet. Concinity automates configuration and price quotes for suppliers of complex or configurable products and services.

The software allows customers to browse a vendor's Web site for product options, then configure and order complex products online. For example, an auto buyer could describe the various features desired for a particular vehicle, and the software could determine if that configuration is available and quote a price.

Concinity also can be used by an in-house sales force, mobile sales reps, or channel partners. By automating configuration and price quotes, it is designed to eliminate misconfigured or incorrect orders and to free reps to focus on sales.

Lanier, a major supplier of office copiers and facsimile machines, will use Concinity to set terms of sale, payment provisions, and service options for machines sold by its sales reps.

Cisco Systems, which uses an earlier Calico product as its Web-based configuration agent, said it cut ordering errors by 30 percent, paying for the investment in months.

The Concinity system includes client software for sales reps or customers to configure and quote orders, a server-based "configuration engine," an object-oriented set of tools called Concinity Workbench to develop applications, and systems integrator tools.

Calico Concinity is due to ship by December or January. Pricing for mobile users is $2,500 per laptop computer; $200,000 for the Net-based version for 10 concurrent users; and $200,000 for the HTML configurator for unlimited use on a single computer. The Workbench toolset costs $40,000 for the first user. Quantity pricing also is available.

Calico Technology was incorporated in 1994 and was the first group of companies to receive venture financing from the Java Fund. Investors include venture firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the Mayfield Fund.