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Pivotal adds Net technology to apps

The company is hoping its new Internet-based applications will help it gain ground in the lucrative front office software market.

    Pivotal Software is hoping its new Internet-based applications will put it in a pivotal position to gain ground in the lucrative front office management software market.

    Pivotal is rolling out today its new eCRM application, a suite of customer relationship management applications built with Internet technology.

    The new software system is comprised of two Web-based applications designed to let user companies build what Pivotal calls "Internet relationship hubs."

    The hubs are Web sites that a company's sales, marketing, and customer service representatives can log into to collaborate and share information. They act as Web page-like interfaces to Pivotal's existing front office applications.

    The two software components consist of Pivotal eRelationship PartnerHub and eRelationship CustomerHub.

    PartnerHub is for giving a "company's sales and service partners personalized access to selling, marketing, and customer information that allows them to collaborate over the Internet," said Pivotal executives.

    The customer product allows users to open up Web sites to customers for personalized marketing and customer self-service tasks.

    "With Pivotal eRelationship, the Web becomes a hub where business partners and customers can conduct personalized business, and where a myriad of front office activities are unified to result in one-to-one marketing, selling, and customer service," said Norm Francis, Pivotal's president and chief executive.

    Pivotal is among the many front office application vendors struggling to stay one step ahead of huge enterprise application vendors like SAP who are developing this type of software to attach to their existing back office applications.

    Market leader Siebel announced similar functionality today for its suite of products. And Vantive made moves last week to protect its stockholders from losing money should the firm be acquired as the front office application market reaches a volatile stage.

    The Pivotal products are to ship in February. The two applications come bundled with a single-user version of the Pivotal Relationship 99/SQL 7 product for front office users and the Pivotal eBusiness Builder for the application customization. The PartnerHub is priced at $75,000 for up to 20 sales and service partners, and the CustomerHub suite costs $10,000 for up to 500 customers.