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iPhrase Rolls Search Upgrade

Search specialist iPhrase Technologies has upgraded its flagship product, enhancing analytics tools and offering both natural language and guided search (such as drop down menus) options. One Step 4.5 comes nine months after the privately held Cambridge, Mass., firm introduced version 4.0.

"By allowing both user interaction styles the product is even more user friendly and increases the use of the application in customer service environments," a spokeswoman for the Cambridge, Mass., firm said.

The analytics upgrade generates a profile of users' need and intent. The logs include metadata on the users' interactions, including key topics and concepts requested.

CountryWide Credit is among a test users of One Step 4.5.

"Countrywide evaluated a number of search companies," said Larry Gentry, a Countrywide vice president. "iPhrase, with its One Step 4.5 self-service search platform, was the best at delivering the specific results that we wanted to provide our customers."

iPhrase competes with Endeca, inQuira and Kanisa (which bought Ask Jeeves' enterprise search unit in May), among others. The self-service search and navigation products are designed for companies to help their customers find the information online, deflecting calls to help desk operator.

While it can cost $4 to $40 handle a call through a call center (considering customer representative's salary, 800 number costs, facilities leasing and the duration of the call), online assistance can run 10 cents to 18 cents per inquiry.

In other sector news, Endeca said it will offer Softface's core product data structuring and attribute extraction technology as aproduct option for Endeca InFront customers.

Softface's core technology automatically transforms plain, free-flowing product text and cryptic product descriptions, that are commonly found inenterprise transaction systems and product catalogs, into precisely structured product information.