RealTime IT News

ServiceWare: Service At Your Fingertips

ServiceWare had the misfortune of bad IPO timing. That is, the company went public at the end of August, when the market began to crumble. And, as has been the case with most IPOs since then, ServiceWare has seen an erosion of its stock price. Priced at $7, the stock now trades at $3-3/8. The market cap is $79 million.

But in the IPO shakeout, there are many opportunities; ServiceWare appears to be one. The company was founded in 1991 and was primarily a computer consulting firm. Since then, ServiceWare has transitioned successfully into an e-business software company. In 1997, the company launched a product called Knowledge-Pak Architect. Basically, it is a sophisticated knowledge base for customer support. Have a question about your PC? Or network? Well, ServiceWare will have the answers.

Of course, ServiceWare has continued to innovate. There is the Web site RightAnswers.com, a portal for technical support. You have access to information on such products as Novell, Microsoft and 3COM. There is the eService Suite, which is an end-to-end knowledge management system. What's more, ServiceWare purchased the Molloy Group, the developer of the Cognitive Processor. This technology maps customer interaction relationships.

Also critical is having top-quality content, as well as providing content for new technologies. For example, ServiceWare recently added content for Red Hat Linux and Lotus Notes.

The company has been demonstrating strong growth. In the past quarter, revenues were $8.4 million, which was up 92% from the same period a year ago. Losses were moderate at $2.2 million.

The customer base is impressive. In the past quarter, ServiceWare added nine new customers (there are more than 200). Examples include: H&R Block, Sage Software and VisionCompass.

A significant validation of ServiceWare came from EDS, the mega computer services company. In early June, EDS took an equity stake in ServiceWare and entered a strategic alliance. The eService Suite will be integrated in the EDS Digital Customer Relationship Management system.

As technology becomes more complex and prevalent, the need for advanced technical support will increase accordingly. But human-based technical support is very expensive. With ServiceWare, companies can provide top service at a price that makes sense. And while investors may not be noticing this, many big companies are.