Want to learn a new buzzword? Well, this one is called eRM, which stands
for e-business Relationship Management. One of the proponents of the
concept is YOUcentric.

What is eRM, really? Okay, first of all, you need to understand another
buzzword: CRM or customer relationship management. Basically, CRM uses
technology to help manage relationships between sales, marketing and
customer service. Now, as for eRM, this will help manage relationships with
all participants in the value chain of an enterprise.

Of course, to accomplish this feat, the technology must be scalable and
seamless with complex IT systems. So, YOUcentric’s software solutions are
based on Java technologies.

There are other advantages. For example, the software uses a
component-based architecture. This allows for customization.

The company plans to go public this week. The lead underwriter is US
Bancorp Piper Jaffray and the price range is $11-$13 (the company intends to
issue 5 million shares). The proposed ticker symbol is YOUC.

For the first six months of 2000, revenues were $5.4 million, which was a
160 percent increase from the same period a year ago. While gross margins
were 61.7 percent, the company had losses of $7.2 million.

However, it is really hard to see the difference between CRM and eRM. To
me, it seems like a difference with no distinction. In fact, the company
was founded in 1994 and was originally a software developer for sales
management software. It was not until December 1999 that the company
changed direction.

In other words, this is an early stage company. Currently, there are only
nine customers. Examples include FedEx and Legg Mason (which, by the way,
is an underwriter of the IPO).

Moreover, the company faces stiff competition. The company must deal with
such companies as BroadVision and Kana Communications.

So far, the demand for the IPO looks tepid. And, with the fall in Nasdaq, I
think there’s a good chance that the IPO will show a poor performance or
will even be pulled.

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