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NeoPlanet Focuses on Marketing Applications, Inks Compaq Deal

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Posted August 7, 2001 By Christopher Saunders     Feedback

Continuing its shift away from branded browsers, the Tempe, Az.-based firm is concentrating on licensing software for CRM.

Software firm NeoPlanet -- best known for its alternative Web browser -- this week unveiled a new suite of marketing products and a deal with PC maker Compaq (NYSE:CPQ) to roll out some of those offerings.

The Tempe, Az.-based company's new Viassary suite is aimed at marketers and CRM administrators. The programs, which run on consumers' computers, track usage (online and offline) and, using a combination of "push" technology and downloads, deliver targeted messages relevant to whatever the user is doing.

For example, the Viassary suite will be used in a CRM capacity to power the Compaq Advisor, which the Houston-based computer manufacturer is now shipping on its Presario desktop and notebook PCs. The application will recommend setups, configurations, products and product updates based on user activities.

"Compaq Advisor will help us better meet our customers' computing and communications needs, while helping users maximize their PC and Internet experience," said Bob Brewer, vice president of solutions for Compaq's Access Business. "NeoPlanet's products and services will provide the underlying technology to power this new era of truly 'personal' computing from Compaq."

Compaq and NeoPlanet declined to disclose financial aspects of their deal, which is the first for the Viassary product.

The new product line marks another step away from the original business of NeoPlanet, which was, until 1998, a unit of Alley-based Web directory/e-mail marketer/i-shop Bigfoot Communications.

In February, NeoPlanet announced a sizable reorganization designed to focus less on Web advertising -- which it did through branded, customized browser "skins" and pushed banners -- and more on licensing of marketing and CRM software. The restructuring saw the resignation of former CEO Drew Cohen, and staff cuts of about 40 percent.

"There's an increasing need for companies to better understand and foster interaction with their existing customers -- including how, when and where they prefer to be reached -- to deepen customer relationships and gain a competitive edge," said Robert Danoff, who is NeoPlanet's senior vice president of marketing.

At the time of the restructuring, new CEO said president Warren Adelman told media outlets that the changes were designed to bring NeoPlanet to profitability this year.

Reprinted from Internet Advertising Report

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