Sun Chooses NFO for Better Customer Research

Allen Bernard

Updated · Feb 12, 2002

Computer giant Sun Microsystems announced Tuesday it chose NFO Prognostics' ASP-enabled research program to better understand, assess and improve its customer loyalty programs.

“One of the main objectives of Sun's customer advocacy initiative is to build up customer loyalty into a recognized best practice at Sun,” said Rich Hegeman, Sun's senior manager for its customer loyalty program. “To do this, we are going … beyond traditional seat-of-pants approaches and basing our efforts on objective, data-driven methods.”

Sun selected NFO's Research Analysis Program (RAP) system because it is a comprehensive research-technology package and because it is accessible via the ASP model, Hegeman said. RAP includes an interactive portal designed to offer clients real-time results. NFO provides customer research based consulting to the IT industry.

“The RAP System offers an outstanding solution for this purpose, and its status as an ASP-based solution cuts costs, maximizes convenience and aligns with Sun's overall philosophy of leveraging web-based services to boost real-world business process productivity,” Hegeman said. “Sun believes in running its business on the net and Application Service Providers are a significant part of that. We were attracted to software as a service for the same reasons many other companies are: greater flexibility, lower costs, lower risk, faster deployment.”

Under the terms of the relationship, Sun will access NFO's servers over the Net, eliminating the need to code HTML by hand or install new software. In addition to the ASP technology application, NFO will also provide Sun with consulting support regarding the interpretation its customer data.

“We are pleased Sun recognizes that NFO Prognostics' combination of well-designed ASP tools and customer research expertise brings important benefits to its customer loyalty program,” said Tina Weinfurther, president and CEO of NFO Prognostics. “Our Web-based technology represents the next generation of customer research applications, tools that are critical for technology companies looking to maintain and grow their existing customer base in this economy.”

Sun will use NFO's technology to assess customer feedback regarding products, services, and account management. In addition to real-time reporting, Sun managers will also be able to access customer loyalty data from any browser connected to the World Wide Web.

“Using NFO's ASP tools enables us to better collect, report on and analyze information from our customer loyalty surveys,” said Hegeman. “This is one part of a larger set of Customer Advocacy programs at Sun like Sun Sigma and Product Life Cycle process, which keep us close to our customers. Our customer loyalty surveys are one way in which we listen to our customers. The Prognostics tools allow us to listen to our customers faster through real time reporting, better through built in analysis tools and less expensively.”

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