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Mentor Graphics Adds Powerful Online Knowledge Database to Leading Customer Support Offerings.

Business Editors & Technology Writers

WILSONVILLE, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 2003

Mentor Graphics Corporation today announced the SupportNet KnowledgeBase(SM), a powerful support database that gives customers instant online access to the most up-to-date information on Mentor's products and solutions to commonly encountered design problems.

The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system provides a list of relevant solutions to a customer's question within an average response time of 15 seconds -- less time than it takes to dial the telephone.

Now Mentor Graphics customers have around-the-clock access to the combined expertise of Mentor's global team of 300 corporate applications engineers (CAEs) in a sophisticated database. The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system provides an alternate channel to existing telephone or online customer support, by giving customers the flexibility to search independently online for the information they need and offering immediate, qualified responses to the problem at hand.

To ensure that users can quickly locate the most relevant information, the SupportNet KnowledgeBase system includes advanced searching capabilities, such as natural language search and refine search functions. The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system is part of Mentor Graphics award-winning customer support services and expands the capabilities of the company's innovative SupportNet Web site.

"Our customers around the world rely on the expertise of our CAEs to help them maintain the productivity of their design teams using Mentor's tools," said Tom Floodeen, vice president and general manager, customer support division, Mentor Graphics. "By adding this online knowledge reuse database, we have effectively given our customers instant access to the collective experience of Mentor's entire support staff."

Empowering Customers with Knowledge

Customers access KnowledgeBase through Mentor's SupportNet Web site with a password log-in and simply type in their question as they would ask it. The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system then brings up the related TechNotes topics, sorted by relevancy. Powered by technology from Primus Knowledge Solutions, a leading provider of knowledge management and natural language search software, the SupportNet KnowledgeBase system features rapid response times and an intuitive interface. It allows users to refine their criteria to search further within the results for more specific information. In addition to the question-based search, users can find information by selecting from a list of symptoms and product names. As they find the answers to their questions, users can print, e-mail or bookmark the appropriate TechNotes. If the customer does not find an appropriate solution in the search results, they can open a Service Request, pre-populated with their customer information and question, from within the TechNote with a single click. To help customers identify the information that is most relevant to them, each TechNote is organized in three sections, Symptoms, Solution, and Environment and the TechNotes fall into six categories: Patch, Release, Defect, Solution, Enhancement and Business.

"Access to accurate, reliable customer support is essential to meeting our internal project schedules," said David Gradin, engineering manager, LSI Logic. "Mentor Graphics(R) SupportNet KnowledgeBase system allows me to find immediate answers to my specific questions -- from anywhere at any time."

The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system provides an effective way for Mentor's CAEs to capture and share knowledge with customers and each other. Since establishing the system in December 2002, Mentor has compiled more than 11,000 TechNotes in the SupportNet KnowledgeBase system. As part of their workflow, each Mentor CAE creates a knowledge record each time they answer a customer's support request. By capturing each solution, this process limits duplicate defect and problem reporting, and allows other customers to benefit from rapid and consistent expert responses to questions that have been answered for others. Before being added to the SupportNet KnowledgeBase system, each knowledge record is reviewed and verified internally and then incorporated into the database. The new knowledge capture workflow has become a well-integrated part of Mentor's CAEs processes, with new TechNotes being added at a rate of more than 600 a month.

Mentor has several maintenance mechanisms in place to ensure the accuracy of the information in the SupportNet KnowledgeBase system, including a feedback loop in which users are asked to rate each TechNote after accessing it.

Pricing and Availability

The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system is available immediately at no cost to Mentor Graphics customers with service contracts in place. More information is available at www.mentor.com/supportnet or by calling the North American SupportCenter at 800/547-4303.

About SupportNet and Award Winning Customer Support

The SupportNet KnowledgeBase system is the latest enhancement to Mentor Graphics full-service password-access Web site, SupportNet, which offers a range of technical information and product updates tailored to the needs of each customer, as well as advanced interactive features such as online discussion customer groups and personalized e-mail notification of product updates. Mentor Graphics SupportNet offers customized SupportNet sites for specific global customers, providing crucial design information specific to each location to help them be successful. SupportNet Forums allow customers to interact directly with each other regardless of geographic boundaries to exchange information about Mentor products and methodologies. SupportNet also helps companies manage their software assets through licensing reports to enable centralized management of global software entitlements, licenses and updates for all sites within a large company.

Mentor Graphics global customer support organization offers leading customer support solutions online, by phone and in-person. The company's continued investments in call tracking systems, Web-based customer information systems, customized support options and new support offerings allow the company to provide thousands of customers around the globe the flexibility they require. Mentor's customer support division is a five-time winner of the Software Technical Assistance Recognition (STAR) Award in the Complex Support category from the Service and Support Professional Association (SSPA). This prestigious award recognizes companies that consistently provide a superior level of support for software used in high-end, mission-critical applications in fields such as engineering, science, telecommunications and other technical environments. For more information on Mentor's award-winning support services, visit www.mentor.com/supportnet.

About Mentor Graphics

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq:MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $600 million and employs approximately 3,500 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site: www.mentor.com.

Mentor Graphics is a registered trademark and SupportNet KnowledgeBase is a service mark of Mentor Graphics Corporation. All other company or product names are the registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective owners.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 23, 2003
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