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Supportgate.com Announces New Membership Community: The SSPA Europe.

Business Editors and High-Tech Writers

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 7, 2000

Supportgate.com, the leading industry portal for IT support professionals, announced today the launch of a new Membership Program: The SSPA Europe Member Community.

The SSPA Europe joins the other Supportgate.com communities that include the Software Support Professionals Association (SSPA), The Service Vendor Alliance (SVA) and The Technical Support Professionals Society (TSPS). The Supportgate.com Web portal site is "home" for service professionals and executives to network and mingle, and The SSPA Europe will provide these opportunities to support centers in the U.K. and Europe.

"We are pleased to announce the beginning of a strengthened presence for the SSPA in Europe," said Bill Rose, SSPA founder/executive director. "With the advent of globalization, large companies expect their service providers to grow with them, providing a consistent, ever higher level of customer support, wherever they might be around the globe."

The SSPA Europe Member benefits include:

Access to Industry Experts:

Membership in the SSPA provides support professionals with the much-needed opportunity to network with leading experts in software support. The SSPA has access to seasoned practitioners that can help your support center meet its current challenges.

Member2MemberInformation Exchange:

Looking for Access to Industry Experts? SSPA has created the Member2Member Exchange, a way to network with other SSPA Europe Members via various email topical discussion groups. A Member may choose to subscribe to any or all of the discussion groups through the Members Only Section.

SSPA Events:

At least three SSPA Europe Events will be held each year. Possible locations include Amsterdam, Netherlands; Dublin, Ireland; Munich, Germany; London and others. SSPA Europe Members receive substantial fee discounts to these events. Visit the Conferences section of www.supportgate.com for additional details on each event.

STAR Awards:

The Software Technical Assistance Recognition (STAR) Awards are presented annually to those SSPA and SSPA Europe Member organizations that deliver exceptional software support. These annual awards are given out by the SSPA at the annual Horizons Conference, the next to be held in Savannah, Ga., Oct. 1-4, 2001. The award is given in several distinct categories. It is a self-nominating process.

WebStar Services Awards:

The WebStar Service Awards are an annual award given out to SSPA, SSPA Europe and SVA Member Companies who excel at providing exceptional customer service and technical support via the Web. These annual awards, are given out by the SSPA at the annual San Diego Summit, to be held Feb. 5-8, 2001. It is a self-nominating process.

Technical Support Professionals Society (TSPS):

The SSPA Europe Member's Primary Contact and other Managers can register all of their support reps/staff for a free TSPS individual Membership. See the TSPS section of www.supportgate.com for more information on TSPS.

Data Research Group:

The Supportgate.com Data Research Group was formed to provide timely, accurate and applicable information specifically for support professionals in the IT Industry. SSPA and SSPA Europe Members receive substantial discounts to The SSPA Survey and Support Sense Booklets.

The SSPA Survey:

Industry experts developed The SSPA Survey. The Survey is divided into 11 Sections with numerous questions in each Section; Demographics, Use of VARS and Resellers, E-Commerce, Automation, Online Services, People, Performance Metrics, Finance, Service Marketing, Customer Satisfaction, Supplemental Information.

> The SSPA Support Sense Booklets:

The Support Sense Booklets are the newest resource offered by the Software Support Professionals Association (SSPA), and were written with the technical support professional in mind. These booklets are bursting with a wealth of information on topics such as: increasing customer satisfaction, strengthening soft skills, and increasing technical skills in the ever-changing world of IT support. A new Booklet will be released every month.

> Market Research Center:

Most poor decisions come about because customers don't react the way you guessed they would. FORTUNE 500 companies minimize those risks by conducting expensive and time-consuming market research. Thanks to the Internet, this same ability is now available to managers and owners in all sized companies -- literally overnight.

New Member Spotlights:

All new SSPA Europe Members have the opportunity to submit information regarding their company for posting on the New Member Spotlights section of www.supportgate.com.

Article Archives:

The Article Archive is a collection of Articles, White Papers and other writings and is designed with headings of Title, Type, Organization (who submitted) and Description (brief synopsis) for easy access and search. The Interactive Library is a Members Only feature.

Speaking Opportunities:

Members are given priority to speak at SSPA Europe and SSPA Events. The association is not only so Members have access to their peers and to industry experts, but also so other members have access to you. Speaking at an SSPA Europe event is a great way to share their knowledge!

"The SSPA Europe Membership Program received an enthusiastic welcome and endorsement from the Attendees at the SSPA Europe Executive Forum recently held in Amsterdam," said Ron Johnson, Director of Community Development, Supportgate.com. "They are all looking forward to participating at the next SSPA Europe Event to be held in Dublin, April, 2001."

Company Support Centers that have joined the SSPA Europe include: VERITAS Software (Reading-U.K.); Candle Services Ltd. (U.K.); Rational Software (Netherlands); AspenTech Europe (Belgium); Peregrine Systems (U.K.); Objective Systems Integrators (France); VERITAS Software (Guildford-U.K.); Eircom (Ireland); Mercury Interactive (Israel); Mentor Graphics (U.K.) Ltd.; Hewlett-Packard (Netherlands); Ask Jeeves (U.K.).

About Supportgate.com

Supportgate.com builds Internet service communities. Through these "gates" you will find the individual organizations of Service Vendors Alliance (SVA), Support Center Practices (SCP) certification, Technical Support Professionals Society (TSPS), Software Support Professionals Association (SSPA), and SSPA Europe.

The Supportgate.com Web portal site is "home" for service professionals and executives and features many opportunities such as Peer2Peer Connection Rooms; Member Showcases; Member2Member Information Exchange; Expert Connections; SupportBooks.com; Online Training and an industry specific Career Center. It also contains Conference and Events Calendars; a Virtual Tradeshow; Industry News; Surveys; SupportWeek.com and a Vendor Directory. Supportgate.com is the home for the Software Technical Assistance Recognition (STAR) Awards; the WebStar Awards; Support SuperStars Awards; SCP Site Certification and SSPA Individual Certification. For more information visit www.supportgate.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Dec 7, 2000
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