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J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES REPORTS THAT CONSUMER 'EASE' DRIVES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN COMPUTER SOFTWARE INDUSTRY

 J.D. POWER AND ASSOCIATES REPORTS THAT CONSUMER 'EASE'
 DRIVES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IN COMPUTER SOFTWARE INDUSTRY
 AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- J.D. Power and Associates today released results of the 1992 Computer End User Satisfaction Study on Software. The national study was conducted among end users at office-based businesses. The study reveals how changes in the software market have placed this industry in a state of a volatile transition as the market moves from character-based to Graphical User Interface (GUI) products. J.D. Power and Associates' 1992 End User Satisfaction Study on the Software industry reflects how these changes have impacted customer satisfaction. The most important factors involve ease of learning, ease of use and ease of operation. The top ranking software companies are: Software Publishing in the Wordprocessing category and Borland International for both the Relational Database and Spreadsheet categories.
 The study includes three separate reports: Wordprocessing, Spreadsheet and Relational Database software. Ease plays the greatest role among users in the word processing segment, with "ease of learning" having a 70 percent impact on program satisfaction. Professional Write, produced by Software Publishing, is ranked highest in that segment. In the spreadsheet category, "convenience" and "ease of operation" play major roles in satisfying end users. Borland's Quattro/Pro places at the top of the overall spreadsheet index. Users of database software indicate that "ease of use" contributes 25 percent to overall satisfaction, and Paradox, also by Borland International, has the most satisfied end users.
 "Clearly, the results of this study indicate how much customer satisfaction is driving this industry," said J.D. Power III, president and founder of J.D. Power and Associates. "Software publishers who do not focus on creating programs that are easily assimilated are vulnerable to eroding their current and future customer base." He continued, "End users tell us that when they are pleased with an ease of use, operation or learning capability, they tell others. And that is the name of the game in a customer satisfaction strategy."
 As stated, ease of learning ranks very high in driving customer satisfaction in the word processing software category. It is the most dominant of all factors, having a 70 percent impact. The next most important factors played only a minor role in comparison: Technical assistance, 15 percent; performance, 10 percent; and ease of use, 5 percent. Professional Write ranked highest in this segment.
 The industry is seeing GUI-based products in the spreadsheet software segment gaining market momentum at the expense of their competitors. This holds true in J.D. Power and Associates analysis in the End User Satisfaction Study, with Borland's Quattro/Pro ranking highest in the spreadsheet segment. There were no strongly dominant factors driving end user satisfaction in this segment. A variety of factors make up satisfaction among spreadsheet software users: convenience at 30 percent; ease of operation at 25 percent; technical assistance at 25 percent; documentation at 10 percent; and quality at 10 percent.
 The top ranking software in the Relational Database category is Borland International's Paradox. As in the spreadsheet segment, a variety of factors make up satisfaction among relational database users. They are: ease of use, which contributes 25 percent to overall satisfaction; performance contributing 20 percent; technical assistance, 20 percent; convenience, 15 percent; documentation, 10 percent; and ease of learning, 10 percent.
 The 1992 J.D. Power and Associates Computer End User Satisfaction Study was conducted among business users. The report and analysis is focused at the program rather than the publisher level. The software evaluated was qualified as not having been used less than one month and must not have been running on a PC more than two years old. In all, 1,080 end users responded to the survey from more than 480 business sites.
 J.D. Power and Associates, founded in 1968, is an international marketing information firm with headquarters in Agoura Hills and offices in Torrance, Calif.; Detroit; Westport, Conn.; and Tokyo. The firm is best known for its marketing information and consulting in the areas of consumer opinion and customer satisfaction.
 -0- 10/20/92
 /CONTACT: Patricia A. Patano or Jim Olson of J.D. Power and Associates, 818-889-6330/ CO: J.D. Power and Associates ST: California IN: CPR SU:


KJ-JB -- LA014 -- 2081 10/20/92 09:53 EDT
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Date:Oct 20, 1992
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