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SSPA Connect: First Web-Based Member-to-Member Support Service Goes Live Linking 2,200 Member Support Centers.

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SAN DIEGO & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 2002

Cross-Industry Collaborative Support, a Milestone in Improving

Customer Service and Support

Leveraging the expertise from 2,200 member support centers, The Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA), the leading industry association for IT support professionals, and ePeople, the leading provider of Web-based, collaborative CRM solutions, today announced the launch of SSPA Connect, a first of its kind online member-to-member support service that previews the new model for the delivery of support.

Powered by ePeople Teamwork, a Web-based collaborative CRM application, SSPA Connect links SSPA member support centers together, enabling cross-industry collaborative support on service management issues anytime, anywhere in the world.

Through SSPA Connect, member support centers can share industry knowledge, get support management questions answered, benchmark among peers, validate methods, gather information for key decisions, and keep a pulse on the market. The valuable knowledge exchanged in the interactions is captured for reuse in solving future issues. SSPA Connect was created with the assistance of the SSPA Connect Advisory Board, comprised of support executives from over 100 SSPA member companies.

"This software will be a tremendous asset as we look for ways to improve our customer support at Timberline," said Mark Brannan, operations director -- client services, Timberline Software. "We plan to use SSPA Connect in various ways, from issue resolution to browsing options, and monitoring best practices."

"SSPA Connect provides a valuable conduit of information among our members located anywhere in the world," said Bill Rose, SSPA founder/CEO. "Informal collaboration goes on daily, however the future of service and support has everything to do with the formalization of that collaboration. With SSPA's vision and ePeople Teamwork, which is by far the best collaborative support solution in the industry, SSPA Connect represents the future of how support will be delivered."

"Teams of analysts and experts working together to address complex customer issues is the right customer support model, but it is not supported by the CRM vendors today," said Anthony Lye, ePeople, president and CEO. "SSPA Connect is a tremendous showcase for ePeople Teamwork, a collaborative CRM solution that reduces resolution times and costs by automating the team-based issue resolution process, capturing knowledge during this process and driving this crucial knowledge throughout the entire support organization."

About ePeople

ePeople, founded in 1997, is the leading provider of Web-based, collaborative CRM solutions. The ePeople(TM) Teamwork application helps companies manage and resolve complex customer issues more effectively, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and retention. Customers of ePeople include Adobe Systems Inc., Cognos Inc., Openwave Systems Inc., Oracle Corp., Sybase Inc. and Symbol Technologies Inc. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., ePeople is privately held. Investors include Redpoint Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Integral Capital Partners, Bedrock Capital, Brentwood Venture Capital and CNET. More information on ePeople is available at www.epeople.com.

About SSPA

Founded in 1989, the Service & Support Professionals Association (SSPA) was formed to focus on the specific needs of service executives who are responsible for support centers and overall customer relations. Today, the SSPA represents over 18,000 service professionals at 2,200 support centers worldwide. These executives look to SSPA to provide insight into the future of support services, a road map of best practices within our industry and access to the best service and support vendors. SSPA has become the center of support providing a reliable and comprehensive resource for news, research, benchmarking, standards and collaboration.

SSPA was created for professionals, managers and executives that make their living in the IT support services community. It is not a generic, one-size-fits all Web site where nobody ever feels like they belong. SSPA is dynamic, interactive, living resource specifically designed for the unique needs of support professionals. This exciting virtual community creates a forum for constant interaction with peers, industry experts, technology vendors and much more. For more information regarding the SSPA and other related divisions, log on to www.thesspa.com or send an email to info@thesspa.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 8, 2002
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