Jeeves serves CRM game

Many tentacles

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Ask Jeeves Inc's Jeeves Solutions division is further moving from its search roots into the customer relationship management market, with the announcement today of an upgraded JeevesOne product that allows structured data to be queried for the first time.

The enhancements, which come as a part of its $155,000 JeevesOne Enterprise software, come largely as a result of the integration of application connectors from Octopus Software Inc, a company Jeeves bought for an undisclosed sum in January.

Unlike the $99,000 JeevesOne Standard, which dealt largely with unstructured data such as web pages, PDFs and the like, the Enterprise edition will allow users to tap directly into structured data sources such as RDBMS-compliant databases and certain ERP systems.

The idea is to allow web site users to just as easily access frequently changing information specific to themselves - such as account or shipping details - as they can access more static data such as product catalogues, that would be stored in the regular Jeeves search engine index.

The adaptors also allow frequently asked questions to be integrated directly into the site's navigation scheme. As well as pre-built adaptors for RDBMS databases, the system also comes with adaptors for about 50 online information sources (such as the FedEx tracking system) that can be queried. A Java-based adaptor development kit is included for making connectors to other applications.

Jeeves, best known for its consumer-facing web site, which is facing the same revenue challenges as the rest of the portal market, says it has been selling enterprise software for four years. But the company has won only about 40 customers in that time. Its packaged software, JeevesOne, was first released in the third quarter last year.

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