Fast Search & Transfer

Fast Search & Transfer

March 30, 2005 09:01 ET

ACIS Consulting Delivers RapidAnswer Search Solution for Customer Support


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: FAST SEARCH & TRANSFER

OSLO STOCK EXCHANGE SYMBOL: FAST

MARCH 30, 2005 - 09:01 ET

ACIS Consulting Delivers RapidAnswer Search Solution
for Customer Support

TORONTO & OSLO, Norway--(CCNMatthews - Mar 30, 2005) -

RapidAnswer Becomes the First Partner-Designed and Developed Customer
Support SDA Based Upon FAST's Powerful Enterprise Search Platform

ACIS Consulting Inc, a leading Canadian reseller and systems integrator
of powerful search solutions from Fast Search & Transfer™ (FAST™),
today announced the release of RapidAnswer™, the first
partner-designed and developed Search Derivative Application (SDA) for
Self Service. RapidAnswer, the latest SDA to leverage the FAST
Enterprise Search Platform (FAST ESP™) provides Customer Support
Representatives (CSRs) with a unified point of access to all relevant
product and customer-related information that may be scattered across
various disparate websites, knowledge bases, document repositories,
databases and CRM applications.

Enterprises today are faced with the imposing challenge of providing a
wide array of information to growing customer-bases about a multitude of
complex and often confusing products. At the same time, these
organizations are being asked to cut IT budgets for support operations.
RapidAnswer™ encompasses several key elements to help address these
challenges through improved customer support productivity and reduced
customer support call volumes.

The RapidAnswer solution leverages the most advanced FAST ESP
capabilities in natural language processing, rank tuning and relevancy
modeling to quickly deliver precise answers to customer questions. It
enables call center managers to continually monitor and identify the
most frequently asked questions that generate high volumes of customer
support calls and to develop a knowledge base of short and concise
answers. RapidAnswer is used to provide website visitors with a dynamic
self service environment that quickly captures their intent and directs
them to the correct and most relevant response. In addition, RapidAnswer
continually tracks customer satisfaction feedback on presented questions
and answers and identifies those topics that are leading to customer
support calls and customer dissatisfaction.

"In research conducted among our corporate customers, we found that 80%
of corporate support calls and emails relate to 20% of the most basic
questions, which can be answered with simple and straight forward
responses online," said Efrem Habteselassie, president of ACIS
Consulting. "These companies indicated that a system that would enable
them to better manage this high volume of questions and answers could
significantly reduce support costs and improve customer satisfaction.
The RapidAnswer solution addresses these needs by providing a capability
for identifying the high call volume generators and a facility for
authoring a knowledgebase to deliver instant answers to these
questions."

Key additional features of RapidAnswer include continuous polling of
customer satisfaction to presented answers, detailed management
reporting on query volumes and trends in satisfaction levels, direct
integration with customer support systems and content management
applications.

"To date, enterprise customer support solutions have not adequately
offered businesses a complete view of the customer relationship. We are
pleased to be working with ACIS Consulting to bring to market the first
Search Derivative Application that addresses these needs and is based
upon FAST ESP," said Ali I. Riaz, FAST's chief operating officer.

About ACIS Consulting

ACIS Consulting Inc. (ACIS) is a management consulting and systems
integration company that started its operations in 1992 with its head
offices based in Toronto, Canada. ACIS is also the Canadian reseller and
systems integrator of the FAST™ enterprise search platform (FAST
ESP™) and Stratify Discovery taxonomy development platform. ACIS also
hosts and manages outsourced search service on behalf of its clients.

ACIS has served several government and private institutions as a
technology provider, a software developer, and as a technology
management consultant. Projects in which ACIS played a key role include
the implementation of Ontario Government Search gateway, the Canadian
Collaborative Seniors Portal search gateway, complete upgrade of an
Airline's back office systems; development of an Internet-based
insurance auction portal; as well as management consulting in the
implementation of a government network for retrieval and management of
vehicle emission data.

For more information about ACIS Consulting, please visit
www.acisconsulting.com, or send e-mail to fastsales@acisconsulting.com.

About FAST

FAST creates the real-time search and filter technology solutions that
are behind the scenes at the world's best known companies with the most
demanding search problems. FAST's flexible and scalable integrated
technology platform elevates the search capabilities of enterprise
customers and connects people to the relevant information they seek
regardless of medium. This drives revenues and reduces total cost of
ownership by effectively leveraging IT infrastructure. FAST's powerful
enterprise search technology solutions are used by more than 1,500
global customers and partners, including America Online (AOL), AT&T,
Cardinal Health, CareerBuilder.com, Chordiant, CIGNA, CNET, Dell,
Factiva, Fidelity Investments, Findexa, FirstGov.gov (GSA), IBM, Knight
Ridder, LexisNexis, Overture, Rakuten, Reed Elsevier, Reuters, Sensis,
Stellent, Tenet Healthcare, Thomas Industrial Networks, T-Online, US
Army, Virgilio (Telecom Italia), Vodafone, and Wanadoo.

FAST is headquartered in Norway and is publicly traded under the ticker
symbol 'FAST' on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The FAST Group operates
globally with presence in Europe, the United States, Asia Pacific,
Australia, South America, and the Middle East. For further information
about FAST, please visit www.fastsearch.com.

(C) 2005 Fast Search & Transfer ASA - Fast Search & Transfer, FAST, FAST
ESP, FAST Data Search, FAST Marketrac, FAST AdVisor, FAST InStream, FAST
ImPulse, FAST Search Best Practices, FAST SBP, FAST ProPublish, FAST
mSearch and the FAST four-colored logo are trademarks of Fast Search &
Transfer ASA. All rights reserved. FAST disclaims any proprietary
interest in the marks and names of others. All other trademarks
mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Fast Search & Transfer
    Peter Gorman, 781-304-2495
    email: pr@fastsearch.com
    or
    Fast Search & Transfer (Europe)
    Carine Zeier, 47 23 01 13 47
    47 48 01 13 47 (Mobile)
    or
    ACIS Consulting
    Efrem Habteselassie, 1-416-439-6579
    email: fastsales@acisconsulting.com