SOURCE: Firepond, Inc.

September 17, 2008 09:00 ET

Firepond Celebrates 25 Years in Business

MANKATO, MN--(Marketwire - September 17, 2008) - Firepond, Inc. (OTCBB: FPND) is celebrating 25 years in business this month. "Firepond has gone through many changes the past 25 years, but it has always remained committed to its history as the pioneer for automated configuration pricing and quoting and its mission of providing market leading applications and processes that help salespeople create accurate, understandable and profitable quotes," said Firepond's President Bradlee Sheafe.

Firepond's continuing success and commitment to its products and customers stems from the vision of its founder, Jerry Johnson, who is widely recognized as the inventor of interactive selling. Firepond's origins go back to the early 1980s, when Johnson owned and managed a Ford farm equipment dealership in Minnesota. Frustrated with explaining leasing benefits to customers and the lengthy calculations required to prove the value of leasing, Johnson decided to write a computer program to speed up his sales process.

Johnson's ingenuity proved successful and he began to expand the capability of his solution. He established relationships with a few of the major manufacturers in this market by demonstrating that his solution could drive the sales process and increase the sales efficiency of all of their dealers. With manufacturers endorsing his solution to their dealers, sales of the system rapidly increased.

With this success as the foundation, the company was founded as Clear With Computers (CWC) in 1983. Product configuration quickly became the primary strength of the software and before the year's end, CWC established new clients with interest from many other companies. The company grew throughout the 1980s and 1990s and built an impressive list of clients, several of which continue as customers of Firepond today. These increased sales led to the company's recognized expertise in the development and deployment of selling and quoting systems to direct sales and dealer channels of large companies with global reach. While competitors started to emerge, Firepond held its leadership position through a strong commitment to its mission.

In 1999, the company changed its name to Firepond and then became publicly traded in early 2000. Firepond rode out the dot com collapse and the tough economy early in this decade. In 2003, Firepond was acquired by private investors who were confident of the superiority of its sales applications, especially its product configuration engine. They immediately took steps to strengthen the company, including selling non-core assets, optimizing facilities and re-focusing the company on its original mission and strength.

The strategy worked and Firepond emerged stronger than ever before. In 2004, recognizing the future in software as a service (SaaS) based, "cloud computing" solutions, Firepond shifted its primary focus from building enterprise systems to offering on-demand solutions. It released its first version of Firepond Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) OnDemand, designed to integrate with the popular system. The hosted solution generated unprecedented interest in Firepond's products.

By the end of 2005, Firepond had successfully implemented the CPQ OnDemand solution to customers and had many more in the pipeline. Firepond's database management tool (Product Data Manager) continued to be used by dozens of companies and Firepond's configuration engine was being embedded in many other applications.

Earlier this year, in order to meet growing demand for its CPQ OnDemand solution, Firepond realigned its financial structure and instituted management and operational changes. "In addition to a strong financial foundation, these changes have already resulted in an improved implementation process," Sheafe said. "We can bring new customers onboard our Firepond CPQ OnDemand application faster than ever before, maximizing the ROI our customers experience from their use of Firepond CPQ OnDemand. Additionally, Firepond is proud to announce that our founder, the acknowledged pioneer of automated sales and the inventor of the technology underlying modern sales automation processes, Jerry Johnson, is returning to Firepond as a member of our board of directors."

Today, Firepond has successfully implemented thousands of CPQ OnDemand users from a global customer base across a broad range of verticals. Firepond CPQ OnDemand is used to generate thousands of quotes every month in multiple languages and currencies representing billions of dollars in configured products. In addition, Firepond continues to support its loyal base of enterprise customers, some of which have been realizing the benefits of Firepond's market leading technology for over 10 years. Firepond is a recipient of the 2008 WizKids Award presented by Beagle Research Group, LLC and a long term certified partner of's AppExchange.

About Firepond, Inc.

Firepond (OTCBB: FPND) is the leading provider of multi-tenant, on-demand Configure-Price-Quote® software that automates and simplifies product pricing and configuration for companies and helps these enterprises improve order accuracy while reducing their cost of sales. Firepond's sales solutions help companies to optimize their sales processes whether their need is to solve complex product or pricing configuration, create product catalogs or provide an interactive selling system and dramatically improve response time. Firepond solutions provide a rapid ROI through improved order accuracy (100% of submitted orders have accurate specifications and pricing), improved proposal generation time and high user acceptance. For additional information about Firepond, visit or call 1-866-UCONFIG (826-6344).

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release may contain forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding our business strategy and development plans, plans for entering into new businesses, anticipated sources and uses of funds and other statements regarding our plans, objectives, expectations and intentions that are not historical facts. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, actual results could differ materially from those discussed in this press release. These risks and uncertainties are described in greater detail in the reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Our actual results, performance or achievements may vary materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements reflect our beliefs and expectations as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update these forward-looking statements publicly at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact Information