**NCDM: Recognition Systems Transforms Into Protagona

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ORLANDO, FL -- Recognition Systems, Chicago, is changing its name to Protagona Worldwide, the company announced yesterday at the National Center for Database Marketing show. Its operating branches in England, Australia and Hong Kong will also adopt the new Protagona Worldwide name.


According to Kristen Lundberg, director of product marketing at Protagona Worldwide, the Recognition Systems name will be retained as Recognition Systems Group PLC, which will be the holding company for the Protagona Worldwide business units.


"There was a lot of confusion within the marketplace, since our name was Recognition Systems and our main product was called Protagona," Lundberg said. "We were receiving checks made out to Protagona instead of Recognition Systems."


The name change is part of a new branding strategy that is designed to address the entire product line. The new strategy will be conveyed through theatrical imagery. The Protagona campaign management suite of products will be referred to as Protagona Ensemble.


"Protagona comes from the word protagonist, which is the main character in a play," Lundberg said. "The names of our products are going to be theatrical in nature, such as Producer [formerly called Protagona, the company's flagship product] and Director."


Next year the company plans to launch three new products called Choreographer, Preview and onCUE.


"For a long time we had an image of being just a one-product company," said Michael Emerson, senior vice president of global marketing at Protagona Worldwide. "This branding strategy will allow companies to see that we no longer want to be seen that way."


The company also introduced its newest product, eCAST, a direct e-mail marketing application that is fully integrated with Protagona Ensemble.


According to Emerson, the marketplace demanded that Protagona design a closed-loop application that handled all aspects of an e-mail direct marketing campaign.


"Our early model handled all of the outbound functions but did not have a full response management component," he said. "Our customers needed that, and we came up with a way to provide them with it."


He expects general availability of the product by February. It can deliver more that 500,000 e-mails per hour.


The application consists of an outbound, high-volume e-mail personalization module and an optional response management component. The outbound component features bounce handling of undeliverable e-mail, automated unsubscribe functionality and click-through tracking of embedded URLs.


The response management component lets marketers set up mailboxes for receiving and automatically routing customer e-mail responses -- based on business rules and keywords -- to the appropriate departmental contact.


Emerson said he hopes to have close to half of Protagona's clients using eCAST by the summer.
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