Firm Debuts Performance Software

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Candle Corp., Santa Monica, CA, plans to introduce its first line of e-commerce software this week, technology designed to show online marketers how quickly their sites respond to customers navigating through their virtual stores.

The company hopes its two products, eBA ServiceMonitor and eBA ServiceNetwork, will ride swelling concern within the Net industry about customer service. Karl Kotalik, director of Candle's response time management business unit, said ServiceMonitor is the first software package that lets site operators monitor the quickness of their own sites.

"There's a lot of software that addresses what people did on your site … but those products do not address the issue of response time, customer service and how long it takes," he said.

Businesses are able to set their own speed thresholds, and the Candle software will warn them when their sites are so slow that customers might be tempted to flee to another Web vendor.

"If you're … trying to buy something online and you're frustrated with the performance you're getting, you can give up and easily go to the next store that's available," he said.

ServiceMonitor tracks customers' movement through a site and measures how long they spend on each page. ServiceNetwork is designed to gather data collected by ServiceMonitor and put it into reports in a tabular format.

A starter model of ServiceMonitor that tracks data on up to 10 Web pages begins at $1,995. Larger configurations of the software that watch every site across a company's servers begin at $100,000. Pricing on ServiceNetwork varies depending on customer requirements.

Candle hopes large commercial enterprises express interest in the technology. The products recently came out of beta testing with firms in the financial and brokerage industries.

Candle was founded in 1976 by current chairman/CEO Aubrey Chernick, who still owns the entire firm. The company's traditional product lines include software for operating systems, databases, networks and other back-end business procedures.
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