October 2002 Neocog Becomes Microsoft Certified Partner Company and clients will be a step ahead Mid-summer meant major celebrations at Neocog offices as word came from Micro- soft Corp head office that the company that created ACE and Cognito software has been granted Microsoft Certified Partner standing. This came as a result of Neocog’s proven competence on the latest Microsoft tech- nologies. Membership in the Microsoft Certified Partner Program will provide Neocog Inc. with resources to help it de- velop and deploy robust Microsoft solu- tions that will reduce costs and enhance marketing efforts in the credit unions and Chris Palmer, Neocog CEO and the chief architect of its software, answers a question about banks that Neocog serves. the significance of Neocog’s new Microsoft Certified Partner status. Microsoft offers a variety of resources to program members, including training, Dramatic Changes To Cognito technical support, early access to Microsoft provides a look at how many points are products and peer-networking opportuni- Twice the vehicle but earned for referrals and/or inherited (that ties that allow a variety of partners to come together and provide end-to-end customer still entry level pricing is, points received after a sale for having made the referral that results in the sale) as solutions. compared to the number of points actually Neocog developers have pushed its soft- made from sales. The “ACE Sales Data” “Neocog is extremely pleased with our ware to new levels of sophistication and cube provides a look at the ratio or per- new status as Microsoft Certified Partner,” integration. Additional “cubes” have been centage of referrals to sales, an important said Chris Palmer, CEO. “Being a member added to Cognito’s decision assisting arse- way of assessing the level of effectiveness of the program gives us early access to nal. Also, breakthrough functionality has of marketing activities. product information, so that when our cus- been created to link Cognito based market- tomers are ready to take advantage of the ing decisions directly to the “Campaign The key to the fusion of ACE and Cognito latest Microsoft technology solution we Loader” in ACE, Neocog’s popular cus- powers is the “Drillthrough” function already have the experience we need. In tomer relationship management tool. available in a Cognito OLAP (On-Line addition, enhancements such as the new Analytical Processing) drop-down options peer-networking opportunities will allow Cognito’s list of “cubes” for interfacing list. This is revealed when a user double us to expand the types of solutions and various demographic dimensions and fil- clicks on the number Cognito has provided services we can offer to our customers.” ters has been expanded. Two new sales as the target market (for example, the num- analysis cubes can now be used to assess ber of adult members who would be a prof- Neocog’s current solutions consist of a staff and product performances, as well as itable focus of a Fall car loan campaign). full customer relationship management to gain insight into source of sales in a de- When the “OLAP Drillthrough” is chosen, software suite. ACE is a contact manage- mographically precise manner. The “ACE a complete list of who those people are ment and automated sales tool for financial Sales Points” cube does the latter and also Continued on back Continued on back Neocog News October 2002 Page 2 CE 3.2 Service Release Has Soap Option CUSTOMER SATIS- FACTION HIGH Neocog’s ACE users gave its CRM soft- ware an “A” rating and the company itself an “A+” in a survey conducted this sum- mer. This contrasts dramatically with the 63% customer satisfaction level with CRM products and companies in general, as re- ported in survey results released early this year by High-Yield Marketing, Front Line Solutions and Mangen Research Associ- ates. ACE earned its 83% satisfaction rating mainly for being easy to use and adaptable. Present users (credit unions in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan) reported that its automated sales prompting was its most used feature. However, they also wrote that they got great value from ACE’s document management functionalities and from its The above diagram illustrates the ease of access to ACE that SOAP provides, both to inter- success at motivating staff (ACE Sales nal users and to roaming (remote) staff. Reports). Certified Partner ACE 3.2 gives option As a company, Neocog was rated almost 100% in two main categories: “Easy to do status Continued from front. With the 3.2 Release of ACE, Neocog business with” and “Responsive to cus- tomer feedback.” Overall, its customers Technologies is excited to introduce SOAP gave it a 92% grade. High marks were also services representatives who are dealing (Simple Object Access Protocol) as an awarded for Neocog’s pricing and its sup- directly with customers –whatever the alternative to DCOM for communication port. Kirk Leverington of Sherwood Credit channel of access. Cognito is a data man- between the ACE client and ACE server. Union in Regina, Saskatchewan wrote at agement and mining tool to assist execu- SOAP is an open-standard XML based the bottom of his survey form that tives in corporate decision making, includ- technology and is one of the core compo- “Neocog is an excellent company. To be ing sales campaigns. Neocog experts also nents of Microsoft’s .NET strategy. Re- quite honest . . . the best I’ve dealt with – serve as IT consultants to successful credit quests are sent from the client to the server prompt, accurate, friendly support, totally unions, including St. Willibrord Commu- over HTTP as XML. Likewise, the server customizable software.” nity Credit Union in London, Ontario. responds to these requests in XML. “When customers are looking to imple- Since the transport medium for the com- Changes to Cognito munication is Internet friendly (HTTP), Continued from front. ment a Microsoft technology solution for their business, their best bet is to turn to an SOAP allows roaming staff to access ACE via any Internet connection. Also, SOAP (with addresses, account numbers etc) will expert –a Microsoft Certified Partner,” said be displayed. Rosa Garcia, general manager of the Part- dramatically simplifies client installation, ner Programs Group at Microsoft. as the server component registration per- formed during the client install is no longer This list can be directly imported by the “Microsoft provides its Certified Partners ACE “Campaign Loader.” This loader then with in-depth access to existing and emerg- necessary. All the ACE client requires to communicate with the server is the web activates various forms of automated sales ing Microsoft technologies and related prompting; for example, it will remind a training and resources to help ensure that server name where the ACE web service is located. This server information is an en- teller to talk to a targeted client about a car they have the technical intimacy needed to loan and it will ask the client directly about deliver quality solutions. Today, Microsoft try in the ace.xml file which contains other client initialization information; thus that financial product when he/she is doing recognizes Neocog Inc. for demonstrating Internet banking. Thus the Cognito/ACE this level of expertise and welcomes it as a switching between ACE environments becomes just a matter of changing the en- combination makes a sequential whole of new Microsoft Certified Partner.” the marketing process: all the way from try in the initialization file. planning to signing! Neocog encourages organizations using ACE to upgrade to the 3.2 release and test Published by Ted Palmer, Communications Manager ACE using SOAP to see whether switching to this technology is the right choice for Technical Assistance by Shane Glendinning, them. Vanderpas Design Inc.