AGENTS INC. CHANGES NAME TO FIREFLY NETWORK INC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 30 - AgentsTM, Inc. announced it has changed its name to Firefly NetworkTM, Inc. and has begun licensing its new FireflyTM software tools to a number of leading companies including Reuters NewMedia, Yahoo! and Ziff Davis' ZD Net.
Firefly Network is the recognized leader in providing intelligent agent software for creating personalized communities in on-line environments. The new company name reflects Firefly Network's strategy to enable any electrorks - with technology that allows users to cultivate relationships based on their individual tastes and preferences.
The Firefly software tools are based on the company's intelligent agent technology. This technology gives consumers their own personal Firefly agent that travels with them through multiple categories or domains - such as Web sites, software and music - while learning their likes and dislikes. It offers consumers the ability to build relationships and personalized experiences with people, products, information and brands based on their individual tastes. For businesses, the technology offers a unique opportunity to better understand and serve their customers based on each individual's explicit and inferred preferences.
"Firefly technology creates a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses," said Nick Grouf, president and chief executive officer of Firefly Network, Inc. "With this announcement, Firefly Network is now offering our early tools customers the ability to create the same dynamic community and deliver the same level of personalization experienced on Firefly Online."
Firefly Software Tools
The suite of Firefly software tools are being developed by the company for businesses seeking to maximize their activities in the electronic marketplace - such as Web developers, retailers, content providers, corporate intranet developers and service companies - by providing them with the ability to personalize communications and recommendations based on their customers' preferences and build dynamic communities around brands in order to increase customer loyalty and response rates.
Today, the full capability of Firefly technology is demonstrated on the company's showcase, Firefly OnlineTM (www.firefly.com). Firefly Online currently offers personalized music and movie recommendations and has grown to a large, dynamic community. Firefly Online has demonstrated that the technology is scaleable to handle large customer bases, spans multiple categories and works seamlessly with other sites across the Web that are enabled with the Firefly technology, including My Yahoo!
Firefly software tools, which are expected to be generally available for license in the fourth quarter of this year, include Firefly PassportTM, Firefly RecommendationsTM, FirefertisingTM and Firefly AnalysisTM. Pricing for the tools will be announced at a later date.
- Firefly Passport is a user registration product that will allow consumers to obtain their own personal agent. It will also offer the Web site provider or retailer access to general demographic information about customers as well as individual preference information. In addition, Firefly Passport will enable consumers to seamlessly navigate any site or network that is enabled with Firefly technology. While this consumer preference and personal data are valuable to businesses and advertisers, Firefly Network has established an aggressive policy designed to protect consumers' rights to privacy on-line. This policy helps solidify the trust needed to establish and maintain relationships between consumers, businesses and advertisers.
- Firefly Recommendations will offer personalized and impartial recommendations, and will present the most suitable products and information directly to consumers. Firefly Recommendations, which uses technologies called Automated- and Feature-Guided Automated Collaborative Filtering, is designed to develop a comprehensive understanding of each customer's preferences for a particular domain. As a result, those items which are most likely to suit an individual customer's tastes are presented first. In addition, Recommendations will help to identify consumers to other users who have expressed similar preferences about those products or that information.
- Firefly Community will allow businesses to build a community of like-minded individuals around products, information, current events, issues and brands. With Community, developers can add a number of features that form an "engaged" customer base, including personal home pages, the ability to send and receive Firefly mail, submit and read product reviews, and engage in conversation through real-time chat and bulletin boards. Active involvement with the community is intended to allow businesses to increase customer retention and build brand loyalty.
- Firefly Targeted Content & Advertising will give businesses the ability to locate and communicate with an individual or groups based on their explicit or implicit preferences as well as their basic demographic information. Using this tool, businesses will be further assured that the right messages are going to the right people at the right time. As a result, this understanding and targeting of a customer base allows for higher costs-per-impression for advertisements and makes those ads relevant to each customer.
- Firefly Analysis will provide access to detailed reports on how customers are interacting with a business. The Analysis product will allow a business to analyze how effective they are in targeting specific customer types. As a result, businesses can further refine their understanding of customers and treat them as individuals in order to increase customer loyalty and retention.
Early Tools Customers
Because Firefly technology is based on consumers' tastes and preferences, it is applicable to a wide range of product, retail and service categories such as music, movies, shareware, financial services, travel and corporate intranets. Firefly Network's early tools customers will provide personalized information and community to consumers for news, Web sites and shareware in a variety of ways:
- Yahoo! is the first Web brand to take advantage of Firefly technology in order to offer consumers personalized recommendations for Web sites via My Yahoo! (my.yahoo.com).
- Reuters NewMedia, the leading on-line news service, plans to use Firefly technology to deliver personalized news.
- ZD Net, the leading provider of on-line content about computing, will use Firefly technology to give its users a personalized shareware library with software recommendations.
Firefly Network, Inc. is a privately held company based in Cambridge, Mass. The company's investment partners include Atlas Venture, Dun & Bradstreet Enterprises, Merrill Lynch, Softbank Corporation and Trident Capital.
Agents, Firefly, Firefly Network, Firefly Online, Firefly Passport, Firefly Recommendations, Firefly Community, Firefly Targeted Content & Advertising and Firefly Analysis are trademarks of Firefly Network, Inc. All rights reserved.
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