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OneSource Continues Its Profitable Run
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Posted On March 1, 2003
Two years ago, in my March 2001 NewsLink article, I featured OneSource Information Services, the Web-based provider of business and financial information. The company had just reported its second consecutive profitable quarter and first profitable year.

Last month, OneSource proudly announced its 10th consecutive profitable quarter (Q4 2002)-an admirable feat these days. Despite extremely difficult market conditions, and numbers not as good as it had hoped (revenues fell 2 percent in 2002), the company feels it made a strong showing with significant customer gains, and increased usage of its products. Dan Schimmel, president and CEO of OneSource, said that there's clearly less spending than a few years ago, but, he noted, "Our products are helping our customers retain their customers."

During 2002, OneSource launched a number of new products and enhancements. Chief among them are the Synergy Solutions, which enable customers to seamlessly integrate OneSource data with internal and other external information within applications, such as CRM systems, portals, and intranets. (See Marydee Ojala's NewsBreak at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/nbreader.asp?ArticleID=17042.) The launch of the new line of products marked a directional change for OneSource from just being an information-retrieval company to one that supplies a range of business information solutions.

The company recently expanded its industry coverage in its Business Browser products with the addition of Freedonia Focus Reports and Euromonitor Asia Pacific Major Market Profiles. These have been custom-designed for the OneSource products to offer industry information at a more granular level than previously available.

Most recently, OneSource announced major enhancements to Business Browser that provide comprehensive access to information on executives and expanded company coverage. The new Find Executives module allows OneSource subscribers to locate and research top prospects, previous champions, past colleagues, or board of director members by searching over 6 million executive names and 250,000 biographies at more than 1.7 million companies.

OneSource has also added 50,000 new companies and 90,000 branch and subsidiary executives from the Directory of Corporate Affiliations. Both enhancements are available immediately to OneSource subscribers as part of the regular subscription price.

Linda O'Connell, marketing director at Robinson & Cole LLP (a OneSource subscriber), said: "Prior to using the Business Browser product, researching individuals at prospective clients was time-consuming and frequently impossible. The only option was to hire an investigative service, which law firms aren't inclined to do. With the new Executives functionality, the Business Browser product now offers us fast access to background information, resulting in stronger relationships with executives and a better understanding of their business experience."

OneSource claims that the new Find Executives module provides subscribers access to the largest available database of fully integrated executive information, covering key decision makers at leading companies worldwide. The previous executive search capability only searched in certain biographical databases and did not include the board of director search capability, which the company says is unique to its products. The new module lets subscribers search over 15 sources that have been mined for executive data. Sources include Marquis Who's Who, Market Guide, Worldscope, D&B, Harris InfoSource, and CorpTech, the source of data on public and private high-tech U.S. companies that is owned by OneSource.

The new Find Executives module supports the following:

  • Simple searches on first and last name
  • Power searching, allowing users to identify individuals by combinations of name, work functions, work location, industry, education, awards, and interests
  • Executive board search and identification of cross-board linkages

Schimmel feels that the combination of the company's "actionable content" with an understanding of customers' business applications and processes will lead to continuing market success for OneSource. Last fall, Outsell analyst David Curle commented in an e-brief that "OneSource has a history of understanding its customers' technology environments and listening to their demands."

Looking to the future, Schimmel said: "We plan to focus our efforts on creating products and providing services that capitalize on the growing demand for functionally specific solution sets. For example, in 2003 we intend to introduce a product targeted to professionals managing customer life-cycle processes. We are also stepping up our sales and marketing initiatives to increase awareness and traction for our products and services, such as Synergy Solutions, among Global 5000 companies."

Schimmel also promised ongoing content enhancements, based on customers' needs, and more robust functionality in XML delivery. The company will continue to focus on tying into its customers' applications and processes.


Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.


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