Pegasystems Inc., which makes customer service software used by large banks, has written a version for Hewlett-Packard Co.'s HP-UX operating system, and the companies have signed a joint marketing agreement.

Pegasystems said it will work with HP to pursue sales opportunities in the financial, insurance, and telecommunications markets.

Pegasystems, based in Cambridge, Mass., signed a similar deal with Sun Microsystems Inc. last October. It also has adapted its software to run with Oracle Corp. data bases.

Hewlett-Packard said it had been looking for a customer service software vendor.

"We're continually seeking best-in-class partners for components that complement our core technologies and consulting," said Rick Millem, marketing programs manager for the financial services industry for Hewlett- Packard Americas.

Hewlett-Packard already has several partners in related areas. For predictive dialing, it works with Electronic Information Systems of Stamford, Conn.; for telephony switching, with Lucent Technologies of Denver; and for voice response units, with Intervoice of Dallas and Brite Voice Systems, Wichita, Kan.

"Pegasystems provides the software functionality that may sit on our computer telephony integration middleware," said Mr. Millem.

Taken together, the partnerships give Hewlett-Packard "a comprehensive solution to provide consulting, integration, application, middleware, and hardware technology," he said.

The products resulting from the Pegasystems/Hewlett-Packard alliance are to be aimed at the high end of the financial services market. Offerings will range in cost from $2 million to $20 million.

Pegasystems' customer service software already is installed at 65 financial institutions. Eight of the top 10 U.S. banks are users.

"It is a rules-based system," said Jack McAvoy, director of marketing communications at Pegasystems. "Our customers compete aggressively to customize their systems with rules, not codes, to create unique workflows."

He said the system can give access to a full range of customer relationship information, providing bank representatives a complete picture of a client's financial background.

Pegasystems' software can support up to 20,000 concurrent users. The most concurrent users at any installed site total about 5,000.

The company competes on various levels with Carreker/Antinori of Dallas; Vantive Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif.; Remedy Corp. of San Diego; and Scopus Technology of Emeryville, Calif.

"Pegasystems has been trying to find a way to compete with Remedy and Vantive and some of the large industry players," said Larry Duckworth, president of the software group of Carreker/Antinori.

"Its strategy has been to go away from a banking focus to call centers, and the natural thing for a small company to do is partner."

"The trick will be in the quality of implementation," he added.

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