3Com Launches Channel Marketing Program

Online loyalty marketer Netcentives has signed 3Com Corp. as the latest user of its technology, continuing a trend as the loyalty marketer expands into the high-margin enterprise licensing business.

3Com will use the San Francisco-based firm’s loyalty and direct marketing technology to support a large-scale incentive system and email campaign that it calls “Focus Rewards.”

Aimed at its U.S. and Canadian channel partners, the goal of the campaign is to drive sales and reward partners for doing business with 3Com.

3Com will integrate its existing information database systems with Netcentives’ technology — specifically, its RewardBroker system — to manage the online rewards program.

RewardBroker automatically tracks earning activities and processes awards — in this case, points — as participants meet requirements. 3Com’s Focus channel partner program awards points for product sales, training and event attendance. These points can be redeemed for frequent flyer miles and other rewards.

“The Focus channel partner program is designed to simplify and enhance channel partner relationships,” said Sylvio Jelovcich, 3Com senior director for channel and field marketing. “Netcentives’ technology allows us to offer the program in a more streamlined manner and to deliver targeted promotions more effectively and efficiently.”

The companies said that Netcentives’ automated incentive management technology will be used to replace a manual process.

In addition to distributing deals and rewards-based mailings, Netcentives’ technology will also distribute 3Com’s partner email newsletter “Focus News.”

“The technology behind the 3Com program utilizes resources from each of our business units: loyalty solutions, email marketing and consulting services,” said Netcentives chairman and chief executive officer West Shell. “The combination of online rewards and personalized email communications is going to allow 3Com to reach new heights with one of their most valuable business assets, channel partners.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Netcentives has been busy promoting its technology to businesses in addition to its loyalty/reward marketing services.

In addition to support of America Online and American Airlines’ AOL AAdvantage Rewards Program, the company also recently signed a deal with Nortel Networks to provide technology for its employee loyalty reward program. And Internet e-commerce and search engine technology firm Inktomi signed a deal with the company in October to include RewardBroker in Inktomi’s Commerce Engine product offering.

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