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Vignette

(VIGN)

, the former highflying Internet services and software firm, tried to distance itself from, strangely enough, Internet companies in its presentation to investors Monday at the

Robertson Stephens Tech 2001 Conference

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.

Considering the company's shares have fallen to $7.19 from a 52-week high of $100.63, that might not be a bad idea.

Chief Financial Officer Joel Katz said dependence on Internet firms had fallen to 4% of its customers by the fourth quarter from roughly 40% in the first quarter of 2000.

Santi Pierini, the firm's vice president of product development, showed a slide that highlighted the diversity of the company's client base, which includes five of the top seven commercial banks, five of the top nine securities firms and four of the top seven semiconductor companies. "These customers weren't seeing the Net as hype or buzz" but as a way to extend their fundamental businesses, Pierini said.

CFO Katz also took some time to stress the company's fiscal values, boasting that Vignette defers its revenue until its professional services are complete, while competitors book the revenue when the product is shipped. That practice, he said, makes for one of the "most conservative revenue-recognition models in the business."

He also said the company's average initial deal size rose to $560,000 in the fourth quarter from $300,000 a year earlier.