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CRM Buyer's Guide: Which Enterprise CRM Tool Is Right for You?: Page 3

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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CRM Vendors State Their Case

That's the analyst view. The vendors offer a different perspective. Fergus Griffin, vice president of product marketing for the Service Cloud at Salesforce.com, believes his organization's SaaS focus is strengthened by the move to the cloud as represented by its Service Cloud 2. It brings together traditional contact center technologies like phone, email and chat with cloud computing and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google as a means of capturing every customer service interaction.

Features such as Salesforce Chatter permit agents to collaborate across all departments to share knowledge and solve customer cases faster (see Six Ways That Salesforce.com Uses Chatter). Salesforce for Twitter allows companies to capture, monitor and join Twitter tweets in real-time. And Salesforce.com has moved into knowledge management.

"By using the technology from Salesforce.com's acquisition of Instranet last year, knowledge base is the world's first multi-tenant knowledge management application designed for cloud computing," said Griffin. "It provides businesses using Service Cloud 2 with the technology to organize customer service information into an organized repository, allowing service reps to find the right answer to an inquiry in the most efficient way."

Bill Patterson, director of product management for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, describes his offering as a "powerful and yet affordable CRM suite that offers flexible, versatile solutions to help organizations drive sales effectiveness and customer satisfaction."

It combines marketing, sales and service capabilities with a consistent user experience based on Microsoft Office and Outlook. Dynamics CRM 4.0 is available as an on-premises or as a partner-hosted solution, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is its cloud-based SaaS offering.

The beta for Dynamics CRM 2011 was released last month (see Top 10 Features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011).

"The strategy for Microsoft Dynamics is to continue to simplify complexity for business users to boost productivity and reduce operational expense, use Microsoft's ongoing advancements in technology to bring forth the most modern business solutions, and ensure interoperability with the products customers use every day such as Office, SharePoint and SQL Server," said Patterson. "The cloud will also continue to be our focus to help our customers drive impactful business results."

Andrew Hull, director of product marketing at RightNow, said that RightNow CX is all about enabling superior interactions across web, social, and contact center touch points. RightNow's top three verticals are retail, government and higher education, according to Hull.

Pegasystems CPM claims to deliver a rich framework of customer service processes utilizing the company's patented SmartBPM technology to intelligently integrate application functions, essential enterprise customer data, and human tasks into efficient and streamlined customer-centric processes. Additionally, Pegasystems offers three cloud computing products: Instant Edition, Instance Manager and Enterprise Edition. Instant Edition and Instance Manager has a monthly fee per environment. The Enterprise Edition is priced on a per-user, per-month basis, and that fee includes everything needed to run a Pegasystems application, including software, middleware, infrastructure, and managed services via the cloud. Lastly, Pegasystems BPM Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering is the SaaS version.

Paul White, CEO of Americas for Sword Ciboodle, said the company delivers process-managed CRM software services to contact centers worldwide. Its software promotes customer intelligence and choice, highlighted through cross-channel CRM modules known as intelligent desktop Ciboodle One, Web-based self-service Ciboodle Live, and case management software Ciboodle Flow. It is not available as SaaS.

"Leveraging SAS Real Time decision manager technology within Ciboodle One, SAS and Ciboodle created customer intelligence in the contact center," said White. "By providing real time, dynamic customer intelligence and offers for customers based on past customer service data, the solution makes interactions smarter, customer satisfaction soar and sales conversion rates go through the roof."


This article was originally published on October 7, 2010
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