Kana Launches On-Demand Service App

A year and a half after its first foray into the on-demand space, Kana has introduced the third leg of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM suite — a self-service application. This release is available as a stand-alone product or as part of an integrated suite of previously released SaaS applications that have been based on Kana’s on-premise product portfolio, including Kana Response and Kana Response Live in 2005.

With Kana IQ OnDemand generally available, Kana has developed a full suite of CRM functionality that can be delivered over the Internet, Scott Sieper, Kana’s director of product marketing for OnDemand Solutions told CRM Buyer.

New Features

Applications in the suite include Kana Response OnDemand for high-volume e-mail response management and case management; Kana Response Live OnDemand for live chat, co-browse and Web collaboration; and Kana IQ OnDemand, a knowledgebase application for agent-assisted and Web self-service.

In 2007, Sieper noted, Kana will introduce a number of updates and new features to round out these offerings, but has no plans for additional major releases this year.

For instance, in 2006 Kana updated Response and Response Live to provide additional functionality that allows desktop agents to answer customer questions more quickly and better integration across customer touch points. Also in 2007, he added, Kana will be focusing on developing new partnerships and other third party relationships.

Familiar Path

Kana’s broadening into SaaS is following a familiar path, first charted by RightNow Technologies and Siebel — that is, offering both on-premise and on-demand with an option for companies to migrate from one model to another, or to keep some of the operations on an on-premise platform, while moving the rest to on-demand — or vice versa.

Kana’s SaaS product line is built on multitenant architecture, Sieper explained, which has made it easier for the firm to provide an easy migration path for data that originated and resides in the on-premise application.

“We see a lot of customers at the enterprise level evaluating an on-demand application as a pilot project first before they decide whether to move entirely to SaaS or keep some or all of the organization on-premise,” he said.

Currently about 10 percent of the company’s customer base is running on an SaaS application, according to Sieper. “Our goal is to get to 25 percent of our customers running on on-demand by the end of this year.” The company is projecting significant traction for the newly released self-service application, he concluded.

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