RightNow andDemandwarehave developed a new mash-up that integrates the former’s CRM and customer service offerings with the latter’s e-commerce suite.
The result is an application that incorporates productcontent management and promotion with such interaction functionalityas click-to-chat, while marrying order-tracking and management functionsto the agent desktop.
Specifically, the new application connects RightNow’s service,marketing and sales applications with Demandware’s Web platform ande-commerce services.
RightNow’s contributions to the mash-up are itsinbound and outbound sales and service desktop, multichannel customer service,marketing communications and customer feedback capabilities.
Demandware is providing its online storefront, site search, guidednavigation, product catalog and promotions, Web developmentenvironment, user profiles and online content.
On one hand, this mash-up can be viewed as a shortcut to bringing a suiteapplication to market, as it eliminates much of the work involved in developing one from the ground up.
However, it is a mistake to assume that RightNow or Demandware havejoined forces in such a manner strictly for competitive reasons, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer — specifically with a vendor likeNetSuite, the top online suite provider offering deep CRM functionality.
“RightNow rarelygoes up against NetSuite in deals,” Kingstone said. “Also, RightNow’s targetaudience is larger than NetSuite’s.”
Rather, the larger point behind the mash-up is that it is emblematicof RightNow’s MO of automating integration around the customerexperience.
The territory that Demandware owns — namely the ordermanagement process — is a critical integration point that RightNow hasthus far not touched.
“Unfortunately, it is only offering thisintegration for the Demandware customer base,” Kingstone said.
Integrating the Online Channel
Later this year, the two companies plan tocross-sell and upsell the joint application to their respectiveinstalled bases, Scott Todaro, director of product and industry marketing at Demandware, told CRM Buyer. There is little overlap among the two firms’ clients.
There are noconcrete plans, however, to embed the joint functionality in futurereleases of the respective applications.It may be, though, that the mash-up is enough to satisfy users’ needs –at least in the immediate term.
The driver behind the joint application is the growing necessity ofintegrating the online channel into back-office functions, explained David Hayden,director of product strategy for RightNow. That’s especially relevantas more companies rip out their legacy systems and replace them withSOA (service-oriented architecture)-based applications.
Vendors and their customers alike, Hayden told CRMBuyer, “are really looking to connect the various business unitsaround solid, go-to-market strategies.”
Kingstone echoed that prediction — at least in terms of the mash-up service providing a faster time-to-market vehicle.
“The future of software will focus on mash-ups likethese,” she said. “At bottom, they are all about breaking down thebarrier posed by integration.”