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PRODUCT PROFILE

inContact Smooths the Way for Better Customer Interactions

Cloud contact center provider inContact has released the first of what will be three major upgrades to its flagship product this year. New features in the release touch upon many areas, from agent scripting to a Web-connect module, new unified agent desktop tools and an expanded blended dialer. Most...

Oracle Wows Wall St. as New Licenses Roll In

Oracle released its fiscal third-quarter earnings Tuesday, coming out ahead of Wall Street expectations in regard to profits and new license sales. The database software maker saw revenue rise 2.2 percent from a year ago, going from $8.81 billion to $9.04 billion. It posted adjusted earnings at 62 ...

INSIGHTS

Making the Cloud Conventional

Last week Oracle bought the HR SaaS company Taleo for $1.9 billion, which to me means it's time to do you-know-what to the fire and call in the dogs. This hunt is officially over and out. The hunt in question is for legitimacy and primacy of the SaaS and cloud computing model. Many people would ar...

Oracle Adds RightNow to Cloud Wars Arsenal

Oracle has closed on its $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow, developer of a cloud-based customer self-service application. Oracle announced the deal in October 2011. For Oracle, the deal makes eminent sense: It fills in a missing gap in its cloud-based CRM functionality and gives it a broader base...

INSIGHTS

Customer Experience Problems: More Diagnoses Than Prescriptions

Customer experience is leading off the year as an idea that we need to pay more attention to. In the last week, two important publications have surfaced that highlight this importance. SAP gurus Reza Soudagar, Vinay Iyer and Volker Hildebrand collaborated on a new book, The Customer Experience Edge...

INSIGHTS

2011 in the Rearview Mirror

Every year around this time, I write two columns -- one on the year that was and another on what I expect the new year to bring. There is no methodology for this process, and I believe this lack of method is important. I take a blank screen and fill it up with what has been on my mind for the last ...

OPINION

The Hard Part About Rolling Up Clouds

Oracle's recent acquisition of RightNow raises a question: Can multiple cloud companies be merged together to form a tightly coupled suite of solutions like those which were promised but never delivered during the client-server era? On the face of things, it would appear that merging cloud companies...

RightNow Buy Gives Oracle Extra Ammo Against Salesforce.com

Oracle has scooped up RightNow Technologies for a reported $1.5 billion. The acquisition price is a hefty 20 percent premium over RightNow's closing price last week. The acquisition fills a missing gap in Oracle's cloud-based CRM functionality. The deal also provides an excellent exit strategy for ...

OPINION

When CRM Stalls: Kicking It Up a Notch

As a CRM journalist, I always enjoy talking to integrators (or resellers, or VARS, or partners, or whatever term they choose to describe themselves). It's always an interesting contrast to speaking with vendors. The discussion you have with a vendor is like taking an anatomy course; the discussion y...

OPINION

How Real Social CRM Systems Will Deal With Google+

Whether you're a user or whether you purposely ducked the invitations to join, you've probably discovered that Google+ is all but inescapable as a topic of conversation. Responses run the gamut from rejection to an all-in embrace of Google's new social media platform; users are trying to figure ou...

Google Focuses on Voice, Vision and Velocity in Latest Round of Search Upgrades

The new search technologies Google unveiled recently put a mobile-flavored twist in the company's desktop search engine, including a new voice search capability. Google also announced the ability to search by an image and a feature called "Instant Pages" that leads to even speedier search results. M...

PRODUCT PROFILE

RightNow CEM Weaves Together Social, Business Interactions

To meet the growing demand for social CRM, RightNow positions itself as a provider of "customer experience management" solutions, a term the company prefers to use, said John Kembel, vice president of social solutions. "That's a bit more customer-focused." RightNow CX, the customer experience suite,...

INSIGHTS

Microsoft Convergence

ATLANTA -- This might be remembered as the Convergence where Microsoft finally began to converge. More specifically, it is the convergence where accounting and CRM met in the cloud. The big news coming from Convergence is the announcement that Microsoft AX, one of the company's three ERP systems, ...

PRODUCT PROFILE

RightNow Adds Sensitivity to Social CRM

Recently, a customer was using the Navy Federal Credit Union ATM and encountered some difficulty with his account. He whipped out his mobile device and tweeted to the world that he was having problems. You can probably guess what happened next: He received a return tweet shortly afterward. However, ...

INSIGHTS

The Week of the Bounce

What a week that was. I am still digging out from two snowstorms and dealing with bone-chilling cold, and so are friends across the country, except in the Bay Area, which only makes me envious. Perhaps none were as adversely affected as people on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. I take solace in two f...

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