It’s exciting to see the news of yet another acquisition in the world of customer service with the announcement of Oracle’s intent to acquire RightNow. Today’s contact center ecosystem is complex and comprised of a great number of vendors who provide overlapping and competing capabilities. I’ve previously blogged about what these critical software components are. The reason why these acquisitions are good is that they align with what customers want: a simpler technology ecosystem to manage from both a systems perspective and a contractual perspective. And suite solutions available from unified communications (UC), CRM, and workforce optimization (WFO) vendors are evolving and include comprehensive feature sets. These vendors have either built these capabilities out or acquired them via M&A activity — and we expect more M&A to happen.
Now, to focus on the RightNow acquisition. This acquisition, at a high level, is a win-win for both companies:
RightNow gets the big-company marketing, professional services, and sales reach of Oracle to grow beyond its current run rate and compete more effectively with salesforce.com, Microsoft, and to a lesser degree SAP. Forrester rated RightNow as a leader in our Forrester Wave™ for CRM and CRM customer service suites.
But we know that businesses must be pragmatic in choosing initiatives that will help deliver service in line with customer expectations, and at a cost that makes sense to the business.
Companies are looking at many ways to move the needle on customer service by leveraging the power of social media, mobile, and new cloud-based deployment methods. However, I hear few companies talking about what they are doing to optimize the customer service agent’s experience so that he can deliver better service to his customers.
Today, customer service agents use tens, if not hundreds, of disconnected systems to address a customer’s request. Have a look at the example of a desktop that Jacada gave me — lots of apps, and even some green-screen apps!