Kana Software Enters On-Demand Market

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Print this article Print


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Kana's channel customer service solutions are now available as an on-demand option.

Add one more player to the already crowded on-demand customer relationship management market. Kana Software announced Jan. 22 that its on-premises software is now available as an on-demand option as well.

A 10-year-old software company with about 600 on-premises customers, Kana develops what it refers to as channel customer service solutions—e-mail, live collaboration, call center and Web self-service software for the banking, telecom, insurance, high-tech and retail industries.

The Kana OnDemand Suite, announced Jan. 22, is really the 9.5 version of the company's suite of products. With this latest suite, the applications are integrated so that on-demand users can buy either a single functionality—IM chat, for example—or the entire suite. Additional functional upgrades with 9.5 include a knowledge management module that includes two components: customer self-service and agent assist.

A proactive chat module enhances Web collaboration for users and lets customer service or sales agents proactively monitor the size of a customer's shopping cart or how long the customer has been on their Web site. A new set of wizards helps users better configure Kana's software to mimic the look and feel of their company, according to Scott Sieper, director of product marketing for Kana OnDemand Solutions.

In 2005 the company first dipped its toes in the on-demand waters, releasing its namesake Response and Response Live modules as a service. With a pretty good uptake on the releases, the company decided to integrate the entire suite—the fruits of that labor are 9.5—and offer it on a per-user, per-month basis.

The company's software architecture really has its roots in a multitenancy—the ability for many companies to share a single architecture, according to Sieper, who said Kana's software was built early on to appeal to its base of outsourcing customers.

"We have one Web application server that could handle requests from multiple companies, logically dividing data in the database so no customer data is seen by other customers," said Sieper, in Menlo Park, Calif. "Outsourcers were able to do this through our data segmentation model, which is ultimately multitenant."

Moving forward, Kana is focused on ease of use for its customers, according to Sieper. "We're working from the perspective of, How do we get this up and running as quickly as possible? [The software] takes about five to 10 days to implement."

The on-demand model includes Kana Response OnDemand for high-volume e-mail response management; Kana Response Live OnDemand for live chat, co-browse and Web collaboration; and Kana IQ OnDemand, knowledgebase software for agent-assisted and Web self-service.

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