The result is an application that incorporates product content management and promotion with such interaction functionality as click-to-chat, while marrying order-tracking and management functions to the agent desktop.
Specifically, the new application connects RightNow’s service, marketing and sales applications with Demandware’s Web platform and e-commerce services.
RightNow’s contributions to the mash-up are its inbound and outbound sales and service desktop, multichannel customer service, marketing communications and customer feedback capabilities.
Demandware is providing its online storefront, site search, guided navigation, product catalog and promotions, Web development environment, user profiles and online content.
On one hand, this mash-up can be viewed as a shortcut to bringing a suite application 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 have joined forces in such a manner strictly for competitive reasons, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer — specifically with a vendor like NetSuite, the top online suite provider offering deep CRM functionality.
“RightNow rarely goes up against NetSuite in deals,” Kingstone said. “Also, RightNow’s target audience is larger than NetSuite’s.”
Rather, the larger point behind the mash-up is that it is emblematic of RightNow’s MO of automating integration around the customer experience.
The territory that Demandware owns — namely the order management process — is a critical integration point that RightNow has thus far not touched.
“Unfortunately, it is only offering this integration for the Demandware customer base,” Kingstone said.
Integrating the Online Channel
Later this year, the two companies plan to cross-sell and upsell the joint application to their respective installed 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 no concrete plans, however, to embed the joint functionality in future releases 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 of integrating the online channel into back-office functions, explained David Hayden, director of product strategy for RightNow. That’s especially relevant as more companies rip out their legacy systems and replace them with SOA (service-oriented architecture)-based applications.
Vendors and their customers alike, Hayden told CRM Buyer, “are really looking to connect the various business units around 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 like these,” she said. “At bottom, they are all about breaking down the barrier posed by integration.”