A new service will include tune-ups designed to help improve workflows and business processes.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 4, 2003

2 Min Read

Companies that use RightNow Technologies' eService Center software to improve customer interaction and maximize call-center efficiency now will be able to turn to the vendor for life-cycle implementation, project planning, and optimization and customized consulting services. The company primarily hosts its software for most of its 1,000 customers, including Thule Inc., which RightNow says saw self-service volume rise--and E-mail and phone call volume fall--after implementing the vendor's advice on interface improvements.

The new service, which will be introduced Tuesday, will include 90-day, six- and 12-month tune-ups geared toward helping companies redesign workflows and processes, taking advantage of the vendor's knowledge of various industries' best practices.

RightNow, a privately held company, says the software-hosting business is good these days. It has seen 17 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, which it attributes to its ability to do rapid deployments (an average of 37 days); a patented self-learning knowledge base that presents requests based on frequency to drive costs out of developing knowledge bases; and a ground-up commitment to the hosted model.

"The first round of ASPs failed because the applications weren't built for multitenancy," CEO Greg Gianforte says. "There were no economies of scale." RightNow's application was built so that hundreds or thousands of clients can co-exist on a common hardware platform that avoids having a separate hardware stack for each customer in a hosted facility, so the amortized cost per customer is near zero, he says. Rather than charging a monthly service fee, customers pay the same cost for two years of hosted service upfront that they do for the software if they plan to run it on their own in-house hardware.

Gianforte says the software also is attuned to customization issues; the company has written the presentation layer in a popular scripting language called PHP. And it has set up the management features of the hosting environment so that when a customer prepares to upgrade, the management software flags custom components and sends out alerts that the customer is going to have to reintroduce those changes into the upgraded environment. Additionally, RightNow supports Web services for integration with other software platforms.

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