NetBase Adds Social Engagement, Starting With SAP CRM - InformationWeek
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NetBase Adds Social Engagement, Starting With SAP CRM

Social media monitoring and sentiment analysis can now feed into customer response through SAP CRM, with MediaFunnel and HootSuite integrations to follow.

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NetBase is adding social media engagement to its feed monitoring and sentiment analysis service, working with SAP CRM and social media outreach tools to help customer service organizations follow up on questions and complaints aired in the social sphere.

The engagement application is scheduled to be announced Monday at SAP's Sapphire user conference in Orlando. In December, SAP announced a partnership with NetBase to resell its social analytics, which are known for their natural language processing and sentiment analysis strengths, including the ability to measure the intensity of positive or negative sentiment.

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SAP already makes NetBase available as an integrated analytics package together with BusinessObjects for applications such as market research. Adding integration with SAP CRM makes NetBase's social media intelligence available for more operational purposes, such as answering questions or offering help to people who are broadcasting complaints about a company in social media.

NetBase chief marketing officer Lisa Joy Rosner said the SAP CRM integration is now commercially available, although SAP will recognize it with a more formal commercial launch, probably in June. Meanwhile, a first few customers are trying it, and the application will be demonstrated prominently at Sapphire, she said. "We expect it to get quite a bit of organic visibility at the show."

NetBase is also beta testing an integration with MediaFunnel, which should be available this summer, followed by one with HootSuite, to follow shortly thereafter. Others will likely be added to that list as the year goes on.

NetBase is "taking a different approach from the rest of the market" by integrating with "best-of-breed" products for customer engagement, rather than trying to create its own, Rosner said.

Products like MediaFunnel and HootSuite offer their own social media monitoring, but it's not as sophisticated, said Jens Tellefsen, VP of product management at NetBase. "What we offer is the ability to create these laser-focused streams of engagement. In social media, there's so much chatter about your brand, so many tweets and posts, but most of them have nothing to do with a question or a complaint," he said.

NetBase has tuned its social media engagement product to classify those posts, not only by positive or negative sentiment but also by whether they fit into a category such as a question, complaint, or customer service problem requiring a response. For example, NetBase can help distinguish references to Delta Airlines (as opposed to Delta faucets or some other use of the word "delta") and identify issue types such as baggage, ticketing, or flight delays.

Besides making the data available to customer service applications, NetBase can track the followup to issues first identified in social media. That way, someone using the NetBase application can see whom an issue was assigned to and how it was resolved.

The SAP CRM integration will be the functionally deepest one, making it possible to correlate social posts with master customer records in the enterprise system or create a response that includes information from the SAP customer service knowledge base. In contrast, the HootSuite integration will tie in with that product's relatively basic workflow and the MediaFunnel integration will fall somewhere in between.

Tellefsen also provided a quick demo of NetBase Social Insight Composer, a tool for creating social analytics dashboards, showing some recent analysis of the surge in social media response to President Obama's declaration of support for same-sex marriage rights. (There were almost 1 million mentions, scored 67% positive in the NetBase analysis.) The analysis also showed other names mentioned in connection with the same topic, such as that of the musician Cindi Lauper and Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education who voiced his support for same-sex marriage shortly after Vice President Joe Biden did but before Obama announced his change of heart.

If the Obama campaign was using the NetBase engagement solution, it could reach out to some of those commenters to thank them for their support or answer specific questions on policy, Tellefsen said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

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David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/15/2012 | 11:14:28 AM
re: NetBase Adds Social Engagement, Starting With SAP CRM
Update: Although the NetBase folks kept referring to this their latest SAP deal as an SAP CRM integration, I'm now told it's really an integration with a new product called SAP Social Customer Engagement On Demand. This cloud product in turn provides the integration back to SAP CRM.
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