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Kana Adds Context, Subtracts Search

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
Apr 16, 2013 6:00 AM PT

Kana Software on Tuesday debuted its next generation of Kana Enterprise, a multichannel customer service application with functionality for both the agent-based desktop and self-service.

Kana Adds Context, Subtracts Search

KANA Enterprise
Agent Desktop
(click to enlarge)

Its features include case management; Web self-service; mobile chat; co-browsing; social listening, analytics and community engagement; email, campaign and white mail management; and advanced knowledge management.

The new Kana Enterprise will be generally available April 29.

The application has been under development for a year, CMO James Norwood told CRM Buyer. "Basically we converged everything we had in this application and added a new contextual layer to it."

Single Code Base, Single Platform

Kana Enterprise's competitive differentiator is that all of these features -- the desktop for the agent, the IM, the knowledge base -- operate, look and feel very unified.

"There is consistency throughout the platform, throughout the feature set," Norwood said.

The customer care market is largely characterized by point solutions and, yes, other platform solutions, but many of these are not built entirely from the same code base, he continued. "Some are better than others, but when you get behind the scenes, what they don't have is a single enabling platform that promotes contextual awareness."

Building it was not easy, Norwood added, "because of the substantial transformational effort to tie all these pieces together."

Dynamic Rendering

For instance, "the agent experience is based on a context-aware, process-based case management background, Norwood said, so as you are talking to a customer on the phone, the application will dynamically adapt based on the context of the discussion and render to the agent only what he or she needs."

For example, say a customer calls in to inquire about a bill. The agent is automatically shown the service level agreement, what level of importance the customer is, recent interactions, upsell suggestions, and so on.

"We have thought through as many processes as we possibly could to include, and the system allows users to develop their own processes as well," Norwood noted.

The process is similar for customers who access self-service via a Web page.

"We will proactively push them the right knowledge so they don't have to search," said Norwood. "They get what they need and are less likely to abandon that process or call the contact center."

Ditto social networking pages and the mobile space.

"We have surfaced up all channels to a mobile API so we can embed chat in the mobile presence," Norwood pointed out.

The end result of all this integration, he concluded, is a customer who can more easily interact with the company, and a system that has a seamless look and feel for both agent and customer.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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