Kana Expands Customer Support To Europe and Australia

Customer support solutions provider Kana Communications (Nasdaq: KANA) announced today that it has opened regional offices in Munich, Germany and Sydney, Australia.

The Redwood, City, California-based company said that the Munich office will support the growth of e-commerce in Germany, where it forecasts that $720 million (US$) will be spent on Web sites by the end of next year. The office marks the company’s first on the continent, as Kana opened an office in London last January.

Kana provides online customer communications solutions for marketing, sales and service. It handles incoming and outgoing e-mail, Web-based customer service, form applications and real-time messaging and voice over the Internet.

Among its existing European customers are Dutch KLM Airways, Iceland Air, British Airways Travel Shops and the QXL online auction site.

Expanding into Asian Market

The opening of the new Sydney office will bring Kana into Australia and New Zealand, and allow it to leap from there into the Asian market, the company’s chief executive officer said.

“After recently expanding to Europe, the Australian and New Zealand markets were a natural next step for Kana,” said CEO Michael McCloskey. “As part of our aggressive worldwide expansion plans, we will continue to look for new growth and partnership opportunities to build momentum in burgeoning international markets throughout the Pacific Rim.”

Support at the Top

Kana claims to offer customer support solutions to 10 of the Top 20 most trafficked sites on the Internet. Among its clients are eBay, eToys, CDNow, priceline.com, Microsoft, Datek Online, J.Crew, Bertelsmann, Shell and dozens more.

The company was founded in 1996 and has been expanding actively since. Many industry observers believe that the next logical shakeout point for e-commerce companies will come as customer service options become more competitive and sophisticated, and sites begin to live and die by the quality of support they offer.

Earlier this month, Kana issued a cumulative value of $230 million in stock to buy competitors NetDialog and Business Evolution, Inc., narrowing the field somewhat. Kana went public in September, raising $51 million in its initial public offering.

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