RightNow completes the suite

RightNow CRM 7.0 adds sales to service and marketing

RightNow Technologies is spreading its wings by year’s end with the introduction of RightNow CRM 7.0, an integrated CRM suite that builds on RightNow’s e-services framework. To the company’s already strong customer support and marketing tools, CRM 7.0 adds an SFA application. The suite will be available in a hosted implementation or for on-premise deployment.

I’ve been working with an early beta. Although I found RightNow Sales to be short on functionality found in competitors such as Salesforce.com, it does offer some advanced features for a first release. For example, rules-based workflow allowed me to automatically populate to-do lists with new tasks whenever leads were added. Forecasting, analysis, and quota tracking will also help keep sales teams on track.

The Sales interface appends an Outlook-style icon bar and subtabs that made for easy data access — even providing Flash-based, drill-down dashboards that are on par with competitors. The 8.5MB push of .Net client-app and support libraries, however, didn’t quite create the same fluidity found in a good localized client (SalesLogix, for example). Despite its frequent demands for screen refreshes, the Sales interface offered good organization that would be welcome across the rest of the suite. RightNow says the CRM 7.0 client will cache data for offline use, but this feature wasn’t implemented in my beta. 

Other new gems I found in CRM 7.0 included Offer Advisor, which let me quickly view relevant up-sell offers from support and service cases, and a marketing tool that I could use to graphically design and automate campaign workflows. With CRM 7.0, RightNow is finally on the right path for tapping all channels of customer relationship management in its capable suite.

RightNow CRM 7.0

RightNow Technologies

Cost: Starts at $50,000 for 25 users (two-year license)

Available: Q4 2004

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.