NASA Shared Services Center is using RightNow CX as part of its cloud effort to improve the Website experience as well as to cut costs for maintaining live phone operators.
NASA has moved its citizen-support center to the RightNow Secure Government
Cloud, RightNow Technologies said Jan. 27. The support site will be using the
RightNow CX customer experience platform to improve Website efficiency, the
The NASA Shared
is a public/private partnership with Computer Sciences Corporate Service
Providers that provides financial management, human resources, IT and
procurement services to the space agency. The contact center last year on
average handled over 7,000 calls a month, the company said. To handle the
customer queries, NSCC added RightNow CX, a suite of customer-experience
applications, to implement Tier 0 support. This refers to self-service, or
letting users find online answers to their questions instead of talking to
someone in a call center.
NASA could reduce costs of maintaining a customer support call center by
making it easier for users to find relevant answers online, RightNow said.
RightNow provides cloud services to more than 170 federal agencies,
including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and Department of
State, the company said. The U.S. General Services Administration's Apps.gov
site is hosted in RightNow Secure Government Cloud. The site also uses RightNow
CX, and "nearly every U.S.
cabinet level agency" relies on the suite, according to RightNow.
RightNow CX manages incoming Web inquiries and efficiently routes them to
appropriate experts or directs users to useful results, the company said.
RightNow acquired natural language search solutions provider Q-go earlier
this month. The company integrated Q-go's Natural Language Search technology
into RightNow CX Intent Guide and RightNow Natural Language Search, the company
said. While available immediately, these two products will not be integrated
into RightNow CX until next month, according to the company.
RightNow CX Intent Guide understands the intent behind what Website visitors
are searching for and delivers highly relevant content by adding question
matching to existing site search, creating a virtual assistant to handle
frequently asked questions without tying up live operators, and including a Web
form assistant to pre-fill Web forms with previously entered information, the
company said. RightNow Natural Language Search integrates natural language
search right onto RightNow CX Cloud, using intent matching to understand two
phrases that really mean the same thing, industry-specific dictionaries and
foreign language support.
RightNow didn't respond in time to queries as to whether Q-go technologies are
included onto NASA's support site.
The federal government has been moving forward with cloud deployments to cut
costs and improve efficiency. In December, United States CIO
Vivek Kundra announced a "cloud first" policy for all federal
agencies, requiring each agency to move at least one system to a hosted
environment in 2011. The Treasury
recently moved its Website to Amazon EC2.
NASA has embraced cloud services, but has been fairly vendor-neutral to
date. It has its daily activity-planning software for the Mars Rover program on
Amazon EC2, the "Be a Martian" educational Website on Microsoft's
cloud computing platform, and is working with RightNow. The agency also has its
own private cloud, Nebula
, which will be
available to other agencies as part of NASA Cloud Service. The prerelease of
the infrastructure-as-a-service offering, with storage and computing resources,
is currently available to all NASA personnel.
The RightNow Secure Government Cloud is compliant with the Federal
Information Security Management Act, a National Institute of Standards and
Technology security standard for IT products deployed in the federal
government, RightNow said. Defense agencies such as the U.S. Air Force Personnel
Center use the highly secure Department of Defense Cloud, which complies with
the department's own security requirements as well as offering a 24/7 dedicated
security and information assurance team.