The companies will co-develop CRM software and embed IBM's WebSphere and DB2 in Kana's products.
IBM's not in the business applications business, but that doesn't
stop it from expanding relationships with business applications
The company announced March 17 an expanded relationship with CRM
(customer relationship management) software provider Kana Software that
will have the two companies jointly developing new software, and Kana
implementing IBM's software in its existing products.
As part of their extended agreement Kana and IBM plan to jointly
develop new Service Experience Management software that will enable
companies to better drive customer loyalty and retention by creating a
more seamless service experience across their various channels, company
The new software will be built on IBM's SOA Foundation and will
include Kana's customer service functionality. The IBM SOA Foundation
is a set of software (from IBM's software portfolio), best practices
and patterns that help companies get started with SOA. Kana's CRM
software falls into three separate categories: E-Service, Call Center
Service, and Web Self-Service. E-Service helps companies manage inbound
e-mail, Web collaboration, chat and outbound communications.
The Call Center Service suite automates call center best practices
and helps to guide customer service agents through the process of
finding the right answer for customers, according to the company's Web
site. The Web Self-Service software does pretty much what it says by
providing self-service capabilities to a company's customers. Kana also
offers vertically-specific software for the banking,
telecommunications, insurance, high tech, retail and other industries.
CRM vendor Kana Software purchased eVergance in 2007. Click here to read more.
The other part of the expanded agreement between IBM and Kana will
have Kana OEMing IBM's hardware and software. As part of the deal Kana
will embed IBM's WebSphere and DB2 into its next generation customer
service software, officials said.
"Customer service organizations are transitioning from cost centers
to loyalty centers, charged with the strategic mission of enhancing the
value of each customer relationship," said Michael Fields, CEO of Kana,
in a statement. "By combining the open technologies from IBM and Kana
into a single enhanced solution for end-to-end service experience
management, we will deliver the technology that companies need to be
successful. Embedding IBM's open technology is helping us deliver
higher value solutions for our customers at a better cost."
Kana brings a pretty hefty client base to the table, including
companies like American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Citibank,
Daimler-Chrysler, Dell, eBay, Sony, Sears and Xerox.
Not long ago, another CRM software provider, Siebel Systems, had its
software integrated with IBM's WebSphere line. However, when Siebel was
acquired by Oracle in 2005, Oracle quickly swapped out IBM's
infrastructure-and data center-for its own.