Kana Delivers SaaS CRM Platform for Mid-Sized Businesses

Kana Express aggregates customer communications from phones, email, chat, and social media to better organize customer contact center operations.

Kana Software, which specializes in delivering customer relationship management services on-premise and via the cloud, has launched a new contact center platform targeted at mid-sized businesses or departments within enterprises.

Kana Express takes incoming customer communications from phone, email, live or automated chat, Web self-service pages, and social media. Contact center agents then review unified customer contact records, look for information to answer the query and deliver the answer to the customer when and where it is needed.

The Kana Express option, delivered in the software-as-a-service model, is targeted at mid-sized businesses that may not have the resources for an enterprise-level contact center system, yet have the same demands to deliver enterprise-grade service, the company said. Kana Express is delivered directly through a Web browser and is sold through an annual subscription.

Kana Express begins with a knowledge base that scans text in emails, chat sessions and web self-service interactions and then displays relevant answers and information across those multiple channels.

According to a 2012 "Midmarket Perspectives" report from the consulting firm Deloitte, mid-market executives see technology and a focus on the customer as a way to overcome barriers to growth.

"Executives at mid-market firms are planning to grow their companies through innovation, capturing higher-value customers, boosting revenue per customer, and improving customer loyalty," said Tom McGee, national managing partner of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, in a prepared statement.

Kana was rated as a "Leader" in a Sept. 2011 Gartner Magic Quadrant report on the Web-based customer relationship management (CRM) service market.

It shares the leader quadrant with such competitors as RightNow, eGain and Moxie Software. Oracle acquired RightNow in January of this year in order to gain a foothold in the cloud-based CRM space, which the database and enterprise application company calls the Oracle Public Cloud.

By 2013, Gartner forecasts that at least 50 percent of customer service centers will integrate some form of community or social capabilities as a part of the CRM contact center solution.

Kana said that customers have seen CRM productivity increase by several measures: an increase in email productivity of 25 percent; an increase in same-day email response of more than 95 percent; a reduction in incoming email of 50 percent; and improvements in web self-service issue resolution and satisfaction of more than 90 percent.

The platform can be purchased as a series of "packaged experiences," according to Kana, the agent experience, the web experience, the social experience and the mobile experience, which can be implemented individually or as one system. The mobile option includes smartphone CRM applications.