Check out our new SSPA Online Buyer’s Guide!
I’m pleased to announce that our long-in-the-works SSPA Online Buyers Guide launched this week. With estimated spending by our >$1B members in 2007 on new service and support technology around $500M, clearly we need to help members identify “good fit” technology for their projects.
I’m always surprised when I see ‘short lists’ from members on the 3 or 4 vendors they have narrowed down a search to for a project. There is always at least 1 on the list that doesn’t belong. (I’m hearing the old Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the other” in my head as I write this.) For example, for a knowledgebase project they will have Kana, RightNow, Talisma, and Siebel. Siebel? For a knowledgebase? Even Siebel partners for knowledgebase. Or, the other extreme, I’ll see a list for a CRM project, with Siebel OnDemand, Salesforce and Goldmine on the list, and then a specialist solution like Kaidara is listed. Now, I love Kaidara, and when companies are shopping for complex problem resolution that’s where I point them. But on a CRM short list?
Hopefully our Online Buyers Guide will help. We have 20+ functional categories (and more coming soon!), with each solution tagged to the specific areas where they play. You can click on a single area, like Web Collaboration, and get a list of who has a solution in that category. Or you can search by partner/vendor name. There is also some (hopefully) helpful commentary from me on each partner. Some were easier to write than others, as I know so many of the leaders well and interact with them frequently.
But I had to do some digging on a few, and found some interesting new companies to add to my mental list of recommendable companies. For example, American Customer Care is a contact center and tech support outsourcer, with centers only in the US (so you never need to worry about accent problems), and they offer coverage in English, Spanish (key for many US markets now) and French (key for provinces in Canada). Like another partner, e4e, ACC focuses more on quality than price, which frankly is something I hope we see more of in outsourcing contracts.
Another new company for me is UCN, offering OnDemand telephony, but unlike many of the other OnDemand guys, they have street cred for big operations, counting 1-800 Flowers and eBay as references. I like their drag and drop controls for building flows and processes–sure a million miles from the ROLM 8000 I used at JCPenney back in the late 80s and early 90s.
If you have any questions or comments on the Buyers Guide please let me know. If you would like your company’s information posted, fill out this online form and we’ll get you added!