KANA 10: Service Experience Management Platform Released
Back in the late 90s, I was working in product design for a software vendor. The product marketing/product management team was way ahead of the curve with object oriented design, and I was tasked with rolling out a new business object-based design tool to the rest of the team. I loved the concept of modeling use cases and building out attribution lists for business objects, and it really made the product design process much faster and easier. The problem came, of course, when the final design was turned over to our not-even-close-to-object oriented developers, who had no idea what to do with the cool business objects since they were still coding in C++.
This background was perfect preparation for a big “ah-ha moment” I had recently when KANA gave me a demo of their new KANA 10 release, which debuted yesterday. When I saw them dragging and dropping objects to create complex business flows and support processes, it was amazing to see that object oriented design has made it through development and is now in the hands of business users.
When KANA first announced they were rearchitecting their popular customer management suite to take advantage of IBM’s service oriented architecture (SOA) and Information Management foundation (see this post for background) early last year, the big question was how long would it take? As any company who has done such a rewrite knows, you risk losing visibility during that time because companies are weary of investing in a platform that is about to be replaced. In hindsight, the timing was pretty good. Who knew in March 2008 how much economic gloom and doom lay ahead? Turns out, it wasn’t a bad time to take a breather.
With tech spending rebounding and Wall Street saying the tech sector is bouncing back long before other industries, this is a great time to launch a new platform, especially one that promises lower ownership costs and much easeir integration because of the pure Web 2.0 platform, as well as IBM’s reputation for scalability–critical since KANA has many high volume contact center customers.
As we all know, the biggest reason for technology implementation failure is usually broken processes. KANA is definitely taking a risk by putting process front and center, when competitors primarily tout feature/function, but when you see in the demo how process modeling can dynamically change the customer experience, it makes sense. KANA already had tremendous functional depth (they came out on top of my last Forrester Wave for Customer Service in 2006), but the modularization of the suite felt a bit disconnected. Now, having a single set of admin tools to build cross-channel processes unites the entire suite in a more cohesive way.
KANA 10’s key features includes an Adaptive Desktop, Experience Modeling, KPI Optimization, and Knowledge Empowered Process management. Read the press release for complete details.
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