CRM Marriage Bears Fruit

Following up on its merger with Broadbase Software Inc., Kana Communications Inc. launched a Web-based CRM product last week that features technologies from both companies.

Kana iCARE (intelligent Customer Acquisition and Retention for the Enterprise) is an eCRM suite intended to enable Global 2000 organizations to develop effective interactions with customers.

“This is a combination of the different products from Kana and Broadbase,” said Steve Robins, vice-president of product marketing at Kana, in Menlo Park, Calif.

Integration of the two lines is proceeding according to plan, said Brian Jones, analyst for CRM strategies at Yankee Group Inc. in Boston. “I think it has the makings of a good platform,” Jones said.

New in the suite is Kana ResponseIQ, which integrates Kana’s e-mail management and Broadbase’s knowledge base to provide a common information platform for responding to requests via multiple communication channels.

“You enter the information once and it’s immediately accessible throughout the enterprise or outside the enterprise,” Robins said. Consistent information is delivered on a Web site via Web communications and self-service.

Also part of the suite is Kana Contact Center, which now supports EJBs (Enterprise JavaBeans) and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) standards. Large enterprises are moving to Java because of its flexibility and scalability, Robins said. The company previously had a Microsoft COM (Component Object Model) version of the product, he said.

Kana Contact Center enables self-service and logging of trouble tickets. And it can provide proactive service to improve customer satisfaction and lower costs.

Kana iCare is available with a starting price of US$95,000 for stand-alone applications. Suites start at US$300,000.

Kana and Broadbase, both of which had been struggling financially, announced merger plans in April 2001.

The Kana CRM suite includes various other components: