Comparing CRM On Demand with Rightnow CX

Just out of an interesting three days training session on Oracle Rightnow CX and the product is just awesome. It is a coincidence that after writing the blog post on Oracle’s product positioning, I got an opportunity to attend this training session and it re-emphasis the fact that Rightnow is a perfect compliment to address Oracle’s Service side of the CRM suite of products

Being a customer as well as an implementer of CRM On Demand for many years, it is natural to start comparing these two products and believe that would be be the best theme for this blog than simple summary of the feature list of Rightnow.

Though CRM On Demand is positioned to address all the Sales, Service and Marketing needs of the customer, it is more “internally(Employees)” focussed than “External(Customers)”. The awesomeness of the Rightnow product lies in the fact that it is designed with an “Outside-In” approach where it not only addresses your needs to enable a multi-channel presence in matter of few weeks but also caters effectively to the needs of automating your internal ticket handling process in a seamless and effective manner.

Coming back to the comparison, I have done in under the below major heads …

Lack of built-in multi-channel presence in CRM On Demand is very well addressed by Rightnow

The first and foremost point is CRM On Demand doesn’t come with built-in self service portal to facilitate sharing of your knowledge base to your customers and also it also doesn’t provides a facility for your customers to raise a ticket / service request through cost effective web.Though there are number of vendors who provide self service add-ons for CRM On Demand, they come at extra cost.

On the contrary Rightnow comes with a built-in fully hosted self service portal that can be branded to your Organization needs and integrated with your corporate website in weeks. Needless to say Rightnow also extends easily your ability to Strengthen your presence through other channels like Social Media (Facebook add-ons), Chat with co-browse (for on-line trouble shooting). Email and Telephone (with pre-built adapters to speak to most of the telephony systems


Weak built-in features in CRM On Demand to automate ticket / Service Request handling is effectively taken care in Rightnow

Coming back to the employees side of the application, it is not only difficult / expensive to buy add-ons to strengthen your multi channel presence for CRM On Demand but also the support backbone features of the CRM On Demand is not good enough to meet your rigorous involved service request automation needs.

On the contrary Rightnow offers a whole lot of features that makes it jiffy to quickly configure your agents desktop and deploy your call centre / service desk operations in few weeks. Some of the salient features that I love to have in CRM On Demand but never came-in till today that I found in Rightnow are below

  • All channels are tightly integrated to the Agent desktop such that Agents can handle client tickets coming from any channels (Emails, Chat, telephone, Social and Web) without switching to any third party applications (he can chat, he can reply emails, he can take / dial calls etc all within Rightnow agent desktop)
  • To facilitate the streamlining of ticket handling process it has an effective built-in queue handling mechanism where you can define queues by various criteria like by channel, by nature of service requests etc. and assign to one or more employees who are qualified to handle these tickets effectively
  • Rightnow has a built-in SLA handling mechanism  where you can define various SLAs of different service levels and assign different class of customers to it. The system automatically alerts, notifies and escalates agents / agent managers where SLAs are not adhered to. Needless to say that SLA management module has built-in country level calendaring mechanism to handle the holiday definition / working hours of agents scattered across the globe if you want to deploy the solution for a global workforce.
  • Last but not the least the in-built visual workflow management is pretty powerful than one offered in CRM On Demand and it can automate almost any of your service desk process with by configuration instead of expensive customization.

Lack of fully integrated effective knowledge base in CRM On Demand is well addressed by Rightnow

Though enabling multi channel presence can bring down your cost, the real benefit comes from managing your Organization knowledge base to facilitate seamless creation, storage and sharing (internal as well as external) of information on demand there by bringing down the ticket handling time as well as reducing the number of tickets raised.

As for as CRM On Demand is concerned the only interface between Solutions and Service Request module is the ability to associate a Solution to Service Request. In Rightnow, there are many features that would really make your internal knowledge management effective

  • The guided assistance is one such feature that helps agents to asks a set of questions (multi-level branching is possible) to your customers and on basis of your customer’s inputs it gets the right answer. This would be loved by any new agent who comes on-board to trouble shoot customer queries without support from his supervisors
  • Similarly the tool offers an effective search mechanism on the built-in knowledge base with key words, stop-words etc. that helps to locate the right answers in a jiffy without hassles. It not only works on structured information stored in the knowledge base but also has capability to get results on basis of any unstructured information stored in the files, discussions etc
  • The Smart assist is another tool for agent that suggests appropriate answers based on the key words in Service Requests, the product on which the ticket is raised etc on basis of back-end associations maintained by your knowledge management team.
  • The built-in workflow is very effective to handle the whole process of creation, approval, internal / external (customers) publishing process lot effectively without any hassles
  • Also provides a “propose” feature to convert your response to service request to a knowledge base article

My verdict in a nut shell:)

If you are a CRM On Demand / any CRM product customer and looking for a better service management features with built-in multi-channel presence, the right product for you is Rightnow CX solutions.

Going by the features I would recommend the product to anyone who is looking to deploy an effective multi-channel presence to take your customer experience level to greater heights in matter of few weeks ….






Oracle’s CRM products positioning ….

If you are one among many Oracle customers / prospects confused about Oracle’s CRM products positioning, this blog might help you ….

Oracle’s answer to customer CRM needs was pretty much clear before it started rolling out Fusion CRM and acquisition of Rightnow Technologies as there were only 2 major CRM products before Fusion CRM roll-out and acquisition of Rightnow Technologies.

  1. Siebel CRM – Primarily targeted for large enterprise customers who are looking for an @Customer (The application hosted in-house) model with niche industry-vertical functions and
  2. the other is CRM On Demand for customers looking for CRM in Software As A Service (SaaS) Model in-line with

With roll out of Fusion CRM and acquisition of Rightnow Technologies, we are now looking at four different products from Oracle in CRM space. Though Oracle is pretty much clear in its product positioning, there is a confusion in the market space.

The first step is to understand the reason behind the above two actions of Oracle.

  • Rightnow technologies before Oracle’s acquisition is a strong competitor to Oracle CRM On Demand in Software As A Service model (SaaS) as it has a pretty strong Customer Service and Support functions built-in with some sketchy Sales & Marketing functions. Oracle’s acquisition of Rightnow technologies is a logical complement to Oracle’s CRM product portfolio to strengthen the CRM service side.
  • Fusion CRM which is completely built from scratch on Oracle Fusion Technologies with best in class functions from all major / minor CRM applications built & acquired by Oracle over years is Oracle’s answer to address the market need for deeper  Sales and Marketing CRM needs

Though Rightnow and Fusion CRM addresses all three dimensions (Sales, Service and Marketing) of CRM collectively, it is important to note that they are not integrated at this stage though Oracle has plans to have an integrated CRM suite in a year time frame

Now coming back to Oracle’s product positioning, this is how I interpret it, If you are looking for a CRM solution in Software As A Service (SaaS) model,  there are basically three choices

  1. CRM On Demand
  2. Fusion CRM
  3. Rightnow

Out of the above three,

  • If your needs are only limited to Service side of CRM, go with Rightnow
  • If your needs are on Sales and Marketing side go with Fusion CRM but
  • if you are someone who is immediately looking for an integrated Sales and Service CRM in SaaS model, then you can look into CRM On Demand.
  • CRM On Demand is very much covered under applications unlimited policy of Oracle meaning there would be continuous support and new releases with better features in future with greater emphasis to Life Sciences vertical, however this is a stop gap solution for customers looking for an integrated suite till an integrated Fusion CRM with Rightnow covering Sales, Service and Marketing side of CRM is made available by Oracle
  • Post the availability of integrated Fusion CRM with Rightnow  it makes sense to select CRM On Demand only unless you are in Life Sciences business as Oracle has strong commitment to build deeper domain specific functions in CRM Life Sciences vertical.
  • As for as existing customers CRM On Demand customers are concerned they no need to worry much as any niche Life Sciences vertical feature definitely requires improvement in underlying core functions of CRM On Demand and that would be made available to all CRM On Demand customers in an incremental manner
  • As for as Siebel CRM is concerned, it is meant primarily for customers looking for CRM in @customer model / managed services model and looking for strong vertical-industry-specific functions

Saying the above, it is matter of couple of years by which you can expect vertical CRM releases under Fusion CRM stack ….

  • If I am a CTO of an Organization and looking for a brand new CRM implementation, I would go for Fusion CRM to start with implementing Sales & Marketing functions, then extend it to services by leveraging integrated Fusion CRM with Rightnow as it would be available in couple of quarters from now and finally in a year from now start leveraging any vertical features of Fusion CRM as and when they are made available
  • If I am an existing CRM On Demand customer and looking for a deeper CRM Sales and Marketing functions, then I would start planing towards migrating to Fusion CRM
  • If I am an existing CRM On Demand customer and looking for Sales, Service and Marketing functions then I would better wait for an integrated Fusion CRM with Rightnow is made available by Oracle
  • Finally I am an existing Siebel Enterprise customer unless my CRM needs with / without deeper domain specific features are fully addressed by Fusion CRM / Rightnow, I may not decide to migrate.

And last but not the least as a CTO, I strongly expect a smooth migration (technically as well as commercially) from existing Oracle CRM platforms to the new Fusion / Rightnow platforms …