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CRM Solutions Companies in Cahoots

Customer interaction software provider E.piphany, Inc. this week deepened its working relationship BroadVision, Inc.

The two companies are taking a dose of their own customer management medicine to integrate technologies and improve information links between their contact centers and e-commerce systems.

The extended business deal enables E.piphany and BroadVision to provide more highly personalized customer interaction in real time.

Based on E.piphany's E.5 System and BroadVision's One-To-One integrated suite of e-commerce applications, the duo plans to develop integrated solutions that ubiquitously share customer data. The system delivers personalized commerce transactions, service interactions, and marketing offers in real time over the Web.

Roger Siboni, E.piphany president and chief executive officer, said the deal represents a natural extension of its alliance with BroadVision.

"With the increased capabilities of the new E.5 System, we're excited to extend our work with BroadVision to solve customer challenges," Siboni,said.

"Currently, the market is demanding greater synergy between marketing, contact centers, and online environments," Siboni added. "Tthe combined strengths of E.piphany and BroadVision in multi-channel interactions will present a compelling solution to satisfy these new requirements."

Dr. Pehong Chen, BroadVision president and chief executive officer, said its partnership with E.piphany has already yielded superior CRM solutions for joint customers.

"In this next phase, we will further drive innovation and deliver an all encompassing solution for marketing, sales, and service that quickly becomes a de facto-standard for customers and system integrators alike," Chen said.

The extended alliance coincides with the launch of the E.piphany E.5 System, designed to be a customer relationship management tool that melds marketing, sales and service applications.

E.piphany's E.5 program is being pitched as the only Web-based, intelligent solution that unifies all inbound and outbound customer interactions across multiple communication channels.

The system leverages customer information obtained from various channels to generate a single enterprise view of the customer. The client insight program provides a single source for business interaction, marketing campaigns, and enhanced customer services in real time.

BroadVision's One-To-One program delivers does much of the same, but tailors the information to produce a single customer profile that includes contact information, as well as detailed buying and service histories of the client.

The combination of the two technologies strengthens ties between customer contact centers and Web sites.

For example, a customer with one or more open service requests in the contact center can receive information about the status of their cases when they visit the company's Web site. The recorded Web activity of a client can cue businesses to pick up the phone or send and e-mail to initiate highly targeted cross selling offers from the contact center.

It's been a bumpy road for Web-based customer satisfaction since the rise of e-commerceon the Web. The E.piphany, BroadVision alliance attempts to replace an old-fashioned handshake and meticulous note keeping with today's fast-paced online ordering systems and e-fulfillment systems.

According to Forrester Research, Inc. customer service is the heart of driving future online sales.

In a report about online consumers expectations, Forrester analyst Christopher Kelley said Web shoppers seek and expect customer service at each step of the transaction process.

"Exceptional