RightNow Hosting 2.0 and the Art of Control

RightNow Hosting 2.0 is a multichannel customer-service offering designed to put customers in the driver’s seat by increasing their visibility of and control over hosted applications. The technology, which is geared toward reducing costs and implementation time, also is designed to help clear customization and integration hurdles.

In a nutshell, the hosting platform lets customers control when and how they upgrade their software, Sean Forbes, vice president of marketing and business development at RightNow Technologies, told CRM Buyer. “Traditional ASPs (application service providers) used to just throw a switch and everything would automatically be upgraded,” he said.

Putting the customer in control provides some of the benefits of an on-site application without the risk and costs, according to RightNow chief financial officer Susan Carstensen. The platform promises 50 to 500 percent savings. Customers do not have to pay for infrastructure, yet they still can control and monitor the application, she told CRM Buyer.

“Today, the customer has to be in control. CIOs and CFOs need new flexibility,” Carstensen said.

At the Wheel

Mary Wardley, IDC’s vice president of CRM applications, described the hosting-management system’s browser-based dashboard as “remote-controlled IT,” which lets users view scheduling information and performance metrics, for example. “It allows for more customer insight into application performance and more control than an externally deployed technology,” she told CRM Buyer.

Founded in 1997, RightNow is making a deep imprint in the ASP space. More than 90 percent of the company’s new customers and more than 80 percent of its existing customers select hosting when deploying their customer service and support applications.

At Your Service

Hosting 2.0, targeted toward customer-service centers with up to 500 agents, enables integration of Web services and XML (extensible markup language) into front- and back-office applications. It also allows customization of the display field and creates unique interfaces based on users’ needs.

The hosted technology can be up and running quickly with a low cost of ownership — a sharp contrast to on-premise applications. Deployment of RightNow’s hosted apps, including integration and customization, usually takes about 34 days, Forbes said.

No Charge for Hosting

Carstensen said the software’s multi-tenant design, in which multiple customers use the same sets of infrastructure, eliminates redundancy and lowers ownership costs. Additionally, RightNow does not levy an additional charge for its hosting services, she noted, adding that companies that merely move on-premise software servers to an off-site facility and charge a premium are not true ASPs.

The typical two-year implementation cost for RightNow Hosting 2.0 averages US$100,000.

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