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KANAecting the Dots
The company has made generally available new features and enhancements to its multichannel product suite; the functionality focuses on deeper integration and beefed up content authoring and search functionality.
Posted Oct 17, 2006
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KANA unveiled KANA Suite 9, its integrated suite of multichannel solutions, featuring tighter integration, a common reporting infrastructure, and improved content authoring and search capabilities: The offering features revamped capabilities to KANA Response, its email response management app; KANA Response Live, its live chat and Web collaboration offering; KANA Contact Center, its agent desktop solution; and KANA IQ, its knowledgebase for agent-assisted and Web self-service. This is the first time that KANA has branded the integrated portfolio as KANA Suite. The suite is generally available now. The integrated suite arms agents with customer histories, including emails, chat transcripts, phone records, and self-service sessions, along with a common agent desktop enabling users to navigate between KANA IQ, KANA Contact Center, KANA Response and KANA Response Live, according to the company. It also replays sessions escalated from KANA IQ to KANA Response or KANA Response Live. Additionally, its search-as-you-type functionality searches knowledge sources as users type and allows agents to highlight email or chat session text and automatically search KANA IQ for information and solutions. Additionally, the release provides wizard-driven installation, AJAX support, and agent authoring capability that allows users to publish content from KANA Response and KANA Response live directly to KANA IQ. The enhanced integration is intended to enable a more seamless customer experience. For example, if an agent receives a call from customer and the customer refers to an email that he sent or to a previous chat session, the agent has access to that information to more effectively service the customer. The agent can see the customer's "history and get a complete context of what [he was] working on," says Vikas Nehru, vice president of products at KANA. If a customer is on a Web site looking for information and needs to, for example, escalate to a chat session, send an email, or schedule a callback, "all of those escalation channels are tightly integrated." When "the escalation reaches the agent as an email or as a chat, he is able to have the context of what the customer was searching for prior to the escalation. [The agent doesn't] have to ask the question what are you looking for or what were you looking for?"
"There is growing demand for capabilities to facilitate seamless, multichannel customer interactions," says Zachary McGeary, associate analyst at Jupiter Research. "Vendors are responding by providing the functionality and integration necessary to facilitate this business objective." However, "one of the key challenges vendors will face is getting their customers to consolidate on their platform, particularly in cases where a best of breed implementation is already in place." Related articles: KANA Leads Forrester's E-Service Suite Wave RightNow and KANA Court Customers The 2006 Service Leader Awards, Part 1
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