The move allows the company to compete with RightNow Technologies, and may underscore Talisma's continued leadership in the Web self-service space.
Posted Feb 7, 2006
Talisma is targeting the SMB space with a group of new products, Talisma Professional Edition, which the company launched today. It is available as a hosted or on-premise model and can be sold to a minimum of five users as a suite or individual applications, including Talisma Chat, Talisma Email, Talisma Knowledgebase/Web Self Service, and Talisma Telephony.
"This is a very concerted effort by us for the first time to sell into the SMB segment. This is the same technology available for larger enterprise customers, but for a lower price point," says Dan Vetras, president and CEO. "I'm tired of RightNow getting all that business. It's time to give them some direct competition."
Analysts applaud the aggressive move against a well-known player in the space. "RightNow has done really well in the market. I'm surprised more people haven't gone after them sooner," says Ladd Bodem, principal at ServiceXRG. "This is a great move on the part of Talisma. It's very competitive and it definitely addresses a need in the SMB space."
RightNow does not see Talisma as a strong overall contender. According to RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte, 50 percent of the firm's business in the past two years has come from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, establishing it as a leader in the enterprise market in which Talisma traditionally plays.
Vetras stands by Talisma's ability to shake up the market, however. He says that his company is part of Salesforce.com's AppExchange, adding chat and email capabilities to that vendor's CRM expertise. "That makes [Salesforce] a more formidable competitor against RightNow, LivePerson, and Microsoft," he says. Additionally, Talisma states that the new applications are so easy to use that it is providing free Web-based training to customers. To ensure widespread usage, each solution is designed with an intuitive user interface for creating and sharing information, and establishing rules, routing, and work flows.
Talisma Professional Edition includes:
Talisma Professional Chat, which allows Web-site visitors to get instant access to live help and gives agents the ability to chat with multiple people simultaneously.
Talisma Professional Edition Email, which lets small businesses efficiently respond to high volumes of emails. It includes smart routing and automated responses to help increase first-contact resolution rates and improve productivity.
Talisma Knowledgebase and Web Self Service, which provides customers with fast, accurate answers to commonly asked questions around the clock and deflects inbound calls in the process.
Talisma Professional Phone provides agents with a single view of important information like customer history and scripts. It also integrates with legacy telephony technology.
Bodem is impressed by the applications and Talisma's overall momentum. "[Talisma Professional Edition] is pretty feature-rich and a lot of small companies can benefit from something like this. If this is well thought-out, [SMBs] should just adopt it. The more out-of-the-box, the better," he says. "It continues to prove Talisma is being a thought leader in this space and is addressing market demands."
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