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Service Standard Setters: CRM Idol Winner BPMonline Has Been Filling a Surprisingly Large Void in Customer Service and Support Since Its 2010 Launch—and Is Still Going Strong

The initial focus of business process management (BPM) was on improving business efficiencies through an expanded use of information technology. A new iteration of the concept now seeks to align all of the aspects of a business with the wants and needs of its clients.

And so it comes as no surprise that customer service is one of the areas that companies are now looking to improve with BPM solutions. What is surprising is the shortage of companies with offerings that let them do just that.

BPMonline, the champion in the Europe, Middle East, and Asia region of this year's inaugural CRM Idol contest, is just such a company. In fact, Paul Greenberg, the CRM Idol director and president of the 56 Group, says BPMonline has largely steered the movement of BPM into customer service and support.

"BPM is moving toward customer service because that is the most crystal-clear area of need," he says. "For being able to get the answers I need [from a company] as quickly and easily as possible, BPM is very important."

"Our team has been working for the last three years to create BPMonline CRM," says founder and CEO Katerina Kostereva. "As a result, we have the solution that brings easy and affordable process management tools to CRM professionals."

That solution is also working to change the company's image. BPMonline so far has been mostly known for its very capable case management functionality, however, it is expanding into additional customer service areas.

Version 5.2 of BPMonline CRM, which the company released in December, introduces significant upgrades that will allow organizations to better manage customer data and interactions. Improved integration with social networks lets companies manage interactions with clients and collect customer data, drawing from email, phone, and Web contacts, customer transaction histories, and social media sites. It lets organizations search contact information and fill in contact cards with the information from social networks, view customer profiles on social networks directly from within the application, and, based on the information from those social networks, identify the contacts that refer to each account.

Within its CRM product line, the company now offers a separate service management product, BPMonline Service Desk. BPMonline Service Desk covers the following processes:

  • service portfolio management;
  • service catalogue management;
  • service level management;
  • supplier management;
  • change management;
  • release and deployment management;
  • incident management;
  • problem management;
  • configuration management;
  • request fulfillment; and
  • knowledge management.

"The new BPMonline customer relationship management suite allows users to streamline business processes and provide better insight into customer trends while offering an easy and user-friendly environment. Such a robust solution helps companies meet diverse business challenges easier and at lower cost," Kostereva said in a statement.

The solution had been completely hosted at a cost of $29 per user per month, but BPMonline started the new year with an on-premises deployment option as well for a one-time fee of $490.

The company this year also added functionality that can predict bottlenecks throughout the whole customer service process and automatically generate a corresponding alarm.

"We are sure that in the nearest future, stand-alone CRM solutions will be replaced by platforms that provide new features, such as BPM features and deeper integration with social media," Kostereva says.

Greenberg certainly thinks the company is on to something. "For a new company, they are solid as a rock," he concludes. "They have great products and a clear vision and mission and an actual plan to get them there."

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