• July 25, 2005
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Knova Knows Knowledge

Knova applications top the list of knowledge-enabled CRM solutions, according to a Basex research firm report, released Monday. Knova Software's Knova 6 application leads its competitors in knowledge-enabled CRM applications while Knova Knowledge Desk, formerly a ServiceWare Technologies product, ties KANA IQ 8.1.1 for second place. "Industry Survey: Knowledge-Enabled Customer Relationship Management Systems, " rates eight knowledge-enabled CRM applications, based on a Knowledge Worker Impact Quotient. The comprehensive set of criteria includes:
  • Architecture--diverse data source support, expertise location, information reuse, interface, search and categorization, and self-service
  • Collaboration and community--general collaboration and product support
  • Security--authentication, information exchange, and user roles
  • Collaborative business environment--This is "basically a way of creating an overarching work environment designed for the knowledge worker that keeps them focused on their job as opposed to the technology," says Jonathan Spira, CEO of Basex, chief analyst and coauthor of the report. On a scale of 1 to 5, a score of lower than 3.0 indicates little impact on knowledge workers, 3.0 to 3.2 translates into some impact, 3.3 to 3.7 reflects good impact, 3.8 to 4.1 represents very high impact, and 4.2 to 5.0 indicates the highest impact. With perfect scores in eight categories, including expertise location, information reuse, search and categorization, self-service, and general collaboration, Knova 6 (formerly Kanisa6), received the highest overall KWIQ rating, earning a score of 4.78. Although Knova Software is the product of a merger between Kanisa and ServiceWare Technologies, the combined company plans to unveil its first integrated release next year, and will support its current product lineup through June 2007. As a result, Basex has evaluated former ServiceWare and Kanisa applications as separate entities. Spira notes that Version 6's top score is partially due to its search functionality. "They really have wedded search and knowledge management tools with the CRM and SRM environment. What threw Knova 6 over the top was in part...its natural language search engine." "Knova uniquely combines powerful search and KM technologies with true business process support in our customer service applications," Ben Kaplan, vice president of marketing and product management at Knova, said in a written statement. "As a result, our customers are automating the service resolution process across all channels." The remaining solutions have just a few tenths of a point separating them from the next highest and the next lowest application:
  • KANA IQ 8.1.1 and Knova Knowledge Desk, formerly a ServiceWare tool, are tied for the second slot, just slightly lower than Knova 6's overall KWIQ rating, with a 4.55.
  • LexisNexis Interface Software's InterAction 5.1 and a solution of the now defunct ePeople subsequently followed, and were tied with a composite of 4.34. As the Basex report went to the press, however, ePeople closed shop, but its rating is included for comparison purposes, according to the report.
  • TheBrain's Brain Enterprise Knowledge Platform 4.0 followed with an overall KWIQ rating of 4.12.
  • eGain Communications' eGain Service 6 received a 3.96.
  • Rounding out the offerings was Epiphany's E6 solution, earning a 3.87. Spira cautions that when referring to very high-ranking products, it becomes a question of an individual organization's specific needs. Overall, though, "companies are beginning to recognize the need to add knowledge management thinking to the CRM efforts to improve responsiveness to customers, reduce delays, lower costs, and improve overall productivity," he says. Related articles: ABG Scores Web Self-Service Vendors RightNow Technologies and Knova Software play alone in the leaders category, while others fill the Top 10. E-Service Providers Ride the Forrester Wave
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