• July 25, 2008
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

NetSuite Adds to CRM+

On-demand CRM vendor NetSuite this week announced a set of new capabilities for NetSuiteCRM+, its premier application suite for SMBs. Chief among these are new native workflows bolstering marketing automation and customer service. The company also released details of additional marketing and customer service tools created by its partners using the company's NS-BOS development platform.

Step-wise Assistants for Marketing Automation is an assisted workflow that allows marketers to more easily segment their target markets for better targeted campaigns, according to the company. Templates for email and rich HTML content have also been improved to boost marketers' productivity.

Contact center personnel get a hand as well with Streamlined Knowledge Management for Customer Service. A new keyword search workflow is built into the case management interface to help customer service and support reps to find relevant content from the knowledge base in response to a customer service inquiry. In addition, customer service reps can post content for potential inclusion in the knowledge base from information already entered on the case. This greatly increases the efficiency of case handling and helps to build the wealth of knowledge for reuse, so customer service reps are armed with the latest information and can offer better service and an enriched customer support experience, according to NetSuite.

"Anything captured in the case can be populated into the solution," says Mini Peiris, vice president of product marketing for NetSuite. "It's good for companies that don't have the personnel to spare to populate the knowledge store, but it's also a good tool for those that do." Peiris notes that the KM workflow doesn't capture clickstreams directly, and it is up to the thoroughness of the rep's explanation.

In addition to its own advances in marketing and customer service technology, NetSuite highlighted the achievements of some of its independent software vendor (ISV) partners. Using NetSuite's NS-BOS development platform and open standards to further extend NetSuite's customer service and marketing capabilities:

  • Velaro's NetSuite integration eliminates unnecessary steps in sales and service processes, and automatically consolidates customer information stored on disparate systems.
  • LivePerson adds integrated chat to NetSuite for business-to-business and business-to-consumer use.
  • Pardot provides a lead management module that uses real-time Web analytics and tracking to help users follow up with their most sales-ready leads and nurture those that are less qualified.
  • Silverpop's Vtrenz is a suite of multichannel marketing tools adding B2B demand generation and full marketing execution and automation.

"These are two very complementary announcements," says Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research for analyst firm Nucleus Research. "To scale effectively in the SMB market, NetSuite has to provide more tools for its users, and also more partners to implement and add to its solutions. The additions to CRM+ are valuable, and NS-BOS gives ISVs the tools they need to build out NetSuite's platform."

News relevant to the customer relationship management industry is posted several times a day on destinationCRM.com, in addition to the news section Insight that appears every month in the pages of CRM magazine. To contact the editors, please email editor@destinationCRM.com.

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