• February 28, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Talisma Serves Up CIM 7.0

Talisma announced today the latest version of its customer interaction management (CIM) suite, Talisma CIM 7.0. Version 7 includes multichannel communications, a highly accessible knowledge base, scalable business process functionality, reporting, and integration with third-party sources. The CIM 7.0 suite includes Talisma Email, Talisma Chat, and Talisma Phone, and can be deployed either on site or on-demand. Talisma CIM 7.0 blends the company's native business process expertise with the e-service strengths of KnowledgeBase.net, which Talisma acquired in March 2005. The merged product allows easy escalation from the suite's numerous Web self-service options to agent channels, preserving the customer's previous self-service queries and results to give the agent better visibility into customer issues and experience. In addition to preserving self-service data, Talisma CIM 7.0 integrates customer information from third party CRM, ERP, accounting, and other applications through the Talisma Customer Interaction Hub, the suite's central platform. "Whether the customer begins a service inquiry through the search function, browsing the knowledgebase or forums, reading a FAQ, or defining the problem via a questionnaire, those inquiries are extended to agent should the customer need deeper help," says Anna Burke, director of corporate marketing. Data is encrypted though Talisma's secure messaging portal, protecting customer data and allowing the agent to engage the customer in a secure chat session. Beyond the primary concern of actually serving the customer, Talisma CIM 7.0 provides numerous reporting and analytics functions. Preinteraction management lets strategists see what sorts of help the customers are seeking most often in all channels, and collects this data both for customer history and for presentation refinements. Reporting also extends to real-time and historical analysis of agent activity, providing insight to service levels, productivity, and business processes. Analysts say the expanded suite is a move in the right direction for Talisma. "Ultimately, providing exceptional customer service relies on moving beyond traditional CRM and embracing a more holistic approach to knowledge sharing and online communication," said Allen Bonde, senior vice president of strategy at eVergance in a written statement. "The market is clearly looking for solutions like Talisma CIM 7.0, which combine a knowledgebase with support for multiple channels and built-in reporting tools, and help deliver a better customer experience while leveraging the cost-efficiencies associated with online customer service." Better communications between customers and support agents can lead to better cross-selling and upselling opportunities, especially when processes are in place to support them. This is where Talisma's third-party integration, knowledgebase, and business process engine come together. "Previously, Talisma has been more focused on providing the business process engine, but didn't quite have the service component," says John Ragsdale, vice president and research director at Forrester Research. "Now they've pulled all the KnowledgeBase.net stuff onto Talisma." Ragsdale also comments on a technical aspect he believes will make Talisma CIM 7.0 more attractive to larger customers: the decision to built upon the Microsoft .NET framework for integration. "Traditionally, the [Sun Microsystems Java] J2EE framework was seen as more scalable and powerful, while .NET was supposedly more affordable and easier to work with. Now that .NET is being accepted by technologists as scalable as well, this will allow Talisma to take their product much more upmarket." Related articles: Talisma Goes After SMBs
E-Service Providers Ride the Forrester Wave Talisma Acquires KnowledgeBase.net
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