Customer Service Supplier and Product Update 1Q2012

1Q2012 Was Another Mixed Quarter

June 7, 2012

1Q2012 was not a good quarter for customer service. After a big 1Q2011, 2011 faded through the next three quarters as customer growth and financial performance were mixed, and product and company activity were relatively light. The fade has continued into 1Q2012. However, as always, had a great quarter, and we’re very encouraged about the progress Oracle has made integrating the Right Now acquisition into its company and product lines. and Oracle make us optimistic for the remainder of 2012.


1Q2012 was mixed quarter for customer service.

Customer growth was down for the quarter. Only one of our suppliers——improved in both new and repeat customers.

Financial performance was down as a result. However, IntelliResponse and had their best ever quarters.

1Q2012 was a mixed product quarter. Three of our suppliers did not make any product announcements. Three made major announcements.

Company activity was also very low in the quarter. Five of our suppliers did not make any company announcements. The surprise for the quarter is Oracle RightNow. After Oracle’s acquisition of RightNow closed on January 25, Oracle RightNow began operating as a Global Business Unit, hiring aggressively and introducing regular, quarterly product releases. earned a Customer Service Star both for 1Q2012, its fourth in the past five quarters.

Social-service has become a customer service requirement, and the social web has become a key customer service channel. We call it social-service because it’s about customers using social networks to get answers to their questions and solutions to their problems by monitoring and searching social media.


With this report, we complete our eighth year of quarterly updates on the suppliers and products in customer service. These updates focus on factors that are important in the evaluation, comparison, and selection of customer service products. More specifically, we examine these factors in our quarterly updates:

  • Customer acquisition and overall customer growth
  • Product activity
  • Company activity including mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and alliances, and hiring
  • Company financial performance

In our evaluations of quarterly performance, we want to see continuing customer growth, ongoing improvements in products, steady company viability, and good financial performance. We don’t want to change our evaluations based on a quarter’s news, but we do want to raise a red flag when that news deviates from a positive, multi-quarter trend, or to wave a green flag when that news is particularly good. When significant product and company events occur, we identify and highlight those that could have an impact on customer service products and technologies, suppliers, and the market landscape.

Customer Service Suppliers and Products

Here are the customer service suppliers and products that we currently cover:

  • Astute Solutions ePowerCenter, RealDialog, Social Relationship Management
  • Attensity Analyze, Attensity Respond
  • Consona Corporation Knova
  • eGain Service, eGain Social Experience
  • IntelliResponse Answer Suite
  • KANA Service Experience Management, Experience Analytics
  • Moxie Software Spaces
  • Oracle RightNow CX
  • Service Cloud, Radian6

A Mixed 1Q2012

Overall, customer service performance was quiet for the quarter in customer growth, financial performance, product activity, and company activity. One exception...

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