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RightNow CRM Review

4 stars Average rating: 4 (from 133 votes)

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RightNow Sweet Spot

Short list RightNow Technologies CRM when:

  • Seeking best of breed on-demand help desk, customer service or contact center applications.
  • Seeking customer service with tightly integrated social CRM capabilities.
  • You're a large B2C company.
  • Your business is in one of RightNow's vertical markets, including consumer electronics, financial services, gaming, government, higher education, non-profit, retail, software, telecommunications and the travel/hospitality industries.

Alternative Solutions

IT buyers may be best advised to consider alternative CRM software products when:

  • Seeking strong Sales Force Automation (SFA) software.
  • Seeking a more balanced CRM suite, with similar importance on sales, marketing and service.
  • Desiring multiple deployment models, including on demand, on premise or a hybrid of both.
  • Seeking an enterprise-wide, fully integrated ERP and CRM software as a service solution.
  • You're an SMB and acquisition cost and total cost of ownership (TCO) are primary decision criterion.

Concluding Remarks

RightNow believes there are the four primary drivers for increased demand—customer empowerment, cloud computing, proliferating online interactions and refresh cycles with replacement technologies for contact centers. While these drivers are indeed true, but not necessarily complete, RightNow is at a pivot point in either advancing the company to the next level or being relegated to slow growth and a distant competitive positioning to market leaders Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

In the business software market, the best combination of executive talent, intellectual property and marketing wins. RightNow has the first, does pretty well on the second and is lacking in the third.

Without a competitive SFA component, the product lacks a fundamental pillar in the CRM suite which will exclude it from the lion's share of sale opportunities in the largest market—the overarching CRM software market—which it competes.

More challenging is the company's quiet messaging and lack of brand recognition. The company has a great story to tell but seems to approach marketing with the type of conservatism it applies to financial governance. RightNow's brand is like a retirement account that increases in value, but isn't keeping up with inflation. Much of the company's promotions seem to come across without a cadence or progressive deliveries that contribute to a solid message and ultimately produce a crescendo effect. Many RightNow stories are interesting, but not what the market's looking for and become a flash in the pan.

In an industry where several direct competitors control the marketing communications with enticing messaging, more frequent messages delivered at more opportune times, and far more promotional effect, RightNow is often left in the shadows. With the exception of the anti-CRM rhetoric, RightNow has some solid messaging but no volume. The company's marketing communications need amplification if it expects to keep up and compete with larger and more recognized competitors.

RightNow CRM ReviewRightNow SFAContact CenterRightNow Social CRMWeb ExperienceRightNow HostingDeployment ConsiderationsIntegration and CustomizationRightNow TechnologyRightNow ViabilityRightNow PricingStrengths and WeaknessesRightNow Alternatives


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Comments (6) — Comments for this page are closed —

Guest Chris Nichols
  What happens to RightNow following the Oracle acquisition looks murky. I like both companies, but they have extraordinarily different visions, cultures and people. I think Rightnows future has some risk.
  Chuck Chuck Schaeffer
    I've listened to Oracle's Anthony Lye comment on this topic a few times. His comments seem clear, consistent and unambiguous. In short, he advises RightNow is Oracle's service product and will coexist within the Oracle Public Cloud. RightNow will integrate and sync data with Fusion apps and Oracle will advance RightNow to take advantage of more Fusion services. Since the acquisition was announced 5 months ago (October 2011), Oracle has added 100 engineers to accelerate the product roadmap. Looking at the acquisition from a bigger perspective, Oracle has acquired 5 companies (ATG, FatWire, Inquira, Endeca and RightNow) over the last 14 months which collectively compliment one another, and seemingly may morph to deliver a unique customer experience (CX) software solution. CX is the new Oracle mantra, and RightNow is clearly a key piece of that offering. My personal opinion is that Oracle did not invest $1.5 billion to watch this CRM application deteriorate, and the company believes that they can create significant competitive advantage with an enterprise software CX solution.

Guest Rob Chapman
  Customers want the flexibility to communicate with their suppliers over any of several channels, such as a vendor web portal, social network, telephone or email, and because issues are often not resolved during the first interaction, they also want the option of using multiple channels and expect the vendor to deliver an integrated and unified experience. Customers are increasingly intolerant when speaking to agents who possess incomplete or inaccurate information. This is a challenge for most companies, and where RightNow has really made a name for themselves. Their CX applications are able to empower both staff and digital points of presence (such as social networks or self service web sites) with information that is both complete and accurate, and generally can satisfy customer demands. Other CRM software vendors are getting there, but RightNow is clearly leading this charge. Great review!

Guest Denise Johnson
  If you're searching for a complete call center CRM solution, you really can't beat the RightNow CX product. The Dynamic Agent Desktop mixes the best of both the online and on premise worlds. Our agents really like the social capabilities and online channels, as well as the local desktop processing performance. There is a bit of a training curve, but it goes quickly. We're very happy with RightNow.

Guest Frank James
  How does RightNow compare to other vendors such as Oracle and SAP when it comes to CRM software discounting?
  Chuck Chuck Schaeffer
    The two factors which most influence CRM vendor discounting, whether from RightNow, Oracle or SAP, include size of the deal (with emphasis on annual spend) and vendor perceived competitiveness. For large and competitive deals, particularly when occurring at the end of a fiscal quarter or year-end, contract terms get more flexible and discounts get large. The only certainty in advising a discount threshold is that the CRM vendors will not exceed the discount granted to Government under the GSA schedule; for if they did such additional discount amount would result in a refund to some of the CRM vendors biggest public sector customers.
 

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