Gartner Research Includes Pegasystems and RightNow in Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers

New players join Oracle Siebel, Microsoft and as the market seeks to empower agents and deliver next-generation service. There aren’t a lot of commonalities between the listed vendors in Magic Quadrant except that they have systems to help customers post-sale. To be fair, very few enterprises have cookie-cutter customer service requirements and these vendors try to cater to those unique needs.

The 2010 report includes 15 vendors which meet Gartner Research VP and Distinguished Analyst, Michael Maoz’s criteria for coverage. These vendors all have at least 15 customer references, have had at least five new customers for CSS in the past four quarters in at least two geographic regions and generate at least $7 million in software revenue for core CSS from new clients during the past four quarters. They are also evaluated on their cross-channel customer service efforts and whether the provider is creating or following industry leas as well as the vendor’s relationship with third-party consulting firms and systems integrators and own professional services. Lastly, Maoz’s report also took social integrations capabilities into account.

In his report, Maoz writes that four major initiatives will dominate overall customer service strategies through 2013: tying together service interaction channels; integrating social CRM capabilities, analyzing the customer experience; and apply business rules and knowledge in real time. The current leaders in the 2010 Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers rank as so: Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle (Siebel), Pegasystems, RightNow Technologies and

Last year, Pegasystems was the sole resident of the Visionary segment because of their idea of matching business rules to specific customer service processes. Maoz lauds Pegasystems for its renewed emphasis on customer service contact centers, a long tail of customer success stories, and a jump in revenue.

RightNow Technologies has focused on the business-to-consumer customer service center where there’s not a need for deepened industry knowledge of expertise, noting that Microsoft and are more general purpose solutions in this regard as well. However, Maoz points out that RightNow (with its acquisition of HiveLive) and (for its development of Chatter) are making strong social plays even if they seem to be heavily weighted on the sales side.

The Challengers are Amdocs and SAP. Maoz writes that SAP has yet to tap into the large B2C contact center market but praises their community efforts. Amdocs, on the other hand, is well regarded as a telecommunications contact center provider but does not offer the same resources to other industries.

There are plenty of Niche Players who provide value but “just not to everyone”. They rank: Astute Solutions, Chordiant Software, eGlue, Jacada, Neocase Software, Oracle E-Business Suite, Portrait Software and Sword Ciboodle.

In larger trends, there seems to be more of an interest in improving the agent desktop rather than replacing it. There is a big desire to make things simpler for the service agent – how can they make agents feel smarter and less exposed to the customer? Understanding customer intent and applying the right rule in real time will boost agent confidence and losing the customer’s trust is probably the biggest problem companies are trying to work through.

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