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    Web servicesintegrationwhitepaper Web servicesintegrationwhitepaper Document Transcript

    • Your Guide to Integrating RightNow Web™ eService Center With existing Sales Force Automation, Call Center and Marketing Automation Systems By Steve Daines, VP Customer Service, RightNow® Technologies  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • Abstract Using RightNow Web eService Center (eSC), online visitors are empowered to find their own answers, unhampered by delayed emails or frustrating telephone calls. RightNow's dynamic knowledge base helps Web visitors find information fast, answering up to 90% of questions through self-help. RightNow's SmartAssistant™ technology actually learns from previous user interactions, and automatically suggests solutions to customers and customer service representatives (CSRs), yielding fast, efficient service. The Internet’s emergence as a sales, service, and marketing platform made it essential for eService solutions to seamlessly integrate with existing sales force automation, call center, and marketing automation systems. Companies never before had such a tremendous opportunity to track their customers’ needs and interests, using the wealth of knowledge to deliver increasingly personalized sales, service, and marketing programs to customers. The ultimate goal is creating closer customer relationships and loyalty through the organization’s Web-based ecosystem. Despite claims by many Internet customer service providers regarding their “end-to-end solutions,” the reality is the eCRM market encompasses a number of separate solutions, which many times evolve through technology acquisition. Unfortunately, many of these so-called integrated solutions fail to allow value-extraction from the individual applications. To ensure industry- leading functionality and optimal price/value relationship (ROI), organizations often wish to use collaborative technologies such as RightNow Web eService Center in conjunction with other eCRM solutions. Some researchers have suggested that in highly complex B2C, or slightly complex B2B projects, integration work may represent 75% of the total project cost. In contrast, RightNow Technologies designed its integration capabilities to radically reduce the cost and speed of developing and maintaining eCRM integration. Overview This document describes various integration approaches and criteria for selecting a RightNow Web eService Center integration strategy. Integration objectives: Easily integrate with leading sales force automation, call center, and marketing automation systems. Define a specific set of standard integration methods, handling the large majority of integrations without changes in the base code. Ensure that integration approaches address the technical needs of conventional Internet-based systems and hosted configurations. Value-added partners are able to complete integrations. Integrations must help our customers gain competitive advantage in their market space. 2  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • Integration Methods There are four primary methods of eService Center application integration: 1. XML Application Bridge 2. XML Application Program Interface (API) and Event Handlers 3. Redirecting Personal Assistance Requests 4. Data Transfer Utilities 1) XML Application Bridge Description The Application Bridge provides for synchronization of eService Center's customer and incident database information with external related databases. This is accomplished in a manner that permits “bridging” between applications – when they are not located in the same data center and if firewall restrictions are in place. Generally, no programming is required to the RightNow base code. Programming may be required within the targeted application. Firewall Figure 1 • Email – Customer submits an Publish Incident incident via a Personal eService Center eCRM Assistance request. Customer Self-Service Console • CSR publishes answer to eSC CSR eSC Targeted DB via the targeted application’s Email DB DB console. Chat • Live Chat – Customer requests chat, CSR publishes answer to eSC DB via the targeted application’s console. XML Phone Application • Phone/Fax – CSR publishes and Bridge enters into console answer to eSC DB via the targeted Fax application’s console. Outbound Information Information is sent from eSC to a predetermined email address when a specific event occurs within eSC. The following events are supported: • When an Incident is created, updated, or deleted • When a Customer is created, updated, or deleted • When workflow criteria are matched These events facilitate sending information to external systems when information is modified within eSC. The contents of the email contain the actual data related to the update that has occurred in a format acceptable to 3  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • the external system. This method requires an external system have an email parser to receive the email, extract the information, and commit appropriate changes to the database. For example, this function could be used to update customer information in an external system when customer information is updated within eService Center. Inbound Information When email is received in XML format recognizable to the Application Bridge, the email is parsed and the information added to the eSC database. This capability is used to add, update, or delete information within the eSC knowledge base when changes have occurred in a related external database. For example, when a help desk application has new information for publishing on the Web, an email is constructed, sent to the Application Bridge, and is updated within eSC. When to Use The Application Bridge should be chosen when considering application integration options that cannot be directly posted over the Internet. It is extremely robust it also takes advantage of XML which can reduces time and costs. Benefits: Requires minimal programming within eService Center Takes advantage of the XML API. Very versatile and flexible Provides an audit trail to prevent data loss in the case of system downtime Requirements/Limitations: Requires an email parser for related external database Limited to the amount of time to send email between two systems. 2) XML Application Program Interface (API) and External Events Handlers Description The XML Application Program Interface (API) allows a programmer access to eSC incident and customer functions across the Web. The eSC XML API uses the same functions that are used in eSC. The API is accessible by creating and XML document that is posted over the Web to eSC. Customer-supplied or professional services-supplied programs can use this API to access or update information stored in eSC. 4  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • When to Use Use XML API when information can be posted over the Web directly to eSC. This method is the fastest and most flexible method of integration. The XML API is only used to get information into eSC. Benefits: Gives programmers a direct interface with eSC to create or update customers, companies and incidents. Real time integration by posting information directly over the Web. Most flexible form of integration. Requirements/Limitations: Requires XML programming experience and familiarity with eSC functions. Only used to get information into eSC. 3) External Events Description External Events are a custom scripts executed by eSC when a Customer, Company, Answer, or Incident is created, updated or deleted. These scripts can be created in any executable language such as PERL or C. External events are used to get information out of eSC. When to Use External Events are primarily used to get information out of eSC. External Events can be used to automatically send out information in any format. For example when an incident is created an external event can be programmed to send an XML page to an application. Benefits: • Very flexible and can receive information in many formats. Requirements/Limitations: • Requires knowledge of an executable programming language. 4) Redirecting Personal Assistance Requests Description Redirecting Personal Assistance requests allows replacement of the Personal Assistance Web page with a Web page that directs the customer inquiry to another system. For example, the Personal Assistance page can be replaced with the ticket creating form from Vantive’s Van Web product so when a customer wishes human assistance the ticket is directed to the Vantive system. 5  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • When to Use This method should be applied when eSC is used strictly for self-service (not email management or incident tracking), and a straightforward method of creating incidents in another system is required. Benefits: Ease of implementation Requirements/ Limitations: Uni-directional data transfer Does not handle adding new information to the knowledge base Third party system must have an incident submission Web page 5) Data Transfer Utilities Description The data transfer utilities, Kimport and Kexport, allow bulk data to be transferred between eSC and external systems. Both utilities read from and write to comma separated value (CSV) formatted files. In addition, an option on Kimport synchronizes databases by merging new with previous data. When to Use The data transfer utilities are used primarily when large amounts of data are converted from one system to another, or when periodic updates are desired between systems. For immediate updates of data between systems, use the Application Bridge. Benefits: Facilitates bulk data conversion Requirements/ Limitations: Data is batch-processed periodically 6  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • Conclusion Integrated, cross-channel eCRM applications will increasingly be perceived as the critical infrastructure that make the difference between the winners and losers in the business world of the 21st century. Organizations can receive the ROI and customer service of RightNow Web eService Center even if you already purchased an Internet customer service solution, or if you are considering a purchase through stand-alone installation or through application integration. Through strong partnerships with professional service companies and innovative Web-based architecture, RightNow Technologies enables fast, easy, and seamless integration across the eCRM spectrum. Using the four methods above, customers can effectively integrate RightNow Web eService Center with other applications in their CRM environments. 7  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.
    • About the Author Steve Daines joined RightNow Technologies in June 2000 following a successful 13-year career with Procter & Gamble. While with P&G, Steve spent seven years managing supply and manufacturing operation in the US, followed by a six-year stint in Asia leading the company's expansion in mainland China. As it evolves into a global operation, Steve directs and manages all aspects of customer care at RightNow Technologies. Steve holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Montana State University. About RightNow Technologies RightNow Technologies is a leading global provider of proven eService solutions that deliver rapid time-to-benefit and quick ROI. RightNow’s comprehensive eService solutions include Web-based self-service, email response management, live chat and collaboration, and service analytics. These solutions feature integrated product architecture, highly intuitive interfaces, and centralized workflow management – all based on a proprietary customer-driven, self-learning knowledge base. RightNow also offers a Web-based location tool, RightNow Locator, which directly links a company’s Web presence with its real-world locations, providing customers the information they need to purchase products or obtain services locally. RightNow customers include Air New Zealand, Ben & Jerry’s, British Airways, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fujitsu, Maxtor, Nortel, Orbitz, Ping Golf, Remington, Sanyo, Social Security Administration, Sprint, and more than 1,100 other organizations in a wide range of vertical markets. Founded in 1995, RightNow has offices in Bozeman, Dallas, London, and Sydney, and an associated office in Tokyo. RightNow’s products are available in 15 languages worldwide. For further information visit www.rightnow.com or email info@rightnow.com. Headquarters Dallas Office United Kingdom Office Australia Office RightNow Technologies, Inc. RightNow Technologies, Inc. RightNow Technologies (UK) Ltd. RightNow Technologies 40 Enterprise Blvd. 1501 Luna Road, Suite 138 1st Floor (Australia) Pty Ltd. PO Box 9300 Carrollton, TX 75006 58 Herschel Street Level 15 Bozeman, MT 59718-9300 Slough, Berkshire 99 Walker Street Main Phone +1-972-323-5600 SL1 1PG North Sydney, NSW 2060 Main Phone +1-406-522-4200 Toll Free 1-877-277-3898 Toll Free 1-877-363-5678 Fax +1-972-466-0752 Main Phone +44 (0) 1753 89 4900 Main Phone +62 2 9657 13 66 Fax +1-406-522-4227 Fax +44 (0) 1753 89 4901 Fax +62 9657 13 53 Japan Office Mitsui & Company, Ltd. Mitsui RightNow Technologies IT Solution Division 2-9 Kanda Nishiki-cho Chiyoda-ku Tokyo, Japan 101-0054 Main Phone +81 3 3233 2130 Fax +81 3 3233 2150 8  2002 RightNow Technologies, Inc.