Hewlett-Packard Co this week announced its first foray into the burgeoning front office application space. The company released HP Front Office, a customer relationship management package which HP – along with all the other CRM vendors – claims will help its companies grow customer loyalty and at the same time increase revenue and profit. HP […]
Hewlett-Packard Co this week announced its first foray into the burgeoning front office application space. The company released HP Front Office, a customer relationship management package which HP – along with all the other CRM vendors – claims will help its companies grow customer loyalty and at the same time increase revenue and profit. HP also claims that this is the first product to combine integrated, web enabled marketing, sales and support modules linked to a company’s call center, but other CRM vendors offer the same thing. Either way, HP’s move into the front office space, at a time when analysts are predicting a boom in the market, is both well timed and significant. The offering, part of HP’s e-services strategy, is designed to enable customers to communicate with a call center by any method of access – in person, by telephone, fax, internet or email.
HP says the suite is aimed at both .com and conventional brick and mortar businesses and enables them to offer customers a choice of either web-based self service or agent-assisted customer care options. HP said it has formed alliances with Rubric for the e-marketing application and with Broadvision for e-sales module. E-marketing is an internet based, closed-loop application that integrates all marketing activities, from conventional and internet campaigns to customer inquiries, sales/campaign reporting and metrics while e-sales is an e- commerce application that offers shopping-cart and transaction functionality, as well as the opportunity to talk with a call- center agent. HP’s own e-support offers customers help through an intelligent, web-based virtual agent, as well as giving them the option to speak directly to an agent.
HP Front Office can be deployed as an owned or hosted solution, although HP is pushing its customers to go for the hosted version as its says they can be up and running and raking in the profits much faster than if they wait to install it on their own. Either way – whether the call center is owned or hosted – HP provides system integration, on-site installation and configuration, and ongoing worldwide 24×7 support. HP is joining a market dominated by the likes of niche players Siebel Systems Inc, Vantive Corp and Clarify Inc and increasingly by enterprise software giants such as Oracle Corp, SAP AG and others.