Siebel, Nortel and Quintus Rank Highest in Forrester’s New Customer Service Application TechRankings™

By Robert Moskowitz

Forrester Research Inc., a leading provider of research and analysis on the Internet and emerging technologies, has named Siebel, Nortel and Quintus as the first-, second-, and third-ranked leaders in its new Customer Service Application TechRankings™.

First-place Siebel received high marks for products that automate sales, marketing, and Web-based commerce, and for its integration abilities, especially with third-party applications like ERP. Although Siebel is the largest pure-play software applications vendor in the customer service market, its product falls short in aspects of its infrastructure. For example, it fails to support database connection pooling or Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs).

Nortel’s Clarify eFrontOffice 9.0 was lauded for excelling at case management, skills- and time-based routing, diverse end-to-end technologies, and an established network of services and distribution partners. However, Forrester still considers the product’s email response and knowledge-base capabilities to be immature.

Quintus, a Siebel reseller, offers eContact 5.5.1, along with complementary technologies, such as email response and Web-based customer-service products. But these have not yet been deeply integrated. Forrester cites eContact’s strength as residing in its combination of real-time queuing and routing with a library of connectors for computer telephony integration.

“Even the best customer-service applications vendors today,” explained David Truog, research director at Forrester, “fall down in basic needs like automated email response or integration with standard Java platforms.”

In determining the rankings, Forrester assesses each customer-service application’s features and capabilities along with each vendor’s strategy and market support. Forrester works with Doculabs to test and assess more than 100 attributes of each product considered.

Forrester does not charge vendors to participate in TechRankings™, and it tests products using publicly available criteria, checking and verifying the results before announcing them. Forrester also updates the rankings monthly.

To learn more about TechRankings™, visit (www.forrester.com/TR).