KnowledgeBase Solutions is jockeying for position in an emerging market with the release this month of version 3.0 of its Web-based self-help and knowledge-management suite. Contenders in this arena need to address such pain points as ease of use, maintenance and improved integration between CRM and case-management applications, as well as portal integration and batch-import functions.
The upgrade puts KnowledgeBase Solutions in shape to continue competing in a sector likely to undergo consolidation in the next few years as the market matures, said Timothy Hickernell, senior program director of Web and collaboration strategies at Meta Group. The knowledgebase segment is populated by 10 to 15 vendors — none of which dominates — providing fertile ground for realignment, he told CRM Buyer Magazine.
Hosted or On-Site
KnowledgeBase.net 3.0 combines document and knowledge management with advanced portal and search technology for a competitive price, James Segil, president and chief operating officer, told CRM Buyer. Designed to make building, maintaining and using a real-time knowledge base easier, KnowledgeBase.net 3.0’s new features include personalized portals, back-end multilanguage searching, dynamic portal caching, portal snap-ins and extended APIs.
KnowledgeBase.net can be used as a stand-alone tool or integrated into other CRM suites. Applications include self-service customer support, a help desk knowledge base, FAQ management, document management and contact-center knowledge management.
As with the previous generation, hosted and on-site versions will be available for KnowledgeBase 3.0.
Small to Mid-Size
The hosted edition, starting at about US$200 per month, is managed and maintained at KnowledgeBase.net’s data center. The only customer resources needed are a Web browser and an Internet connection to manage the application. Benefits include quick setup and knowledge base access. This edition is aimed at small and mid-size companies or those that do not want to incur the expenses necessary to support an on-site software application.
The professional edition, at $4,999 to $9,995, is a packaged product intended to give clients the freedom to install and deploy software on location while selecting their own hardware to support the application. This edition is suitable for mid-size companies that do not want to outsource mission-critical data but need an affordable solution, the company said.
It is designed with security in mind and can easily reside behind corporate firewalls. The modular design of the professional edition allows customers to make certain portals and information available to the public, while protecting the rest of the application.
Targets Fortune 1000 Too
The enterprise edition, starting at $50,000, is for full on-site deployment and enables the client to customize the offering. This edition is aimed at mission-critical and large-document-volume applications. It is designed for large call centers, contact centers and Fortune 1000 corporations.
Some of the new features will be sold as separate modules. The multilanguage module, including 10 languages, will cost an additional $10,000 with the enterprise edition. The module will be standard on the hosted Edition but will be unavailable on the professional edition.
The API module, available only with the enterprise edition, costs $7,500.