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RightNow Finds Mr. Right

Customer resource management vendor RightNow announced its intention to acquire Salesnet for its workflow-automation capabilities and--in a surprising show of honesty--its customer base.

When last we looked at RightNow, it compared well with competitors in reporting and core functionality. But it fell behind the products from and Salesnet in standardizing sales practices and supporting larger environments. Standardizing practices across an organization can improve your sales force's productivity. But without a strong workflow component, it's nearly impossible to enforce best practices or standards in a hosted environment. Salesnet, however, has always focused on best practices and standardization. RightNow brings more advanced analytics and campaign management, though, which will benefit Salesnet customers.

If you're one of those Salesnet customers, prepare for an eventual migration to the RightNow product line, which will offer better forecasting and analytics, but you'll also have to get accustomed to RightNow's user interface and feature set. If you're a RightNow customer, it means another year before you can take full advantage of Salesnet's technology, though you'll likely start to see benefits from at least a minimal integration this fall.