Phaseware: CRM Idol review

MyCustomer.com
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The CRM Idol judges panel from the Americas – Paul Greenberg, Esteban Kolsky, Denis Pombriant, Jesus Hoyos and Brent Leary – are viewing and reviewing contestants for the quality of their product, the vision of their company, the presentation that they are making and a variety of other factors. Each of the reviews has been reviewed and modified if need be by all the primary judges. This is a joint review signed off on by all the judges who attended the session.  

Phaseware was co-founded in 2005 by Randall Nelson (CEO) and Hoyt Mann (president) two industry veterans who first worked together at RamQuest Software. The company made its first sale in 2006 and achieved profitability in 2007. Phaseware dedicates itself to providing customer service solutions to SMB companies in the five million to twenty million dollar revenue range. Phaseware has just ten employees serving more than one hundred thirty five customers.
Phaseware has no outside capital and plans to continue its organic growth focusing on a variety of industries including software, medical device hardware and outsources services. Phaseware goes to market in two modes on-premise and on-demand using the same code base a trait enabled by the Microsoft platform. The customer base is roughly evenly divided between premise based (55%) and cloud (45%) and the company enjoys high levels of customer retention, which it describes as being in the “upper 90 percent” range.
One reason Phaseware can run so lean is that it relies on a Microsoft stack including .net for application development. The company leverages the Microsoft partnership for its foundation and focuses on customer service and feature development.
The Phaseware product suite consists of five related products.
Self Service Center (customer web portal). This customer portal offers a clean and serviceable though somewhat dated user interface enabling customers to search for information in the vendor knowledgebase. Customers can generate a service ticket through the web interface to initiate a deeper service process.
Knowledge Base. Phaseware uses Microsoft Silverlight for content management for documents FAQs and articles. The knowledgebase is accessible through the Self Service Center as well as the Tracker products.
Integrated Chat. There are two chat channels available in the system including one for vendor to customer communication and another for supervisor to agent for training and monitoring purposes.
Event Engine (business rules automation). Phaseware put a great deal of effort into the product to enable its customers to define business rules for processing customer requests. Ad hoc search boxes in the system enable customers and vendor agents to drill into customer, product and other parameters to identify issues and their resolutions. 
Tracker and Tracker on Demand (agent desktops). The company offers two agent desktops (Tracker) for remote and premise based agents. Through Tracker agents can define business processes using the rules engine and customize business processes. Users also have the ability to design and manipulate screen design to better reflect their work styles. 
The system comes with a full array of functionality designed to make the agent productive and provide a quality customer experience. Some functions and features include alerts, automatic case escalation, targeted email, customer forums, auto reminders to customers and automatic report distribution.
Phaseware fits its niche well and prides itself on its customer care responding to its customers within a two hour window (using its own products). Its close alliance with Microsoft and dedication to the platform help ensure the Phaseware can continually bring its customers a steady stream of updates and enhancements. Looking ahead, Phaseware is well situated to continue improving its product line selling into a broad market for SMB customer care and customer service systems and growing organically.

About Neil Davey

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Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.

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