Bozeman, Mont.-based CRM provider RightNow Technologies on Wednesday announced its 20th consecutive quarter of revenue growth and 7th consecutive quarter of cash-flow positive status in the fourth quarter of 2003.
"RightNow has shown how powerful the hosted CRM model can be in the important areas of end user productivity and satisfaction, as well as its own corporate performance," said Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research Group. "These are numbers any software company would be proud of and given the economic situation over the last year, they highlight the appeal of hosted solutions across the spectrum of company size."
The benefits of the software-as-a-service model -- 40-day average deployment time from customer commitment to live with integrations and customizations, 50 percent or higher reduction in software ownership costs and full return on investment in months -- are driving the rapid growth of RightNow's customer base, according to Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow.
Currently more than 80 percent of more than 1,000 RightNow customers have chosen the software-as-a-service delivery option, which continues to be a strong competitive differentiator for RightNow, helping to displace numerous competitive "in-house" call center solutions, he said.
"More than a third of our 1,000 customers are using RightNow as the primary contact center agent desktop, indicating the increasing sophistication in both management strategy and technology implementations that are taking place in call centers today," Gianforte said. "We are focused on expanding our product footprint to not only further optimize the efficiencies of multi-channel customer service interactions but to take them to the next step in the customer service evolution -- transitioning customer service organizations from cost centers to revenue centers."
RightNow also reported a 33 percent year-over-year revenue increase for the calendar year 2003. The fourth quarter revenue grew 15 percent over the third quarter 2003 and 46 percent over the fourth quarter 2002. RightNow's sustained market traction solidified the company's position as the largest on-demand CRM company focused on customer service and the second largest on-demand CRM company overall by revenue.
RightNow also announced Wednesday that it is now participating in the Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and European Union (EU) Data Protection Authorities. The Safe Harbor provision was conceived in 1998 to help U.S. corporations bridge differences in governmental approaches to privacy concerns. The EU legislation would otherwise have been an impediment to timely transfer of data.
"The Safe Harbor will allow RightNow's European customers a safe, consistent framework in which to transfer data between the United States and Europe," Alan Rassaby, vice president of Legal and Risk Management at RightNow, said. "It will assure them and their customers that RightNow maintains an effective recourse for resolution of privacy complaints and disputes. Further, now that the Safe Harbor is in place, our customers no longer will be required to receive pre-approval of data transfers."
In addition, RightNow announced a partnership with international research and consulting firm The Customer Respect Group (CRG), under which it will offer customized CRG research and services to RightNow clients.
Under the terms of the agreement, RightNow will utilize additional CRG research and consulting services specifically focused on its own clients. In addition, RightNow will recommend and sell CRG's consulting and educational services to clients. The two companies also plan to jointly develop a variety of consulting and training programs to help business and IT managers understand and implement best practices for online customer care.