Amdocs eyes new verticals with upgraded CRM offering

Telecommunications specialist Amdocs has retooled its ClarifyCRM package with a focus on multichannel customer care in hopes of attracting attention in new vertical markets.

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With the release of its latest applications package, ClarifyCRM 12, software maker Amdocs Ltd. is aiming to build on its growing reputation in the telecommunications vertical and leverage its success in that arena in other markets.

ClarifyCRM 12 focuses squarely on multichannel customer care.

Among the functional upgrades Amdocs is highlighting is an improved Customer Interaction Manager module, designed to pull together data from other areas of its CRM package, including marketing, sales and support. Along with a redesigned user interface, the tool features a greater ability to migrate data from application to application, according to Peter Hurst, vice president of marketing and alliances at Amdocs' ClarifyCRM division.

The ClarifyCRM 12 release also represents the company's first product to incorporate technology inherited through Amdocs' acquisition of marketing software specialist Exchange Applications Inc., which Amdocs purchased in March.

Hurst said he hopes the combination of new capabilities, along with Amdocs' established call center skills, would help propel the vendor into other lucrative vertical markets, including financial services.

"We know that CRM users view investment in next-generation call centers as an area where they can have a real impact with customers," Hurst said. "This is true of most industries, not just telecommunications."

Another notable addition to the ClarifyCRM system is the introduction of an "opportunity advisor" function. The new module gives sales and service reps greater ability to consider business offers in real time, Hurst said.

Ra'anana, Israel-based Amdocs is one of the CRM vendors often recognized for carving out a niche as a specialized provider of enterprise software to a high-profile vertical market -- telecommunications.

According to Kelly Ferguson, principal analyst at Current Analysis, Reston, Va., the newest Amdocs release marks a significant step forward and may help the company compete against larger players, such as Siebel Systems Inc.

"Financial services is a tough market to get into because every other vendor wants a piece of it," Ferguson said. "But Amdocs is in a unique position, and I think they can broaden outside the telecom space."

Ferguson said she is also impressed at the rapid integration of assets from Amdocs' Exchange acquisition into ClarifyCRM 12. The company has been able to remain consistent with its product road map and get software into users' hands quickly, she said.

One question that remains about Amdocs, according to Ferguson, is its relatively loose-knit system of partnering, which she said is largely driven by customer demand. Ferguson believes Amdocs should try to capitalize on the growing movement toward call center projects to help expand its market presence.

"[The] call center remains at the heart of CRM projects, as it remains the best way of reaching out directly to customers," Ferguson said. "[Amdocs] needs to do whatever it can to continue to establish a role in those efforts."

The ClarifyCRM 12 software package officially arrives on the market sometime in July, the company said. Amdocs has not yet made pricing information available.

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