Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Beltway Bet: RightNow Technologies

Washington, D.C. - RightNow Technologies went public in August 2004. Within months, its shares rose 174%, to $21, carried upward by investor enthusiasm for the Bozeman, Mont., company's business model. Like Salesforce.com, RightNow aimed to sell its customer relationship management (CRM) software as a low-maintenance, Web-based service, not a shrink-wrapped product.

That enthusiasm has since cooled; RightNow Technologies (nasdaq: RNOW - news - people ) stock is off 30% from its 2004 high. But Chief Executive Greg R. Gianforte still relishes tossing rocks at the way the software has been traditionally sold to big business and government.

"The traditional model of enterprise software has failed the customer," he declares. "It has involved somebody writing a really big check up front, then a truck backing up and dumping a bunch of software, then somebody showing up with a busload of consultants who camp in your parking lot for two years."

Gianforte says RightNow gets the job done faster. "Our typical deployment takes about 60 days to stand up," he says.

One place Gianforte's approach seems to be gaining traction: the U.S. federal government.

Full story at Forbes.com