Knowledge for the world of customer service & support
Warranty Management - Software
In the history of software applications warranty software functionality is a relatively new development. Prior to early 2000, companies rarely made any significant investment in their warranty management capabilities. Rather, warranty was managed with spread sheets and for some of the larger OEM's, internally developed batch applications. Today the landscape is quite different. Software vendors have responded to the increasing importance that companies are placing on warranty management. In this issue we have identified ten software vendors that can be categorized into four groups. Please use the vendor's name as a link to its profile page.
The IDC Market Scope Leaders
In 2012 IDC evaluated the top Warranty software vendors using the IDC maturity model. Three of these who are not ERP vendors are: PTC, PegaSystems, and Tavant.
The ERP Giants
In that same IDC report SAP and Oracle were acknowledged as major players who have a comprehensive set of functionality that addresses the warranty management challenge.
Traditional Service Management Vendors
Both Astea and Zafire offer a fairly standard set of service management software that has within their functionality some of the warranty management capabilities defined in the IDC Warranty Management maturity model.
The Niche Players
Snap-On, Simply Warranty, and Leen Tech are offerings that have focused totally on warranty management, but did not make it into the IDC report as "major players". However these companies do appear to have some functionality that is identified in the IDC Maturity Model and may be a good fit for some companies.
This categorization does not reflect that many of these vendors can have a great deal in common. For instance there is an increasing emphasis on functionality that uses the web and mobility tools for registering claims. Another common factor is the adoption of the "cloud" and SAAS (software as a service) as an alternative to an on-premise installation of software. We are also seeing an expansion of functionality beyond just the management of claims that extends into supplier recovery and product recalls, as well as, the linking of RMA (product returns) functionality to the scope of warranty management functionality. Finally, almost all of these offerings reflect a growing importance on the customer/dealer relationship, and the importance of capturing product quality issues.
We have excluded Warranty Analytics from this issue. We will address this important capability in a future issue.
Each of these vendors is profiled on a separate page and the name of the vendor is a link to their profile page. Please note that all of the information provided is taken directly from the service provider's web site and whenever possible we have used the vendor's text from the web site to describe the services being offered.
In a future edition of the CSJ we will be providing more information based on deeper research and interviews with the vendors. If the reader knows of another vendor that should be included in the list please send an email to Research@CSJournal.info.
PTC is identified as a market leader in the 2012 IDC report. PTC's vision is to assemble a suite of products that will serve as "system for service". Their goal is to bridge the silos that constitute all of the functional towers of customer service with a complete suite of functionality. Warranty management is but one component of that unifying vision.
PegaSystems is perhaps best known as a market leader in business process automation and management. Using its advanced capabilities, it has worked with its clients to develop a set of robust warranty management functionality.
As a result, in 2010 Pega announced its Warranty Claims Case Management functionality. Two years later in July 2012, IDC in its survey of warranty management software, named Pega as a major player in Warranty Transaction Management.
Tavant Technologies is a well respected technology company that has developed solutions across a number of industries. Its warranty solution was considered virtually tied with that of Pega and SAP in the 2012 IDC vendor evaluation. Tavant has continued to improve its offering with the addition of a mobility capability.
SAP is the preferred enterprise software platform for many large OEMs. In their 2012 MarketScape report, IDC evaluated SAP as a major player. SAP's warranty management functionality is very configurable and as a result, can be very attractive to many companies. Their is a considerable amount of information on the web for understanding how SAP's functionality can be configured for warranty management.
In 2012 Oracle received a very positive review from the IDC for its strategy. Oracle's Automotive Industry business unit has a 5 year old initiative to better understand the market needs. This effort has included twice yearly meetings with automotive executives to better align Oracle's product strategy to their customers' needs. Oracle has leveraged its Siebel CRM acquisition for it warranty transaction functionality. Their strategy appears to also use the Oracle Policy Automation functionality in combination with Siebel.
Since 1979, Astea has been providing a suite of service management solutions across a number of industry verticals to over 600 companies. These solutions encompass the service life cycle and are offered as on-premise solutions or via the cloud.
Their warranty offering is grounded in their field service and call center modules and is focused on warranty entitlements management and the conversion of warranty coverage to service contract.
The Zafire Group, a well respected technology firm in the UK, has developed software for both the aviation industry and service management. Their service management suite, SMART, offers a fairly comprehensive set of functionality across 11 modules with Warranty Management being one of those modules. They have several strong citations that indicate a significant savings from the deployment of their warranty management solution.
Snap-on Business Solutions, a part of Snap-on tools, focuses on OEM's and dealer networks with several offerings; electronic parts catalogs, accessory sales tools, warranty process management solutions, and manufacturer/dealer network development services.
Formed in 1999, LeenTech was originally a IT consulting firm, performing analysis and doing development work for their customers. They have developed a suite of tools that address the warranty life cycle. These tools include LeenWarranty, LeenRecovery, LeenFRACAS, and LeenRecall. All of their products today are offered as a SAAS model (Software As A Service).
Since 2005, Simply Warranty, a Canadian firm, has provided software for OEM's that distribute their products through dealerships. Today they have over 6,000 users using the web to process their transactions.
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