PhaseWare Fit and Competitors
The company's customers cross many industries, including construction companies, title companies, law offices, small software publishers, and government agencies. Actual customers include La Madeleine, Dexter + Cheney, the American Bible Society, the Roman Catholic Church and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. PhaseWare's sweet spot is small companies looking for a basic, easy to use help desk solution and not necessarily a more full featured CRM software product. Short list PhaseWare when:
- You are a small business, between $5M and $20M, seeking a best of breed customer support or help desk application.
- You may wish to change from an on-premise application to a SaaS delivery model, or vice versa.
- Your help desk operation requires flexible support billing arrangements, such as billing on a per-incident or hourly basis, or setting up customer support packages which include a fixed number of incidents or hours per period.
- When speed of deployment (time to value) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are key decision making factors in your software selection project.
- Your company resides in one of PhaseWare's focused vertical markets, including software, medical device hardware and outsourced services.
CRM software buyers may be better advised to consider alternative CRM software products when:
- They have a high call volume.
- They are seeking more advanced call center functionality.
- They are seeking a balanced CRM system with SFA, marketing and customer support.
- They reside outside North America (the U.S. or Canada).
PhaseWare faces formidable competition from manufacturers of help desk software, call center software and horizontal CRM software. Direct CRM customer support application competitors in the small business market include Agile-Team, HEAT, HelpSpot, IssueNet, IssueTrack, iSupport, Kayako Support Suite, Liberum Help Desk, NiceReply, Numara Track-It, Remedy, Salesforce.com's Assistly, SysAid, TeamSupport, Vision Helpdesk, Zendesk and Zoho CRM.
Higher-end CRM call center competitors include Avaya, Benchmark Capital, Parature and Salesforce.com.
PhaseWare is a simple help desk and customer support software product suitable for many small businesses. It is not designed to integrate with complex and connected processes and therefore not well suited for helping midmarket or larger companies.
While PhaseWare is a small company, it is run by a seasoned group of professionals, and as President Hoyt Mann aptly points out, smaller software development companies have flatter hierarchies and generally offer more agility and customer flexibility. This permits the company to engage each client and make more personal or tailored customer decisions more quickly.
The company also shows the ability to consistently innovate. For example, Tracker 3 included downloads, notices, forums, and Frequently Asked Questions with the knowledgebase. Tracker 4 introduced live chat channels and Startup Forms—a helpful feature that allows users to customize which and how many screens are opened by default when Tracker loads. Tracker 5 added functionality to numerous features including Screen Designer, reports, ticket management, a comments/rating system and Self Service Center. The current version Tracker 6 introduced integration with Microsoft Outlook and an integrated Mail Checker that monitors incoming mail and converts emails into either tickets or journal entries.
However, even with consistent innovation, unless the company substantially upgrades the software product closer to becoming a full CRM suite, clients may find it difficult to grow with the product. Instead, it is likely that PhaseWare will lose successful clients to bigger competitors while continuing to attract customers just starting out in automated customer support. This inevitable client bleed will likely keep Phaseware from gaining appreciable market share.