Building Self-Service Applications in the Cloud

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One of the challenges any IT organization is going to face when trying to set up a self-service application for either internal employees or customers is setting up the infrastructure.

InQuira, a provider of enterprise software for knowledge management applications, wants to take that burden off the shoulders of IT organizations using new software-as-a-service implementations of its self-service application for the Web and contact center software.

Called InQuira on Demand, the idea behind the cloud computing service is that more companies would take advantage of InQuira applications if they didn't have to go to the trouble of building them. Instead, the service allows companies to focus on loading the required data needed to make the application work.

According to Christopher Hall, vice president of product marketing, the InQuira offerings differ from other self-service offerings in that they keep track of how the applications are being used in order to make suggestions for creating new content. The InQuira software also comes with analytics tools to help detect those patterns. In addition, Hall said the InQuira software includes integration with customer relationship management (CRM) software from Oracle.

Self-service applications in recent years have been all the rage because they offer real potential to lower customer support costs, which typically adversely affect profits in most organizations. However, building these applications has been difficult for some, so getting a head start on development by leveraging ready-made infrastructure in the cloud may be just what customers with limited internal IT resources need.