KANA Software, most well known for its suite of enterprise-class multichannel customer service software (email, knowledge) released last year a new type of solution: Service Experience Management (SEM). This product allows the extension of business process management to the front office and is poised to compete with solutions offered by Pegasystems and Sword Ciboodle. BPM coupled with customer service is a trend that Forrester is seeing, as it enforces agent consistency, productivity, and compliance with policy; we have just published a research paper about this trend.

KANA announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to purchase a company called Lagan, which is a leader in case management solutions for government, specifically local governments. Lagan has solutions for Web self-service and case management that are used in cities like Toronto, Boston, and Vancouver for 311 (informational) calls.

This acquisition holds geographic coverage promise — it will allow KANA to increase its European footprint, which has recently been very small, and Lagan to gain a good foothold in the US and compete in larger government opportunities.

The products and their respective capabilities are a good fit, too. KANA tells me that it will keep the two company’s code bases separate — avoiding the chaos that comes from merging software solutions — but it will port salient features across them. For example, Lagan’s solution should be getting more contextual knowledge, and KANA will get the domain expertise and associated workflows in government, as well as more traction for its SEM product, which would be well-suited for larger implementations. KANA also says that its multichannel product road map remains unchanged. We wish them well.