| Contact Center/CRM Views and Analysis

September 2005

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Viggo Mortensen Distracts Me

September 23, 2005

On a day shortly before the October issue goes to print, and one day before I have to leave for Las Vegas to attend the ICCM show, David Butcher puts a link to a treasure-trove of Viggo Mortensen photos in his blog??


Thanks, David!

PS: CIS readers...if the October issue is late arriving in your mailboxes, blame David. Or Viggo. Whichever.


Aspect Software Is Born

September 23, 2005

Well, it's final...signed, sealed and delivered. Aspect Communications Corp. and Concerto Software are no longer, they are a reborn entitity called Aspect Software, as of today.

“The new Aspect Software is committed to protecting our customers’ investments and is well-equipped to support them in achieving their strategic collections, customer service and sales and telemarketing objectives,” said Jim Foy, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Aspect Software. “Our leading products combined with the insight of industry luminaries and technology inventors like Gary Barnett, Jim Mitchell and Roger Sumner uniquely position Aspect Software to offer a level of expertise that is unmatched in the contact center industry.”


Former Accenture CRM Head Joins Salesforce.com

September 22, 2005

Salesforce.com, which provides on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) (but you knew that, unless you've been living in a closet), today announced that John Freeland, managing director in charge of CRM at Accenture, will join the company's senior management team as President, Worldwide Operations. 

"We are thrilled to have John Freeland join our management team," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com. "The CRM landscape is going through seismic changes, and John's unparalleled depth of experience will be a critical asset to our customers, partners, employees, and shareholders."   Freeland is retiring from Accenture. He will report directly to Benioff, and will be primarily responsible for the Successforce portfolio of services and business alliances.  Freeland will join other members of the executive committee, which include Jim Steele, President, Worldwide Sales and Distribution; Steve Cakebread, Chief Financial Officer; Parker Harris, Executive Vice President, Technology; and Kenneth Juster, Executive Vice President, Law, Policy, and Corporate Strategy.   "There is not a more respected authority in enterprise CRM today than John Freeland," said Steele. "With all the changes in the technology landscape, our potential customers have more questions than ever.

Press 1 If You're Not An Idiot

September 21, 2005

I just waited for 10 minutes to speak with an American Airlines representative. You see, I'm scheduled to fly to Las Vegas via Dallas on Saturday. If you've looked at recent pictures of Hurricane Rita, you'll see that the category four storm is making a beeline for the Texas coast, after which, we presume, it will continue inland, unless it has an unknown agenda of its own.

I called American Airlines to see about switching my flight through Chicago instead.

Wanted: Psychotic Broker

September 20, 2005

Ever thought your broker was crazy, but kept him or her on because your portfolio is doing well? Science tells us this week that genuine, clinical psychotic attributes may be desirable in a broker.

I'm not making this up. Check here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1786949,00.html


UniPress Adds To Footprints

September 20, 2005

UniPress Software's Web-based service desk product, Footprints, has always been a dynamic solution. The company has been sensitive to the needs of the customer service industry and has always acted accordingly.

Today, UniPress announced the addition of a change management module to Footprints. The addition is being offered to assist help desk and support organizations in automating and controlling IT change management activities.

For more info, read David Butcher's summation here: http://www.tmcnet.com/channels/unipress/web-based-help-desk-articles/unipress-offers-new-management-tool.htm.


Dennis Goes To The Hoosegow!

September 19, 2005

Before today's sentencing of up to 25 years in prison for Tyco execs Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, Dennis Kozlowski's's lawyer pleaded for leniency for his client by pointing out that even though Kozlowski and Swartz fleeced the company blind, it hadn't collapsed like Enron.

"Tyco is not Enron,” Thomas Curran, a former New York City prosecutor who is now a defense lawyer, said. “Tyco is a real company with a real business plan that still employs thousands of people. ...

Voice Print Opens London Office

September 14, 2005

I know technology editors shouldn't have favorites, but I must admit to having a "pet" technology. I love speech recognition/TTS and all their associated applications. Maybe it's the science fiction geek in me, waiting for HAL 9000 to be created.

I'm always glad to hear about expansion news of a speech provider. Today Voice Print announced the official opening of its new European Headquarters in London. According to the company, the new office will serve as a command center for Voice Print’s customer sales and support locations throughout the continent and strengthen the company’s successful partnership with London-based Speakerbus, Inc., a leading provider of high quality, mission-critical voice and video communications solutions.

More info at www.voiceprintonline.com


RightNow's Gianforte Weighs In

September 12, 2005

I recently received an e-mail from RightNow Technologies, a provider of on-demand CRM solutions, with a weigh-in on the subject of the Oracle/Siebel Merger by RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte:

"Consolidation may well be the only way for the 'old guard' of enterprise software to grab market share since software purchasing clearly continues to shift to on-demand vendors. Siebel tried to make the transition to on demand, but were late to the party. These old guard application vendors including Siebel, Oracle and SAP have struggled with customer satisfaction and I don't see how this move will help solve this problem."


CRM Wars: Episode IV, The Enterprise Strikes Back

September 12, 2005

So here we are, in the midst of Salesforce.com's Dreamforce event in San Francisco, where the hosted CRM company today announced news of the release of its AppExchange sharing service, on a day when the news ALSO bring information about a merger between Oracle and Siebel. We've got bold words from Larry Ellison, subdued words from Tom Siebel, and a true zinger from Salesfore.com's CEO Marc Benioff (see Bob Liu's article containing Benioff's quote here: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-oracle-siebel-analysis-salesforce-/2005/sep/1181280.htm)

I've also noticed today at least one news release detailing customers switching from Salesforce.com to Siebel, perhaps to counter news from Dreamforce: http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-flashbaycom-selects-siebel-crm-ondemand-over-salesforcecom-extend-/2005/sep/1180705.htm

This is turning into a drama reminiscent of the kind of thing that goes on back stage at operas in the diva's dressing room.

Fiorina Teams With Steve Case

September 9, 2005

Interesting. Former HP head Carly Fiorina announced yesterday that she would join the board of Revolution Health, an investment vehicle that America Online Inc. founder Steve Case launched in April.

According to the Washington Post, this is notable because the board consists largely of executives who were prominently booted out of their former positions.

"Among [the board members] are Stephen F. Wiggins, once chief executive of Oxford Health Plans Inc., who was pushed out in 1998; and Franklin D. Raines, former chairman and chief executive of housing finance company Fannie Mae, who stepped down last December after the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the company to restate about $10.8 billion in previously reported earnings.

Solar Flares & Telecom

September 8, 2005

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Environment Center in Boulder, Colorado reported that Wednesday (9/7) they saw the fourth largest solar flare recorded in the last 15 years. The flare has the potential to disrupt satellite communications, and cause very pretty "borealises" near the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

Hurricanes, solar flares, tsunamis...

Is the world ending soon? If so, please tell me. I'll stop bothering to contribute to my 401k program, cease worrying about replacing the roof in two years and drink that bottle of expensive Pinot Noir I've been saving.


Teleservices Blog

September 7, 2005

Check out the new blog by Steve Brubaker, SVP of Corporate Affairs for InfoCision Management Corp. Steve addresses much-talked-about issues such as fraud delivered via telemarketing and offshore outsourcing of call center services.

Steve's blog is here: http://spaces.msn.com/members/callcenterstoday/PersonalSpace.aspx?_c


Proficient Systems Tops In Georgia

September 7, 2005

Proficient Systems Inc. has something about which to be proud today: the company was named as "one of the fastest-growing companies in Georgia by Deloitte & Touche LLP. 

This is an annual event: every year Deloitte & Touche and TechLinks, along with the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), rank and then recognize the "top revenue producing technology companies in Georgia." 

Proficient Systems is a data mining and sales product for Web-site visitors. Check their Web site at www.proficient.com for more info.


Altitude Software In Mexico

September 6, 2005

Lisbon-Portugal-based Altitude Software today announced the opening of an office in Mexico City. According to the company, the new office was opened in response to Altitude's substantial successes in Mexico. (The Altitude product is a complete "contact center in a box" solution.)

The company appointed Alejandro Diaz Lima to head the new office.


Salesnet Celebrates "25"

September 6, 2005

On-demand CRM/sales software provider Salesnet today announced it has created a dedicated Web site for previews and announcements of its upcoming 25th Anniversary Edition. Beginning now, Web site, Salesnet25.com, will act as a teaser and reveal new features each week to Salesnet customers and prospective customers.

Says Richard Perkett, chief technical officer and co-founder of Salesnet, “With the Salesnet25.com Web site we want to show our customers and prospects the nuances of each new feature from the new edition and do it in an interactive way -- revealing features over time, giving them a place to provide feedback and allowing them to review the features without being bombarded all at once with a slew of new capabilities."  


The Truth Is Out There

September 2, 2005

All the talk of FEMA this week in the news with regards to the post-Hurricane Katrina nightmare makes an X-Files fan think of the role the organization plays in the many conspiracy theories forwarded by the characters in that show.

In the X-files film, "Fight The Future," Dr. Kurtzweil, played by Martin Landau, says to Agent Mulder, "...Are you familiar with FEMA? What the Federal Emergency Management Agency's real power is? FEMA allows the White House to suspend constitutional government upon declaration of a national emergency.

Lap Tops Under $1,000

September 1, 2005

In the news today: "Price of Lap Top Computers Drops to $1,000." (See full story at http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-price-laptop-computer-drops-1000-/2005/sep/1178050.htm)

Great! Now, everyone will be able to afford a lap top computer, so we can all work from home. Soon we'll have to: between the laptop and a month's worth of gas, the lap top will be the cheaper option.


A Time For No Marketing

September 1, 2005

Does anyone else think it's a bit obscene when you open the photo series or video clips of the devastation in the Gulf, only be forced to either see a pop-up ad for "great mortgate rates"  or, in the case of video clips, a commercial for a "dream getaway"?

Did someone in the marketing departments of these companies, or the guilty newspapers and news sites, say, "Hey! Disaster! That's great! We'll get a lot of exposure from our ads if we place them in those photo articles with all that misery and death and destruction. They're so...like...real."


NetSuite Announces New Customer

September 1, 2005

On-demand CRM company NetSuite has announced that Palo Alto, Calif.-based Financial Engines has implemented NetSuite CRM+ to run its marketing, sales and client management operations. In the world on on-demand CRM, it always seems appropriate to indicate what solution the "won" customer was using before...in this case, it was Salesforce.com.

NetSuite indicated Financial Engines chose them over Salesforce.com because of NetSuite's "stronger, distributed client support module, its customizable dashboards, and its ability to be tailored to run in tandem with the firm's ERP software of record, Oracle Financials."

To see full details, visit www.netsuite.com.


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