First Coffee for June 23, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

First Coffee for June 23, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Johnny Cash’s 2000 gospel retrospective, cleverly titled God:

Yesterday First CoffeeSM looked at Epiphany, and afterwards received a polite note from Gordon Evans, in Epiphany’s corporate communications department. Evans said that the ComputerWire article First CoffeeSM noted was mistaken in their analysis of how much cash Epiphany has on hand.

“Always known for being cash rich,” ComputerWire wrote and First CoffeeSM quoted, “in the second quarter 2004 the company had a $93.4 million cash pile, but by the fourth quarter 2004 this had dwindled to $18.1 million, and at the end of the first quarter 2005 it stood at $21.5 million.”

I do want to point out,” Evans wrote, “that Computerwire, while putting together a very balanced article, did include some incorrect statements about our financials.

“In fact we have more than $250 million in cash on hand as of our last earnings report Q105, and have had anywhere between $250 million and $272 million on hand over the last year.”

First CoffeeSM looked up Epiphany’s results for the quarter ended March 31, 2005 and found Epiphany CEO Karen Richardson quoted as saying “I am pleased that our results were within our financial guidance and we maintained our strong cash and investments balance of approximately $250 million.”

The other information was as ComputerWire had it, and if anything the second quarter looks grimmer for Epiphany – for the quarter ending June 30, 2005, they currently expect total revenue to range between $15.5 million and $18.0 million, with license revenue ranging between $4 million and $6 million. Net loss per share on a GAAP basis for the second quarter is expected to range between $(0.12) and $(0.14), of which approximately ($0.05) will result from restructuring charges of up to $4 million.

First CoffeeSM does not have an accounting background, and is more than willing to be corrected in this – as well as any other – area of ignorance, but knows “cash” is not an exact definition. First CoffeeSM wonders if “cash” and “cash and investments” are interchangeable terms – if we’re talking about cash and investments that can be quickly converted into cash, or if ComputerWire’s subtracting debt for a net cash figure, or what. First CoffeeSM has contacted them for a clarification of their figures, but has not received a reply.

In other words, First CoffeeSM wonders if both ComputerWire and Richardson aren’t technically correct. Confusing $250 million and $21.5 million sounds more like a confusion of terms than a confusion of figures, especially since there’s no reason to doubt Evans’s word and First CoffeeSM has found ComputerWire pretty reliable in the past.

Access Co. Ltd. And Japanese firm Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. have announced a collaboration to develop a joint mobile IP telephony product. They’ve developed a “mobile IP telephony environment that integrates Internet browsing with VoIP,” and plan to “commercialize” the result, according to officials from both companies.

The VoIP Integrated Client Environment is the mobile IP telephony environment that links Access’ NetFront Mobile Client Suite, a software suite for mobile devices, with Oki’s VoIP technology. The NetFront Mobile Client Suite integrates software components including a browser, a messaging client, and Java.

Toru Arakawa, president and CEO of Access said the system is designed to work in various environments, including overseas IP telephony markets: “Going forward Access will work toward realizing a ubiquitous mobile society by integrating its mobile terminal software technologies and Oki’s VoIP systems.”

It will be displayed in the Access booth at the 8th Embedded Systems Expo & Conference in Tokyo Big Sight from June 29th to July 1.

Founded in 1881, Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is Japan’s first telecommunications manufacturer.

Nuasis is announcing that it has integrated its software-only, IP-based contact center system with Oracle CRM.

The Nuasis NuContact Center handles customer inquiries via the phone, e-mail, Web and fax. The integration of the Oracle CRM application with the software-only, IP-based Nuasis contact center system extends the CRM investment, theoretically increasing contact center efficiency and productivity.

When CRM applications are integrated with the NuContact Center, companies can immediately “pop” existing customer information from the CRM database onto the contact center agent’s desktop. Nuasis reports that nearly 100 percent of its customers are integrating their CRM applications with the NuContact Center.

SASFest winds down in Lisbon today, with participants free to sample the joys of the beautiful Portuguese countryside through the weekend.

At SAS Forum International 2005 more than 2,000 attendees, according to SAS’s figures, have convened to “share their successes, learn from peers and experience the latest SAS technologies,” and hear that SAS’s steady success in selling business analytics and intelligence products is continuing.

SAS, of course, the privately-held software giant in Cary, North Carolina has always been about business intelligence, and the wrap-up from SASFest shows that not only has that not changed, if anything the emphasis is stronger.

Nothing earthshattering was introduced at the forum – a new forecasting product which’ll ship at the end of the year – it was mostly a time for rallying the troops, hearing presentations, strengthening networking and chuckling as SAS CEO Jim Goodnight chided Microsoft, Oracle and SAP for selling buggy software and providing lousy customer service.

It’s the mantra of SAS that business intelligence and analytics, in the words of Dr. Goodnight, “help create knowledge for faster, more accurate decision making.” This is a message that’s repeated from the top down. If ever an organization believed that knowledge is power, it’s SAS, whose slogan is “The Power To Know.”

SAS has always been steadily successful, a fact reinforced with some of the numbers cited at SASFest – worldwide first quarter sales for SAS Strategic Performance Management were up 20 percent over the same period in 2004, while sales of SAS Activity-Based Management jumped 43 percent over last year.

As a privately-held firm SAS does not have to file public quarterly statements or reveal financials, although their 2004 annual report shows revenues of about $1.6 billion. And since revenues have been increasing steadily year-on-year since the company’s founding in 1976, there’s no reason to think that’ll change any time soon.

Want a good cup of coffee in the neighborhood but not Starbucks? Hit, enter a zip code and get a listing of both Starbucks and “non-corporate” cafes within five miles.

The site’s the “brainchild of xtine Hanson, a member of an artist’s collective based in California,” according to AFP.

Delocator isn’t run by the typical brainless anti-Starbucks chowderheads who insist it’s responsible for the death of local coffee shops. Such morons conveniently forget that there essentially was no coffeehouse culture in the United States until Starbucks arrived, and that independent coffee shops have exploded right along with Starbucks – in the past fifteen years the number of coffee shops has increased fifty fold, only one-third of which are Starbucks.

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