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September 2005

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First Coffee for September 30, 2005

September 30, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the last decent album U2 ever made, 1991’s Achtung Baby:

You know, the more First CoffeeSM thinks about it, the more he wonders why, in the “multi-billion dollar scheme of things,” America’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t get some free calls home?

Yesterday, doing an article on military bloggers First CoffeeSM’s mild-mannered reporter alter ego ran across a good blog from an American soldier serving in Iraq, Baltimore’s very own Chris Whong, who wrote about calling home from Iraq that “when you pick up the phone, you get some kind of tone, which if you listen long enough sounds like ‘haha, you soldiers, we’re getting rich off you because every time you initiate a call on your phone card, it costs you 10 or 20 extra units’ or something to that effect…

“Maybe I am just silly,” Whong continues, “but it seems like it wouldn’t cost that much money in the grand, multi-billion dollar scheme of things to provide free phone service to troops serving overseas.” As Whong says, $10 an hour to talk on the phone “kind of sucks, especially when the service cuts out whenever it feels like it.”

Would it work, giving free calls to soldiers? Of course it would. Instead of 40 soldiers using up calling cards at once on 40 different phones, give ‘em all Uncle Sam’s number and PIN and set the timer for half an hour – as someone who calls home from overseas himself and who was, ah, friends with a lady living in a different country for years, First CoffeeSM knows even those who miss each other most ardently kind of run out of meaningful things to say after, oh, half and hour (unless the entire twenty-odd Rizzucci or O’Malleyghan or Jones clan is clustered around, grabbing for the phone saying “Me next! Me next!”) and search around for things like “Yeah, pretty hot here.

First Coffee for September 29, 2005

September 29, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and as the luck of the Five CD Changer Draw would have it, we’re listening to “Jack The Idiot Dunce” by The Kinks:

China Mobile, the world’s largest GSM operator, has selected Nortel to expand its digital wireless network in six regions under a series of contracts this year, collectively estimated at $150 million.

The work includes network optimization to improve China Mobile’s infrastructure and performance and to let the operator standardize service pricing across all regions.

China Mobile’s GSM network expansion in the six regions will increase subscriber capacity by 3.48 million to a total of approximately 18 million, and improve its chances of offering future 3G services.

Nortel has deployed wireless networks in 17 of China’s 31 provinces and municipalities, including GSM digital infrastructure equipment for China Mobile affiliate companies in the provinces of Hebei, Shaanxi, Tianjin, Xinjiang, Guizhou, Anhui, Liaoning and Hunan.

After spending close to thirty seconds trying to make sense of the headline “UK Business to Pocket Marketing Hits the Mainstream With Radical New Service” – is “pocket” a noun or verb, is “Business to Pocket” a phrase – First CoffeeSM finally just had to read the article. Hate it when that happens.

It’s a re-announcement from SMS marketing company TxtLocal.com (see if you can figure out the URL) for a “pocket marketing” service for all UK businesses, large or small, “that could do for SMS mobile marketing what Hotmail did for e-mail,” company officials claim. At least they think big.

The original announcement a week ago claimed it was a “free text service” on the grounds that they give you a “a totally free mobile number and keyword” – while charging you 5.5 pence per call.

Backtracking on that claim, the company has carefully excised the word “free” from the latest announcement.

Evidently any business, service or community group can obtain a mobile number and keyword to publish on their stationery, marketing material and web site to “enable rapid collection of opt-in customers eager” – eager! – “to hear about news and promotions.” The business can then contact these people, sending them a text message, for just five pence ha’penny. Which, of course, adds up pretty quickly into some serious guineas.

“Many users report a 40 percent response to promotions and a 200 percent increase in sales,” claims TxtLocal creator, Alastair Shortland.

First Coffee for September 28, 2005

September 28, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is some Frank Sinatra album with “swing,” “dance” or “lovers” in the title – First CoffeeSM is quite fond of Sinatra’s music, but recognizes he didn’t have the most creative marketing folks naming his albums, as there’s Swing And Dance With Frank Sinatra, Sing and Dance With Frank Sinatra, Come Dance With Me, Come Fly With Me, Come Swing With Me, Swing Easy, Songs For Swinging Lovers, Songs For Young Lovers… no Songs For Flying, Swinging, Dancing Lovers that First CoffeeSM’s aware of.

Not sure about you, but when First CoffeeSM sees headlines such as today’s “Scientists Capture Giant Squid On Camera,” well, it’s hard to concentrate on work.

First CoffeeSM hasn’t seen this reported on yet, it came out a few days ago, and it’s the kind of thing that shows how actual people use technology in real life. More importantly, it shows that Americans are wonderfully different from the rest of the world, so when it comes to marketing consumer technology, one size does not fit all.

Global Tech Insight 2005 surveyed 6,800 adults aged 16-49 who own either a mobile phone, PDA or laptop and who access the Internet every week. The study was conducted in 15 countries between 11th July and 15th August 2005.

The countries included in the study were Australia, Brazil (“metro” Brazil, or the parts with paved roads), China (metro), France (those not on vacation or cheering for Lance Armstrong to lose the Tour de France), Germany, Hong Kong, India (metro), Japan, South Korea, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia (metro), Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“Over 75 percent of mobile phone and PDA users in the United States rate ‘two-days of battery life during active use’ as the most important feature of an ideal converged device of the future,” according to a new study by TNS, a market information vendor.

Sure, you say.

First Coffee for September 27, 2005

September 27, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, the current CD of five in the changer, is the 2003 compilation Swing Brother, Swing of 30s-50s big band swing, with Frankie Swoonatra on deck:

Yesterday First CoffeeSM’s mild-mannered reporter alter ego wrote an article on speech recognition vendors Voxify, and their announcement that PhotoTLC will put Voxify’s Conversation Engine technology “at the disposal of” PhotoTLC’s more than 15,000 outlets at photo retail centers across the country.

This constitutes what Voxify officials characterize as an “aggressive push” into the retail sector, heretofore a sector not particularly targeted by speech recognition, which usually contents itself with asking you if you’d like your checking balance, a non-smoking room and wake-up call or aisle seat.

First CoffeeSM met with founder and Chief Technical Officer Amit Desai in San Francisco a couple weeks ago – thanks to Antenna Group’s P.R. Guy Andrew Pray for pulling it together – and heard about how eliminating the need for seasonal workers was one of the major selling points of the technology as far as companies are concerned. Seasonal help costs to train, makes rookie mistakes and, just when they have it down pat, the holidays are over.

So a mini-interview with Voxify’s Director of Marketing, Hollis Chin to follow up on their foray into retail:

With PhotoTLC you’re hitting the seasonal retail market, obviously. What other steps do you have planned in your “aggressive” marketing strategy?

We have plans to run campaigns for every segment.

First Coffee for September 26, 2005

September 26, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's underrated 1960 album Nice ‘n’ Easy. Just a warning, readers should probably prepare for a good bit of ol’ Blue Eyes this week, First CoffeeSM’s finally caught a bit of why so many people proclaim him the greatest singer of popular song of the 20th century:

Thanks to salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff for taking the time, between travels to Costa Rica and parts unknown, to answer some questions.

Hi Marc, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Tell us what pleased you about the public reaction to the Appforce vision, and what you think people still don’t “get” about it.

When you introduce as idea as big as the AppExchange, you know that you are going to have to be patient – a concept this big won’t sink in overnight. Yet the uptake has been overwhelming.

Second Cup of Coffee for September 23, 2005

September 23, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of your second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Billie Holiday’s Lady In Autumn: The Best Of the Verve Years:

New Yorkers, understandably, have been jumpy ever since the London subway was bombed by terrorists, so it was probably inevitable that they’d install some sort of video surveillance system like the one used to identify the London bombers. MSGI Security Solutions, Inc., a provider of proprietary security products and services is announcing today that it has begun to install a subway video surveillance system as part of a pilot program for the New York City Police Department.

The program features covert wireless video surveillance engineered by MSGI to observe criminal activity underground.

Multiple subway locations in the Borough of Manhattan will be monitored over the course of the next 60 days, based on historical crime statistics, and the NYPD will also use the new system as a counter-terrorism tool in high profile areas. MSGI’s secure, covert technology has already been deployed in three undisclosed subway locations – which has led, company officials say, to two arrests within the first hour of operation.

Not only have the Federal Emergency Management Association and numerous charity relief organizations learned how to cope with mega-disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, businesses, especially telecommunications firms, are picking up a few lessons, as are left-wing moonbat groups, which have already written press releases blaming President Bush for everything bad that might happen as a result of Hurricane Rita, leaving blank spaces for body counts, homeless figures and whether more Hispanics or African-Americans will be affected.

T-Mobile USA, Inc.

First Coffee for September 23, 2005

September 23, 2005

By David Sims

This morning First CoffeeSM casts a few two-cent pearls on a good idea kicking around the contact center world these days. The Patsy Cline CD’s finally off the stereo here at the First CoffeeSM world headquarters campus, and ‘40s big band swing is on instead.

Do they still call it a “stereo?” First CoffeeSM’s father still calls it a “hi-fi,” no doubt First CoffeeSM’s slipping into the Outmoded Expressions phase of life as well.

(“‘40s big band swing? Surprised the guy doesn’t call it a ‘Victrola…’”)

As First CoffeeSM’s read all the Dick Francis, John Grisham and Carl Hiaasen novels to be had at the lending library of the St. Paul Cultural Center here in sunny Antalya, this morning he was perusing the “Economic Review, 3rd Quarter 2004” by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – hey, it was either that or Maeve Binchy, What Would You Do?

Anyway, there was an article titled “Can Rural America Support A Knowledge Economy?” by Jason Henderson, an economist at the slightly condescendingly-named Center for the Study of Rural America at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Bridget Abraham, a former research associate there.

There’s always the slight flash of exasperated anger whenever First CoffeeSM sees something implicitly assuming that people are different in rural America than in the rest of it, but of course, unfortunately, in fact it’s true: rural Americans are nicer, more honest, brave, thrifty, trustworthy, loyal, reverent, clean, obedient, knowledgeable about NASCAR and more willing to stop and help somebody who needs it. Oh, sorry, different study.

Henderson and Abraham find that given certain conditions, namely those which make parts of rural America more like parachuted enclaves of downtown San Francisco or Manhattan, yes, it’s actually possible to build businesses and offer jobs in rural America which do not involve slopping hogs.

As a matter of fact, after some pith-helmeted exploration they find that there are, believe it or not, “highly skilled labor” and “colleges and universities” out there in flyover land.

First Coffee for September 22 2005

September 22, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and we can’t seem to get Patsy Cline off the CD player here at the First CoffeeSM world headquarters campus. Imagine that, ain’t that a laugh? Crazy.

Devonport, Tasmania-based (almost worth covering anything just to get to write that dateline) Sitel Australia, a business unit of Omaha-based Sitel Corp. has acquired two new clients.

Sitel Australia has been awarded CRM, BPO and technology hosting business from Acreis, an Australian financial services company. Sitel will manage inbound sales and customer service calls as well as back-office support, including application processing, correspondence, email and fulfillment for Acreis.

The service will be delivered from the Devonport, Tasmania center from January 2006 and expand throughout the year as the company’s needs grow, according to company officials.

First Coffee for September 21, 2005

September 21, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis’s Birdland 1951 radio broadcasts, which have circulated as bootlegs for years but which Blue Note cleaned up and issued officially last year:

Elvin Monteleone, senior vice president of Sage Software and the resident mid-market CRM guru, was kind enough to take time out of his day to answer some questions for First CoffeeSM. Thanks to Ryan “Stones Man” Zuk for helping facilitate:

Hi Elvin, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. What’s the best music to listen to at work?

Hello, David, thanks for having me. I am quite fond of the vintage big band sound; just enough energy to stimulate you while working yet with a dose of serenity to balance everything out.

Your new position with Sage focuses on the mid-market for CRM.

First Coffee Extra Special Edition

September 20, 2005

By David Sims

Yes, that’s right campers, an Extra Special edition of First CoffeeSM, because… well, didja hear the one about the guy who wasn’t allowed to board an American Airlines flight from San Francisco to New York WHICH WAS NOT FULL, so he had to… oh, you have?

The music is the greatest rock album of all time, The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street, which sounds like a runaway freight train joyriding between Chicago and New Orleans at night with Hank Williams, Keith Richards and Robert Johnson passing a whiskey bottle around the locomotive as the ghosts of Mississippi Delta blues guitarists and white Southern Baptist gospel shouters trade off at the throttle.

“What? How can that clown say…” Okay okay, insert any caveat or disclaimer you want here. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is much more important and influential (sitars, anyone?). No album in rock can touch Dylan’s Blood On the Tracks for songwriting.

First Coffee Special Edition

September 20, 2005

By David Sims

Welcome to a special edition of First CoffeeSM, seeing as how we missed a couple days last week lost in a hellacious odyssey beginning with spending the night in the San Francisco Airport, pre-boarding pass because a certain airline which we won’t mention (but whose name rhymes with American Airlines) refused to let First CoffeeSM board the 10 p.m. flight to JFK airport WHICH WAS NOT FULL instead of the 7:45 a.m. next morning flight, the result being spending the night in the San Francisco airport’s unsecured area with shady, disreputable types slinking about, suspicious characters eyeing my luggage hungrily, the sort of street life one gets at an airport’s unsecured area at three in the morning, as well as some people who weren’t journalists at Dreamforce ‘05, and then on the New York – Istanbul leg stopping to deplane some ill woman at Shannon Airport (guess which country that’s in? Finland?

First Coffee for September 20, 2005

September 20, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Definitive Collection: Patsy Cline. First CoffeeSM had wondered why she remains so popular, but now realizes she never sings a line that a guy wouldn’t want to hear a girl say to him:

Thanks to salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff for sending First CoffeeSM some info [read: riposte] regarding Siebel VP Bruce Cleveland’s letter referenced in yesterday’s column.

“Regarding some of the points made in Cleveland’s note,” he writes, “He said: ‘Siebel Systems has added more than 500,000 “live” users of its CRM applications since the beginning of 2005, while salesforce.com has added approximately 100,000 subscribers.’

“However, apples-to-apples, Siebel added only 11,000 subscribers to its on demand product in the same period, and has a signed up a total of 39,000 subscribers over the last few years, compared to salesforce.com’s 308,000 at the end of Q2.

“IDC estimates salesforce.com’s share of the on demand CRM market at more than 50 percent, compared to Siebel’s 14 percent.”

That’s always the sticky wicket with these two: Of course Siebel’s the bigger overall CRM company, but when you focus just on the hosted market, salesforce.com’s bigger. Now can we all agree on that and move on?

“Cleveland’s note alluded to a press release that said over 100 companies have switched from salesforce.com to NetSuite,” Benioff continues. “What the press release actually said was: ‘To date, more than 100 companies have switched from salesforce.com and other legacy accounting applications such as Intacct, Great Plains, QuickBooks and Peachtree to gain the cost savings and productivity benefits of NetSuite’s One System for CRM, ERP and Ecommerce.’”

Benioff also included First Albany’s analyst report on Oracle’s takeover of Siebel. The analyst, Nitin Doke, writes that the move will have “little impact near term as SEBL’s OnDemand offerings may take a backseat while ORCL focuses on big revenue generators for Project Fusion.”

On a conference call “yesterday morning [Sept. 12],” Doke writes, “ORCL stated that it will invest heavily in SEBL’s OnDemand offerings and that it was ‘one of the key motivators for us to do the deal.’ On the one hand, one could argue that SEBL’s OnDemand product is now placed into the distribution muscle of a software giant with a massive global footprint, and this could enhance the uptake of the SEBL OnDemand platform.”

This jibes with what Cleveland said in his letter, that Larry Ellison had committed himself to investing in Siebel. However, Doke writes, “Why would ORCL focus resources on the small OnDemand product line, with very little associated revenue?

First Coffee for September 19, 2005

September 19, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the current iTunes song is “Six Months In a Leaky Boat” by the late, lamented, underrated New Zealand popsters Split Enz:

First CoffeeSM doesn’t know about you, but he feels a whole lot safer this morning, reading that North Korea’s “promised” to give up their nuclear program. Hey, they promised, this isn’t the same empty-promises-for-fuel scam President Clinton fell for. Come on, they promised, cross their hearts hope to die.

But seriously folks, kudos to Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan for holding meaningful, free elections for the first time in many a crescent moon. President Bush still hasn’t gotten the credit he deserves for that.

Etalk, a division of Autonomy, is announcing the latest release of Qfiniti Enterprise, a unified call recording, agent evaluation, and advanced speech analytics product for the contact center market.

It delivers a scalable and centrally-managed enterprise platform that allows international, multi-site customer service operations to, in company officials’ words, “monitor, measure, improve and understand relevant customer interactions.”

Scott Shute, president of etalk, notes some of the new features and functionality of Qfiniti, such as what the company’s claiming is “the first fully integrated recording, evaluation, and speech analytics offering for quality monitoring, logging, and VoIP-based call acquisition that does not use third-party analytics technology.”

The new interface is an operational and visual improvement over what went before, and supports language localization, which company officials hope will open up more international opportunities.

The theory behind a lot of what Qfiniti’s engineered to do is that a lot of the information that circulates in a contact center – the audio recordings, documents, web pages, e-mails, what have you – is unstructured, in that it resides outside of a normal structured database.

First Coffee for September 13, 2005

September 13, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of… well, now, here in San Francisco for Dreamforce ‘05 First CoffeeSM’s just going to post as needed, next week we’ll be back on the early-morning stuff.

Oh, the music? That’s one of the great things about being back here in America, the CD selection. First CoffeeSM picked up, among others, Al Green’s Greatest Hits, Duke Ellington’s underrated Blues In Orbit and The Definitive Collection: Patsy Cline:

Quote of the Day, from somebody yakking away on a telephone here at the Moscone Center where they’re holding Dreamforce ‘05: “I fell off the idiot train about 500 miles ago.”

Lord I’m one, Lord I’m two, Lord I’m three, Lord I’m four, Lord I’m five hundred miles from where I fell off the idiot train…

First CoffeeSM had a chance to sit down with the affable Jim Steele, president of salesforce.com. “I don’t really care about the title,” Steele said, noting that he considers himself more of a chief sales officer.

When he first heard about the idea of renting software online via the hosted model, thought the product wouldn’t work for anyone but small companies.

First Coffee for September 12, 2005

September 12, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of… well, now, here in San Francisco for Dreamforce '05 First Coffee's just going to post as needed, next week we'll be back on the early-morning stuff:

One thing to realize: There is never, ever such a thing as a sold-out sporting event. Went to SBC Park here in San Fran yesterday with a great old friend from the Chicago area, as the Chicago Cubs were in town to play the Giants. Bought, ah, secondhand tickets out in front of the stadium during the second inning, $50 club seats for $25. Great game – the Cubs won – great seats, great day, great stadium, great beer, great kickoff to San Francisco.

Thanks to W. Sibusiso "Sibu" Tshabalala, President and CEO of Pro-SAAP Solutions, LLC who First CoffeeSM mentioned in a piece a while back, who wrote in to say “You are correct; I 'never' have to spell my name over the phone (smiley face).”

Might as well change it to John Smith, right?

As one can imagine there was quite a bit of tittering over Oracle buying Siebel here at salesforce.com’s Dreamforce.

First Coffee for September 9, 2005

September 9, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s album of “suicide songs,” as he called them, Only The Lonely:

First CoffeeSM’s off to salesforce.com’s Dreamforce 2005 in San Francisco tomorrow morning – leave Antalya at 5:00 a.m., fly through Istanbul and Chicago, landing in the Queen of Cities that same day at eight in the evening. You can do things like that, travel for twenty hours and arrive a few hours after you leave when you lose ten hours in a day. Wonderful things, time zones. So efficient.

Tip Your Waitress: Every organization has their press relations people, whatever they’re called their job includes the grim task of having to interact with, pacify and inform the human subspecies known as journalists, a job only slightly less difficult and thankless than coordinating Baptist missionaries in Saudi Arabia.

But when it’s done well it can be done quite well indeed – Angela Lipscomb at SAS is one of the better ones First CoffeeSM’s encountered – and Mentha Benek has done an outstanding job making First CoffeeSM’s trip a) possible, and b) smooth, arranging interviews, the hotel, all the details necessary.

First Coffee for September 8, 2005

September 8, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is… lemme find a CD here… oh, how about country blues master Rev. Gary Davis, Say No to The Devil:

Thanks to Ali Jani, SVP of product management and founder of iCode for taking the time to answer some of First CoffeeSM’s questions. In a few places answers have been lightly edited for a conversational tone:

You’ve been quite an advocate of India as a resource for American high-tech firms. Could iCode be as successful as it is with an “all-American” operation?

Actually, iCode, Inc. is more successful with a mixture of American and India-based resources due to the quality of the talent pool in both locations, the 24/7 around the clock availability for increased productivity, and cost effectiveness. iCode’s carefully blended mixture of India- and American-based resources has had a positive growth impact on iCode’s total solution offerings to the marketplace.

First Coffee for September 7, 2005

September 7, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an old favorite, Al Stewart’s Modern Times:

Got an e-mail yesterday from Jeffrey Billado:

I am a PBX salesman and I came across a bid request for a hotel property that requires speech activated valet services. Essentially what they desire is the ability for a guest to press one button from their room phone, hit an IVR, request their car, set the time for pickup and then go down to the valet area at that time. This needs to be all speech activated - they only want to press the initial button from the room phone.

Are you aware of any pre-packaged solutions that can do this?

Anybody know of something e-mail Jeff at Jeffrey.Billado@sharedtechnologies.net.

Microsoft adopts the on-demand hosted software delivery model… well, kinda.

Australian-based AIE Technologies is announcing the launch of www.Software4Rent.Biz, what they describe as “a fully automated, web-based service where users can rent popular Microsoft programs such as PowerPoint, Excel, Project, etc., on an ad-hoc basis such as by the hour, day, week, etc.”

Leave it to the Aussies. Most underrated country in the world. The website allows users to use a credit card to rent software for as little as $2 a day and can be accessed at www.software4rent.biz.

Garry Ohlson, AIE’s CEO told Byron Connolly in August that the service “had taken three years to develop as a response to Microsoft’s Service Provider Licensing Agreements of 2002,” in Connolly’s words.

As a result, AIE can offer Software4Rent, what they’re billing as “a world first – an online, internet accessed system to rent various Microsoft products and soon other software such as accounting, security, design, CRM etc., on an as-needed basis, on demand, online and always available.”

This sounds like a trial balloon to First CoffeeSM,   the good folks back in Redmond’ll be watching to see how this flies. Microsoft Australia licensing product manager Thomas Kablau told ComputerWorld a couple weeks ago that Microsoft has around 62 direct SPLA partners in Australia that offer Microsoft products on a rental basis.

Based on AIE’s CALPIM software asset management engine, Software4Rent allows SME, SoHo and private users to be one-hundred proof license compliant with their software at hosted prices.

Many people cannot justify what they perceive as a high license cost for their perceived low or private usage,” Ohlson said, “so rather than buy it, many individuals borrow or download a copy illegally.

First Coffee for September 6, 2005

September 6, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s album In The Wee Small Hours:

It’s a mixed blessing when your two favorite tennis players go head-to-head in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, but First CoffeeSM will be cheering for Andre Agassi to just barely defeat James Blake in the most thrilling five-set quarterfinal match in U.S. Open history tomorrow. His son Blake will be, understandably, cheering for the opposition.

Optaros Inc. is a venture capital-funded consulting and systems integration firm that concentrates on helping large enterprises get into open source software and global sourcing.

First Coffee for September 5, 2005

September 5, 2005

By David Sims

Happy Labor Day to all.

The two relief organizations which have been on the ground the longest, assisting Hurricane Katrina refugees, are the American Red Cross and the Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana. Click on the link to help support their work.

Many organizations, of course, are doing excellent work, there’s a comprehensive listing with a way to donate at http://www.networkforgood.org/topics/animal_environ/hurricanes/.

From personal experience First CoffeeSM can vouch for Mennonite Disaster Service’s impeccable honesty and efficency. Every dollar you donate to them for hurricane relief will go where it’s supposed to.

Please donate to these organizations.

First Coffee for September 2, 2005

September 2, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Steve Taylor’s “Written Guarantee:”

Okay, let’s start with a helping of humble pie this morning, a correction on Wednesday’s First CoffeeSM:

“Hello, thanks for the mention of Jybe but I wanted to clarify something,” writes Brian Hoogendam from www.jybe.com. “The winner of the Skype competition was www.jyve.com – that is Jyve, not Jybe. While we did get an honorable mention, Charles, Andrew and the team at Jyve really worked hard and I wanted to make sure they are given proper credit.”

Consider it corrected, Brian, sorry about that. The press release mentioned both in confusing terms (non-native English speakers wrote the release), so First CoffeeSM took what seemed the most logical reading.

Got another great comment, this one from J. Alec West:

“If the FCC needs to mandate anything, it should be a two tier service level – BASIC (no 911) and ENHANCED (e911 compliant).

First Coffee for September 1, 2005

September 1, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is “No More Looking Back” by The Kinks, one of this great band’s finest songs:

“Today customers are being introduced to the new Sprint,” says Len Lauer, Sprint’s chief operating officer.

Company officials are saying the “new Sprint” is opening for business “under a new brand,” where the “resounding answer” to “virtually all” customer questions will be “Yes, you can.” They promise a greater number and diversity of devices and the extent and breadth of applications and content, along with “new, compelling pricing plans.”

Get ready for an “aggressive” market-saturating ad campaign where “Sprint will be hard to miss in September and into the fourth quarter,” as they’ll be busy convincing you that “the new Sprint will make digital life simple, instant, enriching and productive.”

Sprint’s also promising to drive true revenue through meaningful and relevant content directly to the wireless device, part of “aggressive position in maximizing its sponsorship assets,” such as its deals with NASCAR and the NFL.

Highlights of their go-to-market offers include:

Sprint Fair & Flexible. A plan that includes nationwide roaming and allows customers to use their phones as much as they want with no huge overages, as the plans “adjust automatically to meet a customer’s usage month to month.”

Sprint Free Incoming. Free incoming calls anytime, from anywhere on the Sprint PCS Network or Nextel National Network.

Sprint Mobile to Mobile Calling. Unlimited minutes for just $5 a month for customers on the Sprint PCS Network and the Nextel National Network.

The Ability to Turn Back Time. With a new plan, the customer can choose when their nights begin: at 6, 7 or 9 p.m.

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