First Coffee for September 2, 2005

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

First Coffee for 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 “The winner of the Skype competition was www.jyve.comthat 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). The misunderstandings, lawsuits, and deadlines we now see today are the result of the FCC’s inability to tackle this problem early on, leaving a confusing and variable ‘middle-ground’ of 911 scenarios. And, they KNEW it was coming. Some VoIP providers are already e911 compliant.

“A 2-tier scenario would allow market pressure, not mandates, to determine who offers what. And consumers wouldn’t have cut-offs to worry about, they’d have 2 distinct ‘options’ to consider.”

The best-written magazine in existence, Sports Illustrated, runs a great feature called “Faces In the Crowd,” spotlighting high school – or younger – athletes who pitch six consecutive no-hitters, throw for 672 yards in a game or win every single tennis match in their high school career. It’d be interesting to research those “faces” and see how many made the big time.

Consider Miles Technologies a business tech “face in the crowd.” The “Philadelphia 100” has them ranked for the fifth consecutive year one of the region’s fastest growing private businesses. Miles Technologies develops custom software applications, business websites and business technologies integration for small and medium-sized businesses.

What this means is that Miles Technologies has ranked as one of the 2005 top 100 fastest-growing, privately-held businesses in the Philadelphia region by the Philadelphia 100, a joint project of the Wharton Small Business Development Center, the Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. The rankings are based on verifiable revenue growth.

On August 15 Miles announced that NJBIZ and sponsors PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Dendrite International, PNC Bank, Lowenstein Sandler PC and Infinity Motor Cars selected Miles Technologies as one of New Jersey’s Finest – the 50 Fastest Growing companies in New Jersey.

So we’ll check back in a few years and see if Miles Technology’s swinging lumber in the big leagues.

Isn’t Philadelphia in Pennsylvania?

Lead Theory, which sells lead generation and management products for real estate brokers, is running a beta of its Lead*R IDX and Lead*R CRM products.

Lead*R IDX (Internet Data Exchange) lets brokers capture more leads from their Web site by providing MLS data and interactive tools. Lead*R CRM helps brokers and agents manage their leads and other client-related data through a single Web-based interface.

By centralizing customer data and making it Web-accessible, so the idea goes, Lead Theory should allow brokers’ administrators, marketing personnel, managers, and agents access to the information they need at any time, from anywhere an Internet connection is available.

It’s also being touted as a “convenient means” to manage loyalty programs, cross-selling opportunities, and marketing research.

According to the news advisory this morning Lead Theory is “currently nearing completion of its beta program,” in which several real estate brokers are participating, while the formal product launch is “planned for September 1st, 2005.”

First CoffeeSM realizes there’s a time difference between the Turkish Mediterranean coast where he lives and the United States, but figures September 1st was yesterday. Of course the news advisory issued this morning was dated September 3rd, so cast a colder eye on the dates, pilgrim.

Yesterday afternoon, you may have seen, in what Reuters characterized as “a setback for regulators,” a judge threw out a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit accusing Siebel of “breaking an SEC rule on how corporations disclose market-moving information.”

In what news reports said was the first court test of the SEC’s “controversial” Regulation Fair Disclosure, U.S. District Court Judge George Daniels in New York agreed with Siebel that the SEC had no case, and warned the SEC not to apply Regulation FD too aggressively, but stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of the law, First Amendment rights of free speech and all that.

“In terms of how the SEC applies Reg FD, it got a spanking, but it was not decapitated,” Jacob Frankel, a partner at the law firm of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker told Reuters.

“Reg FD, adopted in 2000, bars corporations from selectively disclosing material information. The SEC has filed six other Reg FD enforcement actions, all of which have been settled,” Reuters explained.

Siebel’s CFO Kenneth Goldman stood accused of attending private events in April 2003 and “tipping off institutional investors present at these events by characterizing the company’s performance as ‘good’ or ‘better’ and noting that there were $5 million deals in the software company’s pipeline,” according to the Associated Press:

“If that information had not been previously disclosed to investors at large, it would have been a violation of Regulation Full Disclosure, or Reg FD, adopted in 2000 to prevent companies from favoring some investors with inside information to the detriment of others.”

Technology companies InstantService and Direct Interactions are working in the growing “homesourcing” movement, using the Workforce Recruitment Program provided by the Office of Disability Employment of the U.S. Department of Labor to help handicapped people work from home. Instead of outsourcing to India or the Philippines, the call center industry is moving some jobs to home-based workers.

The typical work-at-home agent, according to InstantService and Direct Interactions officials, “has a college degree and is often an additional source of income for the household.” Matt Storey, founder of Direct Interactions says generally homesourced agents are highly satisfied with their jobs, which as First CoffeeSM and most anyone with and IQ above room temperature knows is a prerequisite to satisfied customers.

Using software provided by InstantService, Direct Interactions agents help online customers apply for loans using live chat. Web site visitors may have questions about the lending process, the status of their application, or the costs involved.

A recent Direct Interactions client study measured customer’s live chat satisfaction at more than 92%. Guess that means it’s working.

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