By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music
is solid ol’ classic rock, Stephen Stills’ 1972 Manassas, released in the last year of the Great Era for rock’n’roll,
and which can stand in the same company as the year’s other redwoods, such as Exile On Main Street, St. Dominic’s Preview, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and Eat A Peach:
Salesboom.com, the provider of on demand
customer relationship management software who aspires to play in the salesforce.com, NetSuite and RightNow
league for SMB hosted CRM, has announced an
enhanced administrative upgrade feature for Salesboom users.
Dubbed the Salesboom “SmartUpgrade,” the new feature will
allow Salesboom administrators to select which updates they wish to use and
when to introduce them to their users.
Salesboom has been releasing new updates to their hosted
CRM, with an update at least every 4 weeks. The new “SmartUpgrade” feature will allow system administrators more
control and flexibility over which updates they would like to see launched. The
new “SmartUpgrade” system will be available to all Salesboom users with the
upcoming release of Salesboom v7.0.
The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based Salesboom.com touts their
frequent updates as their competitive advantage of the trio of established
players in the space: “Yet even with the versatility of the
Software-as-a-Service model, the biggest online CRM providers [see above] continue
to hold that functionality over their customers’ heads,” company officials say,
adding, with the not-completely-accurate insinuation that others don’t release
patches and feature updates ahead of scheduled version updates, that “with
Salesboom’s SaaS model, customers don’t have to worry about waiting months for
promised features and patches, as they are released in a system of scheduled
and transparent updates, occurring at least every 4 weeks.”
Fargo, North Dakota-based Vtrenz, Inc. has announced product enhancements for its marketing
automation platform. Vtrenz iMarketing Automation is engineered to give
marketers tools to plan, build, manage, execute and measure both online and
offline marketing activities, designed to help companies “generate, qualify and
nurture leads as well as retain and win-back customers,” according to company
Adding behavior-based segmentation capabilities, a new
integrated campaign management tool, and multi-track rules-based campaign
automation, iMarketing Automation has improved its offerings for running automate
marketing campaigns triggered at the time most appropriate for the contact
instead of the time most convenient for the sender.
It’s billed as “built for non-IT users; marketers, sales
representatives, or other business professionals.”
When SAP’s VP of CRM application solution management, Siegfried Leiner, said in an interview
last week with ComputerWire
that hosted CRM is “commodity CRM,” dissing it in favor of componentized,
platform-based CRM where CRM functionality is integral to the application
infrastructure, it was up to someone
from the hosted community to swing back.
Kudos to founder and CEO of hosted CRM supplier RightNow Technologies Inc, Greg
Gianforte, for picking up the gauntlet, pointing out that SAPs
approach is just an attempt to save an outmoded way of operating, according to ComputerWire.
“Chopping its application up into bite-sized pieces is not
going to save SAPs bacon because they still insist that all elements have to be
used with its costly and impractical NetWeaver platform, negating the
flexibility of choosing which applications to run,” he said. “Maybe this
complex, technology approach to CRM is why SAP has more than 3,000 customers
but only 1,000 that are live.”
Zing! Ball’s in your court, SAP. But hey, the one thing
Gianforte and Leiner – and pretty much anyone else in CRM – can agree on is salesforce.com bashing: “I agree that at the low end where salesforce.com plays,
selling to very small companies, the market is commoditizing,” Gianforte tells
ComputerWire. “But at RightNow, 30%-40% of our revenues come from companies
with greater that $1 billion in revenue – definitely not small fry.”
As to the question at hand, which is the model of the future
for CRM, First CoffeeSM would note that on-premises vendors Siebel and SAP are introducing hosted
products, but none of the significant hosted vendors are introducing
The word is that Turkish
novelist Orhan Pamuk will be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature
tomorrow. The Nobel Prizes, of course, have descended into self-parody, what with naming career mediocrity Mohamed El-Baradei
and his pitifully inept International Atomic Energy Agency recipients of the
once-prestigious Peace Prize, which used to mean something before it was
awarded to people like Yasser Arafat,
who will go down in history as the man responsible for inventing the airplane
As a friend of First CoffeeSM’s asked, are they
going to give it to North Korea’s Kim
Jong-Il next on the grounds that he could have nuked South Korea but didn’t?
And of course it goes without saying that nobody has ever
heard of any of the Literature recipients in the last 20 years – $10 if you can
name last year’s recipient. Give up? Bitter, hateful Austrian novelist Elfreide Jelinek, whose detractors
describe her work as turgid, nihilistic, violent, unreadable, sexually brutal sludge
and whose supporters describe her work as socially observant turgid,
nihilistic, violent, unreadable, sexually brutal sludge.
First CoffeeSM remembers working as a journalist
in Istanbul in the 1990s, when Turkish Kurdish novelist Yasar Kemal was yearly touted as a certainty to win, as he was an
outspokenly political Kurd at a time when such were fashionable. Only thing is,
he didn’t write books anybody outside of Turkish-Kurdish intellectual circles
had ever heard of, let alone read. First CoffeeSM struggled through
his signature work, Mehmed, My Hawk
and hopes never to have to read anything as boring again.
Yet Kemal visited the newspaper First CoffeeSM
worked at then, and was a thoroughly gracious man, so it would have been nice
to see him win.
Handicapped as Pamuk is by the fact that he dares to write books
people outside of leftist literature faculties like – Snow and My Name Is Red
are good places to start – he is an acceptably politically outspoken author
from a politically trendy country who says politically correct things and gets
in trouble with the political authorities for doing so, acts which impress the
small-minded, politically-fixated Nobel committee and should balance out the
fact that commoners actually read and enjoy his books, usually the kiss of
death in Nobel Literature Prize considerations.
First CoffeeSM is considering securing
citizenship in Uzbekistan – no Uzbek author has ever won the Nobel Prize for
Literature! What indefensible cultural prejudice! – adopting the currently
popular politically-correct beliefs and churning out childish rants against
Worldwide Corporate Hegemony and Western Cultural Imperialism and in a few
years cashing a check for 10 million kroner.
First CoffeeSM met the shy yet polite and courteous
Pamuk at a party in Istanbul back in those days, he was in the middle of
defending himself in some court proceeding for saying something the government
didn’t like, and was swapping stories with an American journalist who was also
in trouble with the authorities for writing stuff the government didn’t like –
that was back in the era when Turkey was second only to China in the number of
journalists killed on the job.
To First CoffeeSM’s knowledge no CRM writer has
ever been killed on the job. Funny how once Mrs. First CoffeeSM
agreed for better or for worse such considerations became more, well,
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