By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music
is still that Traffic live CD, Welcome To
The Canteen. First CoffeeSM had forgotten what a good work
CD it is:
Got another comment on Caiman.com’s terrible customer service,
this one from “Anthony:”
I think they have
their people put false positive feedback on amazon.com. I have been cheated by
them I wish I had tried harder to find a local copy of Xenogears.
First CoffeeSM’s heard from a lot of people who’ve been let down by Caiman.com – either not
getting what they ordered, having it arrive grossly late or not at all, and being
sent rude e-mails by a company completely uninterested in providing good customer
Someday soon, we hope, Amazon.com is going to do the right
thing by their customers in the choice of vendors they allow to sell items on
A tip of the coffee pot to Akshay Sharma, formerly
Siemens’ Chief Architect Mobile Enterprise Solutions Calypso Wireless, Inc., who’s
been appointed Calypso’s Chief
Technology Officer. Company officials say Sharma will be tasked with spearheading
implementation of Calypso’s technology on the C1250i WiFi-GSM-GPRS VoIP smart
“One of Mr. Sharma’s principal tasks will be to coordinate the activities of
all three Calypso Research & Development centers in Miami Florida, Milan
Italy and Hong Kong,” said Mike Pizzi, Executive Vice President & General
Counsel of Calypso Wireless.
It’s always nice when someone takes customer satisfaction
seriously enough to spend money on it. MCI, Inc. has announced that it has enhanced its customer loyalty program
through “an expanded strategic engagement” with customer experience management
vendor Satmetrix Systems, Inc.
In addition to their existing twice-yearly customer relationship surveys, MCI’s
customer-facing operations can now “receive immediate customer feedback on all non-technical
inquiries, technical faults and provisioning activities, which provide MCI with
real-time representation of operational performance,” according to company
Andy MacLeod, general manager and senior vice president, MCI Europe said the
company expects to get “immediate access to customer feedback,” allowing them
to “monitor progress toward delivering an enhanced customer experience.”
Launched in 2004, MCI’s Customer Loyalty Program was centered around a
relationship survey, designed to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback
from MCI’s most important customers. In early 2005, MCI tweaked the program to
gain more immediate customer feedback on issues such as how a service was
delivered or how an inquiry to
MCI’s help desk was addressed.
Company officials say the feedback provided “has already led to a number of
customer loyalty activities and improvement initiatives, as well as steering
investments aimed at improving customer service.”
Palm, Inc. and Research In Motion have
announced that they’re working together to bring
BlackBerry Connect to the Palm Treo 650 smartphone. The companies expect
the product to be available in the United States and internationally starting
in early calendar 2006, according to company officials.
Through RIM’s BlackBerry Connect licensing program, Palm will enable its Treo
650 and future Palm OS-based Treo smartphones with secure, push-based wireless e-mail
via BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
The new configuration, according to Palm officials, will
enable push-based e-mail using BlackBerry Connect with Palm’s VersaMail e-mail
client, support for Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Domino, wireless calendar
synchronization, remote address lookup of corporate e-mail directory, convenient
e-mail-attachment viewing, triple DES encryption and IT policy enforcement and
commands, such as remotely disabling or wiping e-mail and PIM data from a
device in the event it is lost or stolen.
Cablevision Systems Corporation has released a statement
saying Cablevision President and CEO James Dolan was “admitted to the hospital Saturday and is scheduled to undergo heart
bypass surgery Monday. His physicians expect him to make a full and
Communications Corp. has announced today that its 70% owned New Zealand
media operation, CanWest MediaWorks (NZ) Limited, reported consolidated
earnings before interest, income tax, depreciation and amortization of NZ$68
million ($47.5 million) for the year ended August 31, 2005, an 11% improvement
compared with pro forma combined EBITDA for the same period last year.
By the way, those of you impressed with the spectacular New Zealand landscape – and
the quality of New Zealand filmmaking – in the Lord Of the Rings movies have another chance to see The Land of the
Long White Cloud on the silver screen this Christmas, when Disney releases The Lion, The
Witch and The Wardrobe, its much-hyped first installment in its Narnia series.
Seen as a sort of hybrid
Harry-Potter-Meets-The-Lord-Of-The-Rings-In-New-Zealand marketing vehicle, it’s
a huge bet for Disney, which has reportedly sunk an upwards of $200 to $250
million in the movie. It was filmed in New Zealand’s South Island near
Christchurch, probably the most beautiful chunk of real estate left in the
First CoffeeSM will be down around there for a
couple weeks around Christmas, as Mrs. First CoffeeSM’s Kiwi family
will be migrating there for a reunion. When your family lives in New Zealand,
western Canada and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, family reunions become
much bigger deals.
Gotta love Bruce
Cleveland, Siebel’s feisty Senior VP and GM Products and designated salesforce.com mudslinger.
In response to the hoopla surrounding salesforce.com’s App Exchange
announcement, Cleveland writes in a letter “if one looks at the applications
that salesforce.com currently has on its site, virtually none are any that most
people have heard of. And businesses are not going to use those applications
simply because they are available in a convenient location.”
As Cleveland says, anybody remember download.com? Merisel?
OS/2? The one big flaw Cleveland sees in the whole App Exchange strategy, he
says, is that an online platform for distributing applications isn’t a new
idea, and there’s still the age-old problem of building a loyal customer base
for the applications, no matter how they’re distributed.
And, “if any of these App Exchange companies are fortunate
enough to grow to a point where they are large enough to survive on their own,
what’s the purpose of staying there? It’s the Web after all… convenience of
price, location and shipping is irrelevant.”
Riffing on Marc Benioff’s Hawaii theme, instead of App
Exchange becoming “a thriving Big Island, it’s quite likely we’ll see App
Exchange become Molokai, the leper’s island of application software,” Cleveland
Maybe not exactly a leper’s island, First CoffeeSM
can’t see Marc Benioff subsidizing unwanted, useless applications just to prop
up App Exchange – that probably requires a longer attention span, for one thing
– but reckons App Exchange could turn into a kind of Star Search or American Idol,
where you can see lots of talent you haven’t heard of, as Cleveland points out,
in search of the one or two stars who’ll break out.
It might turn out like those sweaty music clubs you pay $5
covers at to see a band trying to break its way to the top. Dave Matthews used
to play those kinds of clubs, now he doesn’t, but that’s where he was
discovered. And once discovered, he left them behind.
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