First Coffee for October 27, 2005

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

First Coffee for October 27, 2005

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’s career pivot point, Swordfishtrombones:

Alpha Retail Technology, a vendor of POS, enterprise, and merchandise management products, is introducing a new system for the tracking and management of Imaging Services. This system automates key imaging services processes including estimate generation, order conversion, order processing, and payments.

“Imaging services” means the scanning, copying, file conversion, archival, and licensing of documents. ART is calling the Alpha Retail Imaging Services Management System “the first software package available that manages all Imaging Services licensing, resources, and activities.”

ISMS uses cost tables to provide estimates and quotes for necessary work. Services are scheduled and work orders are tracked throughout the process. User flags can be set so that alerts and reports are automatically generated by the system for items that have predetermined deadlines. Workflows are automated to set specific reminders such as payments due on orders or deadlines for the receipt of licensing permissions.

ART is also banking on the increase in privacy and regulatory issues, since the need for software systems to track intellectual property goes up as well. For copyrighted materials, Imaging Services facilities must obtain the appropriate signed licenses (single use, commercial, distributed, what have you) and process payments. Customer order detail, scheduling, and costs are tracked by the ISMS software system. Rules can be set to prevent orders from being completed until the necessary approvals and permits have been obtained.

SigmaTel, Inc., a vendor of mixed-signal multimedia semiconductors, has announced the establishment of SigmaTel Japan. The new office joins SigmaTel’s growing global infrastructure and will support the company’s customer-base in the Japanese market and across the Asia-Pacific region, letting the company provide faster technical and sales support directly to its customers in the region.

Ron Edgerton, SigmaTel’s president and CEO called the Asia Pacific region “strategic for SigmaTel,” saying “building out an infrastructure in Japan to support the growing customer-base is critical for the company’s continued success.”

It’s particularly important for the company’s integrated component products business unit as well its portable multimedia products for MP3 players and digital multimedia devices. SigmaTel has approximately 15 customers located in Japan, including Sony, SHARP, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Fujitsu.

Verizon Wireless is reporting that 23 of its 42 retail stores in South Florida have reopened for business in the wake of Hurricane Wilma, and are providing free local and long-distance calls, battery charging and technical support to those in need of these services. Customers can view a list of open stores here. (See the end of the column for the link if you’re reading off the blog site.)

You’d think they would have done this before, but the World Wide Web Consortium is announcing the launch of its Indian office on 10 November 2005.

Based at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in Noida, India, it is the first W3C Office launched since the introduction of W3C’s new fee structure for organizations in developing countries.

The opening ceremony coincides with the International Conference & Workshop on Web Technologies on 10-11 November 2005 at the Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi. Among those attending the opening ceremony are Dr. Steve Bratt, COO of W3C.

The U.S. Air Force is sloshing out your tax dollars again, and this time Click Commerce, Inc. got splashed. They’re announcing that as part of the deal Oracle got with the USAF a few days ago, a firm-fixed price contract for commercial software, maintenance, professional services and education training for the USAF’s Expeditionary Combat Support System program, Click Commerce, Inc., through its Click Commerce SPO subsidiary, is a part of the Oracle bid team for this contract.

Over several years, beginning in 2006, Click Commerce expects to realize several million dollars of license revenues, and a similar amount of maintenance and professional services revenues, related to the USAF contract. Oracle and Click Commerce are currently completing the contract process and related contractual arrangements.

U.S.-based CLECs are expected to increase their deployment of multiservice access platforms to build out their broadband access networks in coming months, as FCC rule changes regarding unbundled network elements go into effect, according to a new report issued today by Heavy Reading, Light Reading Inc.’s market research division.

Caveat: First CoffeeSM has found once or twice that Light Reading’s enthusiasm for its reporting has gotten ahead of the actual facts of the matter. Nothing egregious, but read with a slightly colder eye.

“MSAPs: A Heavy Reading Competitive Analysis” presents what Heavy Reading’s claiming is “the most detailed, comprehensive competitive analysis undertaken to date of MSAPs,” which are emerging as an important class of access equipment enabling the delivery of broadband services to business and residential customers.

In key product categories, it provides granular information on aspects of functionality and performance of each vendor’s offering, in matrix format. It then uses a weighted system to provide a high-level view of which MSAPs represent the best overall choice for different applications.

The 87-page report delivers a concise analysis of the emerging worldwide market for MSAPs and analyzes 44 different MSAP products from 21 major manufacturers, including Alcatel, Ericsson, Lucent Technologies, Nokia, Siemens and UTStarcom.

Products are compared on such criteria as equipment size and specifications, support for Ethernet connectivity, quality of service features, and support for legacy services.

Yeah it’s a self-serving thing for a tech vendor to do, kinda cheesy, but in a charming and fun way, so it gets a little ink here: eSpeed, Inc., a developer of electronic marketplaces and trading technology for the global capital markets, has announced that it launched its first annual worldwide Texas Hold ‘Em charity poker tournament in Chicago as part of a – First CoffeeSM’s quoting, mind you – “philanthropic initiative to give back to one of the many communities in which it does business.”

ESpeed hosted its first Texas Hold ‘Em charity poker tournament for 150 of its futures and government bond trading customers located throughout the Chicago fixed-income trading community with the prize being the right to donate $25,000 to the charity of the winner’s choice. The winner that time was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Illinois Chapter, which received the donation because it was the charity of choice selected by the traders of Rosenthal Collins Group.

All participants were given a bank of “charity chips” to begin the tournament.

The firm plans on hosting additional charity poker tournaments for customers located in Toronto, London, Tokyo and New York. Individual customers with the highest chip counts from each city will be invited to participate in the championship tournament, which eSpeed will host in Las Vegas, NV.

ESpeed plans on donating $100,000 to the charity of choice selected by the overall champion. Okay, it’s not exactly Mother Teresa, but it’s a lot more fun and creative way to donate to charity than most.

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