First Coffee for November 7, 2005

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for November 7, 2005

By David Sims

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

Agilent Technologies Inc. had themselves nice Sunday yesterday, announcing a $14.5 million order with Indian communications service providers Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. and Tata Teleservices Ltd.

The companies will use the Agilent OSS products to form their centralized network management system located in Mumbai – Bombay, to the cartographical nomenclaturally recalcitrant.

The CNMS will manage the service providers’ international and nationwide telecommunications services, in hopes of improving service and customer satisfaction and streamlining network operations.

The $14.5 million deal includes Agilent OSS QoS Manager and NETeXPERT-based network management software products, services and support. Coupled with partner products, CNMS will cover fault, performance, configuration, security, inventory, trouble ticketing and work flow management.

Agilent OSS in Asia-Pacific, with headquarters in Singapore, has offices in Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan.

Agilent’s just full of good news, as they’re also announcing, in tandem with Mentor Graphics Corp., an integrated product enabling high-volume diagnosis for logical and physical failure analysis in the semiconductor manufacturing test flow. The integration between Agilent’s 93000 Pin Scale test system and the Mentor Graphics YieldAssist diagnostics software enables fast online data collection in high-volume manufacturing.

Using this product, Agilent claims, manufacturers working at 90nm and below will now have integrated online diagnostic capabilities to shorten the time to production yield, with enhanced initial design debug, ongoing yield improvement, process control and quality assurance throughout the manufacturing process.

Don’t kick dirt on Siebel’s grave just yet (Marc, put the shovel down). The newest addition to Larry Ellison’s silicon menagerie is announcing that Hillert and Co., an integrated marketing communications agency, has selected Siebel CRM OnDemand as its hosted CRM supplier.

Hillert specializes in creating and delivering integrated communications campaigns for its customers. As a full-service marketing firm, Hillert is composed of three divisions –advertising, interactive marketing, and mobile marketing. Founded in 1999, Hillert has offices in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany.

Mobile operator CSL and Nokia are announcing the commercial launch of what they say is “Asia’s first video sharing service” in Hong Kong, enabled by Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem and systems integration services.

At a press conference CSL and Nokia demonstrated video sharing service using the Nokia N70, the 3G Series 60 smartphone with 2 megapixel camera and a full set of Nokia Nseries features.

Hong Kong’s got a fiercely competitive telecommunication market, and this should be a nice leg up for CSL until everybody else starts offering it. Video sharing is a multimedia service that allows users to view live or prerecorded video during a normal voice call on their mobile phones. Both the caller and the receiver can watch the same video and discuss it, and then end the video sharing without ending the voice call.

Video sharing is based on standardized 3GPP IMS and IETF technologies, and its specifications are available at Forum Nokia.

“Video sharing is a natural expansion of voice calls and an advancement of normal video calls,” said Hubert Ng, Chief Executive Officer of CSL. “The introduction of video sharing service during a voice call is a key evolutionary step for 3G video services,” he stated, adding that CSL believes 3G video sharing “will become one of the most popular services among consumers.”

Second-tier on-demand CRM vendor Parature has sent around a press release trumpeting the fact that CenterStone Technologies has replaced RightNow Technologies Customer Service Software with Parature’s Customer Support product.

“After implementing RightNow’s products a year ago, CenterStone, a provider of applications helping retail dealers and salespeople work more effectively, began to realize that the workflow and user interfaces were complicated both on the customer support representative and end user customer sides,” the press release claims.

“RightNow’s basic functionalities are really difficult,” Terry Gates, Sr. Vice President of Technology at CenterStone Technologies is quoted as saying. “Their complex user interfaces made navigating confusing and their workflow concepts were too complicated. Parature’s workflow and user interfaces are much cleaner and more straightforward which better meets our needs.”

Neither Parature nor Gates addressed comparative cost issues involved between the two products.

One remembers that RightNow, one of the top three on-demand CRM vendors today, has recorded an upwards of 31 straight quarters of growth, so the claim that RightNow’s basic functionalities are “really difficult” is hard to swallow, frankly, as First CoffeeSM knows a little bit about RightNow and their products, and is nothing but impressed.

There’s “complicated,” and there’s “powerful,” and a quick check of RightNow’s and Parature’s client lists shows that maybe not everybody’s ready for RightNow’s level of functionality, and maybe for those companies Parature’s the right choice for now.

First CoffeeSM is not much of a fan of this “we replaced those guys” style of marketing, honed to a fine art by, what RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte correctly called “this dysfunctional family from Oracle,” and is rather disappointed to see Parature, a fine young company with bright leadership, resorting to it.

First CoffeeSM wrote last week that, due to having from 3:45 to 4:30 a.m. free most mornings, he’s decided to sign up for National Novel Writing Month to kill all that extra time weighing on his hands. The purpose of NaNoWriMo is to give would-be John Grishams the one thing they usually lack to get a novel written – well, talent, but the other thing: A deadline.

It’s a great idea. You simply promise to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, 1,667 words a day, with midnight 30 November as the drop-dead, drop the pencil, turn off the computer deadline. This does wonderfully focus the mind for those of us who’d love to have a novel written, but who need an accountable deadline to get anything written. This turns the “one day novelist,” as in “One day I’d like to write a novel” into the actual have-written-it novelist.

The novel doesn’t have to be great, doesn’t even have to be good, that’s for rewrite, which can cover a multitude of sins. The point is simply to shut up about writing a novel long enough to put 50,000 words down on paper – as one gruff old newspaper editor snarled, “Don’t get it right. Just get it written.”

Thanks to NaNoWriMo, First CoffeeSM is actually getting some serious novelizing done, and would like to report a first week word count of 18,273 words. The plot concerns a devilishly handsome, irresistible to women business writer specializing in CRM and VoIP issues who’s frequently mistaken for James Bond and Clark Gable…

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1 Comment

Re Parature - they did get you to write about them, didn't they?

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