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

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is from the Leonard Bernstein Century series of recordings, this one’s him conducting Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring:

Some industry reax on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0:

Barbara Darrow, one of the more perceptive industry observers, writes “With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the company now offers a ‘rent-to-own’ option. But partners wanting true multi-tenancy will have to wait for the next release, code-named Titan.”

Tenancy is an issue others have commented on as well. This reporter heard from RightNow Technologies’ CEO Greg Gianforte, who explained that Microsoft isn’t actually hosting the applications, their partners are and will offer single tenant hosting.

“One of the breakthroughs in hosting is multi-tenancy, multiple applications on a shared set of hardware, which is the standard for successful software-as-a-service companies,” Gianforte said. “There are no economies of scale or margin in single tenant hosting. This model was introduced in the 90’s and failed.”

Partners wanting to host Microsoft CRM can now do so for $24.95 per user per month via a new Service Provider Licensing Agreement option, Darrow says, compared to salesforce.com Enterprise Edition’s list price of $125 per user per month, and Salesnet Enterprise Edition’s $99 per user per month:

“With this SPLA pricing, Microsoft has started to move toward true hostable product. But the company has not been able to deliver, as hoped, a true multi-tenancy solution yet.”

John Pallatto sees Dynamics as Microsoft’s “bid to make customer relationship management more pervasive in companies large and small,” and cites the widely-cited Forrester CRM analyst Liz Herbert who says that “while it doesn’t present a strong direct challenge to companies that are providing true, multi-tenant on demand CRM applications, it addresses the needs of customers who don’t want to deal with managing the IT resources required to host the application on their own sites,” in Pallatto’s words summarizing Herbert’s comments.

Herbert also told Susan B. Shor that the product “will see some traction in larger enterprises, but more at the division level where a division chooses on its own to change CRM systems… Oracle, SAP and Siebel tend to be long deployment, high-cost, high-risk investments, whereas, Microsoft CRM is quicker to deploy and has a lower upfront cost.”

The tradeoff, Shor says, who calls Dynamics “a giant step from previous versions,” is that Dynamics “is lacking some of the functionality of those massive programs.”

Ephraim Schwartz calls Dynamics “a second front in its assault on the CRM market… a step beyond SMBs, with the company targeting the enterprise for the first time.” He says Dynamics’s reseller model is “not really an indication that Microsoft is moving to a full software as a service offering.”

And the federal government’s being targeted: Dibya Sarkar writes that Microsoft “expects to capture a significant segment of the CRM market in government,” primarily because Dynamics is tightly integrated with both Office and Outlook, already widely used across the federal government.

“[Dynamics] really pushes usability, adoption and the widespread pervasive use of CRM across a variety of information workers who before were too intimidated or felt that a CRM system wasn’t part of their job,” Sarkar reports Kevin Faulkner, the company’s senior director of product marketing as saying.

“Typical CRM applications are specialized, require detailed knowledge and are not easy to use,” Sarkar writes. “But because many workers use e-mail, electronic calendars and other functions, integrating the latest version into Outlook was a no-brainer. The application is widely used, and the CRM functions blend easily.”


Ever want one of those crystal balls that can tell you what the route to work looks like that morning? If you live in the U.K. you’re in luck, as mxData, the maker of Traffic TV, which is map-based traffic information for mobile phones, is extending its service to offer live roadside TV coverage from across all of the UK’s busiest motorways.

Company officials claim this now represents “the largest mobile CCTV network,” and includes images from the M25, M4, M5, M1, M40, M42, M6 and the M62.

No M16? No M80? Must be an American thing. How about MI5, isn’t that a Brit thing?

Traffic TV, according to company marketing info, allows motorists to view moving traffic images and real-time traffic information from their mobile phones. The service has access to over 500 Highways Agency roadside cameras and up-to-the-minute traffic data taken from Trafficmaster’s 7,500 sensors alongside motorways and trunk roads.

So before you set off you can see there’s a fish’n’chips truck belly-up on your favourite route and decide hm, better take a left at the roundabout, past the ironmounger’s instead.

The company also mentions something called a “hands-free car kit,” which lets customers receive “automatic, in-car updates as they drive.”

Commercial Director of mxData, Ian Tomson-Smith  is sure he’s got a winner on his hands: “In a recent survey carried out with What Mobile? magazine, motorists believed they could save nearly three hours a week if they could see the traffic conditions ahead,” he explains. TrafficTV’s partnership with the Highways Agency and Trafficmaster means that TrafficTV is able to provide what Tomson-Smith claims is “the most reliable and comprehensive mobile traffic information available.”

Traffic TV can be downloaded directly onto most mobile handsets with a color screen. And once installed, you simply connect to the service on your phone to receive details of the latest delays, displayed on a scrolling map. Customers can zoom into an area of interest and, in addition to live CCTV footage of the affected area, can find out how fast traffic is moving and any expected delay times on the road.

Contemporary Christian music is one of the fastest-growing markets in radio, and it now is available on cell phones via live streaming audio.

The new service is from mobile radio service provider Sydus, and is being launched globally with Barnabas Road Media, Inc. This service is the first of its kind and is being offered free of charge on over 65 million handsets in over 90 countries.

Saying that no other provider of Internet Christian music “is doing what we’re doing,” Paul Gathard, CEO, BRM says the collaboration with Sydus means users won’t need to pay for downloaded songs or subscribe to a fee-based service.

Saumil Nanavati, President, Sydus says ChristianMusic1.com “will build a contemporary Christian mobile music lifestyle.”

he software from Sydus for the CM1 mobile broadcast is available for download free of charge at http://www.christianmusic1.com/ . Users can also download the mobile media player directly onto their mobile devices at http://www.cm1m.com/.

Founded in Indianapolis in 2004, Barnabas Road Media provides broadcast radio stations Internet hosting for simulcast radio broadcasting.

More outsourcing: Savvis, Inc., a utility services provider, has announced that Pfizer Health Solutions Inc., the care management subsidiary of Pfizer Inc, has signed a contract with Savvis for comprehensive managed hosting services.

Under terms of the three-year, L1.76 million pound contract, Pfizer Health Solutions will deploy Savvis’ IT infrastructure in Europe. This includes managed network services, servers, storage, and disaster recovery services.

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