First Coffee for 25 January, 2006

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

First Coffee for 25 January, 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jack Johnson’s lovely Hawaiian-tinged, acoustic guitar-driven In Between Dreams:

Customer Relationship Management vendor Talisma is announcing the immediate availability of Talisma CRM 7.0, what company officials are billing as “the latest version of the industry’s most powerful multi-channel CRM solution.”

The 7.0 release claims more than 100 new and enhanced features and four new add-on modules. The upgrades are aimed at bolstering the product’s sales force automation, customer interaction management and customer service functions.

The new version of CRM suite provides “significant enhancements across all areas of the customer lifecycle,” with company officials highlighting additions such as greater access to disparate data sources, improved user experience and administration capabilities and software diagnostics.

It’s a done deal, folks, but today Siebel Systems, Inc. has announced details for its Special Meeting of Stockholders to be held on January 31, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time to vote on the proposed acquisition of the company by Oracle Corporation.

Siebel’s been after Oracle to acquire it for some time now, they caught Larry Ellison in a hungry mood a few months ago.

As previously announced, the meeting will take place at the San Mateo Marriott Hotel, 1770 South Amphlett Boulevard, San Mateo, California, 94402. In addition, the meeting will be accessible via telephone in listen-only mode by dialing 1-888-754-4179 toll-free within North America or (212) 231-6020 outside of North America. Access is also available online at www.siebel.com/investor. A replay of the meeting will be available at this same Web address.

Haven’t heard from Siebel’s acerbic, witty Bruce Cleveland in a while, shame, he writes some of the most interesting company releases around today.

By the way, word has it NetClarity’s going to offer free vulnerability auditing of VoIP equipment soon, helping VoIP equipment manufacturers take a more proactive approach to security issues. Catch NetClarity founder Gary Miliefsky’s talk to the TMC VoIP Conference and Expo in Ft. Lauderdale this Friday.

Today’s the birthday of that noted American film auteur, Tobe Hooper, who gave us that 1974 classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Bentley Systems, Inc. today announced that it has signed a global agreement with SAP AG. Under the agreement, SAP will resell mySAP PLM Integration for Bentley, integrated with mySAP Product Lifecycle Management, directly to its customers.

Bentley’s mySAP PLM Integration for Bentley is being pushed as “an important connection between the worlds of engineering information and enterprise information,” through which data flows in both directions, “enabling the two solutions to operate as one – cutting costs, increasing efficiencies, and maximizing business competitiveness.”

In a plant environment, naturally integrating engineering with the rest of the enterprise offers significant benefits for both the engineers and builders of these assets and the owner-operators maintaining and operating them. It’s doable – according to conservative estimates from major firms provided by Bentley, the following reductions are achievable:

15 to 20 percent in hours of project engineering work,

4 to 6 percent in capital expenditure budget, and

1 to 5 percent in overall total cost of ownership.

In the utilities industry, for example, where service to the end customer is paramount, these reductions quickly translate to a greater competitive edge.

“With the new system,” according to Dr. Andrea Zampollo, SIT project manager for AEM Torino, a utility customer using products from Bentley and SAP who recently implemented mySAP PLM Integration for Bentley, “there’s no more need to re-enter and validate in the design environment all the information that already resides in SAP’s CRM.”

Most companies that maintain assets in utilities, chemical companies, petroleum refineries, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and other process plants agree that at least one day per week can be saved by not having to look for, re-enter, and revalidate asset information before performing a maintenance task.

On the capital projects side, when owner-operators work more collaboratively with engineering firms on design and delivery, they get a more efficient plant and project. For example, by sharing maintenance and operations considerations early in the plant design phase, owner-operators can significantly cut their total cost of ownership.

At the same time, by integrating engineering functions with procurement, engineers can reduce the amount of surplus material typically ordered for projects. This results in significant savings since overages typically reach or exceed 20 percent.

A joint initiative comprised of UPC Netherlands, Casema, MultiKabel, Essent and CaiW, totaling more than 7 million subscribers with more than 450,000 telephony subscribers, today awarded the VoIP Peering contract to a partnership of XConnect, which styles itself “the world’s largest provider of ‘Plug and Peer’ VoIP interconnection services” and Kayote Networks, a provider of interconnectivity tools for routing and peering.

This agreement lets all participating operators share VoIP traffic directly over their IP networks, completely bypassing traditional phone networks and thereby eliminating PSTN interconnection fees.

All five Dutch cable operators formed a working group in late 2005 to try to get full end-to-end IP communications services between cable operators with no interconnection required through the incumbent telephone networks. After a search process the group selected XConnect and Kayote Networks for the VoIP Peering contract, taking into consideration ENUM management (providing a secure and distributed database system of phone numbers), full interoperability between disparate cable operators and a wide range of VoIP security challenges.

The joint project, called the XConnect SIP-Exchange, will allow multimedia-rich IP communications services, such as video and presence, across all the interconnected VoIP networks.

XConnect has more than 75 ITSPs in 20 countries within its network. Kayote is XConnect’s strategic technology partner for VoIP interconnectivity.

The Netherlands is one of the most highly saturated cable marketplaces, with more than 97% cable penetration in the country. Dutch cable operators, otherwise known as Multiple Systems Operators, include UPC, MultiKabel, Casema, Essent and CAIW, totaling more than 450,000 VoIP subscribers, or more than 6 percent penetration of the 7 million homes passed.

Fresh off from managing to look both pompous and clueless on the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings (boy, was Hillary Clinton smart to stay off that committee or what?), New York Democrat Sen. Chuckles Schumer wants to stop the selling of phone records. He’s introduced legislation to ban the practice.

The issue hit radar when Chicago Sun-Times crime reporter Frank Main reported earlier this month that the FBI bought records from an agent’s cell phone on the open market.

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