First Coffee for 31 January, 2006

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

First Coffee for 31 January, 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s weepy No One Cares. Might have to pick up the pace here soon:

C3i, a CRM vendor, today announced that a specialty pharmaceutical company selected C3i to offer end-to-end Siebel Pharma Services.

C3i will upgrade the life sciences customer’s CRM application to Siebel 7.8 for its 750 U.S.-based sales force. Following the upgrade, C3i officials say, they’ll provide global help desk support, and managed services for Tier II and Tier III technical support.

C3i will also offer workstation engineering, tablet deployment and hardware repair services for new tablet computers. The whole deal includes roll-out training and new hire instruction to ensure end-user adoption of the Siebel Pharma system.

Richard Matlus, research vice president at Gartner said pharmaceutical companies rely on CRM more than some other firms do. “These organizations require a support infrastructure that has world-class CRM implementation and support experience that allows them to rapidly use and adopt CRM systems to be productive in the field.”

Dave Hanaman, chief sales and marketing officer at C3i said currently over 34,000 pharmaceutical reps use C3i’s support.

Interestingly, C3i offers global and seamlessly integrated operations support from the United States, India and Bulgaria.

If your company’s unsure about e-mail and messaging compliance issues, you might want to check out what Norada’s offering, a “concise new micro-website at http://www.archivinge-mail.com,” which according to company officials “helps businesses better understand the issues and solution set surrounding e-mail archiving compliance.”

There are all the NASD, SEC, NYSE, NYPD, NFL and other industry regulators mandating this and that for incoming and outgoing e-mail correspondence, how to archive, how to monitor, which lame emoticons you’ll be fined for using, et cetera. If you even do business with certain kinds of companies you may be obligated to follow the same policies. E-mail archiving products and services provide control, data storage, retention, and retrieval, which a lot of companies need just to make sure they’re not going to be bitten on the butt by something a few years down the road.

Since the size of an organization is not a factor as to whether or not companies must adhere to the law and industry regulations, there is a understandable concern among small and medium businesses on how they can meet the e-mail archiving requirements.

“Some businesses operate under the misconception that by simply backing up or saving e-mail they’re doing enough,” said Steve Ireland, President of Norada Corporation, who claims that “traditional data backup processes or manually archiving don’t even come close to meeting the new e-mail archiving policy requirements.”

Norada Corporation’s e-mail archiving service is priced to be within reach of small firms. It’s billed by the company as “a simple, inexpensive, and reliable way to alleviate concerns posed by SEC & NASD rules, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, SOA, FSA, IDA, Investment Advisors Act, Legal Discovery and other regulations and guidelines regarding electronic communication retention.”

Basically, with Norada’s e-mail archiving service all incoming and outgoing e-mail messages are permanently preserved on a non-erasable and non-rewritable professional grade CD-R or DVD-R media. It requires nothing to configure or install, and service activation is fully transparent to end users.

Ongoing archiving is fully automatic requiring no involvement from end users, it captures a copy of both incoming and outgoing e-mail transmissions, making it equivalent to a “flight-data recorder” for e-mail thereby meeting the demands that are often imposed by a regulatory audit or court action.

Norada officials say their customers can readily access indexes and message archives and copy them to another application or storage medium as required, and any archived messages can be accessed directly by authorized end-users, such as compliance officers or corporate counsel, which “significantly reduces the discovery cost and workload for staff.”

So how’s SAP’s Enterprise Services Architecture going? The company says it’s gaining traction, better than we anticipated, but CBR‘s reporting that “to outside observers it is clear that the actual number of customers who have signed up to the ESA vision is only a small part of the overall SAP customer base.”

During 2005 NetWeaver software revenue amounted to $584 million, and 30 percent of that was from standalone NetWeaver sales, CBR cites SAP CEO Henning Kagermann as saying: “In addition, he said the company has logged 1,150 R/3 contract conversions.”

However, “those figures represent a tiny proportion of the customer base of close to 30,000 and the company’s overall 2005 software license revenue of $3.14 million.” SAP’s main challenge during 2006, as CBR sees it, “will be to persuade more customers to start adopting the new technology. The risk is that if adoption is slower than anticipated, it will give Oracle time to catch up.”

Virtela today announced what company officials are calling “the industry’s first virtualized network-based SSL Virtual Private Network service tightly coupled with a global MPLS network.

The virtualized design, Virtela says, “lets small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide… [get] the benefits of SSL-based remote access to their enterprise network resources.”

Similar to Virtela’s existing Managed SSL VPN Services, the new Virtela SMB SSL VPN service provides secure remote access to the corporate network from any Internet web browser without the need for a pre-installed client. Virtela provides design, implementation, 24x7 monitoring and management of the SSL VPN infrastructure.

They’re going after the “largely overlooked” SMB customer, calling the virtualized SSL VPN “ideal for smaller customers that are especially sensitive to the expense of SSL equipment, as well as the added costs of training and maintaining staff required to successfully self-manage the service.”

To allay such in-house costs, Virtela hosts the SSL gateway within the Virtela network, relieving customers of SSL equipment purchases and ongoing management.

Oh large enterprises are welcome too, especially those also using Virtela’s MPLS VPN services, who are encouraged to help themselves to Virtela’s multi-carrier network architecture. Virtela’s Global Service Fabric routes customer traffic over the best-performing path across multiple Tier-1 carrier networks, with automatic failover to ensure the highest network availability. SSL users can traverse the same architecture, and benefit from the same class of service designations applied to the MPLS corporate network.

For example, SSL users could prioritize a higher class of service for their bandwidth-intensive applications, such as VoIP or CRM sessions.

According to Gartner, SSL VPNs have superseded IPsec as the easiest choice for casual and ad hoc employee VPN access requests, and also for business partners, external maintenance providers and retired associates. Gartner forecasts that by 2008, SSL VPNs will be the primary remote access method for more than two-thirds of business teleworking employees, more than three- quarters of contractors and more than 90% of casual employee access.

For a limited time, Virtela is offering a Free 30-Day Trial of its Managed SSL VPN Services to qualified corporations.

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