First Coffee for 24 February, 2006

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

First Coffee for 24 February, 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is - here’s a surprise, something you’ve never seen here on First CoffeeSM before, better be sitting down – Robert Earl Keen’s What I Really Mean:

Sage Software has been busy with the ol’ publicity mill here recently, trumpeting their Dublin deal a couple days ago and now announcing that Yocream International, Inc., a leading producer of frozen yogurt marketed under the Dannon Yocream Frozen Yogurt brand, has implemented Sage CRM to “automate sales processes and enable consistent information sharing for its on-premises and field sales representatives,” according to Sage officials.

Yocream also uses the Sage Accpac ERP system to manage its general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory control and order entry processes.

“Our biggest gain from Sage CRM is the ability to share customer and prospect databases with all users,” explained Brad Gaylor, information systems manager for Yocream International, Inc. “We were aiming to better manage leads and accomplish more sales growth, which is what we are seeing as a result of implementing Sage CRM.”

Yocream provides frozen yogurt and beverages for food service distributors who sell to customers at convenience stores, restaurants, schools and hospitals.

Twenty-four Yocream employees use Sage CRM, including nine sales team members who are equipped with the Sage CRM Solo client for remote synchronization. Field representatives use the system on wireless laptops, at home and during travel by synchronizing prospect and customer data to the company database whenever convenient to their schedules.

“There has been a significant increase in communication among our sales team,” Gaylor said. “Our rep in Florida, for example, knows what our rep in Michigan is doing without having to pick up the phone.”

Demand for front and back office applications continues to be strong among growth-oriented small and mid-sized businesses, said Bob Neeser, vice president of CRM sales for Sage Software.

In a related development, according to Datamonitor, Sage has “bought non-exclusive rights to certain Timeline Inc. software patents that automate the design of data marts and OLAP cubes, a move that will guard against possible patent infringement lawsuits down the road.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Datamonitor says, Sage will be provide integrated data mart capabilities within its ERP, accounting, CRM and business intelligence products which are aimed at small and medium-sized firms.

“Timeline, which is based in Irvine, California, is a curious company to say the least,” the research firm writes. “Its corporate boilerplate bills the company as a developer and marketer of patented Microsoft Windows-based financial management reporting software… however it seems the company also makes a fair living out of defending its patents in court, rather than selling software.”

In 2004 the company won $1.75 million from Canadian business intelligence firm Cognos, and has also filed successful suits against Oracle, Sagent Technology and Clarus.

Hey, why get your hands dirty working? Just send out the lawyers and cash the checks. In fact, in recent years Timeline’s gotten rid of most of its actual employees and concentrates on what Datamonitor calls “its patent portfolio.” Translation: They sue other people for a living.

Sage CEO Ron Verni said a new product, called Sage Intelligent Reporting, will be launched in March initially to Sage’s Line 50 UK-based customers. “This will deliver true BI capability out-of-the-box for small businesses.”

...

Municipal networks, wireless DSL, and mobile VoIP applications are driving a resurgence of wireless mesh technology as a way to provide low-cost broadband access services, finds a new report from research service Unstrung Insider.

The report, titled “Wireless Mesh: From Enterprise to Metro,” analyzes mesh architectures for outdoor citywide and neighborhood-scale networks, with analysis of the startup and major-name vendors at the forefront of infrastructure-grade wireless mesh systems.

According to the report, which compares data on 27 separate wireless mesh products, including U.S. list pricing and street prices, the infrastructure mesh market is poised for substantial growth as equipment starts to mature and municipalities step in as “anchor tenants” to drive the business case.

However, it’s not all upside in the wireless mesh story: While there is a lot of interest, wireless ISPs and other network operators interviewed for the report consistently stress the need to set realistic performance and coverage expectations for these networks.

Among the report’s key findings:

The average list price of 27 mesh nodes surveyed in the report is $3,750, with an average price per radio of $1,500.

Expect vendors to attack this market with aggressive pricing in 2006; low cost two-radio nodes will be the real battleground.

A $1,000 two-radio mesh node is a possibility in 2006, as forward pricing, unit volumes, and large municipal contracts kick in.

To help identify and track the whereabouts of trained personnel responding to disasters and law enforcement emergencies, Intermec Inc., of Everett, Wash., and Intelli-Check Inc., of Woodbury, New York, have created an identification and verification system that meets the credentialing requirements of Federal Information Processing Standards 201 (FIPS 201), which requires identity verification of federal employees and contractors.

By June 27, 2006, all those affected by Federal credentialing requirements must comply with the ID verification process. Additionally, by January 2008, the U.S. Government has mandated that all first responders to national emergencies, such as the National Guard, military and medical personnel, carry common identification cards encoded with vital information, such as the carrier’s certifications and security clearances.

Intelli-Check software, combined with the Intermec 700, can read and verify the carrier identity of these and many other types of ID cards.

Intelli-Check’s patented software, used with Intermec 700 mobile computers, allows immediate, on-the-spot personnel identification across jurisdictional boundaries. The Intermec 700 rugged mobile verification handheld can read magnetic stripe, bar code and smart card technologies within one device.

This allows responders to read and verify the data encoded on U.S. and Canadian driver licenses, state and provincial non-driver IDs and military IDs.

Intelli-Check Chairman and CEO Frank Mandelbaum said his software, used with Intermec 700 mobile devices, “ensures that users such as government and law enforcement agencies can identify, verify and place emergency workers immediately upon arrival at the site.”

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