First Coffee for 3 March, 2006

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

First Coffee for 3 March, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Louis Jordan’s “Doug the Jitterbug:”

Green Beacon Solutions, a provider of strategy, consulting and implementation services for Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and Marketing Automation technologies, has announced that it has developed a streamlined approach for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 upgrade projects that includes new and updated enhancements to help customers achieve more business value from their investments.

An inaugural Dynamics CRM partner, Green Beacon has already developed a set of targeted enhancements for prior releases that company officials describe as streamlining the user experience and enabling customers to maximize the return on their CRM investment.

The new Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 platform provides a more customizable framework for tailoring the user interface, business logic, and reporting to each client’s business needs. This architecture also lets Green Beacon’s consulting organization build targeted, vertical products that integrate with clients’ business processes.

“Unlike most network applications which can be installed and configured once, CRM applications must be customized and modified regularly to ensure that they address current business demands,” said Benjamin Holtz, CEO of Green Beacon Solutions.

Highlights of the Green Beacon’s customizations include:

Website Lead Capture. Green Beacon’s Lead Capture integration allows companies to convert website visitors into Microsoft Dynamics CRM leads. Prospects may enter contact information, request sales literature or complete surveys while online as Microsoft Dynamics CRM captures the prospect as a lead and triggers the beginning of the sales process, notifying the appropriate sales representative of the new lead to be qualified.

Customer Affinities. Green Beacon’s Customer Affinities Module allows an unlimited set of interests, preferences, and demographics to be stored on contact and account records. The affinities are searchable using Microsoft’s new Advanced Searching and List Building functionality in Dynamics CRM 3.0.

Org Chart. Green Beacon’s Org Chart offers users a consolidated, hierarchical view of their Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accounts and Contacts. Org Chart provides a visual depiction of Parent Accounts, Child Accounts (Sub Accounts), Contacts (Employees) and other key relationships.

Sales Forecast. This provides reps and managers instant access to an up-to-the-minute snapshot of their sales pipeline, along with the ability to create custom views by filtering on sales rep, territory, and/or status. Users have one-click access to the Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities from the Sales Forecast report, streamlining the process of updating forecasts for weekly sales meetings.

Latens Systems, a provider of IPTV Conditional Access, has announced that Midwest TelNet, a consortium of thirteen IOCs in southwest Wisconsin, has selected Latens FCAS Conditional Access to secure its advanced IPTV services.

FCAS will integrate with AmiNET110 and AmiNET500 set-top boxes from Amino, an IPTV set-top box supplier and with Minerva’s iTV Manager.

Midwest TelNet can now offer its subscribers secured video services that include Pay-TV, High Definition, personal video recording, video-on-demand and subscription video-on-demand as MPEG-2 streams.

Rodney Olson, General Manager of Vernon Telephone, a member company of the Midwest TelNet consortium said they chose Latens “because they have an enviable track record in real-world deployments” and offer the sort of product that “satisfies our service offer in the short and long term.”

Roy Kirsopp, VP & GM at Amino said the integration of Latens FCAS with the AmiNET110 and AmiNET500 “widens the choice for all IPTV operators and removes the pre-launch integration required.”

Latens is a privately held company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, founded by broadcast technology experts and says its “sole mission” is to provide “the industry’s leading software-based Content & Revenue Protection Systems for pay-TV and IPTV operators, as software security replaces legacy Conditional Access technology.”

Latens uses Secure Software Modules to maximize security and minimize the risk of attack.

A big happy birthday to Alexander Graham Bell, one of Scotland’s better exports, born in Edinburgh today in 1847 and the man who made possible telemarketing.

Network inventory software is gaining telecom industry respect as a proven ROI generator, according to a recent report from telecom analyst firm Dittberner.

In a new research study titled “Telecom Provisioning, Network Inventory, and Service Management Solutions,” Dittberner provides a sweeping 225-page analysis of the market. It also examines vendor offerings into detailed product, financial, and strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats assessments of leading provisioning and inventory software suppliers.

Dittberner cites network inventory’s key value in providing a framework and migration tools to help telecoms consolidate their inventory and mechanize their provisioning processes.

On the heels of several carrier success stories with inventory, Dittberner forecasts the market for network inventory and related network discovery software will grow handsomely by a 9.4 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate, from $333 million in 2005 to $521 million in 2010.

Network inventory systems are proving particularly useful in broadband networks where they track services that overlay multiple technologies, OSI layers, and multi-vendor networks.

Some recent successes detailed in the Dittberner study include the following:

WilTel Communications’ network scattered across dozens of regional centers was causing data accuracy problems such as stranded network elements and over-provisioned services that were costly to isolate. An inventory consolidation using an Open Telecommunications tool enabled WilTel to reconcile its network and enforce business rules to prevent further problems.

Elisa, a leading operator in Finland, needed to consolidate about 50 network inventory and provisioning systems it had built in-house or acquired through mergers with other operators. With Comptel’s help, Elisa created a new inventory system that assured better data quality, common processes across the company, and reduced costs from maintaining fewer inventory systems.

XO Communications faced a pressing need to unite its two separate networks, the Allegiance and XO networks. The chief drawback was that services for each of these networks had to be ordered separately. After inventory was consolidated on a single MetaSolv system, XO set upon the task of building integrations to mechanize provisioning.

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