First Coffee for 6 March, 2006

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

First Coffee for 6 March, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Everybody’s Bach, a decent, backgroundy snippet collection:

Business Objects, a vendor of business intelligence products, is announcing the availability of new Integration Kits for connecting the Oracle family of applications with BusinessObjects XI Release 2.

Business Objects provides customers with access to Oracle’s products and applications, including Oracle databases, Oracle OLAP multidimensional cubes, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, Siebel, and Oracle’s e-Business Suite applications.

BusinessObjects XI Release 2 is described by company officials as providing Oracle customers with “an insulation layer that protects end-users from any changes going on behind the scenes with their IT infrastructure.”

By offering a BI product that is separated from the transactional systems, Business Objects contends, it helps companies avoid disruptions and “will allow Oracle customers to migrate to Fusion without impacting reporting and business intelligence access.”

“With the rapid pace of consolidation happening in the market today, a company’s information infrastructure seems to be in a constant state of flux,” said Rene Bonvanie, chief marketing officer at Business Objects.

The BusinessObjects XI Release 2 integration kits offer pre-built integration for faster time to benefit and feature native drivers and security plug-ins that use the existing security infrastructure. The integration kits employ secured reporting, interactive dashboards and scorecards.

Business Objects officials say the BI platform is embedded across all of Oracle’s PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications. In addition, Business Objects already supports Oracle Fusion Middleware -- the foundation for future Oracle enterprise applications.

Zingo, Inc., an IP communications service provider servicing residential and commercial clients worldwide, is announcing that ZingoTel US and Canada customers can now reach a Public Safety Answering Point if needed for 9-1-1 assistance.

Basic 9-1-1 services provide the caller’s telephone number in most cases, but not the address location information, to PSAP. Basic 9-1-1 callers are required to give address location to dispatch 9-1-1 assistance if needed.

Zingo Telecom is presently testing E911 in United States service markets accessible to VoIP providers through E911 access routers under its current 9-1-1 service provider’s agreements. Testing is expected to be completed by April 1st, 2006, and once operational, company officials say it will “provide approximately 60 percent of the US market with E911 service.”

E911 provides the caller’s number and address location information with the call to PSAP.

Zingo announced last month that it has reached over 2,000 subscribers, a milestone company officials attribute “largely to aggressive online marketing over the past four months.”

ZingoTel will automatically upgrade customers with basic 9-1-1 to E911 service as they are available in the customers’ markets.

Frank Babusik, COO, Zingo Telecom said the company is “moving steadily to provide 100 percent access for E911 services to every US customer as these markets become available to Zingo Telecom directly or indirectly with local PSAP router access.”

Globe Composite Solutions, Ltd. has announced that it has developed what it calls the industry’s first 100 percent non-metallic roller and conveyor side frame system to enhance the performance of RFID-enabled material handling applications.

The new patent-pending conveyor system, NMR-6689TM, is described by company officials as eliminating potential interference from metallic components, “thereby increasing read-rate accuracy and allowing clients to use multiple RFID systems within close proximity without misreads or double counts.”

The first NMR-6689TM system is scheduled to be delivered for initial product testing early next week.

Non-metallic conveyor products are the standard for RFID use since metallic conveyors and components create interference and potentially compromise RFID tag readability. Globe’s Brandonite non-metallic conveyor systems are widely installed in US airports.

“We have heard loud and clear from the marketplace about the need to improve the performance of RFID-enabled material handling systems”, said Carl W. Forsythe, President and CEO of Globe.

Users can now place the RFID antennae directly underneath the conveyor to obtain “true 360-degree coverage to accurately read RFID tags, even on higher speed conveyor systems,” according to Brian C. Evans, Vice President of Design Engineering at Globe.

Here’s a switch: Other countries outsourcing their call center work to the United States. The Las Cruces (New Mexico) Sun-News is reporting that a Canadian company “plans to locate a new call center in Las Cruces that could eventually provide hundreds of jobs.”

ClientLogic will hire “150 to 200 employees” before training starts in April, according to a company news release, and “plans to hire nearly 600 employees, most full-time with benefits” the newspaper quotes, company spokesman Stephen McClure said.

ClientLogic provides customer service and technical support services for other companies. For example, the newspaper says, “if the company contracted with Sony and someone called a technical support number for help using a DVD player, the caller could be calling an employee of the Las Cruces facility.”

Aspect Huntley is reporting that Iress Market Technology’s XPLAN “has entered into a four-year agreement with Genesys Group for provision of software for its adviser technology platform.”

XPLAN will be deployed to Genesys member firms during the remainder of 2006, as a 100 percent web-based product. The company believes that web-deployment means reductions in costs, infrastructure requirements and workload for end users.

Interestingly, Siebel is the only company in the “leader quadrant” in Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service and Support Applications, 2006,” according to industry observer Colin Beasty.

Gartner states that Siebel’s Version 7.7 “continues to demonstrate the highest complexity and broadest functionality in the industry,” Beasty reports, “and is the only system in the market to demonstrate the ability to support large-scale implementations.”

Michael Maoz, vice president and research fellow at Gartner, says that if Siebel wants to remain the leader of this market, it must “focus on delivering more intelligence to the desktop by ‘delivering decision support for the interaction with that customer,’” in Beasty’s words.

Siebel’s strongest competition, according to the report, comes from niche players such as Amdocs and SAP AG and the likes of Onyx Software, Pegasystems, RightNow Technologies, and

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