First Coffee for 9 March, 2006

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 9 March, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Billie Holiday’s Lady In Autumn, a collection of her later Verve recordings:

Let’s start far afield: PT. Bank Lippo, Tbk, Indonesia’s first private bank, in an attempt to strengthen its business-continuance process, has bought a storage area network product from Cisco Systems.

The product comprises a Fibre Channel-based SAN with Internet Protocol integration, enabling stored data to connect with the network infrastructure. With the new system, LippoBank hopes to be better able to manage its databases and to recover from a disaster, as well as lower costs and improving staff efficiency in the bargain.

The product replaced a mixture of storage systems and servers for customer account information and internal records such as management information system, decision support system and human resource data. Apart from the technical problems of keeping track of a growing number of heterogeneous storage devices, the bank was also beginning to run into significant problems in attempting to manage disparate data pools that contained a mix of critical and noncritical information.

Furthermore, with network security as a growing concern, disaster recovery was always at the forefront in any IT consideration. As well it should have been.

The new integrated SAN product features Cisco MDS 9506 Multilayer directors connected via IP links to enable synchronous and asynchronous backups between the production sites and the disaster-recovery sites. Each Cisco MDS 9506 Director links the IBM pSeries 570 server, xSeries servers, mainframe zSeries server and 3590 Tape Drives with an IBM Enterprise Storage Server. The Cisco MDS 9506 is a highly scalable, standards-based director-class SAN switch with strong disaster-recovery capabilities.

The whole Cisco SAN product installed by Multipolar has improved LippoBank’s storage capabilities and ability to react quickly to unforeseen challenges, we’re glad to report. With the Fibre Channel-over-IP (FCIP) link, LippoBank is able to place two physically distinct storage systems at separate secured locations for data replication and fast disaster recovery.

Pulling it in a little closer to home, Norwegian company Firm (yes, that’s the name), here meet my pet, Cat), a vendor of software for market research and Enterprise Insight Management, has announced plans to launch a new module of Confirmit for onsite self-interviewing.

The new module named Confirmit Kiosk is expected by management to “improve the way customer experience is measured and how businesses manage customer feedback.”

Fully integrated with the web-centric Confirmit platform and its suite of survey, reporting and feedback management tools, companies can deploy the Confirmit Kiosk software on computer stations across thousands of malls, shops and/or hotels to measure customer experience instantly and onsite.

Confirmit Kiosk also enables businesses to conduct automatic follow-up of customer complaints in addition to continuous quality assurance of its customer facing operations.

“While customer experience and customer loyalty is often regarded as intangible and therefore immeasurable, it is exactly these factors that have direct impact on their bottom line,” says Firm’s VP of Marketing Kjell Oksendal correctly.

Confirmit Kiosk can be implemented in online or offline locations and integrated with existing CRM or other enterprise systems, delivering dashboards and alerts to management and relevant stakeholders. It’s scheduled for release in May.

SwiftPage E-mail today announced the availability of SwiftPage E-mail Pro for ACT! by Sage, an integrated e-mail marketing product that integrates with the popular ACT! by Sage contact management software.

SwiftPage E-mail Pro includes broad new functionality that enables businesses to better manage, analyze, and capitalize on their e-mail marketing efforts.

SwiftPage E-mail offers the ability to monitor and track the results of each e-mail marketing campaign through detailed graphical reports on who opened the e-mail and what they clicked on, then assigning a score to rank prospects for target segmenting.

Thus Sales Managers can compare sent, opened, and clicked rates by each team member, while Marketing Managers can see how effective the e-mail content is by analyzing the campaign across multiple users.

Messages may be sent from within Outlook, ACT! by Sage, Sage CRM SalesLogix, or through SwiftPage E-mail’s host. SwiftPage E-mail is a permission-based e-mail marketing service, and is fully compliant with the CAN-SPAM law.

CoreTrac, Inc., which sells ResourceOne, a CRM/Sales Force Automation product for community financial institutions, today reported the addition of its Express Professional Services.

ResourceOne has been redesigned in response to feedback from CoreTrac customers, company officials say: “A recently updated client voting system allows each customer to prioritize development projects outlined for the upcoming year, as well as provide additional ideas for future products.”

Once or twice a year a major development project, like Case Management, will be scheduled for completion, CoreTrac officials say. As with Case Management, some customers require more rapid development than the general majority.

To expedite the development process of a particular project, a customer can employ CoreTrac’s Express Professional Services. EPS covers additional resources needed for quicker development to release a project in a shorter time.

CoreTrac, Inc. is a privately held corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. The company is dedicated exclusively to providing its CRM/SFA product, ResourceOne, to community financial institutions.

ProLogis, a vendor of distribution facilities and services, today released the latest edition of the ProLogis Supply Chain Review titled, “Voice Recognition Systems – Technology at Work in Today’s Warehouse/Distribution Facilities.”

The report, authored by noted warehousing and logistics consultant Kenneth Ackerman, contends that VR systems are “arguably the most important technological breakthrough in warehouse operations” since the advent of barcode scanning.

“Most vendors indicate that an investment in a voice recognition system will be paid back in 12 to 18 months,” Ackerman writes in the report. “Typical testimonials call for a 60 percent reduction in picking errors, productivity increases ranging from 11 percent to 40 percent over six months, reductions in training time from days to hours, and a substantial improvement in inventory accuracy.”

VR enables two-way communications between computerized warehouse management systems and warehouse workers equipped with special headsets. It can be used to automate command-and-control of a variety of tasks, including order selection, receiving, sorting and truck-loading.

According to the report, VR systems generally result in a wide variety of operational improvements, including lower error rates, higher productivity, reduced customer returns and more accurate inventory accounting.

It finds that since the core technology behind VR systems has been around long enough most major bugs have been eliminated by now, and it concludes that “contrary to widely-held assumptions, warehouse workers are generally receptive to using the technology.”

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