First Coffee for 16 March 2006

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

First Coffee for 16 March 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is something you’ve never heard, Gil Scott-Heron’s “Johannesburg:”

The privately-held business intelligence vendor from Cary, North Carolina, SAS has entered into an agreement to acquire Veridiem, a privately held software company based in Maynard, Massachusetts.

It’s the seventh acquisition by SAS since 2000. Veridiem’s flagship software, Veridiem 2, is designed to link sales results to the marketing investments that drove them to identify what’s working, what’s not, and what will work better.

The company’s products help clients analyze and optimize their return from marketing investments such as advertising, promotions, incentives, direct mail, events and the Web. Veridiem works in a field known as Marketing Resource Management.

SAS officials say the acquisition will bolster SAS’ Customer Intelligence product line, which includes marketing automation, event-based marketing, campaign optimization, Web analytics, e-marketing and customer analytics.

The acquisition also brings SAS’ Boston-area presence to about 160 employees, as Veridiem’s dozen employees join existing employees at SAS’ office in Middleton, Massachusetts.

In 2003, SAS acquired Marketmax, a vendor of retail planning and merchandise intelligence software.

Veridiem is privately held and backed by leading investors such as North Bridge Venture Partners, Venrock Associates, Infinity Capital and North Hill Ventures. The acquisition agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the approval of Veridiem’s stockholders. Financial details were not disclosed.

Using the Veridiem software, companies can simulate the expected outcome of various marketing strategies, measure the effectiveness of those already underway, and identify mid-course changes that can maximize results.

Veridiem’s software is also designed to promote accountability in marketing organizations, deliver continuous intelligence about the impact of marketing activities across various channels, and generate strong return on investment.

Gartner Research Vice President Kimberly Collins wrote last April that “marketing organizations are under increased pressure to become more accountable and to increase visibility of marketing programs and their impact.”

SAS President and CEO Jim Goodnight said the Veridiem purchase would improve SAS products’ marketing activities.

Tokyo’s Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. has been busy with the product announcements here. Yesterday they announced distance broadcast testing, today it’s the launch of IP Convergence Server SS9100 Release 5, what company officials describe as “the latest model in its IP telephony server product lineup.”

The SS9100 R5 increases line capacity up to 20 thousand lines, and will be available to the Japanese market from March 20, 2006.

Oki launched its first SS9100, an IP telephony server that links IP-PBX functions and business applications on Microsoft.NET, in February 2004 and since then has been increasing the functions and expanding the peripherals and terminal lineups.

Oki says they were the first in Japan to launch distributed access points for Voice over Wireless LAN, the MWINS BR2100 Series, thus enabling low cost mobile Centrex systems, and “achieving easier and more comfortable conversations by connecting business applications to telecommunications through the high-function softphone, Com@WILL Softphone.”

The SS9100 R5 is a large-scale system based on several servers, which increases the line capacity for each system from 5,000 ports to 20,000 ports. The SS9100 R5 achieves a large-scale Centrex structure by mutually connecting servers that connect within each server. It can be centralized at a center or distributed to each location, establishing a risk dispersion structure.

Kintera Inc., a vendor of CRM to nonprofit and government sectors, has announced financial results for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005.

Total revenue for fiscal year 2005 increased 73 percent to $40.9 million, compared with $23.7 million in the year ended December 31, 2004. Total revenue for the fourth quarter 2005 was $9.1 million, an increase of 17 percent compared with the fourth quarter 2004.

Full year 2005 net loss was $41.9 million, or $1.36 per share, as compared with a net loss of $19.2 million, or $0.77 per share, in the year ended December 31, 2004. Kintera’s net loss for the fourth quarter 2005 was $11.8 million, or $0.37 per share, as compared to a net loss of $5.9 million, or $0.21 per share, in the fourth quarter 2004.

Skura Corporation, a vendor of CRM services in the pharmaceutical industry, announced it has hired former Siebel senior executive, Jeff Wessinger, as President, Software Products, effective March 1, 2006.

Wessinger will take on the role as President of Skura Products, a division of Skura Corporation. His responsibilities include business development, product conceptualization and direction, and the implementation of alliances with leading companies worldwide.

LignUp Corporation, a vendor of converged communications products, has announced the European launch of FastLign, an industry alliance founded to accelerate the adoption of IP telephony services.

Alliance partners provide a telephony services architecture, turnkey hosted applications and regional partners to operate and fully support FastLign managed services.

TeliaSonera International Carrier and the United Kingdom’s Streamdoor Limited will extend FastLign’s reach into Europe, enabling the market’s numerous emerging service providers to deliver hosted telephony services.

In the past, IP telephony services have been prohibitively time consuming and expensive to build, deploy and manage,” said Johan Andersson, VP and head of Marketing, Strategy and New Business at TeliaSonera International Carrier. “Service providers must build these services from the ground up, integrating a wide variety of technologies and services to provide a complete services product.”

FastLign provides service providers with a hosted telephony services model that removes system integration cycles, provides operations support and allows customers to address the needs of the marketplace. In their words.

Streamdoor, a provider of hosted on-demand contact center applications and VoIP communication services, will provide FastLign’s operational backbone and datacenter capacity.

After 410 man hours spent tasting 157 coffees from the best roasters in the country (such a job), Food and Wine magazine chose the best of the best in their annual “Obsessive’s Guide to Coffee,” available in the March 2006 issue.

So if you live near Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon, any coffee shop who uses Terroir Coffee Company’s beans, Counter Culture in Durham, North Carolina, Barefoot in Silicon Valley or Intelligentsia in Chicago or Ecco Caffè in Sonoma wine country, well, lucky you.

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