First Coffee for 28 March 2006

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

First Coffee for 28 March 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Arlo Guthrie’s “Last To Leave:”

Cognos, a business intelligence and corporate performance management (CPM) vendor, has announced the latest version of Cognos 8 Business Intelligence.

This new version of Cognos 8 BI includes new search and reporting capabilities to extend the reach of BI to more users, and expanded enterprise-application and data support.

Leah MacMillan, vice president of product marketing said the additional support for enterprise applications in Cognos 8 BI is engineered to help companies get more out of their ERP investments “by providing ways to measure, monitor, and analyze business information.”

Cognos 8 BI delivers a simplified, zero-footprint interface for all users, authors and administrators. New capabilities announced include:

BI search. Cognos Go! Search Service, a new BI search capability, lets users find enterprise information available through Cognos 8 Business Intelligence. It uses a familiar, browser-based search that ranks results based on user priorities.

Extended Cognos Office Connection. In addition to the ability to embed refreshable reports within Microsoft Excel, users can now view, interact with, and refresh Cognos 8 BI reports, analyses, and metrics within Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel.

Access to mySAP and Siebel. The new Cognos 8 Report Packs for mySAP FI/CO (for SAP R/3 data) and Siebel CRM let users combine, in one report or dashboard, historic data from the data warehouse with current data in mySAP and Siebel CRM transaction systems without additional coding. It also delivers pre- defined content for more than 60 commonly used reports to provide immediate access to mySAP and Siebel CRM data.

Certified SAP NetWeaver support. Cognos 8 BI received updated certification for SAP NetWeaver, allowing customers to access data in the SAP Business Information Warehouse, deploy Cognos 8 BI on the SAP Web Application Server, and display information through the SAP NetWeaver Portal.

A recent Forrester Research report recognizes Oracle’s Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite as having the strongest product offering in the latest Forrester Wave Evaluation: Enterprise Marketing Platforms, Q1 2006.

Forrester refers to this broader suite as the Marketing Technology Backbone and the application layer is the Enterprise Marketing Platform.

Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite was rated “Strong Performer” and was ranked first in the current offering in the Forrester Waves for B2C and B2B Marketing platforms. Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite was also ranked first or second in Marketing Planning and Resource Management, Campaign Management, Lead Management, Analytics and Reporting, Architecture and other vertical capabilities, including Loyalty Management and Trade Promotions Management products.

Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite also scored well for Application Usability and Interaction Management.

“Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite provides the broadest functionality in the market and is the best product for B2B marketers,” reported Forrester Analyst Elena Anderson. “Siebel Enterprise Marketing Suite offers top-notch analysis tools and very strong campaign design and segmentation tools.”

To assess the state of the enterprise marketing platform market, Forrester analyzed strengths and weaknesses of the top enterprise eight CRM vendors across 168 criteria that incorporated current offering, strategy and market presence.

The complete Forrester Enterprise Marketing Wave report is available online.

LLP KaR-Tel, a mobile operator in Kazakhstan and a VimpelCom affiliate working under the Beeline brand, and CRM vendor Amdocs have announced that KaR-Tel has deployed Amdocs CRM to improve its customer service and increase operational efficiencies.

KaR-Tel is also using Amdocs billing products for automated resource and inventory management to improve and simplify sales and provisioning processes of pre-paid and post-paid services.

Amdocs CRM enables KaR-Tel to centralize customer information and provide its customer service agents with a single view of the customer, according to KaR-Tel officials. Additionally, the operator can better manage incidents and problems via its contact centers across Kazakhstan, driving down call handling time.

The Amdocs CRM deployment is a collaboration of teams from VimpelCom and KaR-Tel, Arstel Consulting and Amdocs.

“With Amdocs we can now deliver an intentional customer experience, with a level of service not known before in the Kazakhstan marketplace,” said Ansat Zhabagin, chief financial officer at LLP KaR-Tel.

Amdocs CRM currently supports more than 150 KaR-Tel agents handling more than 10,000 customer calls per day. KaR-Tel plans to further expand the deployment to support its regional contact centers as well.

Queue Associates, Inc., a Microsoft Business Solutions consulting firm based in New York, has announced the expansion of its operations into Europe with the opening of Queue Associates UK in London, England.

The company also announced that it has acquired the intellectual property for “Global Projects Suite,” an enterprise project management software enhancement for the Microsoft Dynamics SL product.

Queue Associates will implement the newly-acquired GPS technology in conjunction with the Microsoft Dynamics SL suite of project-management products. Global Projects Suite (GPS) consists of three separate components, including Global Project Extensions, Multi- Currency Expenses and Multiple Base Currency General Ledger, specifically designed to help international organizations manage their multi- currency, multi-office and multi-national projects while maintaining local responsibility.

Bharti Tele-Ventures, an Indian provider of telecommunications services, has signed a five-year managed services agreement with Nortel to host contact center services for more than 19.7 million subscribers to Bharti’s Airtel GSM mobile, broadband and fixed-line services.

Nortel will create a Network Operations Center in New Delhi and provide network design, integration, support and maintenance services for Bharti’s contact center architecture.

A 24x7 virtual storefront voice portal based on Nortel’s interactive voice response product will be the cornerstone of Bharti’s new contact center operation. Calling a single number from anywhere in India, Bharti’s wireless and wireline customers will be able to speak in English, Hindi, or four other regional languages to complete routine transactions and subscribe to new services. Nortel has also designed the architecture for future interactive video response capability.

To simplify business, Bharti has designed with Nortel an innovative “per call” approach to paying for Nortel’s hosted services, linking its contact center cost structure to network traffic, service levels and customer growth.

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