First Coffee for 30 March 2006

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

First Coffee for 30 March 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Short, Sharp, Shocked by Michelle Shocked:

The last total eclipse of the sun as spectacular as the one yesterday was in November 2003. That one was best viewed from Antarctica, said Alex Young, a NASA scientist involved in solar research, according to the Associated Press.

God was a little kinder to the scientific set this time around, though, as the eclipse was best viewed in Antalya, a comfortable resort on Turkey’s beautiful Mediterranean coast.

Talk about timing: First Coffee lives in Istanbul, but until this past December lived in Antalya. I kid you not when I say that two years ago – two – we were getting e-mails from our friends in America to come and, well, gee, it’s been a long time since we’ve seen you guys, so why don’t we come to visit, oh, let’s say end of March 2006, how does that work for you?

You think I’m exaggerating. Last summer, as soon as we told our friends we were moving to Istanbul – not on the eclipse path – they suddenly had all kinds of unforeseen scheduling problems, maybe next year?

But here in Turkey, the eclipse was not looked forward to by certain members of the population. In 1999, six days after a solar eclipse, a vicious earthquake killed 17,000 people. In the hard-hit region of Tokat in northwestern Turkey people have been busily putting up tents and makeshift shelters in preparation for the earthquake to follow this one.

My wife and mine’s best friends here in Istanbul, the South African couple pastoring the International Church here, went to Cappadocia in central Turkey to view the eclipse. She’s a scientist. He’s along for the ride.

Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. is announcing the launch of its voice and video software engines, the “eSound” and “eVideo.” These software engines support triple play communication, according to company officials, “delivering excellent video and voice quality for conversations over full IP broadband networks.”

Oki is marketing these engines to the telecommunications, digital home appliance, in-vehicle system, and security system markets, which are increasing their use of IP.

Telecom infrastructure at homes and enterprises that are based on PSTNs and mobile communications, are being consolidated into Fixed Mobile Convergence-based IP networks, which Oki officials call “the ideal Next Generation Network that Japanese telecom carriers have been seeking.”

What this means is various terminals that had been connected through conventional networks will now connect through an IP network. This is the market need Oki’s selling its eSound, with high quality VoIP technology and eVideo, the high quality video codec.

Katsuyoshi Koide, President of Multimedia Messaging Company at Oki Electric said that while IP video and phones are known to dramatically reduce communication costs, quality degradation caused by packet losses and jitter that can occur over an IP network is still an issue.

He says Oki took that into account: “Because we have made the engines compliant with several coding methods, they can be installed in various applications, enabling users to enjoy video or phone conversations with as strong a sense of realism as if they were talking in person.”

Stockgroup Information Systems Inc. has announced today the appointment of Susan Lovell as the Chief Financial Officer.

Lovell brings to Stockgroup over 10 years of senior management experience, including six years with Crystal Decisions, a business intelligence software which was acquired by Business Objects in 2003.

Lovell was also the former Controller of GaleForce Solutions, a vendor of CRM software for the financial services industry.

DataDirect Technologies, a vendor of data connectivity and mainframe integration, and an operating company of Progress Software Corporation, has announced that Flagstar Bank, the largest publicly held savings bank in the Midwest, will be using DataDirect’s premier data connectivity components as the foundation for building an enhanced data mart for better customer relationship management (CRM) capability.

Distributed Database Consulting, a database and systems integrator assisted the company with its CRM project and recommended DataDirect Connect for ODBC to them.

The deployment will use DataDirect Connect for ODBC, a suite of ODBC drivers for all major databases, to serve as a foundation for linking data housed in multiple sources across a variety of platforms.

Flagstar officials say they want to linking disparate data across the enterprise to improve operations at two major divisions at Flagstar, Mortgage and Banking.

McGraw-Hill Construction has announced that it is working with Oracle to integrate Oracle’s Siebel CRM OnDemand into the McGraw-Hill Construction Network platform, helping Network subscribers manage their lead pipeline.

This effort will improve McGraw-Hill’s ability to identify and prioritize people and projects, track bid status through the sales cycle and maximize their personal productivity through integration with Microsoft Outlook and PDAs.

“The combination of these two offerings delivers a powerful, comprehensive product to members of the design and construction community,” said Norbert W. Young, Jr., FAIA, president, McGraw-Hill Construction.

The McGraw-Hill Construction Network, and its newest addition, the McGraw-Hill Construction Network for products, is an online, integrated marketing and sales products platform.

Siebel CRM OnDemand is a Web-based, hosted CRM offering that delivers complete sales, marketing, and service functionality, built-in customer analytics and embedded best practices based on over 10 years of CRM experience and nearly 4 million users worldwide.

In addition to managing leads passed directly from the Construction Network, Siebel CRM OnDemand can integrate with a subscriber’s existing systems to extend the reach and value of the McGraw-Hill Construction offering within their organization, enabling the unification, tracking and management of all customer-facing business processes.

Epicor Software Corporation, listed on Nasdaq, a vendor of enterprise software products for the global midmarket including CRM and ERP, has announced it will be added to the Standard & Poor’s SmallCap 600 Index.

According to a list of changes issued by Standard & Poor’s, Epicor will be added to the index on a date to be announced later and will be classified under the Global Industry Classification Standard economic sector “Information Technology” and GICS sub-industry “Application Software.”

The S&P SmallCap 600 covers approximately 3 percent of the U.S. equities market. The S&P SmallCap 600 is designed to be an efficient portfolio of companies that meet specific inclusion criteria, including U.S. company status, market capitalization in the range of $300 million to $1 billion, financial viability, adequate liquidity and reasonable price, public float of at least 50 percent, sector representation and an operating company status.

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