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April 2006

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First Coffee for 28 April: Key VoIP Considerations for SMBs, Alcatel Results, CoreTrac's CRM, SFA Service Center, Contactual Funding

April 28, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Zappa’s “Joe’s Garage:”

CoreTrac, vendor of ResourceOne, a CRM/Sales Force Automation product for community financial institutions, has announced the release of their latest product enhancement, Service Center. It’s being marketed at as a tool for banks and credit unions to manage call centers and capture business generated through inbound calls.

This added functionality could be beneficial to institutions that want to capitalize on opportunities created from customer service issues: “By storing and tracking customer service issues in the same CRM/Sales Force Automation system as your sales efforts, your calling officers can better understand the relationship of your clients and build rapport that leads to long term and satisfied clients,” company officials say.

Service Center is built with the ability to gather real-time statistics displayed to give the agent or manager a snapshot of the call center traffic, as well as to match cases directly to a client, existing accounts, or even prospective business with ResourceOne’s existing client data including accounts from the core.

It can also provide agents with all of the information in front of them when viewing and managing a case, and attach a comprehensive log to every case – all communication, notes, and status changes.

Users also have the ability to create a case list report that shows all the case data by user, branch or organization. This can make it easy to print a list of cases to evaluate the agent’s load or tasks.

Alcatel’s Board of Directors has reviewed and approved first quarter 2006 results, announcing that revenues were up by 17.6 percent at Euro 3.067 billion compared with Euro 2.607 billion (up 14.9 percent at constant Euro/$ exchange rate) in the same period last year.

The gross margin was 34.9 percent.

First Coffee for 27 April 2006: Richards Butler CRM, Bluewolf's CRM Help, Clifford Chance's CRM, FreeCRM, Mystery Author!

April 27, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz  

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman,” which First Coffee submits is the first rock song in American – therefore world – history; listen to the guitar intro and tell me where Chuck Berry got it from:

Happy birthday to… hey, here’s what we’ll do today. It’s the birthday of an author you know. First Coffee knows you know this author. If you get it after the first clue you’re Master Champion Trivia Buff: The author was born in Meran, Tyrol, Austria in 1898.

First Coffee for 26 April: Cisco-Microsoft CRM, ANZAC Day, France Telecom Renegs, Unisys' Biometrics Survey, Centerbase's CRM 1.4

April 26, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz  

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis and John Coltrane’s 1957 recording “Bye Bye Blackbird:”

Noting that “seventy percent of all customer interactions take place over the phone,” Peter Alexander, vice president for small and medium business marketing, Cisco Systemshas announced that Cisco Systems, Inc. has, with the support of Microsoft, the release of the Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0, a customer relationship management (CRM) application integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

The product is billed by Cisco officials as helping small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) gain access to customer information on inbound and outbound calls, “increasing operational efficiency and providing an improved customer experience.”

The Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 helps to provide a complete view of the customer, including current and past purchases, sales information, order status, account relationships, and billing information, company officials say.

First Coffee for 25 April: Vimpel Loves Amdocs CRM, Live TV Over Cell Phone In R.I., RightNow Results, Telstra U.K., Happy Birthday Ella, GlobeTel in Russia.

April 25, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz  

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See:”

Telstra Europe, a UK-based “alternative business telephony and data service provider,” has announced the launch of an enhanced range of Business Broadband services across the UK with speeds of up to 8Mbps.

Of course, the actual broadband speed attained will depend on the length and quality of the telephone line.

First Coffee for 24 April 2006: VoIP Down Under, ContactPoint's Trainer for Contact Centers, CRM Vendor CDC's Results, KiBS Wants You For CRM Beta

April 24, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz  

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 1272 in E flat, performed by the Quartetto Italiano in 1968:

Interested in participating in the beta testing of a new CRM product? Oh come on, where’s your sense of adventure?

The Kyliptix Integrated Business Product CRM module is billed by company officials as delivering “integrated sales, marketing, customer service, and support in one complete offering.”

First Coffee for 22 April 2006: Gianforte's Bootstrapping Gospel, Talisma Question, Pivotal Buys Dalcon's FACTS, Planit Fusion With CRM Debuts, VoIPers Buy ISP in NM, PacificNet Delisted?

April 22, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the East Village Opera Company’s “Overture Redux (Le Nozze Di Figaro),” the overture to Puccini’s The Marriage of Figaro replete with Brian May-style guitar and the keyboard figure from “Won’t Get Fooled Again:”

First off it’s the ever-popular Unsubstantiated Rumor Department. First Coffee received an e-mail from an industry insider yesterday asking:

“Have you heard anything about Talisma changing their business model and moving away from being a software provider to becoming solely a knowledge management services provider/consultant? This rumor has been brought up a couple of times recently to a few people here at [name of company] and I’m trying to reach out to those ‘in the know’ and confirm it or squash it.


Evidently First Coffee’s not so much in the know that he can answer this, but welcomes any replies from readers – especially Talisma – to set the matter straight. Confirm or squash away.

CRM vendor Pivotal Systems has acquired the FACTS Business Unit of Tennessee-based Dalcon Business Systems, Inc., a vendor of software and professional services.

Included in the purchase will be Dalcon’s specific products for wholesale distribution companies; software, services and support.

First Coffee for 21 April: Kintera's "Social CRM," Philippine Call Center Training, CobbleSoft's COIGN and 3SG, Cisco in Vietnam, CRM for BBVA Bancomer

April 21, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Fairport Convention’s “Meet On The Ledge:”

ThreeStone Group and CobbleSoft International have announced a long-term agreement for 3SG to provide on-demand executive sales business development and communications services, while CobbleSoft “continues their focus on rolling out some of the largest projects in the company’s history,” according to CobbleSoft officials.

“Clients are using our self service management methodology at the very heart of enterprise endeavors to incorporate the IT Infrastructure Library best practice standards, and promote helpdesk socialization,” said Richard Stevenson, CobbleSoft’s chief executive and resident coffee maven.

“Our relationship allows us to maintain this client focus while ThreeStone addresses the amazing market response our approach has generated in the Americas, Europe and Australia,” Stevenson explained.

CobbleSoft’s COIGN Enterprise, an on-demand service management and helpdesk product, is a web-based product to employ real time data warehousing with dynamic workflow and on-board analytics for service intelligence.

First Coffee for 20 April: The Google-SAS OneBox Search Tool, Citrix's Resuts, HP and BEA's RFID, Retail Ventures's CRM Warehouse, Birth of Mystery Fiction, Fujitsu-Onyx In Queensland

April 20, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Rich Mullins’ greatest hits album Songs:

A few days ago First Coffee reported on an article Rodney Gedda had written for Computerworld in Australia on the travails of the Queensland Department of Child Services.

Evidently the Onyx and Fujitsu public relations guys thought the article blamed Onyx and Fujitsu for the problems the program was having, so they kindly pointed me to a correction Gedda has since made on his original reporting:

In September 2004, Fujitsu, Onyx and Microsoft were commissioned by the Department of Child Safety to deliver the first of three phases of the new ICMS based on Onyx CRM and Microsoft’s .Net technology.

This design was delivered to the department “on time and budget” in March 2005, but since then the project has been brought back in-house, and according to one source has blown its budget, and 20 contractors including programmers, testers and technical writers were marched out the door earlier this month.

According to the source, Microsoft has been given a lot of the services work, and is believed to be “burning through $800,000 a fortnight”. The spokesperson said no contractors were made redundant as a result of the completion of the Fujitsu-Onyx contract last year but conceded the project is “now placing greater emphasis on permanent resources.”

Today’s milestone in history, as far as First Coffee’s concerned, isn’t Joan Miro’s birthday (that’s why the Google logo looks weird today, it’s to honor the Spanish surrealist painter), it’s the fact that in 1841, on this day, the first detective story was published, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,written by Edgar Allan Poe and printed in Graham’s Magazine.

It’s amazing how closely today’s mystery fiction hews to the pattern created by Poe: A genius fictional detective, Auguste C. Dupin in Poe’s case; a not-so-smart sidekick, the plodding policeman and the use of the red herring to lead readers off the track.

Evidently mystery fiction is one of those things like philosophy or rock’n’roll, where those who do it first – Plato and Aristotle, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis – generally do everything really worth doing and after them it’s all variations on a theme.

Retail Ventures, Inc., a diversified retailer that operates DSW Inc., Filene’s Basement and Value City Department Stores, LLC, has completed the first-phase implementation of a Teradata Warehouse and customer relationship management (CRM) product from Teradata.

According to company officials the move is to extend the company’s analytical intelligence and “marketing agility.”

Retail Ventures’ Teradata Warehouse “complements the company’s current systems and provides a scalable enterprise intelligence environment for its analytical CRM applications,” company officials say, adding that Teradata also provides customer services in support of the information environment.

"The value of actionable information generated from our data warehouse platform and CRM applications is driving the need for additional capacity as we increase our analytical activities,” said Jerry Bisaha, director of Customer and Marketing Systems at Retail Ventures Services. “Our data warehouse-driven approach is a vital requirement to our strategy of increasing the speed of our business decision making.”

Teradata CRM is providing Retail Ventures with desktop user-driven campaign analytics and communication tools designed to better understand and engage the retailer’s customers across multiple channels and marketing initiatives.

DM Europe has reported that enterprise infrastructure software provider BEA Systems and HP have announced radio frequency identification (RFID) products for enterprise customers.

“The two companies have agreed to provide standards-based RFID products designed to help manufacturers, retailers, distributors, transportation and other industry customers streamline supply chain operations,” DM Europe says:

“HP offers services designed for planning, designing, managing and supporting the RFID-enabled products. BEA provides BEA Web Logic RFID products and a service-oriented approach to RFID.

First Coffee for 19 April: Zagada's Central American Call Center report, Cisco's "Small City," Little Debbie's CRM, Select Selling's CRM Survey, Verizon's European Hiptop Hosting

April 19, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz  

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane’s Love Supreme:

The Zagada Institute has announced the publication of its Central America Call Center Report 2007: A Bilingual Niche.

The report is, according to company officials, “the first complete and independent call center study conducted on Central America,” and finds that the Central America Nearshore market’s growth in its current 21,012 agent population “will approach 40 percent annually over the next 24 months, resulting in close to 40,000 agents by the end of 2007.”

An estimated 95 percent of existing agents are bilingual and are “ideally position to continue serving the customer care needs of U.S.

First Coffee for 18 April: San Francisco Earthquake, A CRM Morality Play in Queensland, West Monroe and LxLi Merge, Centive's Record Sales, PacificNet's Excellent Quarter

April 18, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is iTunes’s four-song Bob Dylan “exclusive,” current cut “Hero Blues” from the Carnegie Hall 1963 Halloween concert:

CRM services provider West Monroe Partners, a firm of business and technology consulting professionals formed in 2002, has announced an agreement to merge with LxLi, a North American industrial engineering and operational performance improvement services consultancy.

The two companies announced an agreement in principle to merge their respective operations in an effort to expand the capabilities of both firms in the North American consulting marketplace.

LxLi, an industrial engineering consulting firm, offers a range of services focused on productivity and performance management, including methods engineering and work measurement, labor measurement systems, distribution center operations, retail operations, engineered operational turnarounds and logistics and supply chain management services.

West Monroe provides consulting services to the middle and enterprise marketplace, including customer relationship management services as well as supply chain consulting services, enterprise integration services, technology strategy and implementation offerings.

This agreement is seen as a move to improve both companies’ geographic penetration, functional expertise development and breadth of service offerings.

George Bishop, senior vice president and founder of LxLi noted the merger “immediately doubles the Canadian presence of both firms through the integration of our respective Toronto and Montreal offices.”

West Monroe Partners maintains offices in Chicago, Montreal, Toronto, Seattle and Columbus, Ohio.

LxLi focuses on process improvements for distribution centers, retail stores and supply chain operations, favoring the Scientific Time Management approach.

Centive, a vendor of on-demand sales compensation management, has announced “record sales” in the first quarter of 2006 with the addition of over 2000 subscribers to Compel – Centive’s on-demand sales compensation management product.

The company credits alliances with CRM and IT consulting providers such as Theikos and Profiling Products for contributing to sales.

Centive highlights closed deals this past quarter with such organizations as Flowserve, a vendor of industrial flow management products and services and Software Spectrum, a single-source provider of business-to-business IT products and services.

Centive CEO Mike Torto said the firm has also delivered an AppExchange version of Compel for Salesforce.com customers and prospects. Compel features integration with Salesforce.com and other CRM systems.

Australian industry observer Rodney Gedda tells the story of the, well, not- gone- quite- as- expected CRM implementation for the Queensland Department of Child Safety. Read it as a morality play, thou CRM Everyman:

Evidently the DCS has taken its integrated client management system back in-house after dumping Fujitsu and Onyx “in a bloodbath that has seen around 20 contractors marched out the door earlier this month,” Gedda says:

“In September 2004, Fujitsu, Onyx and Microsoft were commissioned by the Department of Child Safety to deliver the design of the Carer Directory, the first of three phases of the new, integrated client management system based on Onyx CRM and Microsoft’s .Net technology.

“This design was delivered to the department in March 2005, but since then the project has taken an abrupt turn with staff being dumped to bring the project back in-house and to also use a Microsoft CRM package.”

First Coffee remembers last July when his mild-mannered reporter alter ego reported on the “embarrassing admission” by the Queensland Government in Australia, which disclosed, according to the Australian, that “a key element of a $44 million IT revamp at the state’s Department of Child Safety --” namely, an Onyx CRM system “-- will be a year overdue despite an increase in the number of children re-abused in care.”

In 2004 the Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission recommended the “development of a CRM system to help manage foster families and children in care,” replacing a manual process to “track children through the system and avoid sending them to foster carers suspected of abuse.”

The government awarded a $9 million contract to Fujitsu and Onyx Software in late 2004 to build what it calls the Integrated Client Management system, a major part of the Department’s Information Renewal Initiative, which also includes a data warehouse, a critical incident reporting and management system, an upgrade to the electronic records management system and a decision support package.

“It’s a concern,” Shadow Minister for Child Safety Rosemary Menkens told the Australian. “It’s taking them so long to set it up, and so much is falling through the cracks.”

According to one source on the project cited by Gedda the system’s costs have already ballooned past $44 million.

“Fujitsu and Onyx made big shows of getting in on this at the time, but it seems the mid-2005 deadline has been overshot and Microsoft has now stepped in,” his source says.

Gedda says the cost blowout is “due to a change in project scope.

First Coffee for Easter Monday 2006: CRM (And Other Positive Signs) In India, Data Impact and Speedscan Merge, Free Wi-Fi in Sacramento Airport, VoIP Vendor Contested in Philippines

April 17, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Al Green’s version of “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry:”

Document products companies Data Impact and Speedscan have announced that the two companies have merged, creating a company with worldwide reach in selling document management.

The closely held company will operate as Data Impact in the U.S. and Speedscan in the Asia Pacific region.

First Coffee for Tax Day 2006 - Indian CRM News, Maybank's Contact Center, Alien's RFID IPO, Happy Birthday Leonardo, Taipei's Muni Wi-Fi

April 15, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Peter Wolf and Mick Jagger’s duet “Nothing But The Wheel:”

It’s Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday today in 1452, patron saint for all of us who have a hard time finishing things – the guy only finished seventeen paintings in his 67 years, and of those only a few were as he wanted them.

You know about the Mona Lisa and Last Supper and all that, another story:

In 1482, Leonardo began a sculpture of a horse. It was extremely difficult to design because the final product would weigh many tons when cast in bronze, and Leonardo wanted the horse to be rearing back on its hind legs.

First Coffee for Good Friday 2006: Softalk's Office 4.5, the Dust Bowl, CDC Buys c360, Lincoln Assassinated, Nexus's Hosted IP, According to Webster

April 14, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Al Green’s unbelievably soulful Call Me album:

Lots happening on April 14ths past, during the column we’ll be searching for the best one.

Let’s see, President Abraham Lincoln assassinated in Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

Test Entry 2

April 14, 2006

She angles away from it without trying to look scared, and doesn’t see the two plainclothes Turkish cops who are loitering in front of the tram stop, looking like two businessmen waiting for a ride up to Taksim Square, maybe to meet a client at Starbucks, maybe to catch the subway to Esentepe or Mecidiyekoy, or a bus to Besiktas and a ferry across the Bosphorus to Uskudar or Kadikoy. It’s ten-thirty now, they could be at their meeting in Kadikoy by noon, given good traffic on the Asian side.

They see her. With that practiced nod, invisible to anyone who’s not a cop, they peel themselves away from the tram stop and follow, one twenty feet behind the other.

Test Entry

April 14, 2006


She gets off the train at the top of Tunel in the middle of the pack. It’s about ten o’clock in the morning. She knows most illegal migrants move about in early morning or late at night, so she figures moving about at ten in the morning will fool them, make any cops think she’s legal.


She is not a smart girl. 

First Coffee for 13 April 2006

April 13, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a nice Charlie Parker CD:


BCE Elix, a Bell Canada company focused exclusively on contact centers, has announced that during April and May it will be hosting a four-city roadshow geared towards contact center professionals.


Traveling to Québec, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montréal, the roadshow will be presented in each city as a one-day conference, or information day, focused on issues and trends in the contact center industry.


The conference will include presentations, interactive sessions, workshops, customer case studies, and information booths, all offering information about contact center operations. Experts from BCE Elix and its partners will be on hand to share information, answer questions, and provide tips gleaned from their experiences in the industry.

First Coffee for 12 April 2006

April 12, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Best of Three Dog Night:


Peerflix, an online peer-to-peer service that allows members to legally trade DVDs online, today announced that Jim Ambras has joined the company as Vice President, Engineering.


Prior to Peerflix, Ambras was the Vice President of Products and Services at OnStation Corporation, a provider of CRM products to the automotive industry, where he was instrumental in turning the company around and launching many of its defining products.


Today’s a good day for those of us who appreciate contemporary popular fiction, as it’s Scott Turow and Tom Clancy’s birthday, as well as the birthday of one of the most influential yet underrated authors of the 20th Century, creator of the Ramona Quimby books, Beverly Cleary, who’s probably been read by more Americans than any other 20th Century author.


First Coffee has of course read all the Beverly Cleary books she’d written by 1973, all but one Scott Turow novel, but has been able to struggle through only one Tom Clancy novel, The Hunt For Red October, just to see what all the fuss was about, and that was quite enough, thank you.

First Coffee for 11 April 2006

April 11, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first iced coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Clapton’s “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”  Rock acts rarely do gospel music well, but here Clapton nails it perfectly:


A tip of the coffee pot to fellow TMC writer Greg Galitzine for the heads-up that Black Box Corporation and Platinum Equity, LLC have announced that they have signed a purchase agreement for Black Box to acquire the USA Commercial and Government and Canadian Operations of NextiraOne, LLC, a company owned by Platinum Equity, LLC.  


Fred C. Young, Black Box Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, said “our goal from here will be to officially close this transaction by April 30, 2006.  We look forward to this conclusion.”


Upon closing Black Box will total approximately $1 billion in revenues. Young says the company’s core attributes will include a large customer base, a good operating model, a well-established single brand to market under (Black Box) and a “strong financial foundation to provide us the necessary capital to effectively operate and grow our business.”


As the transaction officially concludes, Black Box and NextiraOne will begin the immediate re-branding of the NextiraOne business as Black Box. The combined Black Box and NextiraOne entity will continue to support installed and new voice technology requirements for all NextiraOne clients.


Black Box also will continue to be a Strategic Authorized National Nortel Elite Business Partner for all of Nortel’s products and services throughout the USA and Canada.


The Purchase Agreement contains conditions to close including satisfactory settlement of certain litigation and regulatory matters along with other customary closing conditions.  There is no assurance that all closing conditions will be met and that the transaction will be completed.

First Coffee for 10 April 2006

April 11, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Swing Brother, Swing!


Global Crossing has announced it is broadening the scope and reach of its Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services for enterprise customers around the world by introducing Enterprise VoIP Outbound and VoIP Local Services to countries across Europe, complementing existing Enterprise VoIP service availability in North America.


Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer, Global Crossing said the company’s VoIP services are “now available across Europe as well as North America… for both managed and non-managed calling applications.”

A fully interoperable voice network enables an enterprise to maintain existing handsets and premises equipment and operate in a hybrid environment as they change over to an all IP voice product at their own pace, company officials explain.


Global Crossing’s private IP backbone ensures that VoIP packets receive the highest priority, which “translates into minimized latency, packet loss and jitter as well as call quality that is consistent and predictable qualities not possible with voice services based on public Internet transport.”

With Global Crossing’s VoIP Outbound Service, IP voice traffic will be transported across Global Crossing’s private VoIP platform for off net TDM completion via the local public switched telephone network. This service is now available for both national and international calling from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, UK, and the USA, and for international calling from Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

First Coffee for 8 April, 2006

April 11, 2006

By David Sims



The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Clapton’s Timepieces:


So what’s the deal with salesforce.com?


They issue a press release this past week touting their near-perfect availability after high-profile crashes in December and January, knocking out service to customers. The ancient Greeks had a name for this: hubris. Whenever it made its appearance in a drama you’d know what was coming in the next act: the Tragic Fall. Which followed from the Tragic Flaw.



First Coffee for 8 April, 2006

April 8, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Clapton’s Timepieces:

So what’s the deal with salesforce.com?

They issue a press release this past week touting their near-perfect availability after high-profile crashes in December and January, knocking out service to customers. The ancient Greeks had a name for this: hubris. Whenever it made its appearance in a drama you’d know what was coming in the next act: the Tragic Fall. Which followed from the Tragic Flaw.

First Coffee for 7 April 2006

April 7, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Peter Wolf’s Long Line album. It’s fun making a musical discovery like this, I mean I liked the guy’s whammer-jammer rave-up act with the J. Geils Band as much as the next high school kid, but his solo stuff, especially Sleepless, is way better than I’d imagined – much stronger than Mick Jagger or Roger Daltrey’s solo ventures, for comparison. No wonder that band fell apart as soon as he left:

SalesPage Technologies, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced that U.S. Global Investors, Inc. has selected SalesPage Technologies’ fund.space CRM product.

Tailored specifically for the financial services industry, according to SalesPage officials, the Web-based fund.space product and fund.space Mobile for Blackberry provide U.S. Global Investors with a comprehensive customer-focused product.

“Having added a wholesale distribution group to our existing business, we were looking for a CRM product that not only met our requirements, but could get us up and running quickly while helping us address a number of business process issues,” said Susan B. McGee, president of U.S.

First Coffee for 6 April 2006

April 6, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a great discovery I made noodling around iTunes last night, Peter Wolf’s Sleepless album. This guy’s post-J. Geils Band career is surprisingly good, miles better than post-Wolf Geils, which admittedly isn’t saying much, but for some twisted reason this guy gets about as much press as good news from Iraq. Friends, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than “A Lot Of Good Ones Gone,” or the Jagger duet “Nothing But the Wheel,” this is one of the best rock, R&B, bluesy albums I’ve heard released in the 2000s:

Sage Accpac has announced the immediate availability of the latest version of its customer relationship management (CRM) product, Sage Accpac CRM version 5.8.

Offering “feature-rich sales, marketing and customer support automation for small and mid-sized businesses,” according to Sage Accpac officials, version 5.8 enhancements “expand on the Sage Accpac CRM traditions of fast deployment, easy feature configuration and flexible data integration with the introduction of new end-user dashboard options, improved data management capabilities and extended system administration features.

Sage Accpac officials claim their CRM product is “the only mid-market CRM product available today that allows organizations to choose either an on-demand or on-premises deployment and provides the ability to migrate between them in order to accommodate an organization’s changing business needs and IT resource constraints.”

“Our customers can choose the Sage Accpac CRM Product that is right for their growth model, workflow and budget,” explained Mike Lorge, general manager (Pacific), Sage Accpac. “The flexibility of having on-demand and on-premises deployment options provides the ideal level of control for small or mid-sized businesses.”

All of an organization’s deployment priorities are addressed, Lorge says, “whether these are centered on 24/7 availability and administration, end-user adoption, depth of CRM capabilities, ease of configuration, integration or total cost of ownership.”

Enhanced Sage Accpac CRM is designed with dashboard capabilities to allow users to create custom dashboards that contain whatever information they think is relevant to their daily workflow.

First Coffee for 5 April 2006

April 5, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning and the music is Carole King's Tapestry:

We here at the rolling First Coffee headquarters campus outside of Milwaukee thought you, our Loyal Readers, would appreciate a glimpse inside the fast-paced, exciting world of Business Journalism – beautiful girls, fast cars, blazing guns and e-mails!

Yes, the secret is out – frequently we here in the glittering, dazzling world of biz journo are informed of what’s going on Out There via our sources Out There themselves. Now you too may see the raw material we work from here to get the story out to you:

Hello David,

You wrote about us on TMCnet in October. I thought this news would interest you.


Co-founder of SurfControl turns his attention to email encryption for everyone.

London -- 5 April 2006 -- Steve Purdham, co-founder and former CEO of SurfControl, has been appointed chairman of Identum. Alan Lamb, outgoing chairman, will remain on the board as non-executive director.

Identum, a Bristol University spin-out, emerged from stealth mode in July 2005 with Private Post, the first product in the world to bring email encryption technology into the mainstream by making it user-friendly enough for every PC user.

Karl Feilder, CEO of Identum, highlighted Steve’s global success as a perfect fit for the company. “Steve took SurfControl from a small British operation in 1996 to one of the world’s leading internet security companies listed on the LSE with profitable sales exceeding $100m in 2005.

First Coffee for 4 April 2006

April 4, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is X’s More Fun In The New World, the last great album by the last American band that mattered:

As the first step in what company officials are calling a “major European CRM initiative,” Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company, has announced that it will deploy Siperian Hub XT in an effort to create a Consolidated Customer Master as “one true source” of customer data across all of its European and Canadian markets.

Pfizer’s CCM will serve as “a significant part of the data foundation for upcoming CRM initiatives,” officials explain.

Pfizer intends to use Siperian Hub XT to unify customer information from multiple systems and functional areas across 22 markets. In taking this step, Pfizer claims it will become “the first international customer to take advantage of the recently announced Siperian Hub XT and its international capabilities.”

In an effort to maximize and integrate their corporate data assets including customer (i.e. prescribers, pharmacists, governmental entities, organizations, and patients), locations and products, Pfizer’s CCM will unify customer information from multiple sources and systems, create and maintain what officials hope is “a unique, complete and accurate customer profile,” making that profile information available to all operational applications in real-time.

Justin Sowers, Director of Global Business Technology for Pfizer, said “ultimately, the CCM will enable the business to perform sophisticated analytics to derive actionable customer insights. A well-designed data model and web services layer will facilitate integration with other enterprise systems and scaling to all EuCan markets, from a technology perspective.”

Evidently creating a unique and scalable master data hub is tougher than normal for pharmaceutical companies, given their varying data sets and hierarchies.

First Coffee for 3 April 2006

April 3, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Blue Note’s Bill Evans collection:

This August will be First Coffee’s tenth anniversary with his Beautiful & Talented Wife, so we decided hey, here in Istanbul we live a two-hour plane ride away from Asia, Africa and Europe, let’s take advantage of that and go somewhere neither of us have been. I’ve done most of my traveling in Western and Central Europe, while she’s been to places like Australia, India, Egypt and Israel.

So we started with a list of cities we’d like to see at some point before we die, go to heaven and are hacked off that we never got to see, Geneva, say.

Geneva was on the list, as were Budapest, Lyon, Prague, Ljubljana, Barcelona, Paris (we’ve both been there, but it has to be on a tenth anniversary list), Venice, places like that – Copenhagen, Lisbon.

Checking airfares and hotel costs – and weather, First Coffee is not a hot-weather guy – we eliminated a few and were left with out Four Coolest, Most Interesting And Affordable Places – alphabetically Barcelona, Budapest, Ljubljana and Prague, which fit the criteria of being affordable for a week’s stay, have interesting architecture and lots of historical interest, coffee shops and restaurants with dishes we don’t get here, and basically be a good place to simply walk and get lost in.

After reading about the places online, getting opinions from friends who’ve been there and going by gut instinct, we settled on Ljubljana. If anyone’s been there we’d love any advice for a late August trip.


Two companies are working together to deploy wireless broadband services based on WiMAX technology.

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital investment organization, and Pipex Communications PLC, a United Kingdom-based telecommunications provider, have announced that they have jointly formed Pipex Wireless, a wireless operator which will provide broadband services in major metropolitan areas.

These services are designed to meet the needs of consumers, enterprises and governments for wireless broadband, including citywide “hotspot” wireless access.

Intel Capital is investing $25 million in the new company. Pipex has transferred its entire 3.6GHz UK spectrum license to P Wireless to deploy services based on WiMAX (Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access), a broadband wireless technology designed to provide Internet access over long distances. Intel and Pipex are the company’s only shareholders.

First Coffee for April Fool's Day 2006

April 1, 2006

By David Sims


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is “Road Ode,” by Loudon Wainwright III:

Great news:

At the Stockholm Concert Hall yesterday, TMC President Richard Tehrani was awarded the inaugural Nobel Prize in Telecommunications for his contributions to Voice-over Internet Protocol telephony.

Presented by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, the 2006 telecom prize was created in an effort to “make the Nobel more relevant to the breathtaking technological advancements which contribute so much to world prosperity,” according to the King’s presentation remarks.

“Rarely do we see an idea, an invention, a technology so completely change the face of the modern world -- for the better,” King Gustaf said to the glittering assemblage of past winners, international jet-setters and dignitaries. “And of course it’s primarily thanks to the individual we’re honoring here today.”

Information technology has become one of the world’s most dynamic fields, and Tehrani is responsible for the founding of the Technology Marketing Corporation, or TMC, which has been at the forefront of cutting-edge trends within the industry. “This is the future, plain and simple,” Tehrani, resplendent in a salmon-pink tuxedo with ruffled shirt, told the audience during his acceptance speech. “I’m overwhelmed and honored by this award.”

Laureates welcomed Tehrani into their company.

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