First Coffee for 6 April 2006

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

First Coffee for 6 April 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. Dashboards can include a variety of data components such as favorite reports, embedded charts with drill-down capabilities, saved data searches, customer snapshots, lists of hot leads, high priority customer support issues and more.

Sage Accpac, a division of the Sage Group plc, provides mid-size businesses with a broad range of end-to-end business management applications. Product lines include Accpac CRM, Accpac ERP, Accpac Pro ERP, Accpac Business Analysis Suite, Accpac Exchange, Accpac Warehouse Management System, Accpac ePOS, and Accpac Insight.

Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. has announced the delivery of a mobile Centrex system based on its IP telephony server, IP Convergence Server SS9100, to Caritas Educational Institution, a private educational institution in Japan.

The system was installed at the new building for Caritas Junior and Senior High School.

Masashi Tsuboi, President of IP Systems Company at Oki Electric said the SS9100-based mobile Centrex system works for Caritas “as it is flexible for future expansions and can add voice data onto their existing LAN cables, which were used for data communication in their older building.”

Using the installation at Caritas as a case study, Oki officials say they will promote SS9100-based IP telephony products to “various enterprises that are planning to change their work style and improve productivity.”

Caritas’ former building used a wireless LAN for data communication, and to add voice communication onto the existing wireless LAN, Caritas selected Oki’s MWINS BR2102, the wireless LAN access point. Oki’s BR2102 units were installed throughout the school, enabling faculty to talk anywhere within the school premises without worrying about phone charges.

The combination of BR2102 and FOMA enables faculty to communicate anywhere within the building, eliminating the need to page them through conventional announcing systems using interphones.

The new system is based on an open network and a closed network. The open network, which is for students, faculty and administrators, allows them to communicate via wireless LAN from any location in the premises. The network includes PC data terminals, 36 sets of multifunctional IP phones, 199 units of BR2102 throughout the school, and 70 sets of FOMA phones.

The FOMA phones include 66 sets of phones with blank ROM, in which students and faculty can insert their own FOMA cards to keep the same phone number as their personal mobile phone.

The closed network, which is physically separated from the open network, is used only for faculty to manage sensitive content such as grades and class lists.

Oh, hey, Rich, I believe I called covering this event last month, just go ahead and forward the travel allowance and I’m on my way:

112 international beer judges from across the globe will converge to award gold, silver and bronze medals to beers judged in 85 style categories at The World Beer Cup, a global competition held every two years.

This year the entries have grown by 45 percent to include 2,257 beers from 541 breweries in 55 countries, according to the Scoop news service of New Zealand, to become “the largest international professional beer competition in the world. They will be judged April 10-11.”

Wicom Communications, a vendor of all-IP contact center products and VoIP enterprise telephony software for fixed and wireless network environments, has announced that Finland’s mutual employment pension company Pension Fennia (Eläke-Fennia) has deployed a new all-IP enterprise telephony and contact center product based on Wicom CSS software to replace its traditional PBX telephone system.

“The Wicom product routes calls automatically to the available and appropriate person. This improves customer service and reduces the amount of time spent on redirecting calls,” said Pension Fennia Director, Mr. Sakari Kalske. “With the system, we are also able to answer calls more quickly. Our employees can now use all directory and other services irrespective of time and place on any terminal, including mobile phones.”

Pension Fennia is a mutual employment pension company that takes care of pension cover of employees and entrepreneurs. The new communication product provides IP technology based communication tools for all Pension Fennia employees. Almost half of the users use the product mainly with a Nokia smartphone.

“The service model frees resources from system administration and enables us to focus on business related usage. We pay only for actual expenditures, so use is cost effective. In addition to improving customer service and other communication, the system provides us with advanced reporting and other tools, as well as a future proof technology platform. We would not have accomplished this with traditional telephone technology,” Kalske said.

“The new system improving connectibility, customer service and cost efficiency frees Pension Fennia from dependency on specific operators, work locations and terminals. As Pension Fennia has, numerous leading organizations have seen the benefits that tailored IP products bring to business. The demand for operator independent IP telephone systems is clearly on the rise,” says Ilkka Kivimäki, President and CEO, Wicom Communications.

Happy birthday to a true American original, Merle Haggard, 69 today, whose parents were dust bowl refugees from Oklahoma. Merle grew up in California in a converted railroad boxcar, became a burglar and thief and was sent to San Quentin Prison, where he heard Johnny Cash in concert, and decided to be a country musician. He’s released over 600 songs and has had 37 #1 hits after his first single sold all of 200 copies.

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