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

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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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

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. in 1865, coincidentally also Good Friday, given what lay ahead it was almost a God’s mercy to the poor man, the Civil War was over but his life wasn’t going to get any better during Reconstruction…

British software vendors Softalk are announcing the release of OfficeTalk 4.5, touted by company officials as a team working, collaboration and contact management product for small and medium size businesses, replete with “shared calendars, contacts, e-mail, tasks, planners and project management.”

“OfficeTalk 4.5 provides a powerful, low cost, easy to use alternative to Outlook, Act! and Goldmine,” contends Simon Bates, joint CEO of Softalk. “Everyone in the team can benefit, not just sales professionals.”

Company officials say OfficeTalk 4.5 was specifically developed as collaboration software “for organizations with five to 500 users who need to share business information and work more effectively as a team.”

OfficeTalk 4.5 starts at $625 for five users or $6,750 for a 50 user license.

Softalk officials say they designed OfficeTalk 4.5 “to improve productivity and simplify administration by providing one central place to organize business information such as contacts, appointments, telephone calls, e-mail, letters and other documents.”

The group mode and meeting mode lets users set up meetings and manage all shared resources such as meeting rooms, digital projectors and exhibition stands. The shared calendars allow users to view any other users’ diaries and task lists.

The contact management mode provides single company records with separate records for each contact linked to it. This means that any team member (with permission) can view all related information for either a company or a contact in one place under a pending or history tab to see what needs to be done or has been done in the past.

The OfficeTalk e-mail mode enables users (with permission) to view any other users’ e-mail folder with an instant update of any changes. Individual messages can be flagged and set with a reminder that action is required.

OfficeTalk 4.5 also has a project management mode to plan and monitor related tasks. Tasks can be given start dates and durations and then assigned to local OfficeTalk users or remote users by e-mail. The current status of projects and tasks can be tracked using a GANTT style view and compared with baseline snapshots showing the project’s original timescale. Projects can be imported and exported to Microsoft Project.

The product is installed from a download and an entire team can be up and running in less than 30 minutes. It can also be customized to add additional data fields, profiles to restrict or allow access to different modes for individual users or groups of users. An application programming interface enables OfficeTalk to be integrated with other applications.

It’s now bundled with the Softalk Workgroup Mail server to provide scalable, secure messaging with integrated anti-virus and spam protection and offers e-mail message archiving, searching and retrieval to enable businesses to comply with new laws regarding storing data and correspondence for several years.

In 1894 Thomas Edison operates the first kinetoscope in New York City, thereby inventing the movie industry and the $7.50 box of popcorn…

CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of China-based CDC Corporation and provider of enterprise software applications, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase c360, a global vendor of CRM add-on products, industry-specific CRM products, and CRM development tools for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

C360 joins Ross Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Pivotal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as one of the product vendors in the CDC Software stable.

Atlanta-based c360 is privately held and sells its products exclusively through a network of over 450 authorized partners. The company has more than 1,000 customers worldwide.

Core to CDC’s platform strategy, c360 will continue to build applications specific to Microsoft .NET technologies.

Within CDC Software, c360 will operate as distinct business unit focused on providing high-volume, shrink-wrap functional add-ons for Microsoft CRM. It will remain a Microsoft ISV.

“We see significant growth opportunities in the CRM market, in both c360’s path and our Pivotal CRM product line,” said Eric Musser, chief technology officer and executive vice president of corporate strategy for CDC Software. “The addition of c360 allows us to serve more market segments, building upon our CRM knowledge and expertise and strengthening our relationship with Microsoft.”

C360 has a market strategy that targets organizations that have deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This fits with CDC Software’s Pivotal CRM strategy, which is highly focused on mid-to-large organizations within financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and home building industries.

The acquisition, coupled with other recent additions such as JRG, an on-demand supply chain product, and Horizon Companies, a services outsourcer, expands CDC Software’s growing global reach through channel sales partners.

In 1935 on a Sunday a windstorm hit portions of the Great Plains which had suffered a drought and by nightfall it was the Dust Bowl, the dust in the air so heavy people standing a few yards away from their homes were lost; in 1939, on the same day, John Steinbeck published his equally dense account of that disaster, The Grapes of Wrath

DM Europe is reporting that Nexus will soon deliver a hosted IP telephony service across Europe using Easynet’s next generation all-IP network. With the offering, Nexus and Easynet hope to demonstrate the benefits of local loop unbundling.

Nexus’ service will be called ‘LLU Stream’ and will offer wholesale access to Easynet’s IP network. LLU Stream will deliver full key stream telephony functionality, primarily to small businesses. Nexus claims that the VoIP platform will be able to completely replace traditional telephony systems and reduce communications costs.

Ah here we go, in 1828 we find the truly important historical event: Noah Webster publishes the American Dictionary of the English Language.

Americans today have no idea how fractured language was in 1828 – not only could you pretty much tell which county in Massachusetts someone came from by their accent, but many Vermonters spoke French, many New Yorkers spoke Dutch and many Pennsylvanians spoke German. No standardized spelling or pronunciation existed.

Webster’s dictionary had 70,000 words, and he did all the research and the handwriting of the book by himself, according to The Writer’s Almanac, which says “he is believed to be the last lexicographer to complete a dictionary without any assistance.” Samuel Johnson had single-handedly completed a British dictionary in 1755.

The dictionary was so successful that the United States has by far the fewest dialects, and fewer attendant social divisions, of any major country in history.

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