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

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

By David Sims

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. No? Okay, fine. ‘Nother clue coming up soon, answer at the end.

The publication Legal IT is reporting that one of the few remaining top 30 UK firms that does not have a CRM system, Richards Butler, will “plough on with its seven-figure investment in a new IT system,” despite its merger with US law firm Reed Smith.

Richards Butler signed a letter of intent with the US firm to join forces, and the money already so earmarked will be spent on installing a client relationship management (CRM) system “in a bid to improve its relations and marketing capability with key clients,” Legal IT says:

A spokesman for Richards Butler confirmed to Legal IT that “we will still be going ahead [with the plans]. It is going to the partners and it is top of our list of things to get done, as business development is a strong point for us. It will be fundamental.”

The CRM system was originally championed by Richards Butler’s marketing executive, Meirion Jones, who joined from Lovells in October 2005. Once it receives the final seal of approval, the intention is to have the system operational by the summer, but the firm’s merger plans with Reed Smith could push this timetable back, Jones conceded to Legal IT:

“Its introduction coincides with the firm’s recent decision to consolidate its cash collection and client services policy information into a single system, labeled `C3’. This system has been developed by Richards Butler’s in-house IT staff.”

Legal IT says the merger with Reed Smith, which would be one of only a handful of transatlantic mergers, will create a firm of over 1,300 lawyers with a global turnover of $725 million, and 300 lawyers in the UK.

Clue #2: Today’s author was in the hospital recovering from a bicycle accident and there was a girl in the next room over who had just had her appendix out. This gave the idea for the author’s first book, published in 1939.

Free CRM, which bills itself as “the world’s only free, multi-user CRM products provider,” has announced the release of Web 2.0 “Tags” for its flagship product.

Tags are often used in social software and Web 2.0 pages, and is an on-demand CRM vendor offering CRM Tags as an application in the CRM marketplace. Free CRM also claims to be the first on-demand CRM provider to incorporate AJAX technology, another Web 2.0 feature, and to be now the first CRM provider to incorporate CRM Tagging into their hosted, on-demand Free CRM application.

First Coffee doesn’t know anything to say they’re wrong, either.

A tag is a keyword which acts like a subject, group or category, and is used in the Free CRM package to organize data objects within the application. Now users can group together contacts, companies, deals, tasks, support cases, e-mails and calls in a more abstract manner, giving Free CRM users “the power to create collections of related information in a more abstract, higher level structure,” officials explain.

Free CRM users “tag” data using unique tags, and data can be related to multiple collections with multiple tags.

“CRM Tags” can be used to specify properties of an object and can be used to find and group objects in larger collections of data. Other examples of Web 2.0 “Tagging” can be found in social or consumer applications, such as and Flickr, as well as the popular news service Digg.

With over 29,000 companies and 50,000 subscribers, is an on-demand CRM provider for businesses worldwide. With unlimited data storage and XML data integration, Microsoft Outlook integration, Palm Pilot, RIM / BlackBerry and Pocket PC support, is being marketed as an alternative to with an on-premises licensing option.

Companies also have the flexibility to bring the application in-house, Free CRM officials say, adding that the product offers an easy migration path from GoldMine, Act, SalesForce, Siebel On-Demand, and SugarCRM.

Clue #3: This author’s first book starts out “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines…” (oh come on.)

LexisNexis Interface Software announced today that international law firm Clifford Chance has extended its use of LexisNexis InterAction to include a global license of 4,000 users.

Interface Software is a CRM provider for professional services organizations, including law firms. Clifford Chance is structured around six global practice areas, including banking and finance, capital markets, corporate mergers and acquisitions, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate and tax, and pension and employment. The firm employs more than 3,300 legal advisors across 28 offices.

“We’ve realized that one of the greatest services that Clifford Chance can bring to its clients is the strength and depth of its,” said Charles Doyle, Global Head of Business Development at Clifford Chance said the firm has invested in InterAction to maximize use of their global network of legal experts.

Clifford Chance, which might be the world’s largest law firm, implemented InterAction on a limited basis in 1999 to centrally track and manage strategic relationships, matter details and other information.

Clue #4: More from this author’s first book? Okay: “In two straight lines they broke their bread, and brushed their teeth, and went to bed. They smiled at the good, and frowned at the bad, and sometimes they were very sad. They left the house at half past nine, in two straight lines, in rain or shine…” guess what’s gonna rhyme with “shine?”

Hint: Go ask your six-year old daughter, she can probably rattle off the whole book by now.

Bluewolf, an on-demand consulting company that specializes in the deployment of enterprise software applications, has announced the signing of several marquee enterprise clients, including The New York Times, Foundry Networks, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, Borland Software, and The Hartford Insurance company for services from Bluewolf for the adoption of on-demand CRM from

“Our services business is creating tremendous value for enterprise clients,” commented Glen Stoffel, Bluewolf Practice Director.

In addition to the organizations listed above, Bluewolf has secured contracts and has delivered services to Align Technology, Network General, The New York City Department of Education, Citizens Bank, and Nuance Communications.

Bluewolf’s enterprise clients use the Bluewolf Customer Success Guarantee, an approach to deploying on-demand applications which defines success criteria for all projects.

Answer: “... the smallest one was Madeline!” written by Ludwig Bemelmans.

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