First Coffee for 4 May 2006: Cognos's "Better Than CRM" for Pharmaceuticals, Intelliworks' Education CRM, The Original Manhattan Real Estate Deal, iKnowWare's ISPs

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 4 May 2006: Cognos's "Better Than CRM" for Pharmaceuticals, Intelliworks' Education CRM, The Original Manhattan Real Estate Deal, iKnowWare's ISPs

By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is… there isn’t any music, let’s put something on, how about… Traffic’s grossly underrated live album, Welcome To The Canteen. This is one of those albums that’s simply a Good Work Album:

Looks like my wife’s house in Auckland won’t be swamped with a tsunami after all. Good news all around.

Intelliworks, Inc.
, a vendor of CRM for higher education, has announced that it is launching a new version of its enterprise product specifically designed to meet the CRM needs of small to midsize schools as well as individual programs, and departments.

The new iRM Essentials product is being billed as providing the ability to set up and operate a full-fledged CRM system at a lower price point, in a shorter amount of time, and in a hosted environment.

“CRM is being embraced across all market segments of higher education,” said Dev Ganesan, President & CEO of Intelliworks, Inc., calling iRM Essentials “a 100 percent web based CRM solution for small to midsize organizations.”

According to Intelliworks officials, the key value proposition of the iRM Essentials product includes rapid deployment of CRM, speed to the point of value creation, a predictable budget via fixed-price acquisition, deployment, and support as well as reduced implementation complexity and hassle free hosting.

dvertised as having a zero footprint as a 100 percent web-based product, iRM Essentials provides such features as a common database with a 360° view, inbound and outbound communications, marketing and campaign automation and event management as well as program and marketing dashboards and other features.

Intelliworks builds and sells the ‘Intelliworks Relationship Manager (iRM)’ as its flagship CRM technology suite. iRM has two distinct product offerings -- iRM Essentials for the small to midsize organization, whether a school, a department or even a group of programs, and iRM Enterprise for larger university implementations that require greater performance, configuration, and scalability.

“Now more than ever, every type of institution in higher education can take advantage of what CRM provides as a technology platform,” said John Pearson, Database Architectural Manager, Clark University.

IKnowWare, a business management product billed by company officials as giving companies “all they need to know – anytime, anywhere,” has announced the “growth” of two Internet Service Providers and data centers to host iKnowWare for its growing small to medium business subscriber base.

With software as a service (SaaS), iKnowWare claims to now be “viable” for large and small businesses with its scalability to Savvis Corporations’ 31 data centers and iKnowWare’s newest ISPs provided by Layered Technologies of Dallas and LasVegas.Net.

“We understand SMBs use VARs because VARs understand businesses such as insurance, health care, logistics, and advertising companies – both large and small – and are able to use their domain knowledge to package a set of services into a one-stop product,” said Marty Mizrahi, president of LasVegas.NET.

IKnowWare says they’re building a “standard model for the integration of hundreds of different” SaaS products with one another. IKnowWare’s single sign-on and billing account for a significant part of the Value Added Reseller appeal, company officials believe.

The iKnowWare SaaS program provides IT and business services. If a VAR wants to offer iKnowWare as a SaaS business process management solution and use iKnowWare for CRM, iKnowWare can supply it with everything from SSO, to provisioning, billing, and support. iKnowWare is a Microsoft Partner and a Microsoft Integrated Software Vendor.

“Until now, the only one-stop-shop for a CTO was an Oracle or an SAP. For SMBs, working with them is a daunting task,” says Mark Spilotro, CEO of iKnowWare. “We work with industry-specific market makers such as Allstate for insurance, Select Medical in managed health care, and American Mortgage Specialists in mortgage loan origination, plus custom homes construction, to offer personalized iKnowWare packaged SaaS solutions.”

Saying ““CRM and ERP systems do not offer the right level of granularity to enable informed decision-making,” Bill Stevens, senior director of life sciences solutions at Cognos has announced the launch of two new Cognos products designed to help pharmaceutical companies “improve clinical trials management” and improve sample distribution across the sales force.

Clinical trials represent one of the biggest direct-spend components in most pharmaceutical R&D budgets. The new Cognos Clinical Trial Forecasting Blueprint is being billed as helping pharmaceutical companies “better anticipate clinical trial resource requirements and accompanying expenses in order to comply with FDA filing requirements.”

Using the multi-dimensional modeling and integrated workflow of Cognos 8 BI and the new Performance Blueprint, the product is marketed as helping organizations more accurately forecast, plan and manage trial expenses, recognize and correct under-performing clinical trials, consolidate all trials to facilitate enterprise-wide visibility and analysis and drive greater accountability and control at each stage of the trial.

Another significant pain point for pharmaceutical companies is “the inability to determine the right mix of sample resources to allocate to their sales force in order to meet overall prescription volume growth targets,” Cognos officials think. Therefore the Cognos Sample Optimization Blueprint “enables pharmaceutical executives to develop and implement sample allocation plans that are in line with corporate revenue objectives.”

By providing an automated and consistent vehicle to solicit input from all stakeholders – including finance, sample administrators, brand managers, and operations managers – the Blueprint helps organizations build optimal sample distribution strategies that take into account current market conditions, field level information, inventory plans, and other corporate goals.

Clinical Trial Forecasting and Sample Optimization are the first in a series of life sciences-specific solutions planned by Cognos.

It was on this day in 1626 that Dutch explorer Peter Minuit landed on what is now Manhattan Island and, as the famous story goes, bought the island from the Algonquin Indians for the equivalent of twenty-four dollars, (re)naming the settlement New Amsterdam.

But only the Dutch considered the transaction a “sale,” Indians had no concept of buying or selling land, they thought the Dutch were offering gifts for hunting rights. When the Dutch enforced boundaries against the Indians they were completely dumbfounded.

And all you residents and denizens of Manhattan today, here’s what the island was like in 1626, according to The Writer’s Almanac:

“The Dutch were drawn to Manhattan because of its extraordinary fertility and variety of wildlife. There were tall oaks, chestnuts, walnuts, maples, cedars and pines right up to the edge of the water. A vast array of flowers, including many roses, grew wild on the island, and the fragrance of flowers drifted far out to sea. Sailors coming into harbor said it was one of the sweetest-smelling shores they’d ever approached.

“Animals were also in great abundance. There were huge twelve-inch oysters and six-foot lobsters in the bay, and so many fish in the streams that they could be caught by hand.”

I know, not much has changed since.

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