First Coffee for 30 May 2006: BT and ECI Team Up In Broadband, Al-Futtaim's Alcatel and Microsoft CRM, Contact Center Product, LogicaCMG and Electrabel, CGI Buys CRM Consultants Plaut, WebSource 5.1

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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First Coffee for 30 May 2006: BT and ECI Team Up In Broadband, Al-Futtaim's Alcatel and Microsoft CRM, Contact Center Product, LogicaCMG and Electrabel, CGI Buys CRM Consultants Plaut, WebSource 5.1

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elemeno P’s 2003 album Love and Disrespect:

Israel-based ECI Telecom has announced that it has been awarded a five-year frame agreement with an estimated value of over $75 million by British Telecom for its broadband products.

ECI’s product enables BT to provide over 150,000 business customers with dedicated, high capacity Digital Private Circuits.

BT’s service programs, known as “Customer Wideband Serving Section,” include high performance voice and data communications services such as MegaStream and ISDN30.

“ECI has been a very good supplier to us for many years now,” said Bob Watson, Access Electronics Programme / Plant Manager, BT Wholesale.

ECI will be supplying its Exline 2 systems that transport 2Mbps links symmetrically over copper, offering enhanced capabilities and smooth integration within existing networks. It supports advanced class features such as caller ID, call waiting, and distinctive rings.

Al-Futtaim Technologies, the Al-Futtaim Group company that represents Alcatel Enterprise Solutions and Microsoft Business Solutions in the UAE, has announced the launch of integrated customer relationship management (CRM) and contact center product, based on the formal alliance between Microsoft Corp. and Alcatel, for the UAE market.

According to AME Info, a regional company news consolidator, the product is primarily for midsize companies with contact centers of 25 to 150 agent positions.

The joint offering uses Alcatel’s OmniTouch Contact Center Premium Edition developed on Microsoft Windows Server System, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

It integrates the Genesys Gplus Adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, which enables voice interaction management for both Internet protocol (IP) and traditional circuit switched telephony and multimedia – Web, e-mail, fax, what have you.

Under the new agreement between Microsoft Corp. and Alcatel, the two companies recently launched its go-to-market activities for the UAE through Al-Futtaim Technologies, the sole distributor for both of them in the UAE.

The product is being billed as offering “greater optimization” and simpler configuration and installation processes for fast implementation of plug-and-play, out-of-the-box business applications.

LogicaCMG has announced the successful and on-time live operation of the New Retail Platform to support Electrabel’s energy supply business.

As prime contractor, LogicaCMG has worked together with Electrabel to design, implement and bring to live a fully integrated SAP CRM, IS-U, and Business Warehouse product for the energy supply businesses.

NRP supports 2.5 million customers and can be expanded to cover the entire Electrabel customer base of 4 million. In terms of number of customers, this is the largest live integrated SAP product in the world.

Sophie Dutordoir, General Manager of Electrabel’s supply business, said they worked in partnership to create “an integrated product” which maintains responsiveness and customer service “as our market becomes more and more competitive.”

Webcom, Inc., a quote-to-order enablement vendor, has announced the availability of Version 5.1 of its WebSource Configuration, Pricing, Quotation & Proposal.

With this latest version, enterprise customers get a web services API, document content management, currency and market pricing processing, workflow history and analysis, workflow processing, including file attachments, new order management functionality and CRM integration.

Aleks Ivanovic, CEO and founder of Webcom, Inc. said WebSource CPQ V5.1 is “the culmination of our client-driven approach.”

Some features of WebSource CPQ V5.1:

·    Unlimited nesting of documents, including management by exclusion, not just inclusion
·    Rules-based currency and market pricing management
·    Complete workflow history in support of regulatory requirements
·    E-mail notification at the action level, including dynamic quote and order content
·    Web services API covering areas such as status updates, shopping cart properties, product/service details, users and companies
·    Quote “status” control of field-level data revisions
·    Unlimited file attachments, such as drawings, specifications, RFP/RFQ, etc.
·    User-specific order approval rules, including parallel and serial approval request processing
·    Shipment tracking at the line item quantity level
·    Enhanced CRM integration addressing the needs of customers with multiple channels to market.

I don’t care what anyone says – Australia’s got the best tourism promo spot First Coffee’s seen.

CGI Group Inc. has announced the acquisition of Plaut Consulting SAS, a French management and technology consulting firm.

Founded in 1998, the company, which is headquartered in Paris, is privately owned and has annual revenues of approximately 14 million euros. The acquisition, expected to close on June 1st 2006, will allow CGI to increase its footprint in France.

Known primarily for implementing SAP products, Plaut Consulting SAS guides its worldwide clients through organizational and information systems transformation projects in the manufacturing, retail and distribution, financial services and telecommunications markets.

Didier Moscatelli, President of Plaut Consulting SAS said by coming together with CGI, “we will be well positioned to increase our service offering.”

In addition to specializing in SAP integration, Plaut Consulting SAS also handles business intelligence, CRM and integrated technologies.

“This acquisition is ideally aligned with our strategic plan to profitably triple our operations in Europe by 2010,” stated Jacques Leray, Vice-President, General Manager of CGI France.

According to Asia In Focus, the Chinese government “has passed a new regulation to ban the uploading and downloading of Internet material without the copyright holder’s permission. Under the regulation, effective from July 1, anyone uploading texts, and performance, sound and video recordings to the Internet for downloading, copying or other use, must acquire the permission of the copyright owners and pay the required fee.”

Yawn. China can pass all the fancy-looking laws and regulations they want, the fact is no country aspiring to or occupying first world status does a worse job protecting intellectual property than China, where piracy’s rampant. Instead of more window-dressing, what would be genuinely impressive would be more enforcement than the one-off showpiece trials for intellectual property theft they decide to stage now and then.

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