First Coffee for 6 June 2006: Vaestro's Beta Now Available, CRM Vendor RightNow's Milestone, Sage Software's CRM Milestone, Single Source's SM-Plus 4.0 Here, STMicroelectronics' RFID Products.

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

First Coffee for 6 June 2006: Vaestro's Beta Now Available, CRM Vendor RightNow's Milestone, Sage Software's CRM Milestone, Single Source's SM-Plus 4.0 Here, STMicroelectronics' RFID Products.

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Aradia Ensemble’s recording of Handel’s Water Music:

Vaestro has announced the open beta of its voice community web site which allows people from around the world to talk to each other using voice powered message boards.

“Hearing the voice of a person in Taiwan or Scotland is simply more powerful than reading a text message from those same people,” Vaestro founder Matt Ready explains. “Voice conveys personality and emotion that is often lost when reduced to text. I want to empower everyone who uses the Internet with their own voice – literally.”

On Vaestro, user comments are recorded via microphone and uploaded into threaded discussions within different “Voice Channels.” Visitors to the site can listen to and participate in these public discussions at their convenience.

To help find topics of interest, users browse the channel directory or perform a search of topic titles and descriptions.

There are Vaestro channels in German, Icelandic, Hebrew, Hungarian, Swedish, and Spanish, despite the fact the Vaestro web site is currently only available in English. “I didn’t expect to have such an immediate international appeal,” admits Ready.

Vaestro claims to be introducing the concept of persistent interactive audio to podcasting. “Podcasting is democratizing radio by allowing anyone to broadcast audio to the world,” explains Ready, who says that Vaestro adds the dimension of letting the listener also be a participant.

Some users of Vaestro see it as a type of interactive podcast tool while others are using it like the ultimate audio blog. Ready says “we have people making audio birthday cards and guestbooks while others are telling stories and playing games.”

Ready says his “long term vision” is for Vaestro to evolve into a type of global open source democratic interactive talk radio web, “but for now we are just putting the tool out there and letting the world decide how they want to use it.”

RightNow Technologies, Inc. is announcing the doubling of their RightNow Marketing client base in the last year, saying over 230 companies are now signed up for the product which is designed to help “streamline and automate execution of multi-stage campaigns.”

RightNow Marketing enables companies to design, execute and manage multi-stage campaigns, using e-mail and the web to help “boost conversion rates and accelerate lead generation,” according to company officials. 

As a component of RightNow CRM, the product allows companies to target campaigns according to their customers’ behaviors, attributes and expressed preferences.  This optimizes both campaign effectiveness and the quality of the customer experience, RightNow officials maintain, “since it ensures that prospects receive information of interest to them and that they don’t receive information of no interest.”

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand is using RightNow Marketing to bolster its international reach by delivering highly targeted information to prospects based on their interests and other attributes. Thus, for example, a prospective undergraduate science student from India making an initial inquiry receives very different information from a prospective post-graduate business student from Denmark who has to make a final decision within two weeks.

“Our biggest objective isn’t to send out a lot of messages; it’s to send out the best possible message at the best possible time to everyone who is considering coming here,” Charles Brooks, eMarketing coordinator at Victoria International, said. “With RightNow, our only limitation to achieving this objective is in how wisely we can define rules and content for our messages. The system can do virtually anything we want it to do.”

Single Source Systems, Inc., an authorized Sage Software Master Developer Partner, has announced the availability of version 4.0 of its SM-Plus service management software for Sage MAS 500 ERP.

Company officials say several enhancements were added to the software to improve service management performance for users of the latest Sage MAS 500 ERP Version 7, including more flexible options for drag & drop, color-coded scheduling and dispatch functions.

Service Management Plus, the service management product integrated with Sage MAS 500 ERP, manages contact center incident tracking, resource scheduling and dispatch, service repair orders, expense tracking/reconciliation, service contracts and warranty tracking.

Core SM-Plus features also meet internal enterprise asset management requirements such as plant, fleet and facility preventative maintenance. Single Source also offers optional modules for wireless mobile field service and internet-based portals to support customer, dealer and employee self service operations.

“With this new version of SM-Plus, we are hoping to use the improved user interface and process changes that Sage has incorporated into MAS 500 Version 7 to streamline service operations and improve ease of use for our customers,” said Tony Petrucciani, Single Source CEO.

SM-Plus for Sage MAS 500 ERP is being marketed as helping service personnel respond quicker, make better decisions, use resources more effectively, and build knowledge to speed future decision-making. Integration with Sage MAS 500 ERP allows SM-Plus to access and update information contained in the MAS 500 customer, product and financial files eliminating data redundancy and the possibility for data errors.

Seems to be the time of year for announcing where things stand: Sage Software has announced that more than 35,000 corporate customers have selected an ACT! by Sage contact and customer management solution as of the six-year period ending March 31, 2006.

The latest ACT! corporate account figure, by comparison, eclipses the 22,700 customers currently listed by Sage Software officials attribute the continuing interest in ACT! to “the ease-of-use, low cost and flexible online, offline and mobile deployment options offered by the ACT! product family.”

ACT! claims to have created the contact and customer management software category in 1987 and today, in addition to more than 35,000 corporate customers, is also used by over 2.5 million registered users to “organize, access and manage their critical business information,” according to Sage officials.

ACT! corporate customers are defined as those with 10 or more licenses purchased from the ACT! corporate sales team, since its formation in 2000.

EFY Times is reporting that STMicroelectronics has announced the availability of LRI2K and LRIS2K, the new 2048-bit “long range” RFID memory products that are fully compliant with the ISO/IEC 15693 and ISO/IEC 18000-3 Mode 1 RFID standards for tracking applications.

“Built using ST’s CMOS technology with embedded EEPROM, and uniquely featuring 40-year data retention,” EFY says, “the LRI2K and LRIS2K are well-suited to address high-volume cost-driven markets, as well as reliability-sensitive segments, such as automotive or avionics.”

Both LRI2K and LRIS2K provide 2 Kbits of electrically erasable user memory (EEPROM), with an on-chip RF interface operating at the standard HF (high-frequency) 13.56MHz carrier frequency.

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