AOL Mulling Free High-Speed Service, Telenity, Apresta And Motorola Q's CRM, Asteres, EBSuite, John Meets Paul

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AOL Mulling Free High-Speed Service, Telenity, Apresta And Motorola Q's CRM, Asteres, EBSuite, John Meets Paul

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Willie Nelson's recording of "When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder:"

This morning The Wall Street Journal is reporting that AOL "is considering offering its entire menu of services, including e-mail, free of charge to anyone with a high-speed Internet connection."

The proposal, "which AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller presented to top Time Warner executives in New York last week," WSJ reports, would mean "AOL would stop charging a subscription fee for users who already have a high-speed Internet service or dial-up service from another provider."

Oh if you have traditional "dial-up" Internet access you still pay the monthly fee. 30 percent of AOL's customer base of 18.6 million already has high-speed access, WSJ says, "but the company expects that 8 million of its existing dial-up customers would cancel their subscription to take advantage of the new offer."

The plan could cost AOL as much as $2 billion in subscription revenue "in a gamble aimed at boosting the Internet service's advertising revenue." And of course you know where the cost-savings will be made up: It would "likely lead to thousands of job cuts in marketing and customer service."

And hey, you heard it here first, folks: The final score of the World Cup final will be Italy 1, France 0. Ain't nobody getting around that Italian defense, the United States will go down as the only team to score a goal on Italy the entire 2006 World Cup.

Telenity, a vendor of converged services platforms and applications for communications networks, has announced the addition of video services designed for subscribers of video-enabled devices to its Canvas Converged Value Added Services Solution.

The Telenity product includes "enhanced multimedia content, integrated messaging and location-based services; and provides enhanced personalization capabilities across various networks and mobile devices," according to company officials.

Telenity has recently proven its Canvas product in a Tier 1 customer trial in Europe, where its new video-enabled services including video call services along with other Canvas service delivery products were tested in an IP network environment targeted for 3G and IMS.

Phil Marshall, Vice President at Yankee Group, has said recently that video presents "great revenue upside opportunities" in the marketplace. With peer-to-peer video services heavily dependent on 3G handset penetration, Marshall noted, "Application to person (content downloads and streaming) that do not require high end 3G handsets will initially create revenue opportunities from next generation video."

Such services will most likely come through a service delivery environment that serves both fixed, broadcast and mobile broadband 3G, evolving WiMax and 4G network standards, Marshall thinks.

Nitin Patel, Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Telenity said that Telenity's Canvas product is "IMS compatible, supporting next generation SIP standard architecture," which is adding video "as it brings a new breadth to content, messaging and location-based services allowing for rich user experience, personalization and as a result increased revenues to our customers."

One service currently provided by Telenity is video ringback tone enabled Canvas CoolRings, Personalized Ringback Tone Service. In addition to audio ringback tones, with video-enabled Canvas CoolRings, callers can view a variety of multimedia content including music videos, celebrity clips, personalized messages, infotainment clips or promotional messages instead of just hearing the standard ringing, busy or call waiting tones when placing a video call.

Apresta, vendors of wireless access products, have announced support for the Motorola Q, the latest cellular smart phone that runs handheld applications on Microsoft's Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.

With Apresta, company officials claim, Motorola Q users can now "gain seamless, real-time access to data from any back-end enterprise database system, including CRM, ERP, financials, and more."

The phone is designed to give users real-time access to enterprise data formatted specifically for handheld devices, such as the Motorola Q, BlackBerry, or Treo.

What Apresta's selling is a way to connect multiple back end systems, access and organize data fields from those systems, and then publish the data to the handset. It provides real-time, two-way access to customer and account information at the point of need, when a salesperson is calling on a customer, or a service representative is on site.

And Apresta officials say their product accommodates data access security, supports changing business rules, and lets you build custom reports and displays without any programming.

Rich Koch, vice president of marketing for Apresta says part of the marketing strategy is that with Apresta, "we can increase the value of the Motorola Q for mobile workers, giving users access to information when they need it. Now customers can access sales reports, financial data, ERP and CRM information, inventory, pricing or delivery data, and more from their Motorola Q."

The Apresta data delivery model is similar to iTunes for music delivery: Rather than having to download an application, Apresta delivers selected data when and where you want it.

Apresta is a division of CRM software vendor Saratoga Systems., an on-demand Customer Relationship Management vendor, has announced that Asteres Inc., the maker of ScriptCenter, the industry's first prescription drug pick-up kiosk for retail pharmacies, has adopted EBSuite's Customer Support and Sales Force Automation product.

Asteres needed a CRM product to help manage customer support calls and case processing workflow. In addition to sharing all documents on customer accounts, including case history, information on decisions made and support activities, Asteres wanted something to be cost-effective and customizable.

"EBSuite is intuitive and easy to use which made implementation quick and easy," said Stefany Goldman, Manger of Client Relations at Asteres. EBSuite, whose customer base and revenues increased more than 100% from fiscal year 2004 to 2005, has established international headquarters in Fremont, California.

In 2005, EBSuite launched operations in Beijing.

Today's date in history: In 1957 an English teenager named Paul was hoping to pick up girls at a church dance in St. Peter's parish. So on July 6th he rode his bike over for the carnival and a parade with decorated floats, and saw a band from the church playing on one of the floats. Paul liked the band -- he played a little guitar himself -- and saw the same band at the dance afterwards.

After the dance Paul went over to talk to the lead singer and guitar player of the band, who didn't really pay much attention to him until Paul said he knew how to tune a guitar, which was something, since nobody in the band knew how to do that, they'd been asking local musicians to do it for them.

Paul asked the singer why he made up new words to the popular rock'n'roll songs he'd been singing, he said it was because he couldn't remember the lyrics. So Paul wrote out the lyrics to a couple of the songs, including "Be Bop a Lula," and that's how Paul McCartney and John Lennon became friends.

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1 Comment

Italy actually scored on themselves, but why quibble...

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