Information Architects, Microsoft Dynamics, CRM Vendor GWIB, Radio KCRM, StrikeIron, c360, Volusion Live Chat

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Information Architects, Microsoft Dynamics, CRM Vendor GWIB, Radio KCRM, StrikeIron, c360, Volusion Live Chat

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee, the beans, of course, being Kopi Luwak beans hand-ground using a 19th century apothecary's mortar and pestle by my man Godfrey, brewed with imported Swiss spring water in a Gaggia piston-style espresso brewer… see, we've been accused here at Radio KCRM 98.6, All Monkees All The Time, of being somewhat, ah, lowbrow and rather crass, which doesn't seem to bother the vast majority of our listeners, primarily because the vast majority of our listeners have their musical selections made by an institutional officer of one kind or another, but occasionally we do get the more well-heeled, cultured listener.

And as a wise man once said we need to be all things to all men, so instead of grabbing a cuppa Maxwell House from the percolator First Coffee had his gentleman's gentleman Godfrey whip something up in the grand style, and instead of the usual t-shirt won in a bar trivia contest we have donned a finely-tailored double-breasted smoking jacket with Chinese brocade collars and cuffs, and instead of Slobberbone or some other such selection from the usual musical fare we've upgraded to a fine 1961 jazz release, Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments."

And we shall strive for the refined diction appropriate for the more educated ear, no more of the Wolfman Jack-style shoutin' and hollerin' here, but a more subtle, sophisticated style appropriate, of course, to you, the more discriminating class of listener.

So bonjour mes amis, and for a historical note we would like to remember that today is the birthday of noted 19th century British poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, born in Stratford, England in 1844, noted for his use of sprung rhythm and intricate language and known for such works as "God's Grandeur," "The Starlight Night" and of course, First Coffee's favorite, "The Windhover."

On Tracey Schelmetic's croquet lawn yesterday morning, enjoying her grandmother's secret recipe Magellan G&Ts, First Coffee heard that Information Architects, a vendor of online information products, has announced that they have added a state-of-the-art contact center to their operations through the acquisition of GWIB CO LLC.

GWIB sells contact center services and comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) products. GWIB provides a communications portal that allows clients to connect with their customers through a single entry point.

The company brings what Information Architects officials describe as "a solid and experienced core management team that has a great deal of expertise in contact center development, sales generation, business operations and business expansion." The team has worked extensively in telephony administration, network setup and administration, and has the potential to be "one of the top tier contact centers in the Caribbean," Information Architects hopes.

"With the acquisition of GWIB, Information Architects can now offer… a comprehensive set of on-demand CRM products," said Todd K. Morgan, CEO of Information Architects.

Jon Grinter, President of Information Architects promised that customers can now expect "faster turnaround times on problem resolution and the efficiency of a single point of contact for all your support needs."

And at the polo match held in Rich Tehrani's back yard yesterday afternoon, sipping some of Rich's Roederer Cristal '84 between chukkas, First Coffee heard that StrikeIron Inc., vendor of the Web Services Marketplace, has announced a partnership with c360, a vendor of add-on products and development tools for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.

As part of the partnership, StrikeIron officials say, c360 will integrate StrikeIron's Address Verification Web service with its Productivity Packs for Microsoft Dynamics, which has multiple c360 products designed to "help users get more out of Microsoft CRM."

C360 products are sold exclusively through their network of over 500 authorized partners.

C360 integrated StrikeIron's Address Verification Web Service into the Data Quality Center of the Core Productivity Pack, a move to let users do real-time verification and standardization of US addresses. The integrated product will allow users to preview old and new addresses, automatically update the verified address and provide a toolbar which allows users to trigger the address verification service on-demand.

And since an XML-based Web service is being used, customers do not need to worry about monthly data updates and the costly maintenance associated with traditional address correction products, StrikeIron officials say.

"This offering is a first for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users," claimed Arvind Raman, Director of Product Management of c360 since "customers can now focus on all processes necessary for a CRM system."

The Address Verification Web Service is part of the StrikeIron Marketplace which offers more than 75 web services to ISVs such as c360. StrikeIron also offers an API to integrate commercial Web services into an ISV's application, which company officials characterize as "an ideal product for the integration of live data directly into real-time business processes to increase productivity and lower costs."

For example, using the product, Web services can be used in CRM applications to incorporate live data feeds and eliminate the methods of bulk data importing, exporting and cleanup, officials say.

My, isn't this an interesting coincidence: Today is also the birthday of Beatrix Potter, born in South Kensington, England in 1866, the wonderful writer who gave us Peter Rabbit. We'll certainly enjoy trading such interesting literary anecdotes at the brie and Chardonnay get-together at Patrick Barnard's place out in the Hamptons tonight, he always has some nice Chateau Montelena on ice -- AquaICE, of course.

And at Michelle Pasquarello's penthouse on the Upper East Side, while circulating (nice touch, Michelle, hiring the Kronos Quartet for live background music) First Coffee met the sales manager at a company new to First Coffee, called Volusion.

Introducing himself only as James, he said his company has developed free live chat software called Volusion Live Chat, which he said was "a 100 percent hosted live chat software, which meaning there's nothing to install on your servers," which has the added advantage of being "free to any and all PC users, even non-Volusion customers."

He said it's a great way to communicate instantly with online customers.

When it comes to determining effectiveness, "feedback is a part of how that's determined," James said, noting that in a monthly meeting, members of Volusion's Sales Staff mentioned that "several customers had asked questions on how to find and install third party chat software on their site."

According to James, customers were catching on to the importance of getting answers to their online customers in a timely manner, shown to reduce cart abandonment and increase sales amongst other things. Talk of creating Volusion's own live chat software quickly began, and what started out as a way to make the documentation clearer quickly turned into the development of Volusion's own live chat software.

"We sent the idea to our development department and we all agreed that a live chat service would be a great thing to offer our customers. Two days after the meeting, work on Volusion Live Chat began," he said.

There are a few reasons James pointed out for why a product like Volusion Live Chat would be good for the success of a merchant's online business. Real-time live help and live customer support is given to the customer at the exact time and instance they need answers. It helps save money and resources; live online support is less expensive than telephone support and several chats can be received by a single chat operator. And it can help lower shopping cart abandonment in giving quick online answers.

For additional information on the benefits of Volusion Live Chat Software and to sign up for the free service, please visit:

And that concludes the upscale broadcast of Radio KCRM 98.6. Now if you don’t mind, the jazz CD goes off, hello Willie Nelson and I’m off for a beer.

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