The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies:
How about a little MySpace in your space? Patching the holes left by current ERP, CRM and other corporate technologies, according to Rohan Hall, chief executive of Group Members Only, the company is announcing a MySpace-style "social networking technology" debuting today "to help corporations solve issues related to collaboration, innovation, communication, and networking between employees, customers, vendors and partners."
The idea appears to be to use social networking, Web 2.0, and enterprise technology standards to help corporations "gain a better return on investment (ROI) on their 'people assets,'" according to Group Members Only officials.
The company was recently launched by a group of business and technology entrepreneurs whose background include Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and Amazon.com.
Rohan Hall said the technology will help companies foster more innovation by allowing employees to network and collaborate throughout the enterprise beyond the current annoying e-mail lists. Their patent-pending group networking technology "allows collaboration between groups while enforcing various privacy standards," officials explain.
For instance, corporate groups can "build social networks with internal employees and with their external customer base while restricting access to corporate content and other privileged information… Our social networking technology allows companies to identify what collaboration naturally exists between different groups inside their organizations. This visibility will facilitate organizational decisions enormously," Hall thinks.
"Companies are recognizing that half its new product ideas will come from outside their company by 2010," said IBM/Lotus General Manager Mark Rhodin at the June 2006 Collaborative Technology Conference. That does appear to be the quote embroidered and hung on the wall of Group Members Only headquarters.
The Group Members Only technology will allow companies to create virtual teams, communities of practice, expert networks, customer/partner networks, knowledge communities, and other networks inside and outside the corporate boundaries.
The technology include: personalization, private branding, social networking, video conferencing, Voice over IP (VoIP), Blogs, Instant Message, e-mail, document library, video library, live chat, discussion forums, jobs posting, group separation and linking, event calendars, and various tracking and reporting features.
The company will also customize and host the technology for organizations or implement the technology behind the corporate firewall, company officials say. A free version of the technology (www.GroupMembersOnly.com) that includes the basic features was launched for nonprofit organizations in June 2006.
Satuit Technologies, Inc., which sells customer relationship management (CRM) products for the investment industry, has announced that Sands Capital Management, LLC has selected SatuitCRM On-Demand for its marketing, sales and client services team.
Sands Capital Management, in the search for a CRM system, wanted something "way beyond contact management," according to Satuit officials. As Satuit's known primarily for its Sales Force Automation products, it would seem to fall into that category.
However, "our list of requirements were many," said Dana McNamara, Director of Client Services for Sands Capital Management, who said key selection criteria included an on-demand option, simple and easy to understand interface and architecture, the ability to "easily and cleanly" integrate existing data and systems and the ability to connect anywhere.
Sands Capital Management, based in Arlington, Virginia, began operations in February of 1992. Its assets under management increased from approximately $60 million in 1992 to approximately $19 billion as of December 31, 2005.
"We are delighted to have Sands Capital Management join our growing list of clients and we are especially happy to be working with them to integrate Satuit with their back office Advent/Axys systems," said Karen Maguire, chief executive officer for Satuit Technologies.
Many things in this world baffle First Coffee, the ways of an eagle in the air and a serpent on a rock among the least of them. No, true mysteries are how Tom Petty ever earned a dollar in the music industry and why the public's buying all this manufactured anger against the free market.
Oil companies' profits are up. That's what happens when you have a commodity that's in increasing demand due to Chinese and Indian industrialization, and shortening supply due to things like dinosaurs not dying fast enough and Democrats not letting oil companies drill in Alaska.
So why are you getting screwed when you fill your V-8 MegaSUV at the pump? Greedy oil companies? Consider that for every gallon of gas you buy 46 cents goes to government tax, 18.4 cents to the federal government and the rest to states and localities. As ConocoPhillips shows, the oil companies themselves get about ten cents per gallon. Greed, yes. Oil companies, no.
In fact, according to tax analyst Jonathan Williams on the invaluable Right Scale, "from 1977 to 2004, federal and state governments extracted $397 billion by taxing the profits of the largest oil companies and an additional $1.1 trillion in taxes at the pump. In today's dollars, that's $2.2 trillion." Money the oil companies were forced to collect from you on behalf of the government.
In 2005 ExxonMobil reported paying just under $99 billion in taxes -- $23.3 billion in income taxes, $30.7 billion in excise taxes, and $44.6 billion in "other taxes." Its own profit for the year were nowhere near that high.
In fact, Right Scale shows, in April ExxonMobil announced $8.4 billion in Q1 profits, down from $10.7 billion in Q4 2005. The federal government quietly "took in more than $7 billion from ExxonMobil during the first quarter of 2006, a jump of more than $2 billion from the same time period in 2005. And that doesn't count the more than $7.6 billion in excise taxes -- the gas tax -- that ExxonMobil collected for the government during the same quarter."
Consider the $11 billion in "other taxes" ExxonMobil sent the government, and they paid more than $25 billion in the first quarter of 2006. So ExxonMobil, the guys who do all the work and take all the risk and get cussed out at the pump, made $8.4 billion. The federal government sat on its fat lazy butt, did nothing useful and made ExxonMobil collect an extra $25 billion for tax, three times the profit the company itself made.
Then in exquisite gall the federal government sends out Senators Arlen "Dumb" Specter and Harry "Dumber" Reid on the Sunday catfight shows to complain that Big Oil's making too much money, when all Big Oil's doing is being forced to collect the government tax for them because Specter and Reid don't have the guts to come to your door and demand it in person.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that last year, "the top seven U.S. health insurers earned a combined $10 billion -- nearly triple their profits of five years earlier. The windfall came as insurers raised their prices faster than underlying health costs." That's a higher rate than Big Oil. In fact many companies are dropping health care for employees because they can't afford it. Where's the outrage?
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