Legal CRM from Microsoft, Accent Contact Center, Cognizant Profit, Premier Bank CRM, Go Barney!

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Legal CRM from Microsoft, Accent Contact Center, Cognizant Profit, Premier Bank CRM, Go Barney!

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Kinks' blazing hot One For The Road live set:

And of course the top news story this morning is that a Doberman Pinscher named Barney, working as a guard dog at the creepily-named "Wookey Hole Caves" children's museum with security guard Greg West, destroyed a $75,000 teddy bear formerly owned by Elvis Presley. I’m ROTFLMAO, you?

"The rare Steiff bear, named Mabel, was due to form the centerpiece of an exhibition at Wookey Hole Caves near Wells, England," reads the Associated Press account. "The bear was bought at auction in Memphis, Tennessee, by Somerset aristocrat Sir Benjamin Slade and had been loaned to the collection."

Other news reports say the dog ripped apart "hundreds of bears," severely damaging the $900,000 exhibit. West claims he spent "several minutes" chasing the dog, trying to stop him. Of course any good security guard can control his dog with one word.

(True story: First Coffee's father taught history at a college in New York in the 1960s during the height of the police brutality hoo-ha, and had in a class a K-9 officer who had trained his dog to attack on the command "Down boy!" So during arrests he'd be yelling "Down boy! Down boy!" at the dog and journalists wrote about how hard the officer tried to get the dog off the criminal.)

First Coffee would hereby like to thank Barney for making the so-called civilized world at least pause and wonder how the hell a teddy bear, no matter whose adolescent slobber is on it (it sure ain't Elvis's, no kid in Tupelo, Mississippi in the 1940s gets a Steiff teddy bear, we're talking a bear Elvis threw in with a truckload of roses and shopping basket of chocolates delivered to Graceland to make it up to Priscilla one day), gets to be worth more than a new Jaguar. Go Barney.

Directors of Premier Bank of Tallahassee, Florida have recently "connected with a network of more than 150 community financial institutions" after adopting the Connections CRM system offered by Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Premier Bank has seven branches with assets totaling $352 million, and picked the Connections software, including the Profitability and “What If” Pricing modules, after determining the systems comprehensive set of solutions best aligned with and supported its mission statement:

“ create a pleasant banking and working environment while achieving outstanding financial performance. Our bankers seek to be distinguished by their servant's hearts and sincere desire to treat others as they wish to be treated.”

Premier Bank also "values prompt delivery, modern technology and expediency while ensuring its integrity as a small community bank offering local decisions," according to bank officials, who seek to assure customers that some faceless bean counter in New York isn't going to decide to foreclose on their and sixteen other mortgages to correct a rounding error before lunch. MSI has been working with Premier to integrate the product.

Client Profiles, a vendor of case and financial management applications and technology services for the legal profession, has announced the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Legal (CRM for Legal Eagles), a client relationship management system for law practices based on Microsoft’s new Dynamics CRM business platform,

Client Profiles says the product was "uniquely developed for the legal industry by Client Profiles."

CRM for Legal provides tools for maintaining a "clear picture of client relationships from first contact through business development activities, ongoing marketing initiatives, and long-term relationship-building," according to Client Profiles officials. It tries to be a natural extension of Microsoft Office and Outlook, copying the familiar work environment.

Over the last six months, Client Profiles has been focused on product development, i.e. developing and testing CRM for Legal’s law practice-specific functionality, as well as the establishment of an "early adopter" program which has seen firms in Boston, Dallas, and New York sign on, with 12 more in the pipeline.

There's also talk of a worldwide network of CRM for Legal partners, including partnership discussions with resellers and implementers in Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, and the UK, as well as the creation of CP Dynamics, a separate Atlanta-based business unit focused solely on delivering CRM for Legal software, consulting services, conversions and implementations, and user training.

"Over the last three months, we have had the opportunity to sit down with more than 55 law firms, including 20 of the top 100, to discuss their CRM needs and desires," said Whit McIsaac, President and CEO, Client Profiles. "These law firms are desperate for a viable system that gives their business development teams the technical tools to do their jobs. The legal marketplace is ready to take CRM to the next level, first and foremost by driving user adoption. CRM for Legal, based on the significant advancements of Microsoft’s CRM Dynamics 3.0 release, provides just that."

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., a vendor of IT services including ERP and CRM, has announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2006.

Quarterly revenue increased to $336.8 million, up 59% from the year-ago quarter, and revenue for the second quarter increased to $336.8 million, up 18% sequentially from $285.5 million in the first quarter of 2006, and up 59% from $211.7 million in the second quarter of 2005.

GAAP net income was $55.1 million, or $0.37 per diluted share. Net income for the second quarter increased to $61.0 million on a non-GAAP basis, or $0.41 per diluted share, compared to $36.0 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2005.

Lakshmi Narayanan, President and CEO of Cognizant said during the quarter "we continued to experience strong demand for our full range of service offerings, particularly ERP and CRM, advanced solutions development, testing, data warehousing and infrastructure management."

Narayanan has also announced certain organizational changes "that we believe will provide a strong foundation for managing that growth, including the appointment of Francisco D'Souza to President and Chief Executive Officer, effective as of January 1, 2007.

Accent Marketing Services has announced that its Winter Haven, Florida, contact center has been selected to provide inbound customer care for one of the nation's fastest growing prepaid wireless providers.

The company will add 75 additional customer service representatives to support the new program.

Since opening in 1999, the center has provided inbound customer service and sales support for the long distance and wireless service divisions of a Fortune 100 telecommunications client. Earlier this year, the client selected Accent's Winter Haven facility to provide customer care for its subsidiary, a lifestyle-based youth brand that represents the fastest growing segment in the Fortune 100 client's portfolio.

Any guesses? Nope, First Coffee doesn't know either.

Accent expects to complete hiring for 75 additional customer service positions within the next four months, and will employ more than 325 people in Winter Haven. The Winter Haven center is one of three Accent facilities located in Florida, and one of twelve customer care centers globally.

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