Selectica, Sand and NHN, Firepond's CPQ, DMA In UK For Mobile CRM, Mel: Join Hezbollah

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Selectica, Sand and NHN, Firepond's CPQ, DMA In UK For Mobile CRM, Mel: Join Hezbollah

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, the music is Cross Canadian Ragweed's version of "Whiskey River," and that Rob McGrath has exactly one week to get me my deposit in Tanner & Haley back or… or else:

Selectica, a vendor of configuration, sales execution and contract management applications, has announced the release of a study titled "Contract Management in the Mid-Market" by Aberdeen Group.

The report was developed, company officials say, to help mid-market companies (in their eyes, if you're doing between $50 million and $1 billion you're mid-market) gain insight into "effective and efficient contract management methodology for both the buy and sell-side agreements."

Selectica sells technology that automates business processes in the areas of sales execution and contract lifecycle management. Available on-demand or installed, the company's products link between CRM and ERP.

"Contract Management in the Mid-Market" is based on survey results of 140 respondents. Findings include the disturbing fact that more than 80 percent of companies on both the buy- and sell-side of contract management use entirely manual or only partially-automated processes and systems. Friends, this is intolerable in this great land of ours.

According to Cassandra here mid-market companies face "significant challenges with contract management. In many cases, companies cannot even locate contracts that may be stored away in archaic filing systems. Mayhem ensues.

On the buy-side, contract management is seen as part of overall supply management, while on the sell-side, companies are looking to contract management to "improve customer relationships as well as to better assess and mitigate risks," according to the report's findings.

"The major goal for contract management within any company is to ensure that its commitments and obligations to customers and suppliers are clearly visible to the right people in the organization and that these commitments are promptly executed upon," said Vishal Patel, Aberdeen research analyst and author of the report.

Generally Contract Performance Management software does stuff like ensure compliance by automating and streamlining the creation, storage, management, and analysis of contracts -- from initial contract request and negotiation to on-going compliance and performance management.

Automating many of the manual, disparate processes traditionally associated with contracts helps by giving users visibility and control of their commitments, eliminating expired, redundant and poorly structured agreements, tracking key milestones, deliverables and renewal events, ensuring accurate financial reconciliation and compliance, managing collaboration and approvals across entire contract lifecycle; and enforcing use of standard processes and terms.

I love it when spammers get creative, an ersatz poetry is achieved. Today I got a spam for all my "faarmacy" needs, with the subject heading "Reminder for your actuality." Isn't that great?

It's the time of the season for reporting how well -- or not-so-well -- you've been doing, so FP Technology, Inc., doing business as Firepond, is announcing that its multi-tenant on demand product, Firepond CPQ OnDemand, has seen significant user growth over the past year.

To date, the amount of subscribers has increased by 62% and the amount of proposals generated has grown over 185%. Not… bad, as we say.

This quarter, Firepond added two more major companies to its customer list. The first company, a worldwide financing and asset management solutions provider, wanted to improve their lead-to-quote process. They chose Firepond CPQ OnDemand because of its "tight integration to, ease of use and the strong capability of the Firepond Product Data Manager configuration engine," according to Firepond officials.

The second company is a major security software provider that will deploy Firepond to its thousands of worldwide salespeople to "improve the accuracy of quotes, control margin and centrally manage pricing and configuration."

Bill Santo, Firepond CEO said through "a single sign-on to," their customers can develop accurate quotations that they can present to their customer in minutes.

Firepond is a certified AppExchange partner, and Firepond OnDemand is one of more than 250 applications created by, its customers and partners that are now available on the AppExchange.

Advice to Mel Gibson: Join Hezbollah or, better yet, get elected the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Then you can say that Jews are the source of the entire world's problems and should be wiped off the map and everybody will simply shrug, yawn and turn the page as they do when Hezbollah and the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran say things like that. You can even be sober.

You may have seen this news the past week, First Coffee missed it so there's a chance you did too:

The United Kingdom's Direct Marketing Association has formed the new Mobile Marketing Council, following the creation of a strategy group earlier this year. Chaired by Nick Fuller, the council's primary objectives are to "promote a greater understanding and use of the medium to both members and the wider industry."

Mobile is becoming an established direct marketing medium for applications as varied as direct response fulfillment, CRM and advertising. So DMA members and the broader industry, the thinking goes, should know more about the Council's support in areas such as legislative compliance (particularly around consumer permission), technology understanding and best practices.

The Council has already compiled a Code of Practice for membership consultation which is now available via its microsite at and is running several events where case studies from experienced practitioners are combined with hands-on demonstrations.

Nick Fuller, Chair, Mobile Marketing Council, says within digital, mobile marketing is "probably the newest area but its staggering growth and potential continues to grab marketers' attention."

According to the DMA's Future Trends Survey 2005, interactive media is the fastest growing area of Direct Marketing. This, Fuller says, is why the DMA has established a council -- "to offer members support and advice as well as to promote the benefits of mobile marketing."

Sand Technology Inc., a vendor of enterprise information management products, has announced that it is working with TopEnd Technology, Inc. to implement the Sand/DNA Analytics product at NHN Corporation in Korea as "the core component of a data warehouse system supporting analysis of Internet portal usage."

Sand/DNA products include SAP-certified information management, CRM analytics, and specialized applications.

NHN Corporation, which according to Sand officials was described recently in BusinessWeek magazine as one of the "hottest Internet search companies on earth," is one of Korea's premier Internet companies, operating the Naver search portal and Hangame game portal.

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