Bluespring's BPM 4.4 is Microsoft CRM Friendly, Dubai Customs, Vodafone Australia-New Zealand CRM Late, Gotta Love Russia

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Bluespring's BPM 4.4 is Microsoft CRM Friendly, Dubai Customs, Vodafone Australia-New Zealand CRM Late, Gotta Love Russia

[Sorry for the late posting, thanks to TMC's crack tech staff for clearing up some nagging tech glitches this morning.]

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an album the higher I.Q. stoners in high school, the guys who listened to a lot of Yes and Beatles and read Robert Heinlein and Dune over and over liked but one which I never cared for until recently, but it's actually pretty good -- Return To Forever's Romantic Warrior:

Bluespring Software, which sells Business Process Management software, has announced the general availability of BPM Suite 4.4. The new release, according to company officials, "expands the number of things a business person can do with little to no involvement from IT."

The product lets users "create, retrieve, update, publish and delete files" from any standards-based (WebDAV) document management product, such as Microsoft Sharepoint Portal Server, FileNet, Documentum and others. Processes can be triggered by document library events and site management can be automated.

It also works with Microsoft's CRM 3.0, as its processes "can be triggered by events or actions within CRM," officials say, and can pass business rules and process data between InRule's BRE and BPM Suite, "facilitating the management of rules separate from process management."

"Business processes should be owned by business people and a business's people should be able to participate in a process using common desktop tools like e-mail and Office," said Karl Treier, Bluespring's Chief Technology Officer.

In what Dubai officials describe as "a move to enhance customer satisfaction," Dubai Customs has a new customer relations strategy that involves the opening of a direct communication channel with customers to "facilitate closer mutual interaction."

As part of aforesaid new strategy, Dubai Customs will "strengthen its customer service mechanism and hold monthly meetings with customers to deliberate at length all aspects related to the services provided by it."

Long on generalities and frustratingly short on specifics, officials said "at the first monthly meeting held recently, senior executives from the Customer Relations Department of Dubai Customs briefed customers on the various services being offered by Dubai Customs to streamline processes and expedite clearance of goods. "

This involved customers being given "a comprehensive presentation" on Dubai Customs innovative e-Clearance, which was developed and integrated into Dubai Customs business processes "to streamline trade facilitation and digitize customs procedures in order to promote enhanced compliance and administrative efficiency."

It's all to the good whenever organizations take steps to improve customer communication and efficiency, First Coffee raises his second iced coffee of the morning to them, what we'd like to hear about are the specifics of how it'll be done:

The e-Clearance tool, built on a robust web platform, evidently allows accredited customers to "complete all documents related to their cargo manifest online," facilitating the faster clearance of goods. A total of 426,330 e-Clearance transactions were carried out in the first half of 2006, Dubai Customs officials report, "compared to 163,698 in the same period last year."

Vodafone's massive trans-Tasman (Australia-New Zealand) infrastructure project is "running late, with a potential large cost overrun," according to Wellington, New Zealand-based industry observer Randal Jackson:

"In December 2003, IBM was selected as the integrator for Vodafone's new CRM, billing and provisioning systems in New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. The CRM component was to be based on Siebel, which is used in several Vodafone country subsidiaries."

Jackson explains the new systems were to cover 1,100 "heavy" users and 1,400 "light" users in the sales channel. He reports that the project, which is billing-related, "was originally costed at $200 million and was due to be delivered by IBM at the end of 2005. Two sources say the cost is likely to blow out to at least $300 million. One was told by IBM, when the contract was signed, that the deal was worth $200 million."

IBM is the systems integrator working in both countries.

AppStrategy, Inc., a vendor of Rapid Application Development tools for Microsoft CRM, has announced the opening of its new EMEA office in Paris.

(Just so you're aware of the value First Coffee adds, the news advisory had written "… its new EMEA office in Paris, France," supposing that you're the kind of person who'd think appStrategy's new EMEA office had opened in Paris, Texas. We defend you from numerous insults to your intelligence, this is but one example.

(Here's another sentence we thought best to deflect: "AppStrategy EMEA will handle sales and support of the company's software products in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions." In case you thought the EMEA office would handle sales and supports of the company's software products in, I don't know, Paraguay or Newfoundland. Watching out for you 24/7, that's First Coffee.

(You should see the piles of weeded-out adjectives around here by Friday, if we could find a way to turn "leading," "user-friendly," "seamless" or "powerful," the wooden pallets of the business news world, into fuel we'd never have to buy a barrel of oil from the Middle East again.)

AppStrategy offers ISVs, consultants and corporate developers its appRadius development framework for Microsoft CRM. AppRadius integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Visual Studio, external databases including Oracle, DB2, Oracle, MySQL and legacy sources.

"The release of appRadius 3.0 has sparked interest in our framework," believes Greg Ozuzu, Founder & CEO of appStrategy, who says "our EMEA go-to-market strategy is to partner with MBS ISVs in the region to deliver CRM for customers."

AppRadius for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is currently available in several languages including English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. The system includes Small Business and Enterprise Servers and a Developer Suite.

Ever notice that jazz-rock "fusion" is a lot more jazz than rock? Rarely is it ever real rock'n'roll "incorporating" jazz, since that's like Levi's 501 jeans "incorporating" lace, it's almost always straight-up jazz but with a (audible) rhythm section playing in 4/4 time.

I love Russia. You gotta love Russia. No, not in the sense that you get thrown in the gulag any more if you don't, but in the sense that you get stuff like this: "New Web Site Offers Information on Customer Relationship Management. is a new site that has information about plumbing and plumbing resources."

The site promo goes on to show that it knows what CRM is -- "CRM (customer relationship management) is term used of software that is normally used and for Internet capabilities that help companies' customer relationships in an organized way. For example, a company may build a database with all their customers that has not only the normal information like their name address etc, but also individualize situations, like what the customer purchased and when and if they called in for help what was said during the phone call and what was the problem and how the problem was resolved etc."

A few paragraphs of general CRM theory like this, concluding with "This new site [] is designed to help people find good information on plumbing and plumbing materials and prices."

Gotta love it.

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