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September 2006

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CRM Case Study On Orbitz: How to Insult, Irritate, Patronize, Stress And Lose Customers; Open Solutions

September 29, 2006

By David Sims

david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elton John's Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy:

Open Solutions Inc. has announced that Pacific Coast Bankers' Bank, with $473 million in assets, has selected its enterprise-wide data processing platform, The Complete Banking Solution, and other Open Solutions' complementary applications.

The second largest bankers' bank in the United States in terms of assets under management, PCBB provides correspondent banking services to more than 400 independent community banks across the country.

Open Solutions sells integrated enabling technologies for financial institutions in the United States, Canada and internationally. In September 2005, Open Solutions announced an agreement with PCBB to offer PCBB customers its image item processing services as a complement to PCBB's cash letter settlement service.

Cisco in Turkey, FireSocket for Auto CRM, NetSuite's PRM

September 28, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Only Life by The Feelies:

Cisco Systems has announced what company officials consider a "significant investment initiative" in Turkey, totaling up to $275 million (about 410 million New Turkish Lira… frickin' heck it's down to 1.45 YTL per dollar again, we live here in Istanbul and our rent's set in lira and we get paid in dollars, it's been as high as 1.60ish recently, let's see it do that again) over five years.

This announcement was made by John Chambers, President and CEO of Cisco Systems, during his visit to Central and Eastern Europe and highlights the growing importance of places like Turkey in the global emerging markets.

CRM Case Study: Orbitz Losing Customer Loyalty, SAP's Third Wave of CRM, Chep Contact, Todor's Addicted Customers

September 27, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elton John's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy:

German CRM vendor SAP AG has announced the availability of the third wave of its SAP CRM on-demand products, hitting the product target set in February.

With the new SAP Service on-demand, service managers can consolidate and track service tickets, establish rule- based escalations for follow-up and "better adhere to service-level agreements."

SAP also introduced capabilities for the existing SAP CRM on-demand products, including new sales automation features for product and quotation management.

SAP and Callidus Partner, Enforta In Russia, Global Vision, Caiman.com, Rhapsody At 26

September 26, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aimee Mann's live CD, Live At St. Ann's Warehouse. Didn't know there was a patron saint of warehouses:

Callidus Software Inc., a vendor of Enterprise Incentive Management products, has announced that it has signed a Cooperative Development Agreement with SAP AG.

Under the terms of the agreement, SAP and Callidus will promote and market Callidus Software's TrueComp and TrueInformation products in the United States and Canada.

CRM Case Study On Orbitz: The Problem Isn't The Problem.

September 25, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Dolphy's great Out To Lunch CD:

Here at First Coffee we write about customer relationship management and how companies gain or lose customer loyalty based on their customer service. We present you now with a real live case study of CRM in action.

My family plans to travel from Istanbul to see family in America for Thanksgiving. So a couple weeks ago we searched out plane tickets online, using Expedia, Travelocity, the usual suspects. We settled on buying our tickets via Orbitz, a company we've never used before.

CRM Hall of Fame, Support Fusion, Unipower and Symbol

September 23, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis's Sketches Of Spain:

Not a bad day for musical birthdays today -- 1926 John Coltrane, 1930 Ray Charles and 1949 Bruce Springsteen.

Wrapping up the news for the week, bear in mind that a couple days ago Support Fusion, a vendor of web-based Helpdesk, CRM, and Business Process products, announced the immediate availability of its no-cost, web-based Helpdesk Application Service for commercial and non-profit organizations

Support Fusion's web-based, high availability system is now being made available free of cost to thousands of small, medium, and large size companies for tracking and managing issues and tasks related to every day business operations.

Traditionally companies of all sizes have "struggled with the overall value proposition" when it comes to implementing helpdesk systems largely due to cost and resources, company officials say, claiming that Support Fusion "mitigates cost and resource risks by providing a no-cost option along with the convenience of an application service."

Along with Free web-based Helpdesk, Support Fusion offers a no-cost, no obligation "needs assessment" to help companies understand their business requirements, and will provide assistance and startup training to get users and system administrators off to a successful start.

CRM Classic Hard Rock With Radio KCRM 98.6, RWD Tech, Howard Stern, Open Solutions, O2's VoIP, Rosetta

September 22, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first gallon or so of coffee this morning, welcome to Radio KCRM 98.6, the classic hard rock edition, brought to you courtesy of Guns 'n' Roses' Appetite For Destruction:

I used to do a little but a little wouldn't do it

So the little got more and more

Good, good news for you campers out there, you might've heard that The Most Dangerous Man In Show Business, Howard Stern, is disgruntled that nobody's listening to him on his uncensored Sirius shows, and is rather hankering for his days of commercial broadcast radio, where sure, he couldn't say (deleted), or (deleted) and certainly not (deleted), but where more than eighteen or so people heard anything he said at all.

CRM Help From Bigcheeseware, Callidus and Thrivent, Hansen and Sarasota, Aspect 2.5.1

September 21, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis' landmark jazz album "Bitches Brew." It's considered a "landmark" by critics, personally I like what he did before this album better than what he did after it.

Bigcheeseware has announced a 30-day trial for businesses of what it calls its "Total CRM Design."

As more and more online consumers take advantage of free trial services, Bigcheeseware officials say, Internet-based businesses like to offer free trial sessions.

CRM In China, Attunity InFocus 2.0, Marginal Frog Slams Steve Irwin, CA, Ki and SAP

September 20, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the crying and wailing of the 300 or so songs I deleted from the iTunes music library on my laptop this morning for space considerations… screeching and caterwauling… Weird Al Yankovic and The Eels, Beatle duplicates and Romanian gypsy music… all equal in the end:

Attunity has announced the immediate availability of Attunity InFocus 2.0, a software platform for configuring, deploying, running and managing Workplace Applications. What company officials are billing as "an industry first for customers," it provides ways to improve how activities of an organization are managed, promoting "more effective working of operational, management and key knowledge-workers towards the goal of high-performing management."

Attunity InFocus has been designed to help organizations focus on their most valuable assets -- people -- using their knowledge and experience, and facilitating their "natural" work style by using a new breed of software application known as Workplace Applications, company officials explain.

Anna the Lingubot Revisited, Rural Broadband, Zimbra's 3.2, CA and SAP NetWeaver, Terrorism-Fighting Fish

September 19, 2006

By David Sims david@david-sims.com

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Electro-Shock Blues by The Eels. The Eels is essentially the vehicle for E, born Mark Oliver Everett, and the guy writes interesting, if dark, songs. Hey you probably would too if you were in his moccasins -- his father was a brilliant physicist who originated the many worlds theory of quantum physics, and died at 51 from heavy drinking. Mark's sister later committed suicide, his mother died of cancer, eliminating the last of his immediate family, and if that weren't enough, his cousin was a stewardess on the 9/11 flight that hit the Pentagon. So his music isn't exactly ABBA, although his songs were used on the Shrek soundtrack:

ERP for Organic Food, Zimbra For CRM, European Contact Centers Stink

September 18, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Eels' Daisies Of The Galaxy:

Zimbra has announced the availability of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) 3.2 Beta, which introduces the Zimbra Assistant and keyboard navigation, as well as beta features such as customizable skins for the ZCS.

Further, the new beta features an expanded set of Zimlets -- customizable Web mash-ups -- such as the customizable flight tracker and RSS reader, as part of the standard download.

Zimbra Assistant is an optional feature that allows users to interact with ZCS by typing requests in language which is more user-friendly than in a traditional pop-up form.

CompTel, AT&T and The Tunney Act

September 16, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Meatloaf's "Saturday Night (Love That Rock'n'Roll)" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack:

Seems the latest kerfuffle here in our little corner of the telecom world involves the Competitive Telecommunications Association (CompTel) protesting the mergers of SBC and AT&T on the one hand and Verizon and MCI on the other.  

Little background: You may have heard of the $67 billion-dollar merger between AT&T Inc. and BellSouth proposed in March.

FrontRange's 5.0.3 IP Contact Center, Epicor and PSS, La Senza and NSB

September 15, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The David Holland Quartet's Conference Of The Birds. Good music if you're into atonal '70s jazz, kind of like late period John Coltrane meltdown. First Coffee isn't particularly and doesn't see this album getting a whole lot more play until we have guests over we want to get rid of, but the album has distinctly cool cover art.

CRM Help From Commit, Cole Valley 9.23, A Dell Customer Service Victim Speaks, CDC, Ross,

September 14, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is probably the single finest performance in rock history next to The Clash's "Complete Control," Ten Years After's "Goin' Home" rendition at Woodstock. The real one, kids, on Max Yazgur's farm in upstate New York. Ask Jim Berkowitz, he remembers.

Full credit to Alvin Lee's guitar pyrotechnics, of course, but ever notice what a great job the bassist does? This morning I tried listening to it without the bass track and was surprised how much the overall performance suffers:

Lingubot's "Hi, I'm Anna," Traction Software's TeamPage 3.7

September 13, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Oliver Nelson's The Blues and the Abstract Truth:

Lingubot, whose officials like to call it "the world's busiest interactive web assistant," is now available in America, officials say.

Lingubot officials claim their interactive web assistant has "over 250,000 conversations every day for leading global organizations, such as Lloyds TSB, Aviva, IKEA, BBC, Daimler Chrysler, BT and over 100 other companies." It's available in America from Creative Virtual.

Lingubot uses a natural language interface, as officials explain the "Lingubot Natural Language engine interprets user questions from key words and phrases and responds with qualifying questions and options to proceed," such as asking "What kind of account would you like to open," and listing the account types available.

The Lingubot engine can also be integrated with forms within the web site, as IKEA did for their "Ask Anna" feature.



CRM Vendor Parature, Siperian, Nomura, Neocase, Autonomy, The Weather Channel

September 12, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beatles' The Beatles, a.k.a. The White Album:

Autonomy Corporation plc, a vendor of what they call "infrastructure software for the enterprise and proponent of meaning-based computing," might have to Wiki that term a bit later on today, has announced that Nomura has selected Autonomy's IDOL 7 for a multi-lingual deployment to more than 20,000 users.

CRM for Virgin From Neolane, Access Data, Sedona and Data Systems of Texas, On Rehearing Sgt. Pepper

September 11, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an overproduced album of good, not great songs released in 1967 which is today the #124 seller on Amazon.com -- the White Album's #99, Rubber Soul's #108, Abbey Road's #144 and Revolver's #153 -- with 1,040 customer reviews.

Sgt. Pepper is widely regarded by people currently weighing retirement options as the greatest rock album ever made. First Coffee would give it 3.5 stars and concur with Bob Dylan that the songs really didn't need all that production. Lou Reed, who released his band's debut album, The Velvet Underground/Nico in 1967 and watched it get completely overshadowed by the hoopla surrounding Sgt. Pepper, was understandably a tad bitter when he called the album "gooey pap." It's better than that and deep down Lou knows it.

It still holds up as a decent, listenable record, a good one to put in the CD changer between Clapton's Unplugged and Paul Simon's Graceland for your wife's 46th birthday brunch with friends over, but in it one can hear the ominous seeds of pretty much everything bad in rock music after 1967 -- pretentious prog/art rock, the California sound, obnoxious "sensitive" singer-songwriters (Dylan gets unfairly blamed for the whole sensitive-soul-with-guitar plague, but James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell and their ilk spawn from Sgt. Pepper, not Bringing It All Back Home).

Of course Sgt. Pepper's reputation rests on the fact that it was the first album-as-unified-work-of-art in pop music, and First Coffee supposes there are those who think that's a Good Thing.

Comverse Buys Netonomy, Tries To Buy Time, Might Buy The Farm

September 9, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, thanks to LimeWire.com, is The Beatles' "I've Just Seen A Face," downloaded at no cost thanks to the urination war between The Beatles' business entity Apple and iTunes. I mean I'm willing to pay for iTunes, maintain quality and fight piracy and all that, but so far I've gotten Revolver, Abbey Road and now Rubber Soul from file-sharing because hey, if two billionaires can't split the difference on 10 or 12 cents royalty per song or whatever it is, screw 'em:

Comverse, a subsidiary of Comverse Technology, Inc., who sells software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication and billing services, has announced that it has completed its acquisition of privately-held Netonomy for approximately $19 million in cash, subject, as usual, to certain post-closing adjustments.

Netonomy, is a customer self-service, bill analysis and point of sale products vendor. The move, Comverse officials say, is to extend their real-time billing and customer management products for communication service providers with "additional tools to increase efficiency and enhance the end-customer experience."

Netonomy customers include Bouygues Telecom, several Orange operators, T-Mobile UK, Telstra and Vodafone UK.

Howard Woolf, President Comverse Converged Billing Solutions Group, said this latest acquisition is "part of our commitment to provide the most comprehensive and innovative solutions to the communications industry."

"Joining Comverse enables Netonomy's customers to benefit from Comverse's field proven, end-to-end billing offering as well as the company's strength in messaging, content, converged IP communications and handset software," said John Ball, CEO of Netonomy.

Earlier this week Comverse announced the launch of Quad Play Suite, described by company officials as "a pre-integrated package combining IPTV middleware with fixed-mobile voice and video communication applications."

The Quad Play Suite uses IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture for service convergence across wireless, wireline and cable networks, and gives a way for service providers to enter the quad play market.

MSI's Connections, Kintera's CRM Road Show, IBB, Radio KCRM 98.6

September 8, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that always ends promptly on time so you can get back home to Parsippany before the babysitter's curfew, Radio KCRM 98.6, All Jesus Christ Superstar All The Time.

As you know we don’t accept any sponsorship of any kind here on Radio KCRM, if we like it in it goes, if we don't there's other action on the Strip, sailor. Radio KCRM, 98.6, All Public Image, Ltd. All The Time, commercial-free 24/7.

But we do like to help out our friends from time to time, and one of them is an aspiring songwriter, talented but hey, you know the drill, there's no government program for that, you kinda get lumped in with the rest of the deadbeat bums down at the Welfare Office, and for heaven's sake, bro, we got better things to do than keep the welfare queen's brats from drooling on the Martin six-string, and last night she found out that Radio KCRM's got a regular gig here Friday mornings, spilled out her tale of woe, a lurid tale of genius unappreciated in the Cold City and the evil, steel soul of commercialism trampling all over something precious or other, tell you quite frankly Radio KCRM'd had a lot of drinks with a lot of straws and paper umbrellas by then and wasn't following the plot too closely, but got the general upshot and said hey, whyncha come by the studio tomorrow morning -- I can give you a ride after breakfast -- and strut your stuff layin' the tracks down and honey chile, thy genius shall be recognizeth forthwith.

Wouldn't you know it she was that desperate, so without further adieu mon freres, here we have… um, sorry, it's been a rushed morn -- Wendy, that's it, here's Wendy from… Salinas bringin' da noyz:

Well, gee, hi everyone, this is Wendy West from Salinas, and I'm a great songwriter who just hasn't been discovered yet, but I'm happy to be here on Radio KCRM, All Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen All The Time, and, this announcement is from a company named… MSI, who want you to know that they're very proud to announce the release of Connections Version 4.9.0.

CRM BI For CBN, Salesforce.com Winter '07, SEC's EDGAR Searchable Online, War "Crimes" Then And Now

September 7, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jimmy Cliff's 20th Century Masters compilation:

So who is this Mikhail Youzhny? He dissected sixth-seed Tommy Robredo -- admittedly overranked, but still -- in the U.S. Open in straight sets, and last night beat second seed Rafael Nadal in four to make the quarterfinals.

CRM For Cars By 5square, PacificNet, TAC and Infoglide and Bladeworks

September 6, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a CD I burned which works surprisingly well -- reggae and dub songs by The Clash, mostly from the Sandinista! album, "Junkie Slip," "Washington Bullets," "Let's Go Crazy," stuff like that, mixed in with reggae standards from the likes of Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and the Wailers, "Pressure Drop" versions from both Toots & The Maytals and The Clash:

The Analysis Corporation, a vendor of counterterrorism and anti-crime systems and services, and Infoglide Software Corporation, a vendor of operational business intelligence solutions, have announced a strategic alliance to "enhance the services the two companies offer to the intelligence community," according to TAC officials.

Infoglide's Bladeworks enterprise software is used in transactional CRM, compliance, enhanced data connectivity, and enhanced data mining.

TAC will now be able to deploy and maintain Bladeworks products for intelligence, counterterrorism, law enforcement, defense, and homeland security customers.

Palm Treo 700wx, Steve Irwin, Sanako, Softcom, Mitsubishi Center Center, Resource Dynamics, ACT! by Sage,

September 5, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Drunken Medley" from the Dust Rhinos' live CD. My particular corner of heaven will be an Irish pub -- pouring Harp, not Guinness -- with a rock band much like this one playing traditional Irish tunes rock-style. Electric guitar and pennywhistle, bodhran and bass:

Yes, goodbye Steve Irwin.

Robotic CRM, Psychic CRM, vTiger CRM, ASC Cisco VoIP Call Center

September 4, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is the Songs For Young Lovers album, by Frank Sinatra:

New offices in Australia and North America and an alliance with the Melbourne-based IniPax capital market will increase Kiwi Growth Partners' ability to help New Zealand companies to find the finance they need to expand, according to company officials.

KGP founder Alvin Donovan says KGP has become an associate of the IniPax capital market, which provides “fair, orderly and transparent capital market services for businesses working towards a formal stock market listing.”

IniPax and KGP are currently in the process of preparing Robot-Hosting Ltd. for listing, saying the company has "developed ground breaking 3D computer animated robot technology with huge potential in both commercial and academic applications."

Kolkata Call Center Scam: India's Doing The Right Thing

September 4, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane's Love Supreme. Happy Labor Day, in honor of which First Coffee is laboring:

TMC's Dear Leader Rich Tehrani forwarded this piece from the Telugu Portal over the weekend, datelined Kolkata, India:

A call center employee who allegedly splurged on online shopping with credit card numbers of the company's US clients was arrested here.

Sulagna Roy, 23, an employee of a call center the city's IT hub at Sector 5 of Salt Lake, was arrested Friday from her James Long Sarani residence in south Kolkata on charges of cheating foreign nationals by using their credit card numbers and shopping for goods worth Rs.200,000, about $4,300.

Roy allegedly duped 42 US clients of the call center and purchased everything from chocolate to an air conditioner.






And then this telling quote:

Cell Phone Timeout Research To Benefit CRM, Cards For Funny Lawyers, Hanover Best NZ Call Center

September 2, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aimee Mann's great Live At St. Ann's Warehouse CD:

A couple New Zealand researchers are working on solving timeout issues for mobile phones.

Specifically, they hope overloaded cellphone networks and untraced emergency calls from mobile phones could "soon be a thing of the past," according to research being carried out at Auckland University of Technology professors Nik Kasabov and Steve MacDonell.

Dell's Call Centers: An Interview With Mephistopheles On Radio KCRM

September 1, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee here at Radio KCRM 98.6, All Johnny Cash All The Time, and we have a special guest for you listeners, straight from Hades ladies and devils give it up for Mephistopheles, who's always willing to play "Let's Make A Deal." Meph, thanks for taking the time to come by the studio.

Meph: Thank you, KCRM, it's a pleasure to be here.

KCRM: We understand you've been quite busy recently, we'd like to talk to you about some of the deals you've been putting together.

Meph: Well, as you know, it's really in the best interests of the good people of southern Lebanon to support Hezbollah, there might be a little discomfort and changes to their daily routine, but really life as a human shield for a terrorist organization has a lot of upside on the retirement plan if you haven't exactly been a lady-killer this side of Paradise, if you get my drift. We've been working to put our message across and I think the personal visits from Hezbollah itself have been quite convincing to --

KCRM: We're sure they are, and it sounds like that's been pretty fertile territory for you for years now, but we'd like to focus on your work with Dell Inc.

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