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

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

By David Sims

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.

The way they explain it, drawing on underlying technologies such as personal productivity, communication and collaboration tools, as well as search, data access, business intelligence, content and knowledge management, "Attunity InFocus now brings together, on a single platform, all the necessary capabilities for robust management-focused Workplace Applications."

So if that's the kind of thing you've been waiting for, well, this is your lucky day. It seems to be most popular among companies in highly regulated industries such as Financial Services, and Supply Chain industries such as manufacturing and logistics.

According to Tom Austin, VP and Gartner Fellow, "Maximum long-term growth in most enterprises will come from workplace investments that focus on helping people do what isn't amenable to traditional structured techniques (automation), but that can improve the ability of those people to do what is uniquely human -- deal with, explore and analyze the unknown or unexpected; innovate or create new approaches, processes, products or market segments; and collaborate with others to help them do such things."

By augmenting how people do the non-routine, instead of just trying to automate it, Austin said, organizations with the right mind-set and capabilities can "dramatically improve their overall agility." This is the target market for Attunity's product, evidently.

Leave it to some second-rate French hack to slam Steve Irwin on the day of Irwin's memorial service. Jean-Michel Cousteau said he disagrees with Irwin's hands-on approach to nature television.

Irwin would "interfere with nature, jump on animals, grab them, hold them, and have this very, very spectacular, dramatic way of presenting things… I think it's very misleading," said the man who doesn't have to work at a real job because he had a famous father. "You don't touch nature, you just look at it. And that's why I'm still alive. I've been diving over 61 years -- a lot many more years that he's been alive -- and I don't mess with nature."

So Cousteau has never touched a fish, a sponge, a clam or any other "nature." He's never interacted with nature, just… looked at it. No wonder he never seems to be enjoying himself or what he's doing and his shows are dry and boring, whereas Irwin got more pleasure and enjoyment out of any afternoon than Cousteau's gotten out of the past 25 years.

Of course Cousteau's petulance wouldn't be due to the fact that Irwin's shows -- as well as his own father Jacques's -- were vastly more popular than his. And his tastelessness in reminding everyone that he's been diving longer than Steve Irwin was alive is unbelievable, even by Gallic standards. I bet he wonders why everyone thinks the French are a bunch of arrogant, insensitive clods, too. Sorry, claudes.

CA, which used to be Computer Associates, Inc. but wishes to be merely CA these days, has announced that it has extended its agreement with SAP AG to provide SAP NetWeaver customers access to Introscope, an application performance management product from CA’s Wily Technology Division.

Under the expanded agreement, SAP Solution Manager customers will receive a SAP-specific license to use read-only Introscope capabilities within their enterprises for SAP-developed dashboards and instrumentation.

SAP customers interested in customizing or adding additional Introscope functionalities may license those capabilities directly from CA’s Wily Technology Division.

“We selected Introscope for SAP Active Global Support because it offers best-in-class Java diagnostics capabilities with the lowest overhead in the industry,” said Dr. Uwe Hommel, executive vice president, SAP Active Global Support, SAP AG.

SAP has used Introscope since January of 2005 to diagnose and resolve application performance problems in customer deployments, as well as for SAP internal deployments such as SAP’s corporate portal and in-house development systems.

Introscope is a product for monitoring and optimizing the performance of complex web applications. It delivers real-time visibility into production environments, enabling IT staff to detect, diagnose and resolve problems before the business is impacted.

Ki Solutions, a software vendor in the middle market business segment, has announced that it has been selected by Drive Medical, one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of durable medical equipment in the United States to implement Ki4Wholesale Distribution SAP All-in-One Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

Drive Medical's corporate offices are located in Port Washington, New York and operate from three 125,000-square-foot distribution centers located in Hauppauge, New York; Pico Rivera, California and Atlanta.

The new technology will "streamline Drive Medical's operational processes in a fully integrated system," according to Ki officials.

"The new software includes a fully integrated warehouse management system, automated supply chain management function and state-of-the-art customer relationship management (CRM) system," according to Richard Kolodny, Executive VP of Drive Medical.

Ki Solutions uses SAP software to create the prepackaged, customizable mySAP All-in-One product. Ki4 Wholesale Distribution includes preconfigured best practice scenarios, tools and accelerators.

PacificNet Inc., a China-based vendor of CRM and telemarketing services, announced today that its PacificNet Epro subsidiary has been selected by NanJing Airlines International Ticketing Center to provide CRM consulting, and Call Center Operation Management Training services.

This comprehensive call center and CRM consulting project consists of best practices in Customer Service, Critical Success Factors on Customer Affinity, Communication Skills, Five Steps of Inbound Telemarketing and Customer Service, Practical Skills of Telemarketing and Customer Service, Complaint Handling Skills, and Customer Service Agent Role Playing Sessions.

Mr. Tu Jing Wei, Head of NanJing Airlines International Ticketing Center said the design of the training is "in close relationship with our practical works, which gives us a better understanding of how to skillfully manage our customer service."

Tony Tong, Chairman and CEO of PacificNet, said there's an "evolving and increasingly competitive" nature of the financial services industry in China. He believes that today, "consumers choose a provider in China not solely based upon price, but upon a number of factors including CRM service, loyalty, and retention programs. This trend has created the demand for and deployment of large scale customer contact centers."

Tong said his company believes that the CRM contact center has "emerged as a major new competitive advantage for market leaders in China. To become a market leader in China, whether as a product or service provider, a company has no choice but to devote extensive resources to CRM and customer service."

He also mentioned the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, saying "there will be tremendous changes taking place in Beijing and throughout China."

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