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
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.
"Our Free system is the perfect way to level the playing ground when it comes to providing a feature-rich, easy-to-use system for issue and task tracking," company officials say in a clear marketing pitch to the "little guy" out there. The product's Professional version with additional features can be added on to the basic system for "as little as $9.95 per user per month," too.
Effective immediately, users can click to the main Support Fusion Web site and register online to receive their Free system -- no cost, no obligation, officials claim. The first 100 users to register will also be entered into a drawing to receive 12 months of the Professional add-on features at absolutely no cost.
Unipower Solutions, a UK vendor of software that handles all customer-facing retail and wholesale activities, has joined Symbol Technologies' PartnerSelect Independent Software Provider Partner Program as an ISV member.
Symbol's PartnerSelect ISV Partner Program provides qualified ISVs the opportunity for joint marketing, demand generation and collaboration with Symbol and other PartnerSelect members.
ISVs do not resell Symbol products, focusing instead on relationship development, application software and professional services.
Unipower's software also integrates with Microsoft Dynamics NAV to provide a complete end-to-end retail and wholesale product including: EPoS, supply chain management, service management, in-store back office, financials, merchandising, eCommerce, distribution & warehousing, mobile, business intelligence, CRM, HR and payroll.
Joining Symbol's PartnerSelect ISV Partner Program complements Unipower's "established strategy" of "building relationships with complementary software vendors and other organizations involved in the retail sector," company officials say.
Word of advice to Larry C.: Look, stop running that same tired, rewritten "Lean" press release flogging that same tired Practices report. It's tiresome, nobody's impressed and it makes you look desperate.
Didn't know there was a CRM Hall of Fame, did you? Yankee Group has announced that Sheryl Kingstone, director of Yankee Group's Customer-Centric Strategies Decision Service, has won the 2006 Influential Leader Award and, as a result, is inducted in the CRM Hall of Fame.
This year's slate of honorees includes Kingstone, Joe Montana, Willie Nelson, Shiloh Pitt, Stephen King and whoever the guy was who came up with Velcro, who by law should be in every Hall of Fame that exists.
There will be a gala Hall invitation-only black tie banquet at the Ritz Carlton in New York tonight at eight. First Coffee will be there reporting on what the backs of the heads of the celebrities look like from behind police barriers across the street.
The CRM Influential Leader award is presented to "industry individuals who have demonstrated leadership and significant influence in the marketplace within the past year," and the CRM Hall of Fame award is a "special recognition for individuals who have made a significant impact and displayed leadership year after year."
First Coffee has gotten in the CRM Hall of Fame, and hey, so can you the next time you're in Duluth with an extra $2.50 you don't know what to do with. The standing exhibit includes a transcription of the first customer complaint ever recorded, the first customer response card ever placed on a Denny's table, a picture of Dick Lee with long hair at Woodstock and Bob Thompson's sophomore year of high school report card.
"This acknowledgement of our analyst Sheryl Kingstone affirms her established leadership and reputation in the CRM space," said Eugene Signorini, Yankee Group wireless/ mobile enterprise solutions vice president.
Kingstone joins former winners such as Larry Ellison, Brad Wilson, the general manager of Microsoft CRM and 2005 Hall of Fame inductee Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, salesforce.com.
Samples of Kingstone's research include "Marketing and Sales Effectiveness Vendors Gain Momentum Using the Business Web," September 2006, and "Customer Centricity: Improving the Customer Experience," August 2006.
Scott Smith, President and Chief Executive Office of TGI, has announced that IQ Consulting Services has been added to TGI's Platinum Partner program.
IQCS's experience in the plastics industry (okay, the scene from The Graduate, everybody together now: "Ben -- I just want to say one word to you -- just one word. Are you listening?" Dustin Hoffman: "Yes I am." "Plastics.") and in WMS software will "truly compliment our partner program," Smith said.
IQCS's team specializes in providing manufacturing and distribution related consulting services for the automotive, plastics, and life science vertical markets and consults for ERP implementations.
"We set out to find an ERP product to support order to cash integration, and specific industry requirements for small to mid size companies," said Steve Crapser, President and Chief Executive Officer of IQCS, adding that TGI was their "clear selection."
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