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October 2006

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Second Cup of Coffee: CRM Soviet-Style, Comrade? Nyet.

October 31, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

A second cup of coffee this morning, but the music's still ol' Blue Eyes:

A research organization dealing with customer issues recently interviewed First Coffee, and the questions they asked got me thinking about how we can learn about CRM from nearly any field of human endeavor, but we learn the most through the most exciting, spectacular, idiotic ideas crashing and burning, like socialism.

One question they asked me was "What are the most important obstacles and pitfalls to be aware of in trying to integrate customer data in large bureaucratic companies and organizations? Imagine a large, older incumbent organization with entrenched fiefdoms, or a traditional regulated monopoly, or a large company that has grown through numerous acquisitions."

Hyperion 9.3, MagSuite, NCO Results, "Glittering" CRM

October 31, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning and the music is Frank Sinatra's A Swingin' Affair! album:

Hyperion, a vendor of Business Performance Management software, has announced new capabilities in Hyperion System 9 Release 9.3.

CRM Vendor Scribe Purchased By Mustang, Sage, FTS and BCL, Autonomy, VendorGuru, Coffee Breaks

October 30, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Louis Jordan's great Anthology:

Scribe Software Corporation, a vendor of data migration and integration software technology for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, has announced that the company has been acquired by The Mustang Group and key members of the Scribe management team.
Mark Prestipino, President and CEO of Scribe said the principals at The Mustang Group "have the deep background, expertise, and operating experience in the markets we serve."


Previous investment firms Edison Venture Fund and Borealis Ventures sold their interests in the company as part of this transaction.

CRM Vet At AeA, Sun Microsystems, ISD and IDF, Callidus and Telus ROI, Christmas Coming

October 28, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Come Dance With Me album:

More news from Oraclestock, which should be winding down here, I can hear ol' Max Yazgur getting the combine fired up…

Sun Microsystems Inc. has announced that Swiss telecommunications carrier Swisscom Mobile has selected Sun Fire T2000 servers running the Solaris 10 Operating System and the Sun Java Identity Management Suite to enable its 1,145 retail stores to connect with the company's Siebel CRM system from Oracle and point-of-sale applications.

CRM For Travel Agents, NetSuite and OnSite, Harte-Hanks Results, CDC Results, Bluespring

October 27, 2006

By David Sims david@david-sims.com

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Rock 'n' Roll Records (Ain't Selling This Year)" by The Supersuckers:

Remember Daylight Savings tomorrow, spring forwards fall back. Don't show up to church early, enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

OnSite has announced the release of its "POS for NetSuite" product along with its acceptance into NetSuite's SuiteFlex Developer Program.

OnSite has used NetSuite's SuiteFlex platform to extend and enhance NetSuite to meet the point-of-sale needs of retailers.

Ross SCM, Executive Silence At Oraclestock, CRM For Tactivision, Surado CRM

October 26, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison. It's one of the rare times you hear a celebrity interacting with us commoners without being patronizing or condescending. Johnny could've been pulled from the audience as well as he understands and connects with the guys listening to him, it's a world away from plastic überfake Barbra Streisand haughtily lecturing her audiences:

Ross Systems, a vendor of enterprise software solutions and a division of CDC Software, a subsidiary of the Chinese-owned CDC Corporation, has announced that Guida's Milk and Ice Cream, a dairy based in New England, has installed Ross' supply chain management (SCM) product.

CDC and Google, Callidus Q3 Results, Panviva, Epicor, Cognos

October 25, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Ultimate Collection by The Supremes, the great '60s band -- more #1 hits than The Beatles or anyone in the '60s -- unfortunately hijacked into a vehicle for Diana Ross's ravenous ego:

The Chinese CRM vendor CDC Corporation has announced today that its portal business unit has launched Google's click-to-play video in the China market via the China.com's English Channel.

Google's click-to-play video ads were launched this July as a new way to help Google's advertisers reach their target customers. On the English Channel of China.com, Google's click-to-play video ads will be accessible to both large and small advertisers and will provide brand advertisers with a richer and more engaging format to communicate their messages.

CRM Vendor Epicor Announces Results, SasS from Smart Online, Pivotal CRM for Boca

October 24, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Functional" by Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane:

And a big happy birthday to Bob Kane, born in the Bronx in 1916, the man who created Batman as a way for his employer, DC Comics, to compete with Superman. First Coffee wasn't into comic books as a kid, no more so than any other relatively normal kid, but I always liked Batman, the cheesy TV show aside, because you could think about being Batman -- he didn't fly or really have any other special powers.

Pivotal Corporation, a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products and a division of CDC Software, a subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has announced that Boca Developers, one of South Florida's largest and most successful builders of luxury condominiums, has implemented Pivotal CRM from CDC Software.

CRM For Real Estate, WhatCounts 6.0, Happy Birthday, Michael Crichton

October 23, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime," you know, "This ain't no party/ This ain't no disco:"

Happy Sugar Holiday from here in Istanbul, the three-day holiday ending Ramadan, where Muslims aren't allowed to eat, drink anything or smoke from sunup to sundown. Couldn't have come at a better time for the cab driver we had yesterday, I haven't seen a nicotine fit that bad in a long time.

Call Center by ShoreTel, Contact Management CRM, Avectra CRM, AES Auto CRM

October 21, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Come Dance With Me album:

Great item from The Writer's Almanac this morning: "It was on this day in 1879 that the inventor Thomas Edison finally struck upon the key to inventing a workable electric light in his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey. He started off using platinum wire, just as everyone had before him, but after more than a year of frustration, he decided to try carbonized cotton thread. At 1:30 in the morning on this day in 1879, he hooked a carbon filament up to an electric circuit and it glowed from 1:30 a.m.

CRM Mail From eGain, Global Exec, Oracle's OpenWorld, IBM, QuestionPro, AppExchange

October 20, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come movie soundtrack, which somebody remarked is really the only essential movie soundtrack out there:

Ah Friday. Ah e-mail day…

Hi David- I see you’re the CRM guy over at TMCNet and thought you might be interested in some news from one of my clients…

eGain, the Silicon Valley based pioneer of online customer support software (www.egain.com), is announcing its newest product suite on October 30th.

As you know, the mindset of today’s consumers is changing – they are embracing the speed and collaboration elements of the Web 2.0 world and demanding much more from their interactions with their favorite brands.

CRM Vendor SAP Announces Q3 Results, Entellium, Savvis, Neudesic, SPL WorldGroup, Microsoft, GHO

October 19, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Steve Miller Band's Brave New World:

German CRM software vendor SAP AG has announced its preliminary financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2006, reporting that software revenues for the third quarter of 2006 were euro 691 million, up from 2005's euro 590 million, representing an increase of 17 percent -- 20 percent at constant currencies compared to the third quarter of 2005.

Product revenues for the 2006 third quarter were euro 1.6 billion, compared to 2005's euro 1.4 billion, which is an increase of 13, compared to the same period in 2005. Total revenues were euro 2.2 billion for the third quarter of 2006.

CRM For Cars With Dealer.com, eTalk, VoiceObjects, VoxTiger

October 18, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Faces' "Silicone Grown." Say what you will about the joke Rod Stewart's become, his disco, his atrocious pop fluff, his poor man's Frank Sinatra albums of standards, but every dog has his day and between 1969 and 1974 absolutely nobody did bluesy, boozy barroom rock'n'roll or heartfelt ballads guys aren't embarrassed to sing along with any better than Rod and his merry men in and out of the Faces -- Martin Quittenton, Ronnie Wood, Mickey Waller, Pete Sears, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, et al. The loose, inspired, ragged glory of Every Picture Tells A Story, A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse, Gasoline Alley, Never A Dull Moment, even Smiler had its indispensable moments... those shambolic concerts where you got either twice or half your money's worth...

Come to think of it, nobody's done it as well since then either.

CRM Sale From Soffront, Autobytel Recognized, Connextions Topped Up, AppGate

October 17, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning and the music is Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover:"

CRM vendor Soffront Software Inc. has announced that Operon Biotechnologies, Inc., has selected Soffront CRM for their customer service, marketing, sales, and IT support desk.

Operon Biotechnologies is a global leader in custom oligo nucleic acid synthesis (manufactured using DNA and RNA building blocks.) Their products are used by researchers in the Life Sciences industries.

Soffront CRM will provide Operon with a complete CRM and order processing solution. Operon's marketing, sales, and customer service departments will use the software for numerous global activities such as accessing comprehensive customer history records, integrating reports, exploring data mining possibilities, and implementing sales and marketing campaigns.

CRM Vendor c360 On Track, iNetOffice's CRM Mashup, VeriFone in Israel, CRM BI Market Hits $1.14 Billion

October 16, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius' 1976 debut album, cleverly named Jaco Pastorius:

Checking in with Companies Recently Taken Over this morning, we find c360 Solutions, a Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management Independent Software Vendor and a division of Chinese-owned CDC Software, has announced that it has exceeded key business objectives during the five months since it was acquired by CDC Software.

Since the completion of the acquisition of c360 by CDC Software in April 2006, c360 has added 95 new channel partners, bringing the total to over 600 worldwide; reached total cumulative c360 licenses of over 190,000, achieved maintenance renewal rates above 90 percent (one wonders what the target objective here was), and added five new products through licensing and acquisition (again, the targeted objective number isn't given here).

NZ Telecom To Refund Customers, Vistula and Telstra, Intervoice and True Move, Visible Results and Virgin

October 14, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys' From One Good American To Another. First Coffee would hereby like to request all readers in Texas vote for the Kinkster for governor. Gotta love anyone who'd name their greatest hits album Pearls In the Snow, and who'd call his plan as governor to establish casinos to fund education "Slots For Tots:"

Feel for the call center workers at Telecom New Zealand, which will return just north of $3.3 million in New Zealand dollars ($2 million) to customers "after it settled out of court with the Commerce Commission over double billing," according to the Australian journal The Age.

CRM For Insurance, Argentine Call Centers, Harry Reid's Land Scam, Paraskevidekatriaphobia

October 13, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Willie Nelson's Greatest Hits (And Some That Will Be):

First Coffee remembers when he was trying to get up-to-date information on Latin American call centers a few months ago, and got pretty much absolutely nothing. So it's good to see Zagada Markets, Inc. announcing the publication of its "Argentina Executive Call Center Report 2007: Heart of Innovation and Care."

This short executive report format is characterized as "the first of four concise reports in its South American series," which will also cover Brazil, Mexico and Chile in short order.

Studying Indian Call Centers, Onyx CRM 6.0, Bluespring Q3, Turk Kahve

October 12, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Wallflowers' Bringing Down The Horse:

Hey, Western IT services providers? We're the Indian outsourcing providers, and we will bury you! You hear us?

CRM For Auto Retail, Free IVR Paper, BeNetSafe's "Point,"

October 11, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Van Morrison's Common One album, followed by the somewhat overrated but still good Astral Weeks:

A previous First Coffee entry questioning the validity of tying Rep. Mark Foley's name to a product prompted a reply from the product creators.

The product itself, BeNetSafe, is an online "chaperone" for MySpace, Xanga and Friendster. It monitors communications and provides parents with a report basically highlighting flagged words and phrases so they can have an idea if their kids are doing anything online that the parents should know about.

Apex at Dreamforce, AppExchange News, Java's Jive, Brainshark

October 11, 2006

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an iTunes mix of The Supersuckers. Why did it take me so long to discover this band?

As had been promised, salesforce.com announced Apex at Dreamforce '06.

ShareMethods, Pivotal, Good Job UN, Alon Raz, Relenta,

October 9, 2006

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Charles Mingus's Mingus Ah Um:

Hey, I know I feel better after a successful North Korean nuclear test. Thanks to years of China's enabling and protection one of the craziest and cruelest dictators in the world now probably has nukes.

Don't you just love how well the U.N. works to protect us from this sort of thing?

Time To Rebrand New Jersey?

October 7, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is my five-year old daughter Zelda's two favorite songs to sing along with, as she's doing: Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk," and Frank Sinatra's "Ol' MacDonald" from Sinatra's Swingin' Session. Once Zelda tires of this -- which won't happen, the question is how long can I stand to keep repeating them -- it's back to The Supersuckers' Singles Pack:

Smart Online has sold the assets of business software maker Computility for $2.6 million to Des Moines-based Alliance Technologies. The move is part of Smart Online's decision to exit the networking business.

CRM, Call Center Surveys Integrated, QPerformance, Altitude, BeNetSafe and Foley?

October 6, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is just about the only Bruce Springsteen song First Coffee has much time for, "Light Of Day" from his MTV concert. It's one of the refreshing times he remembers he's one of the greatest hard-driving rock'n'roll musicians alive and not thinking he's the only person alive who knows what's good and what's not:

Ah, Friday. Time to clear out the ol' inbox.

Sage-Lexmark SMB Promo, Hitachi CRM, AppExchange, Salentica, ISD's Benefit Upgrade

October 5, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Best of MFO, by a trio with the names Mazhar Fuat Ozkan, by far Turkey's greatest classic rock-pop band ever:

Japanese industry observer Aki Tsukioka is reporting that Hitachi Business Solution Co., Ltd. has "announced its release of 'Optician's shop Sales Promotion Assistance Computer - Simple and Secure Ver. 1,' an all-in-one customer information management package for eyewear outlets."

The so-called OSPAC-SS1 CRM product "allows users to search by customer name, telephone number or shop-assigned ID number," Tsukioka says: "The system tracks changes in prescriptions and shopping patterns and features customizable tabs that provide flexibility in recording customer data. Information can be printed, allowing opticians to keep hard copies of patient files, but all private information is encoded, ensuring prevention of information leaks."

OSPAC-SS1 was released in Japan on October 3.



AppExchange gets another one: Expensewatch.com (Note: NOT the ExpensiveWatch.com site) and salesforce.com have announced that expensewatch.com is available for AppExchange.

Combined, expensewatch.com and Salesforce provide customers with a product for profitability management.

Expensewatch.com is an on-demand service that gives small-to-midsized businesses tools to control and reduce operating expenses.

CRM For WUSTL from Intelliworks, Cerado's Haystack, SugarExchange, Stream Bonds, Verizon and IFS

October 4, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Horace Silver Quintet's Song For My Father:

This morning SugarCRM's going to announce the availability of SugarExchange, a marketplace of Sugar community-built applications and extensions for SugarCRM end-users and administrators. 

Taking a page from salesforce.com's playbook, SugarExchange will offer production-ready community extensions as well as Sugar packages (please call them "cubes," please please please) and components to meet all the needs of a Sugar implementation. 

CRM From Satuit For Leeward, JasperSoft On AppExchange, FTS's OSS/BSS Product, Activant Prophet 11.0

October 3, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Red Hot Chili Peppers' Blood Sugar Sex Magik:

Satuit Technologies, Inc. is announcing this morning that Leeward Hedge Funds Inc. has selected Satuit as its customer relationship management (CRM) vendor.

Leeward, an alternative asset management company based in Toronto, focuses on high net worth individual, institutional investors, pension funds, fund of funds (now there's a specialty), family offices and private banks. The firm was looking to replace its existing Maximizer CRM product, which is not web-based, nor designed nor built for the investment management industry. Kinda makes you wonder how the ended up with it in the first place.

They were also looking for a more user-friendly interface.

Following several months of research and reviewing a handful of CRM products, Leeward settled on Satuit Technologies. Leeward officials were impressed with Satuit's ability to support the integration of all Leeward's client and prospect information into a single database and provides improved client communications with extensive tracking, among other considerations.

Caiman.com's Awful CRM, Quorum's X-Sellerator, MKS and Mitsui, LogicTree

October 2, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Bill Evans Trio's performance at the Village Vanguard, released on albums like Waltz For Debby:

Boy, an article about Caiman.com's terrible CRM is the gift that keeps on giving. After publishing a column on it last year I still get e-mails from people saying they've been ripped off, ignored and otherwise reamed over by the online company.

Here's the latest:     Dear David,

I too was a victim of Caiman.com just recently. I purchased a book, in new condition, and when it came it was curled badly because they had failed to wrap it with some cardboard support. 

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