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.
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.
"The salesforce.com-like web implementation built upon a robust solution set designed specifically for the investment management industry, really appealed to me," said Robert Lendvai, managing director at Leeward Hedge Funds, Inc.
Marc Benioff gets another one: JasperSoft Corporation, a vendor in the open source business intelligence space, has announced the availability of Jasper4Salesforce for salesforce.com's AppExchange.
Jasper4Salesforce delivers access to advanced reporting by building on top of the AppExchange on-demand platform to integrate its open source reporting product into the Salesforce suite of applications.
Jasper4Salesforce is immediately available at http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange in the new analytics category.
Using Jasper4Salesforce with the Salesforce suite of on-demand applications lets customers create BI reports on-demand directly within their existing salesforce.com applications. Jasper4Salesforce enables intuitive ad-hoc and interactive reporting with no data integration required.
Customers can simply deploy Jasper4Salesforce via the salesforce.com AppExchange for reporting services, according to Jasper officials.
"Customers will now be able to integrate advanced reporting capabilities from JasperSoft mashed-up with the dashboard analytics capabilities in Salesforce," said Matt Holleran, vice president, AppExchange partners, salesforce.com.
Jasper4Saleforce is "one of the first" SaaS BI products for the Salesforce suite to deliver "advanced reporting with no additional software," according to Paul Doscher, CEO of JasperSoft.
Using Jasper4salesforce "should eliminate post processing in Excel, which is tedious and manual," said Kevin Dobbs, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Workstream, a company currently using the product. "The convenience of creating and accessing powerful reports directly inside of Salesforce applications will give us faster access to the data we need to run our business."
Key features of Jasper4Salesforce include integration with the Salesforce on-demand suite of business applications -- no additional application required, no training needed, as well as advanced reporting combining information from multiple objects, creating pixel-perfect layouts.
It also offers drag and drop ad hoc report creation for business users, drillable dashboards, reports and charts; support for advanced custom formulas and filters, high performance secure access to Salesforce data and scalability to thousands of reports under management. Lots more.
CRM vendor FTS, which sells billing and CRM products for Communications Service Providers, has announced the creation of "a new sector of telecom OSS/BSS -- the Business Control Layer."
And there you were, sitting around wondering when we'd get a new sector of telecom OSS/BSS.
Business Control Layer technology has far-reaching implications upon service providers' ability to increase revenue and improve customer service, the Israeli vendor says.
The Business Control Layer is a software layer in a service provider's infrastructure residing between the network/OSS and the BSS. (Forehead smack -- "Ohhh, so that's what that is!") The Business Control Layer simultaneously connects to any network infrastructure and includes service management elements from the billing system coupled with real-time charging and network management elements.
Done right, the technology can dynamically adapt network or service behavior, at the customer level, with the hopes of increasing service providers' revenue and maybe even improving the customer experience.
It works by capturing customer interaction events in real time, and then responding in real-time based on a pre-configured set of business policies or actions, such as sending the subscriber a message, provisioning a network element, balance management or rating.
Business Control Layer based products are targeted at CSPs looking to complement their OSS/BSS with business policies and control as well as CSPs looking to inject a business policy layer on top of their network infrastructure enabling better visibility and control of network equipment and services.
Paul Hughes, VP Billing & Payment Strategies, Yankee Group, noted recently that as communication services become commoditized, "the service providers that can reduce churn by giving customers an improved experience, whilst maximizing ARPU are the ones that will prosper." Some see Business Control Layer as a technology that can give service providers the means to achieve that, and get a competitive advantage.
"In the past, service providers have dictated to their customers what types of services they can have, based largely on the capabilities of the network," states Karl Whitelock, Senior Consulting Analyst for Stratecast. "The Business Control Layer is what the industry needs right now; it allows service providers to recognize business events -- not just billable transactions," as nice as billable transactions are, of course.
Activant Solutions Inc. has announced the availability of Activant Prophet 21 version 11.0.
"Prophet 21 offers distributors a fully scalable solution with proven ROI," claims Steve McLaughlin, senior vice president and general manager of Activant's wholesale distribution group. "Prophet 21 version 11.0 includes advanced inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, and more than 45 additional features." Count 'em, campers, 45.
More than 900 distributors use Prophet 21, company officials say, adding that the product "combines the familiarity of Windows with the depth of SQL Server."
Features include order management, inventory management, warehouse management, purchasing, financial management, customer relationship management, business reporting and analysis, PDA integration, and e-business.
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