First Coffee TMC

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. Modules for travel and entertainment, purchasing and invoice management stand alone or fully integrate to provide embedded controls and real-time visibility into how companies spend their money.

Expensewatch.com for AppExchange integrates with Salesforce, allowing customers to allocate expenses to sales opportunities. Reporting allows customers to analyze profitability in real time by company, business unit, sales region, representative and opportunity.

Expensewatch.com for AppExchange is immediately available for test drive and deployment at http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange.

There are over 300 applications available on AppExchange now.

First Coffee would like to state for the record that he has never backdated any stock options for the 275 First Coffee employees, those here on the sprawling campus headquarters in southwestern Virginia or those working at First Coffee field offices in Istanbul, Osaka, Reykjavik, Dar-Es-Salaam, Timbuktu, Jerusalem, Yekaterinburg, Asuncion, Dublin, Moose Jaw, Auckland, Tegucigalpa or Bozeman, Montana.

Israeli CRM vendor Integrated Software Development Ltd., which sells enterprise software aimed at small- and medium-sized enterprises, has announced that Ness-Matach, subsidiary of Ness Technologies, has upgraded its Benefit system.

 

ISD announced that Ness-Matach, after using Benefit for over three years, has recently upgraded its Benefit version to include web-based capabilities.

The new version connects to the company's database located in its offices and allows technicians to access their assignments and service calls online, in real time, in the field. Benefit v.5 also allows technicians to use their cell phones to report information back to the company's database, such as arrival time at a customer's site, or completion time of the task.

The idea here is that the status of all service calls is always up-to-date and accessible.

"Our customers' loyalty is even more impressive when you take into consideration that our most aggressive competitor today, our former business partner, Menahel Top, was acquired by SAP about one year ago," says Motti Maran, CEO of ISD. "So, even though some of our customers have purchased and integrated other SAP systems, including ERP, they have all insisted on retaining Benefit, and many are currently upgrading their Benefit's customer relationship management, marketing and scheduling modules."

Ness-Matach is a joint venture of Ness Technologies and Israel's Center for Educational Technology. The company provides IT products and services to corporate, governmental and public entities in Israel, and maintains sales and service partnerships with suppliers, including Microsoft, IBM and Ipex.

Ness Technologies sells comprehensive end-to-end IT services and products, with over 7,000 employees in 15 countries worldwide. Ness recently posted recorded quarterly results, with revenues reaching $116.6 million in the second quarter of 2006.

Benefit itself is an off-the-shelf solution geared toward small- to mid-sized customers in service-intensive industries, offering some features found in custom-made CRM and ERP enterprise systems at less cost. Benefit includes many CRM functions serving the needs of organizations for greater internal efficiency, cost control, and customer service quality.

Salentica Systems Inc., a vendor of Client Management Systems and software products based on Microsoft CRM 3.0 for financial services firms, has announced the release of Salentica Mobile Express.

Following the release of CRM Mobile Express for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, the new release is meant to extend the functionality of the product.

Extending the core functionality of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 to mobile devices will allow Salentica users to access and update information from their CRM. Salentica Mobile Express is device independent and only requires the mobile device to support HTML web pages.

Firms can deploy a zero foot print application and let the users decide their mobile device of choice, whether Windows Mobile or other device.

Updates from the mobile client are written directly into the CRM database, eliminating the issues around synchronization. Salentica Mobile Express uses the CRM security model so users have access to only the information they are entitled to, based on their roles defined in the CRM.

Salentica’s CRM modules are marketed primarily to the financial services and capital markets area.

Remember those open a bank account and get a toaster deals? No, you're too young. First Coffee's too young, but I've heard of them. Somebody at Sage Software remembered, though, because Sage and Lexmark International have announced a joint marketing program for small and medium business (SMB) customers.

From October 1st through December 2nd 2006, Sage Software will offer eligible new purchasers of the ACT! by Sage contact and customer management solution a free Lexmark X7350 Office All-in-One printer ($129.99 MSRP) or X8350 Office All-in-One Plus Photo printer ($149.99 MSRP) via a mail-in rebate.

Asterisks abound. Void where prohibited. Restrictions apply. See your local dealer for details. Relatives of Sage Software and Lexmark International are not eligible. Batteries not included. Action figures sold separately.

Authorized retailers participating in the above ACT! and Lexmark printer promotion include: Buy.com, CDW, CompUSA, Insight, Microcenter, Office Depot, PC Connection, Staples and Zones. The promotion will also be available via the ACT! Web site, www.act.com.

...

Happy birthday to a true 20th century hero, Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright elected president of newly-democratic Czechoslovakia in 1989. "If you want to see your plays performed the way you wrote them, become president," he once remarked.

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