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. until 3:00 p.m. the following afternoon."
And just think: With no workable electric lights there wouldn't be any 24/7 outsourced call centers.
First Coffee says the Tigers in five. Cardinals'll steal a game in St. Louis.
The Reynolds and Reynolds Company and First Advantage CREDCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of First Advantage Corporation, have announced a partnership to deliver pre-qualified consumer prospect leads to automobile dealerships in the U.S. With the leads, dealerships can efficiently target in-market customers and sell more cars.
As part of the agreement Reynolds will provide a certified data interface that offers direct access between its flagship CRM product, Contact Management, and CREDCO's Lead Prospector Solutions, a suite of integrated consumer leads for automotive dealers.
Reynolds will also provide a certified data interface to those customer relationship management (CRM) providers in the Reynolds Certified Interface (RCI) program.
Dealers can have these leads delivered directly to their Reynolds' Contact Management application, from a participating CRM product in the RCI program, or request to have them sent in another manner to the dealership. This lets dealers focus on showing cars and closing deals, not generating prospect leads.
Which, let's face it, is dealers doing what they do best. Generating prospect leads isn't what car dealers are best at… sitting at a stoplight the dealer turns to the guy in the car next to him, "Hey chief, you ever think about getting rid of that pile and getting a real car…"
First Advantage CREDCO delivers what are called "Lead Prospector Targeted" leads, described by company officials as where the targeted lead generation product uses predictive and segmentation technology to deliver prospect leads that enable dealers to target the right customer with the right promotion at the right time.
There's also Lead Prospector Bankruptcy, a delightful little predatory lead collection system where the CREDCO system can access Chapter 7 bankruptcy information in a dealer's market, up to 10 days earlier than any other source. Dealers get the advantage of early notification.
CRM providers in the Reynolds Certified Interface program will be able to request the standard interface to CREDCO's Lead Prospector Solutions.
I wanted to make you aware of Avectra -- an MMS (membership management software) provider based in the D.C. area. Avectra provides CRM for member-based groups -- associations, alumni groups, etc. (9 out of 10 adults belong to some kind of member-based group).
The need for a strong CRM component is clear for these groups, but like a lot of small businesses, budgets and resources are tight. Most of these groups are in it for the noble cause -- from the American Academy of Family Physicians dedicated to training doctors to the Atlanta Ski Club managing local skiers.
Avectra has its flagship product, netFORUM and an OnDemand version.
Is that true? Nine out of ten American adults belong to "some kind of member-based group?" Wow. I guess if First Coffee's college is still sending him letters hitting him up for donations he's on their list and is probably counted as a "member," although he doesn't consider himself as having joined anything but the "got the degree which I worked and paid through the nose for the first time around" club.
It seems to be the day for automotive CRM, as VinStickers, LLC has announced it has formed an alliance with AES Consulting, Inc. This alliance enables AES Consulting to offer the VinStickers line of MotoSnap ILM and CRM products to their Automotive Dealerships Clients.
Dealers will now be able to use the VinStickers Suite of Inventory Management and Marketing tools designed around the Training and Consulting Solutions that AES provides. AES will offer these under the MotoSnap brand so dealers may quickly identify and use these proprietary software and services.
(Ever notice that you almost never see "utilize," "leverage," "solution" or other such useless wordoids on First Coffee, words that mean absolutely nothing "use" and "product" don't mean? You're welcome.)
VinStickers provides software and services for automotive retail dealerships throughout the US. Their Internet marketing modules allow dealerships simple deployment and management of content-driven initiatives, company officials says, "providing an ability to publish their inventory directly to portals, Web sites, intranets, extranets, and other MotoSnap and VinManager applications."
These give dealerships with tools to communicate with prospects, manage daily activities and, hey, if it all works, sell more vehicles. What makes MotoSnap unique is the integration between dealer inventory and lead response management, company officials maintain, claiming this is "a feature not found in competitive ILM and CRM products."
AES plans to deliver these products to their existing and future dealership clients to round out their proprietary consulting services.
Transcend Communications, Inc. announced that it has signed an agreement with Scherer Brothers Lumber Company, Maple Grove, Minnesota, to provide an IP Telephony product enterprise-wide.
"This convergence project will allow us to improve customer satisfaction by providing an excellent telephone experience, realize workgroup productivity increases and provide meaningful reporting that helps us manage our communication KPI's," said Marjorie Arnold, I/T Director for Scherer Brothers Lumber Company.
"You see," Arnold added, "I'm not replacing a half dozen different phone systems, I'm putting in an application that will provide a competitive advantage to us. Customers call us constantly and we need to break down the communication barriers between our customers and employees. ShoreTel's product enables us to do this."
Arnold says the company is going to "dislodge our people from their desks" and use ShoreTel's virtual architecture, presence management and Office Anywhere to "improve customer response while increasing our mobility."
The transaction began with a pilot site of 20 users in Hopkins and now includes replacing all PBXs by the end of the year, providing one virtual phone and contact center system for all 550 employees and 11 sites.
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