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

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

By David Sims

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. NetSuite holds such company data as customer information, orders, invoices, website transactions, shipping records, time tracking, and payroll data -- applications that are built on it using SuiteFlex.

Retailers using POS for NetSuite achieve visibility on up-to-the-minute point-of-sale data and can also access this same information via the Internet. Additionally, NetSuite likes to bill itself as a full-fledged ERP + CRM suite, hence "all non POS business activities are managed through the single NetSuite Web-based application," OnSite officials say:

"With support of the latest USB POS peripherals from HandHeld Products, Star Micronics and APG, POS for NetSuite provides state-of-the-art customer interaction and transaction processing. Built from the ground-up as a pure 'for NetSuite' product, there is no product overlap or additional learning curve versus NetSuite."

POS for NetSuite is currently in select beta status and is planned for release next month. At this time, OnSite is providing demos for prospective NetSuite customers.

In other NetSuite news Marketworks, a multi-channel e-commerce vendor, has announced it has become a NetSuite Solution Provider. Marketworks will now offer NetSuite value added resellers and customers with multi-channel e-commerce solutions to drive new revenue opportunities through major online marketplaces, search engines, and shopping comparison sites.

Marketworks provides NetSuite VARs and customers with an on-demand multi-channel e-commerce product that is now integrated with the NetSuite platform. Its e-commerce engine is now combined with NetSuite's Web-based business application platform in a product being pitched to the middle market.

"NetSuite is considered the leading on-demand business software for managing accounting, ERP, CRM, and e-commerce functions," said Ken Powell, president and CEO, Marketworks. "The revenue growth potential for VARs and customers alike are attractive for all involved."

With online shopping "more fragmented than ever, businesses are searching for a comprehensive product that enables their products to be found by shoppers regardless of how they shop on the Internet," added Powell.

As I said when this World Series started that the Tigers would win in five I guess I'd better keep my day job and not get into betting mortgages in Vegas, but I'd like to remind any gloating Cardinal fans that in 1968 the Cardinals led the Tigers 3-1 and went on to lose the Series to Detroit, and in 1985 the Cardinals led the Royals 3-1 before losing. So go ahead and order the champagne, but you might not want to bother icing it down just yet.

Bluespring Software, a vendor of Business Process Management software, has announced that it's joining Microsoft, IBM & BEA as featured speakers at the Object Management Group Workshop titled "Building a Service Oriented Architecture with BPM and MDA."

Karl Treier, Chief Technology Officer of Bluespring, speaks on "the specific need for a segmented approach to standards better capable of addressing the differences between the 4 primary types of BPM technology," which he identifies as people-centric BPM software, document-centric BPM software, integration-centric BPM software and application-embedded BPM software.

"As standards continue to evolve, it is important that we recognize the fundamental differences in each of the four types of BPM software," said Treier. "While some overlap exists, they are not interchangeable technologies as some would have you believe. They solve very different business problems and require proper attention be paid to the distinctions."

CDC Corporation, vendor of enterprise software applications and online games and parent company for CRM vendor Pivotal, has announced that, based on preliminary financial data, the company expects total revenues for the third quarter ended September 30, 2006 to be in the range of $77.2 million to $78.0 million, an increase of approximately 25 percent over the same period a year ago.

CEO Peter Yip said the company is "reconfirming our full-year guidance for 2006."

The company's estimates for 2006, published on July 17, 2006, place total revenues in the range of $300 million to $305 million and adjusted net income in the range of $31.6 million to $32.8 million.

Harte-Hanks, Inc. has reported third quarter 2006 diluted earnings per share of $0.35 on revenues of $294.7 million. These results compare to diluted earnings per share of $0.34 on $281.7 million in revenue for the third quarter of 2005.

Third quarter 2006 results include stock-based compensation of $1.9 million (1.5 cents per share) as the result of the adoption by the company of SFAS No. 123R for periods beginning after 12/31/2005.

During the quarter Harte-Hanks Trillium Software announced the integration between its TS Quality data quality software and the latest version of mySAP Customer Relationship Management, (mySAP CRM) 2005.

The Trillium Software Data Quality Connector is designed to provide integration of data quality processes so that organizations using mySAP CRM can instantly check quality of their customer data and match customer records online, in real time.

The San Antonio-based firm also acquired AberdeenGroup, a Boston-based provider of technology market research. AberdeenGroup gathers market information and prepares reports based on research and benchmarking data on 17 different business areas, including retail and financial services, sales and marketing, human resources, service, and supply-chain management and procurement.

The purchase of AberdeenGroup will enable Harte-Hanks to "expand its demand generation offerings," according to Harte-Hanks officials.

Good word of advice to Aussie travel agents: TA Fastrack CEO Adrian Caruso says travel agents must constantly reinvent themselves in order to survive under this environment. Agents need to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) and customer loyalty programs "in order to keep their existing customers," he said.

Agents also need to consider re-investing in efficient technology, marketing and websites rather than retailing in expensive locations. Caruso noted that "most travel agents in the United States and Canada are located in relatively low-rent locations," where they rely on direct marketing and the Web to bring in new business.

He cited a recent study of Asian tourism operations showing that successful agents had made cross selling, up-selling and customer relationships a priority. To that end, agents need to focus on "fine-tuning customer relationship skills, their own sales skills and destination knowledge," he said.

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1 Comment

yeah i agree with Adrian Caruso...about travel agents constantly reinventing themselves .... to establish a larger customer base ...
And CRM is becoming increasingly important for travel agents to keep their existing clients ... let them know about new offers .. discounts .. etc ...
I guess that's what counts in this competitive market ...

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