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

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM Vet At AeA, Sun Microsystems, ISD and IDF, Callidus and Telus ROI, Christmas Coming

By David Sims

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.

Swisscom officials say the move will let the stores provision services at the point of sale, making it easier for customers to take advantage of more and better services faster.

According to Christian Kattenbusch, project leader for CRM and identity management at Swisscom Mobile, its Siebel CRM project is "now one of the largest Siebel implementations in the world." Sun used to play a relatively minor role in all that, supplying large SMP servers to run the Siebel 7 deployment, but Kattenbusch says that recently "Sun's role has grown steadily," to the point where he now considers Sun "a key strategic ally."

The new Sun infrastructure components will further expand the capabilities of the Siebel CRM system, according to Kattenbusch: "For half the price of the old environment, we will get a substantial improvement in scalability and availability," he said, adding that Swisscom is "extremely impressed" with the performance of the T2000 server and wants to consolidate other machines to the new Sun systems.

The Sun Java Identity Management Suite is helping Swisscom Mobile simplify secure access to the corporate CRM system and POS applications, according to Kattenbusch, since the Sun Java Identity Management Suite's comprehensive user authentication and single sign-on capabilities allow the retail stores to immediately connect to the company's CRM and POS applications.

Swisscom officials say it's working: Since implementing the Sun Java Identity Management Suite, they say, "retail outlets have decreased the cost of a sale and reduced the training requirements of shop staff for each new service launch." Customer service levels have also increased and -- here's the kicker -- can be "easily measured," they say, with a satisfaction indicator within the Swisscom Mobile shop.

Integrated Software Development Ltd., a vendor of enterprise software aimed at small-and medium-sized enterprises, has announced that Trilogical, an Israel-based integrator of cellular and GPS-based management systems, has expanded the range of Benefit modules incorporated into the system it has developed for the Israel Defense Forces.

Trilogical is an IT vendor specializing in the development and integration of cellular and GPS-based IT systems that enhance functionality of client operations, including fleet management, field service management, monitoring and control systems, security and telemetry applications. It develops and incorporates products for specific IDF field maintenance and service units based on Benefit modules.

Trilogical's new products for the IDF will now include Benefit's web-based modules that allow operations at remote workstations with no need for application installation, automatic SMS service that notifies field personnel of new tasks and assignments, and automatic downloading capability of files from the central database to technicians' PDAs in the field.

CRM veteran Sandra Hoffman has been appointed Chair of the AeA's SE Council Board of Directors. AeA bills itself "the nation's largest trade association for the technology industry."

The AeA's SE Council serves the states of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

Currently Hoffman is serving as "CIO-in-Residence" with the Advanced Technology Development Center. Headquartered at Georgia Tech. ATDC is a science and technology incubator that helps Georgia entrepreneurs launch and build successful companies.  She is also the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Turknett Leadership Group. 

Hoffman has over 25 years of manufacturing experience focused ERP and CRM experience and has held senior management positions in software development, quality assurance, technical and professional services, client management and customer support operations.  In addition to 14 years with IBM, she has held executive positions at Simplex and MAPICS, where she held the dual role of CIO and Chief People Officer.

Submitted for your consideration: Callidus Software Inc., a vendor of Enterprise Incentive Management, has announced that Telus Communications obtained a 103 percent and 3,316 percent ROI by the end of the first and second year after deployment through TrueComp software.

First Coffee isn't saying these numbers have been verified independently, just that these are rather attention-grabbing numbers.

This ROI was achieved, Telus officials say, "through increased revenues and reduced incentive management administration costs." Company officials say they recouped their investment in TrueComp software in under six months.

In 2003 Telus was using multiple incentive management systems that did not offer the automation, real-time reporting and modeling they wanted. Company officials say they were "markedly inhibited" by the lack of a state-of-the-art enterprise incentive management system. That led to the purchase of Callidus TrueComp software in 2003.

Tanya Dorbyk, VP of Sales Performance at Telus Communications, said the thinking at the time was to establish "a critical corporate objective that our premier sales organization needed to have reliable, real-time information to drive performance and high productivity aligned to corporate targets."

So the eye-popping ROI was achieved thusly: Telus reduced incentive overpayments by 60 percent, saving the company $2.4 and $2.7 million in year 1 and year 2 after TrueComp Enterprise deployment. Specifically, using Callidus TrueComp enterprise software, Telus Communications was able to increase sales performance, achieving annual growth of 2.0 percent in 2004 and 4.25 percent in 2005 "due to TrueComp," company officials say.

They increased their time devoted to sales, recovering 17,730 days of additional selling time the first and 52,500 days the second year and cut shadow accounting from 40 to 5 hours per salesperson per month while increasing cross-selling and up-selling and getting an additional 572 sales transactions annually by the second year.

Telus officials say the product also helped cut compensation management costs -- specifically to cut administration costs by $560,000 annually after two years' deployment.

It also helped reduce compensation error rate and improved dispute management "while payees grew from 300 to 1,000 over a two year period, compensation disputes decreased from 3,775 to 1,750" for  a 53.6 percent reduction, and the average time to resolve a dispute was cut by 500 percent, from 40 to 8 hours.

News flash from British Web analytics company ClickTracks: Online activity will increase soon due to something called Christmas.

"In some cases, the holiday season can represent as much as 50 percent of a retailer's annual sales," says Michael Stebbins, ClickTracks vice president of marketing. Therefore, ClickTracks is "discounting two of its flagship products" to give online retailers "extra selling power."
Retail industry analysts predict a 23 per cent increase in Q4 online sales, to $33 billion in the 2006 Christmas buying season in the US.

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