Hyperion 9.3, MagSuite, NCO Results, "Glittering" CRM

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Hyperion 9.3, MagSuite, NCO Results, "Glittering" CRM

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning and the music is Frank Sinatra's A Swingin' Affair! album:

Hyperion, a vendor of Business Performance Management software, has announced new capabilities in Hyperion System 9 Release 9.3.

Company officials say with the release Hyperion is "augmenting its existing data management services with a new module for data integration" for integrating Hyperion applications with "ERP, CRM, and other transactional systems."

Hyperion System 9 Release 9.3 is planned for release in the next calendar quarter. "The timing of any product release, including any features or functionality, is subject to change at Hyperion's discretion," company officials are quick to add.

The product claims new functionality in financial management applications, data management services, and business intelligence modules, along with expanded options for integrating diverse enterprise systems.

Launched a year ago, Hyperion System 9 was designed to integrate financial management applications and a BI platform in a single system built on a common set of foundation services and accessed via the unified Business Performance Management Workspace. In May, Hyperion added a new Hyperion System 9 application enabling financial data quality management.

One new feature in 9.3 is "BPM Architect," described by Hyperion officials as a business process modeling environment that "helps enterprises align planning scenarios, financial and operational plans, and financial consolidation processes." Basically what it does is give an aerial view from which users can "design, deploy, manage, and synchronize financial management and planning processes."

There's also a new Hyperion System 9 Capital Expense Planning module, described as a tool "for planning the acquisition, lifecycle management, and retirement of capital assets." It allows financial and operational managers to integrate capital improvements into rolling forecasts and annual plans, run depreciation and amortization calculations, develop action plans for existing assets, plan for driver-based or user-defined asset-related expenses, and generate asset reports.

And with the flexible and open data integration architecture built into Hyperion System 9, customers have the option to either rely on the new module from Hyperion or use data integration tools from other vendors.

Because hey, "your reports are only as good as the data contained in them," as Henry van der Linden, support manager, Hyperion Competence Centre, De Lage Landen International B.V. correctly notes.

The new release also offers enhanced Microsoft Office integration for Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. For instance, a user could create a spreadsheet in Excel and manage it as a Hyperion System 9 report, if the document is shared with another user via any Office application all updates to the data consequently update the original data set.

Release 9.3 also supports Google OneBox for Enterprise, a feature of the Google Search Appliance. Release 9.3 provides customers with access not only to BI-related dashboards, reports, and metrics, but also to information associated with planning and financial management processes.

SAP Netweaver customers who deploy Hyperion System 9 Release 9.3 have integration with the Netweaver portal environment. From the Netweaver portal interface, users can launch the Hyperion System 9 Business Performance Workspace and interact with Hyperion System 9 BI+ content.

MagSuite.com has announced support of AJAX technology in its on-demand application.

AJAX technology brings "desktop-like experience to web application," company officials say, which means, among other things, that pages are not refreshed when changes are requested by user. "For example, a page isn't refreshed when the Set Filter button is pressed in the Sales Invoices list after changing 'date from' and 'date to' filter dates."

Company officials say the improved product is being pitched to SMB users considering switching from legacy desktop applications to Web applications. They're offering a 15-day free no-obligation test drive at www.magsuite.com.

NCO Group, Inc., a vendor of business process outsourcing services, has reported Q3 2006 net income of $11.4 million, or $0.35 per diluted share; including special charges of $3.6 million, net of taxes, or $0.11 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $7.6 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2005.

NCO is organized into four divisions that include Accounts Receivable Management North America, Customer Relationship Management, Portfolio Management and Accounts Receivable Management International.

Overall revenue in the third quarter of 2006 was $301.6 million, an increase of 21.0 percent, or $52.4 million, from revenue of $249.2 million in the third quarter of 2005.

For the third quarter of 2006, CRM's revenue was $62.8 million, as compared to $44.9 million in the third quarter of 2005. The increase was primarily attributable to "new clients ramping up business during the end of 2005 and during 2006," company officials say. Partially offsetting the revenue from new clients in the third quarter of 2006 was the reduction in revenue from a major client where NCO ceased providing certain services when the client exited the consumer long-distance business due to changes in telecommunications laws.

The company will not host an investor conference call following the earnings release. On July 21, 2006, the company entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an entity controlled by One Equity Partners and its affiliates.

And finally, for our British colleagues CMP Information, organizers of the Technology For Marketing, are announcing the launch of the Technology For Marketing Awards.

This event will "recognize the most innovative and groundbreaking implementation of marketing-related & CRM technology and interactive advertising solutions within the industry today," according to CMP officials. The black-tie affair will take place on the first night of TFM, Tuesday 6 February 2007, Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

"The TFM Awards have been created to recognize specifically the outstanding results and success achieved by many end-users in their application of marketing technology and CRM solutions within their marketing, customer service, sales and online advertising campaigns." explains Simon Mills, TFM Event Director. "TFM is the UK's premier event for marketing, customer service, sales, advertising and CRM technology."

The "glittering" awards ceremony will consist of 12 categories each focusing on the achievements of end-users from within all vertical sectors when using technology solutions for marketing and new media applications. The winning entrants will be those who demonstrate that "their campaigns are the very best in their respective fields reflecting the growing sophistication within the maturing marketing technology market."

These categories will cover best-practice ranging from CRM and data analytics to e-mails, mobile & Web marketing, and interactive advertising technology.

First Coffee notes disapprovingly that in the listing of about a dozen awards -- Best Use of a CRM Solution for SMEs, Best Use of a CRM Solution for Corporates, Best Use of Campaign Management Software, Best Use of Data in a B2B Marketing Campaign, Best Supporting Actress, etc. -- there is no award category for CRM commentary.

Maybe if the name of the column were changed to First Tea?

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