Zeus, Netic, Technalign, Christian OEM, Marketing Solutions, Nexus CRM, Council Contact Center

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Zeus, Netic, Technalign, Christian OEM, Marketing Solutions, Nexus CRM, Council Contact Center

By David Sims

The news as of the lazy afternoon coffee here, and the music is lazy afternoon music, the Stones' "Waiting On A Friend." Love that Sonny Rollins sax, really makes the track:

Zeus Technology, a vendor of application traffic management software, has announced its partnership with Danish network, security and consultancy services company Netic A/S.

The partnership will enable Netic to deliver Zeus Extensible Traffic Manager to its customer base, establishing availability of the advanced Application Delivery Controller in Denmark. A leading Danish mobile network operator has already selected ZXTM to power its billing, CRM and self-service platforms.

ZXTM is a traffic management product available as both an appliance and as a software platform to run on existing data center servers and blades and in virtualized environments, "providing customers with the ultimate flexibility in choosing a product that suits their technology and business needs," according to Zeus officials.

"Partnering with Zeus allows us to address the increasing demand in the Danish application acceleration market," said Karsten Thygesen, Technical Director, Netic A/S. "Organizations in Denmark are increasingly recognizing the need to bring more business operations online to improve customer service and ZXTM delivers the high levels of performance required to manage, secure and optimize application traffic."

ZXTM's capabilities provide organizations with centralized control and resilience for applications, for interaction between web-enabled applications and evolving XML-based Web Services. Claiming it's "more adaptable and easier to use than anything currently available on the market," Zeus officials say ZXTM enables both the network and applications to become more fluent and closely integrated.

It being a Sunday, we'll note that CRM vendor Technalign, based in Delta, Colorado has announced that they have officially partnered with Business Computers, Inc. in Texas to provide a Christian Desktop based on the Christian Edition of the OEM.

That's right, the Christian Edition includes preinstalled applications such as The King James Bible, Scofield reference notes, Strong's Greek and Hebrew Bible Dictionary for SWORD, and Dan's Guardian for content filtering.

The base system is an AMD Sempron 2800 with 256 megs of memory, an 80 gigabyte hard drive, a CD r-w, 3.5 inch floppy, mouse, keyboard and of course the TaFusion OEM Christian version installed.

Business Computers, Inc. laptops and desktops will be preconfigured running the latest TaFusion Frontier Christian Edition OEM, powered by MEPIS. The system will also include OpenOffice.org ( a full office suite compatible with Microsoft Office files ), Internet browsers, Thunderbird mail client, and CD/DVD burning software, to name a few. They will also sell systems with the regular Frontier products including those preconfigured with CrossOver Office and the PRO DVD versions.

Dianne Ursini, CEO of Technalign, Inc., said the new offering (get it? Offering?) "will allow companies and individuals to select a Christian version of TaFusion Frontier preconfigured. The demand has shown that there is a need for such an offering."

Of course there are Christians who would say such "choices" were already preordained. Kind of like, you know, preinstalled software from the foundation of the universe.

Business Computers, Inc. systems are manufactured and shipped directly by Business Computers, based in Texas. All systems are fully certified by Technalign for Frontier and are compliant with industry standards. The desktops come with a factory warranty and with either a one- to three-year component manufacturer warranty. Praying that it works always helps too, of course.

Stephen Bugge of Business Computers, Inc. and a man who has never once heard a joke about his last name in connection with computer operating systems, says consumers, as well as businesses, "are demanding Christian products as well as reasonably priced ones. Our systems provide companies with additional options at the lower ends, while we can also meet the demand at the high-end."

Business Computers provides services to business and consumers nationwide with full consulting services.

Five percent of profits from Christian OEM systems are donated to International Christian Missionaries. First Coffee can think of a lot worse things to do with that money, too.

Marketing Solutions Inc., a vendor of Web-enabled Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software systems, has announced a new CRM product Nexus.

Nexus "will provide businesses in any industry an opportunity to build, retain, and attract customers," company officials say, but it's designed for small to mid-sized businesses as an affordable CRM product.

Nexus officials differentiate it from other Web-based CRM systems by saying it's "the only system that captures real-time orders, customer history, customer and prospect information, sales commission, sales forecasting and one-to-one marketing functionality," and offers up-sell and cross-sell capabilities framed in a full 360-degree view of customer data as well. That's what they say.

Every function and process of Nexus includes marketing, sales, customer service, fulfillment, order management, and finance, and company officials are pitching the product as giving users the ability to rank open quotes, sales orders, and/or open invoices:

"An adjustable chart reflecting various stages within the sales cycle is displayed on a sales pipeline report to help ensure opportunities are being maximized," they say.

Northampton Borough Council, the largest district council in England, has opened a new Customer Contact Center in order to -- hey, this is council officials' own words here -- "improve telephone customer service performance."

The Center is tasked with ensuring citizens get connected with Customer Service Advisors as rapidly as possible, resolving more queries within a single call and improving the overall "customer experience."

And when government agencies start considering citizens as "customers" that's a step in the right direction.

Call handling technology from Macfarlane Telesystems is at the heart of Northampton's new operation. Macfarlane CallPlus technology intelligently routes all incoming calls to appropriate advisors, records calls, and provides both automated call handling (IVR) and detailed management reporting facilities.

Planned developments include the implementation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software from Lagan.

The Customer Contact Center opened in June 2006. Council services provided through the Center include Housing Repairs, Housing Customer Services, Cleansing (waste, graffiti etc.), Complaints, "Councillor Contact Center" and switchboard answering.

In Development Phase 2, due to be completed December 2006, Building Control Planning, Environmental Health, Call Care (24 hour Call Out service to Sheltered Housing residents) services will be added.

In Phase 3, planned for completion March 2007, services will be extended even further and are likely to include: Sheltered Housing, Housing and Money Advice, Homelessness and Housing Needs, Tenancy Support, and Rental Income. The Center currently employs 26 personnel, a number which is expected to rise to 40 when Phase 2 is completed -- and grow further in Phase 3.

Northampton Borough Council's Contact Center currently handles up to 5500 customer calls per week.

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