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December 2006

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123Together and Microsoft CRM, PacificNet and Jai Alai, Cognos Q3, Finnish BPO

December 29, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elton John's "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll):"

123Together.com, a vendor of Hosted Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint and CRM services, is now offering a free license of the new Microsoft Outlook 2007 e-mail client to every user of their Exchange Hosting service.

Outlook 2007 is the latest release of Microsoft's E-mail client. The latest version adds new features, including greater integration with Exchange Server, deeper integration with Sharepoint and CRM, all of which are provided as hosted services by 123Together.com as well as improvements in calendaring, collaboration and information management.

One nice thing they've finally done, which First Coffee has been wanting for years, is giving Outlook advanced searching capabilities.

The Tale of Forrester's $74 Billion Projection

December 28, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Peter Wolf's great solo album Sleepless:

Yesterday First Coffee got an e-mail from Mike Smock, managing director of vSente, who had evidently read Paul Greenberg's CRM blog, PGreenblog, and saw the following entry, slightly edited for this format:

2007; CRM 2.0 Gets Going

OK, neck out wide time. Cut me if I'm wrong. But here's my 2007 forecast interspersed with other 2007 forecasts I've found out there and my comments on their comments.

First Them for 2007....

Forrester Research -- Their Forecast: CRM revenues will skyrocket to $74 billion (approximately $21 billion in applications sales, $53 billion in services sales. There will be a serious shortage of CRM skilled workers).

My Thinking: While I'm not sure how whether they are calling CRM-related on demand subscriptions a service or an application, I can see strong numbers in 2007 for CRM without a doubt -- though how anyone can forecast numbers that specifically is beyond me.

TechExcel, Peter Ward, ETI and CACI, PacificNet, Argos and Nichia

December 22, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Smiths' Louder Than Bombs:

CRM vendor TechExcel, Inc., which sells what it calls knowledge-centric Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and support and service software, has announced it has opened an office in the UK to concentrate marketing and service to EMEA.

"Historically the UK has championed global efforts to optimize businesses and IT infrastructure with best practice approaches such as ITIL. We chose to join this rich heritage by establishing our European headquarters just outside of London," said Tieren Zhou, CEO and Chief Software Architect at TechExcel.

Zhou said the investment "reinforces our presence in the EMEA market where we already have a significant customer base."

Company officials say the addition of a UK presence means that the company can now "more effectively support the global customer base and distributors and resellers" by providing a true 24/7 environment. The company is also expanding its direct sales and channel sales development efforts to include EMEA and is actively building distributor and reseller partner programs to further extend its reach.

TechExcel's DevSuite helps enterprises ensure that all knowledge, from feature requests to design diagrams to resource planning, are shared across the various phases of the development lifecycle.

Kintera's Gadgets, Pivotal CRM, Salesforce.com, Sand Technology

December 21, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is my own Christmas song compilation, modestly titled The Greatest Christmas Song 3-CD Set Ever Assembled. Current song: Patty Loveless' "O Come All Ye Faithful."

CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and a provider of enterprise software applications, has announced that Davidson Companies has chosen the Pivotal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite of software applications for its Equity Capital Markets practice.

Davidson chose Pivotal CRM, CDC officials say, because of its financial services industry-specific functionality which "will allow its employees to cultivate deeper relationships with their clients and… provide greater insight into their workflow, automate multi-step processes, and track performance."

Davidson Companies, founded in 1935, is an employee-owned financial services holding company based in Great Falls, Montana. Davidson Companies owns D.A. Davidson & Co., the largest full-service investment firm based in the region.

Habitat For Humanity Contact Center, Seagull Software, From Bad To Worse, PacificNet, PRC

December 20, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jethro Tull's Aqualung. Scoff if you must, but that opening title track is an accomplishment a lot of bands would be proud to have stand as their finest hour. Toss in gems like "Mother Goose," "Up To Me" and "Cheap Day Return" and you have yourself a sturdy ol' album:

Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Georgia, an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing, has announced the adoption of a new Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007-based portal system, created by Alpharetta, Georgia-based Abel Solutions, Inc.

The contact center system will improve Habitat for Humanity's ability to manage and share information, both with its hundreds of worldwide affiliates and its international Board of Directors, according to company officials.

The portal will be used as a central information store to ensure organization-wide compliance with financial, legal and other corporate policies. These same portal capabilities can also extend to Habitat for Humanity's knowledge-base, to ensure consistency of answers to questions that often come to the organization's contact center, and to make that knowledge available on Habitat for Humanity's extranet for use by its worldwide affiliates.

Abel Solutions will also create a specific application to enable Habitat for Humanity's Board of Directors to access board-specific informational and educational materials at key points during the year.  

Knova Bought By M2M, Seagull and United Way, salesforce.com, StreamServe Patent

December 19, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lou Reed, now that iTunes has finally made the complete Rock 'n' Roll Animal available for download:

Knova Software Inc. a vendor of "customer experience" applications, has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by privately held M2M Holdings Inc., a holding company jointly owned by Battery Ventures VI LP and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners.

The assets of M2M Holdings currently include Onyx Software Corporation and Made2Manage Systems Inc., among others. The all-cash transaction is valued at $5.00 per share, or approximately $47 million, and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

Closing of the transaction requires approval by the holders of a majority of Knova's outstanding common stock and is subject to other customary documentation closing conditions.

Bruce Armstrong, president and CEO of Knova Software, said as an independent product line within a private company, "we will have the flexibility to further accelerate the adoption" of the company's service resolution products."

Jeff Tognoni, chief executive officer of M2M Holdings, said Knova "fits perfectly" into M2M's enterprise application portfolio, "complementing" their existing CRM and ERP companies.

QuickArrow's Winter '06, Syclo's Agentry 4.3, CDC Software and Isaberg Rapid, Coffee Beer?

December 19, 2006

By David Sims

[Yesterday's column could not be posted for technical problems, here we be.]

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Allman Brothers' Eat A Peach:

QuickArrow, Inc., a vendor of Professional Services Automation and associated management products, has announced the availability of its Winter '06 product release.

This latest version of QuickArrow's Software as a Service (SaaS) application adds Subcontractor Invoice Reconciliation capabilities, which are meant to reduce overhead and support Sarbanes-Oxley compliance -- a concern, company officials say, for QuickArrow's clients.

QuickArrow Vice President of Product Strategy, Louise K. Allen, said, "PSA was originally designed to automate the numerous processes inside the Services Organization. Our clients are asking us to help them manage the processes associated with managing their partners, contractors, and offshore resources, who already comprise more than 10 percent of all QuickArrow users."

Specifically, Allen said, "our clients told us that they wanted to reconcile the invoices they receive for their contractors within QuickArrow. This is the next step towards our vision of automating the entire Services Supply Chain."

Stephen Satterwhite, Founder and CEO of Entelligence, said that because subcontractors are "a critical part of our business," the ability to "automate and track our vendor time entry and reconcile it with subcontractor invoices is tremendous."

This release also includes enhancements to their SOA-supported Web Services interface and further use of AJAX technology to enhance the application's usability and performance.

Mobile software developer Syclo has today the latest release of its flagship mobile application development platform, Agentry 4.3. The latest version provides what company officials call "a multitude of new features, including a number of components that enhance the end user experience and make it even easier to develop mobile applications."

Many new field types and controls have been added highlighted by the inclusion of what Syclo calls "clickable image controls." With this functionality, a user can click onto a displayed image and execute different actions, depending on where the image is clicked.

CRM Vendor RightNow's Growth, AppEx's Latest, HyperQuality's Funding, ELoyalty's Dividend

December 16, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the underrated Al Stewart's finest achievement, Between The Wars:

RightNow Technologies has announced that it has been ranked 34th in Baseline Magazine's list of the 50 fastest-growing software companies in 2006.

The ranking was based on RightNow's 41.1 percent growth rate for the twelve months ended June 30. Baseline compiled its list after reviewing the performance of 304 publicly held software companies with annual revenue of more than $10 million.

RightNow has achieved 35 consecutive quarters of revenue growth and in October reported third quarter consolidated revenue of $30.1 million. Driving the company's continued growth is "the business value provided by its next-generation CRM solutions, its on demand delivery model, and its commitment to the success of its diverse global clientele," according to company officials.

A couple weeks ago Nikon Europe said it has extended its relationship with RightNow and deployed RightNow Marketing as its out-bound customer communication system.

Salesforce.com and Singapore Airlines, Jacada and Capita, Knova and Software 500, RFID, Tough and Smart Democrats

December 15, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the greatest songs of the 1970s, "Miracles," by one of the '70s lamest bands, Jefferson Starship, not to be confused with their great '60s incarnation as Jefferson Airplane:

Salesforce.com has announced that Singapore Airlines has deployed Salesforce SFA and Salesforce Marketing to "foster collaboration and information sharing among its growing number of home office-based sales representatives," according to company officials.

The company used "fourteen applications from the AppExchange directory" to enhance its Salesforce product by automating manual tasks, increasing efficiency in campaign efforts and improving visibility into account status.

"We have a highly dispersed team of inside and outside sales representatives in North America, and it was often a challenge to collaborate as a team to meet our sales goals," said Michael Stellwag, manager of direct sales and marketing at Singapore Airlines.

While "many of their competitors are dismantling their sales teams," salesforce.com officials claim, Singapore Airlines is "committed to providing customers with a point of reference.

CDC Software in Mexico, SugarCRM, PacificNet, Poetic Justice Strikes

December 14, 2006

By Fsbof Do,d

That's how my name looks using the touch-type method when you move your fingers one key to the right. Anyway welcome to First Coffee, I'm your host David Sims, and the music is a great discovery I made out of the blue on iTunes last night -- don't you love it when that happens?

Here's something for nothing (not that the respect and adulation my millions of readers shower upon me is "nothing," you understand) -- you know when you're on iTunes, looking up a record, and there's that feature on the right of the screen, "Listeners Also Bought?"  Check out those records once in a while if you've never heard of them. I did, and ended up downloading It's A Beautiful Day, the 1969 San Francisco "progressive rock" classic.

Salesforce.com Monetizes AppExchange, Autobytel Names Stibel to Board

December 13, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the current selection in the iTunes Christmas shuffle -- Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." Like Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," hers is the only acceptable version of the song:

Confirming widespread media reports yesterday, salesforce.com has announced its AppStore "vision and monetization strategy for the AppExchange marketplace."

Customers will be able to use AppStore as "a single source for trying, buying and deploying on-demand applications on the AppExchange," company officials say.

AppStore will provide what salesforce.com officials say is "a complete package of commercial services and revenue-sharing programs for developers and partners," who will be able to use AppStore as a global distribution network to market, sell, invoice and deliver the applications they have built using the Apex programming language and platform and made available on the AppExchange.

Company officials hope the move will goose sluggish growth, and that "AppStore will be the catalyst to unlock the value of Apex and the AppExchange, accelerating the vision for the creation, delivery, and success of any application on demand."

The company has announced an increase in its revenue outlook for its full fiscal year 2008, saying they expect revenue to be in the range of $710 million to $720 million for its fiscal year ending January 31, 2008. On November 15, 2006, salesforce.com said that it expected FY08 revenue to be between $700 million and $710 million.

CEO Marc Benioff made the announcement, saying "in connection with the announcement of our AppStore strategy today, which we will roll out in phases over the next 12 months, we are raising our revenue expectations for fiscal year 2008."

Benioff will host a lunch meeting today at 12:00 p.m.

Oracle CRM for ASU, Lea At Metallect, Neocase and Global Refund, Harte-Hanks, Welcome Pogues

December 12, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, joy of joys, iTunes finally made The Pogues' old catalog available.  It's been a downloading frenzy here. Why can't all pop rock music be this good? I mean, here you have a bunch of adequately but not overly talented guys who just enjoy playing fun, energetic music, and damn near every song's a winner.

Oracle Grid and CRM in Australia New Zealand, Bullhorn, CRM SalesLogix, Pool Starting

December 11, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else:

The Fourth Oracle Grid Index Report, released today in Australia, points to "growing momentum in grid computing adoption" across Australia and New Zealand.

The latest figures confirm that grid computing is finding fertile ground down under. In fact, ANZ ranked fourth worldwide (3.9) in terms of adoption, behind the US (4.3), Germany (4.3) and the Nordic region (4.7).

Grid computing is useful for moving core business systems including data warehousing, document management and CRM applications. The idea is that grid computing uses low cost commodity hardware, creates a consolidated computing infrastructure that virtualizes and provisions computing resources dynamically and "this," says Oracle officials, "leads to a higher quality of service, improved performance and better reliability."

According the Grid Index, ANZ's adoption index progressed by more than one index point, the sharpest rise in adoption worldwide in a six-month period. The Asia Pacific & Japan (APAC) region progressed faster than the U.S.

Connections CRM, Sedona, Telecom Communications, Digisoft and TMC, VoIP Adoption, OpSource

December 9, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the song is a truly great one, Bruce Cockburn's "Fascist Architecture." Normally First Coffee doesn't care much for Mr. Cockburn's trite self-righteous Canadian hypocrisy, but this song is a gem:

Brotherhood Bank & Trust Company of Kansas City -- the Kansas side -- has recently connected with a network of more than 150 community financial institutions when the decision was made to implement Connections - CRM, the web-enabled system offered by Marketing Solutions, Inc.

Explaining the move Steve Hale, Director of Marketing at Brotherhood Bank, cited a number of reasons, including "the growth potential Connections would bring Brotherhood Bank," and wanting to "empower and equip our team with a comprehensive system that would automate, manage, report and expand the timeliness of both internal and customer communications at every touch-point and opportunity."

Neal Packard, President and CEO of MSI, has said that Connections was designed to be developed in direct response to the immediate needs of community financial organizations.

Continuing our tour of smaller financial thrifts and their technological advancements, we see that Sedona Corporation, which sells MRM products for small and mid-size financial services organizations, has sold Valley Federal Credit Union its Intarsia MRM application.

Valley Federal Credit Union, a federally-insured institution, has over $113 million in assets, serves more than 20,000 members in Billings, Montana.

After reviewing a number of MRM options, Valley Federal determined that Intarsia was the best product for its needs, which include identifying the best ways to monitor the sales, marketing and services of its members. Intarsia will enable Valley Federal Credit Union to analyze product, service and member profitability as well as provide the credit union with next best product and service recommendations to improve cross-selling opportunities.

Clearing up the end-of-week news, we note that Telecom Communications, Inc. has announced that its subsidiary, Guangzhou TCOM Computer Technology Limited, has recorded sales volume of IBS v4.1 Enterprise Suite during October and November 2006, totaling 102 sets of SME Mega Power Packages to SME's corporate users as a channel that generates from Subaye.com SME corporate video users.

The sold revenue is $2,342,000.

"Most of the new users like the IBS v4.1 covered on-line video on subaye.com and wireless data communications, CRM call center and unique search engine plus distribution advertising at a lower cost," said Tim Chen, CEO of TCOM, adding that GTCT is "more efficient to provide additional services" to China-based users.

The IBS v4.1 Enterprise Suite product line focuses on the one million SMEs in China, with version 4.1 enterprise suite pitched to companies with less than 500 employees, inner information resource management and affiliate networks, vendor/customer, information process and communications over the internet and wireless communications.

In case you missed it Digisoft, a TouchStar Software company, has announced a joint effort with us here at TMCnet to conduct an online series of industry-wide webinars open to "all business professionals interested in gaining a competitive edge in the call center market."

The first webinar is scheduled to take place this Thursday, December 14th, at 2:00 p.m.

CRM 10.5 From Satuit, Talisma and Speakeasy, InsideSales and JabberDog, Infusion Software, PacificNet

December 8, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is St. Cuthbert's Cow doing "On Christmas Night, Bring A Torch to The Irish Washerwoman:"

Satuit Technologies, Inc., a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) products for investment professionals, has announced the commercial availability of SatuitCRM v.10.5.  
SatuitCRM v. 10.5 offers what company officials describe as "over 50 new features" designed to make it easier to retrieve data. Managers can "turn their home page into a command and control center," according to officials, "to see what is going on in every part of their organization."

Each user can define and configure his multiple home pages to display all the key summary or detail data he needs to do his job -- a sales page to see what the sales team is doing; a client page to see what is going on with client accounts; or a compliance page to look at documents that need approval.

Open-Xchange and MySQL, Altitude and C3, Autonomy CRM, PacificNet

December 7, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams album:

Open-Xchange Inc., a vendor of open source collaboration software, has today that it has signed a partnership and support agreement with MySQL AB, the developer of the popular open source database.

This partnership means Open-Xchange will embed the MySQL database into its open source collaboration server. Open-Xchange will add MySQL support to its Linux based collaboration product, Open-Xchange Server.

Both companies say they want optimized interaction between MySQL databases and Open-Xchange groupware functionality for joint customers.

Sedona, Exterprise CRM White Paper, SAP, MySQL AB and Tellme, Oncontact

December 6, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and since we have a Dutch family staying with us for a couple days we wish them and you a happy Sint-Nicolaas Day, where the music is the Barenaked Ladies' great third-grade version of "Jingle Bells:"

MySQL AB, an open-source database developer, has announced that Tellme Networks, Inc. is, in MySQL AB's officials' words, "benefiting from significantly reduced database-related costs by using the open source MySQL database."  Tellme employs MySQL to power enterprise and carrier applications on what company officials say is "the world's largest open platform for the phone."

"The MySQL server is a core technology in our distributed data cluster that handles over 2 terabytes of data per week," said Rick Levenson, senior vice president of Service Delivery at Tellme. "By using MySQL, we have been able to reduce our costs while maintaining high availability across our client applications."

Tellme powers voice-based phone searches used by more than 35 million people every month. Its data load has scaled with the rapid growth in its traffic, from 500 million calls in 2004 to nearly 2 billion calls in 2006.

Tellme officials say the company relies on MySQL as a core technology in its distributed data cluster -- "in addition to handling more than 2.25 terabytes per week, this system processes logging data, performance tuning data, recognition statistics and billing."

The company also uses MySQL as a fast, highly available data store for applications because "this system is geographically redundant and can provide personalization data in milliseconds." Tellme also uses MySQL as a general data warehouse to reduce costs for several of its innovative business efforts. The company runs MySQL on a heterogeneous network of hardware.

Sedona Corporation, a vendor of MRM -- Member Relationship Management -- for small and mid-size financial services organizations, has announced that Municipal Employees Credit Union of Oklahoma City has selected Sedona's Intarsia as its MRM application.

With assets over $80 million, Municipal Employees Credit Union has been assisting over 10,000 members in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Municipal Employees Credit Union, who will be converting to Sharetec systems in July 2007, found that both the technology and services offered by Sedona were acceptable for its needs.

Salesforce.com, CDC and Vis.align, Kofax, SalesGuru, Building The Perfect Christmas CD

December 5, 2006

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Christmas CD First Coffee burned. Ten tips for making your own Christmas CD:

1. It will include Bing Crosby's 1947 recording of "White Christmas." No other version is allowed, not even Bing's own later recordings. It must be this one, the largest-selling record ever, or you don't have yourself a real Christmas CD.


CRM for Autos, Syclo and SAP, Unica, Epicor and Microsoft, iMagicLabs, Nsite, Business Objects

December 1, 2006

By David Sims david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Eels's Daisies Of the Galaxy:

Syclo, a vendor of mobile software products, has announced the release of Smart Work Manager for SAP version 3.0.

As part of the mobile products for field service and asset management, Smart Work Manager for SAP automates work flow for SAP PM and SM module users. It incorporates a set of work management features "developed and refined for over a decade," according to Syclo officials.

Syclo's Smart Work Manager for SAP replaces paper-based workflow with an electronic product.

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