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

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Open-Xchange and MySQL, Altitude and C3, Autonomy CRM, PacificNet

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. Product support for MySQL will not involve any additional cost to Open-Xchange customers, OpenXchange officials promise, and as part of the MySQL integration into Open-Xchange Server products, upgrades will be designed to ensure smooth data migration from existing installations.

Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB noted that open source is spreading throughout the enterprise, "now impacting collaboration software and groupware."

Open-Xchange Server 5 provides collaborative functions such as e-mail, calendaring, contacts and task management, integrated with advanced groupware features such as Documail, Smart Linking, Smart Permissions, document sharing, project tracking, user forums, and a knowledge base. It works with a variety of browsers, mobile devices and rich clients such as Microsoft Outlook.
Frank Hoberg, CEO of Open-Xchange, said that by supporting MySQL "we give our customers choice in how they use Open-Xchange Server in relation to operating systems and other applications. This helps customers to reduce overall cost of ownership for their IT environments."

Altitude Software, a contact center vendor, has announced that C3, a contact center outsourcing provider located in Egypt, has implemented the Altitude uCI suite in its 500-seat, Cairo-based contact center.

With the Altitude uCI suite, C3 claims it got an 82 percent boost in contact center productivity and 38 percent reduction in customer service professional training costs. Altitude uCI is a Customer Interaction Management (CIM) product providing full blended support for voice (inbound and outbound), IVR, e-mail, Web collaboration and chat.

Evidently Egypt's goal is to be a player in the global offshoring market, it's clearly making a pitch to be the next offshore outsourcing hot-spot. It touts its "numerous foreign language skills and low labor costs," according to C3 officials, which put Egypt in a position to compete with Eastern Europe and the Indian sub-continent.

Founded in 1999, The Call Center Company -- C3 -- provides outsourced contact center services. The company claims that it "took the initiative in 2000 to be the first contact center outsourcing operation in Egypt." Today, the company has grown to 600 agents serving Fortune 500 companies worldwide in more than 8 languages.

Ahmed Naguib, C3 Business Development Director, said the company runs "multi-channel service operations from numerous countries such as Belgium, France, and the USA."

C3 specifically uses Altitude's Unified Dialing tool, which supports various outbound dialing modes -- preview, power, predictive and call classifier. Customizable scripts, running on C3 agent applications, give them the necessary information to interact with callers while getting them quicker up-to-speed. By using outbound dialing technology, C3 claims to have been able to increase the overall productivity of its telesales and debt-collection campaigns by over 82 percent.

CRM vendor Autonomy Corporation plc has announced what it claims to be "a world first" in automating processes that guide employees to meet behavior policies and enforce compliance with the introduction of the Aungate Compliance Guidance and Enforcement Module.

The new module performs real-time conceptual analyses of enterprise information repositories using Autonomy's IDOL-based Implicit Query technology. These analyses are performed on any form of information -- e-mail, instant messages, documents and voice, what have you -- in order to make granular assessments of whether a user is in danger of violating an external regulation or enterprise policy and a behavioral threshold is about to be reached.

If so, the Aungate module launches processes to guide the employee through correct procedures and, depending on enterprise requirements, dynamically point to relevant training material in real-time.

This technology is being marketed to organizations "grappling to balance the value and/or risk of an ever-growing amount of unstructured data, while having to set and follow consistent policies and threshold levels to protect the integrity of the business," according to company officials.

The system aggregates information from more than 250 repositories in any format, including e-mail, word processing, spreadsheet, audio, video and presentation formats, as well as paper documents. In addition, the system is language independent. It identifies conceptually-related content within e-mail, IM and voice traffic without having to rely on predefined meta-headers, tags or labels to identify meaning. The analysis is performed in real-time without having to access predefined rules and across 100 percent of the available content.

Process design capabilities allow businesses to logically map the flow of virtually any compliance process with little or no coding required. This enables business users to define and design processes that involve human and automated tasks, paper and electronic documents, as well as automated notifications and more.

And probably most notably, the system automatically re-routes tasks, sends alerts and transparently tracks the status of a process, the time associated with completing each task, and all approvals, reviews and edits. This capability helps to assure auditors, shareholders and regulatory agencies that the proper controls are in place to document and follow processes, and eliminate undocumented exceptions from ever reaching the general ledger.

PacificNet Inc., a customer relationship management (CRM), mobile Internet, games and gaming, e-commerce and Value-Added Telecom Services vendor in China, has announced today that its Chairman and CEO, Tony Tong, Victor Tong, President, and Super Wang, General Manager of PacificNet's Guangzhou 3G subsidiary -- I'm reading off the cue cards here folks, that is his (First Coffee's assuming it's a man) name as given in the official company-issued press release -- discussed its 3G strategy while attending the 3G Showcase at ITU Telecom World 2006 in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the status of the long anticipated issuance of 3G licenses in China, Mr. Wang Xudong, China's minister of the information industry, announced at the ITU Telecom World 2006 that China will issue 3G licenses "very soon," and reiterated a commitment to enable operators to offer 3G services during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Company officials -- not Super Wang, other officials -- said the launch of 3G services in China "will drive the demand for PacificNet's iPACT, mobile games, CRM, IVR, and VAS services."

PacificNet has also been a long-term CRM service provider for China Telecom in providing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consulting, telemarketing management and call center training services. China Telecom has selected PacificNet for multiple and on-going projects to enhance the CRM service level and telemarketing management capability of China Telecom's customer service center. Officials say the company's experience in mobile social networking services and mobile games will "contribute positively to PacificNet's growing CRM."

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