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. EST. The event will offer an opportunity for small to midsize businesses to "gain practical knowledge focusing on proven call center products," according to TMC.
The webinar will address questions for business professionals looking to integrate IP technology and other turnkey call center products. The main focus is to discuss use capabilities of IP Technology to increase revenue, and how the integration of Digisoft technology can provide a scalable product that maximizes growth potential.
Vertical Communications, an enterprise telephony vendor, has been invited to participate as a panel guest. Topics will include adopting innovative customer support products, using cost effective tools such as IP technology, and how small to medium-size businesses can enhance customer service.
The webinar will also cover methods to increase employee productivity by implementing call center products that are affordable and do not require new equipment or a dedicated IT staff.
Norma Mozeé, Director of Sales for Digisoft, will be hosting the webinar. "The TMCnet webinar theme of providing affordable contact center products to the SMB market is timely. Small and medium-sized businesses have the same needs as large companies; to provide high quality customer service. However, they don't necessarily have the same budget or IT and telecom resources."
Over 20,000 TMC subscribers have been invited to join the upcoming webinar, and the general public is also welcome to attend. The Web Summit is offered at no charge. To register for the webinar, visit http://www.tmcnet.com.
Digisoft will host two additional webinars that will be scheduled over the course of the next several months, and will cover additional topics related to call center technology and strategic customer service products.
According to research from LearningGuide Solutions, a "workplace performance support" vendor, up to eighty percent of companies may soon be using VoIP telephones.
"This is in an increase on previous expectations of the growth of VoIP, signaling further changes in the workplace," said Cees Louwers, Managing Director, LearningGuide Solutions. "Users will be faced with changes in how to use the most fundamental piece of office equipment, as telephones become part of the office network."
Louwers said the "learning and support" that organizations make available to workers will be "a key factor" in the successful adoption of VoIP telephones. Often, he contended, new technology implementations focus too much on the technology and don't take sufficient account of end user support, yet "it is here where the rate of user adoption will be determined."
The poll, conducted between June and October 2006, surveyed the intentions of visitors to its web site, and found that 30 percent were already using IP telephones, 34 percent intended to in the next twelve months, 16 percent were considering it and 20 percent had no plans for IP telephones.
"VoIP telephones bring a whole host of new communications features to the workplace such as calling from anywhere with broadband Internet access and calling clients directly from CRM applications; and they make existing features more accessible such as conference calling and the ability to route incoming calls to other office locations," noted Louwers.
OpSource has announced that ClearMeeting will be using Optimal On-Demand to offer Software as a Service (SaaS) as the sole delivery option for its customers. The ClearMeeting Express edition, a new edition of the company's No-Frills webconferencing service, includes changes designed for salesforce.com users in anticipation of its debut on the salesforce.com AppExchange in early 2007.
Marjie Zander, president of ClearMeeting, said with the support of OpSource, we accelerated our AppExchange integration conversations with salesforce.com, which will result in a very timely rollout of ClearMeeting Express.
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