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

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Oracle CRM for ASU, Lea At Metallect, Neocase and Global Refund, Harte-Hanks, Welcome Pogues

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. Is it really so hard to do? First Coffee can't detect more than a dozen chords in their entire repertoire, it's not that complicated.

CRM veteran Wendy Lea was appointed today to the board of directors of Metallect. "With more than 20 years of sales and marketing strategy and alliance expertise for venture-backed startup companies," Metallect officials said, "Lea will serve as a key contributor to Metallect's strategic growth plans."

Lea is currently Chairman of the Board for Newmerix, a provider of enterprise application lifecycle management software, a board member for Stratify and the Forum of Women Entrepreneurs & Executives, and an advisory board member for StillSecure, Beam and Amazon Consulting.

Previously, Lea led Siebel Systems' eBusiness Consulting division, which provided channel strategy to Siebel's global customers. She joined Siebel in 1999 as a result of its acquisition of OnTarget, Inc., a provider of sales and marketing process to the high technology industry, where she held the position of VP of Marketing and Alliances.

Lea has been in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space since 1984, initially as VP Sales and Marketing for Acclivus. In 1992, she joined The Sales Consultancy in the UK, as VP of Marketing and assisted with its European expansion. In 1995 she moved back to the US as co-founder of TSC-US.

Lea has co-authored two sales methodologies, CHAMP (channel and alliance management process) and TMP (territory management and planning), which have been adopted as global standards by IBM, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and Oracle and embedded in Siebel System's software applications.

CRM vendor Neocase Software has announced that Global Refund has selected Neocase 10 to "reshape the company's client services in France and Italy," according to Neocase officials.

Global Refund is a supplier of financial services for merchant markets' interactions with foreign customers, running over 200 international Cash Refund offices across four continents. It has over 230,000 merchants worldwide as customers.

The product manages administrative and financial operations relating to tourist tax refunds and dynamic currency conversion services. It produces tax refund slips, verifies their validity and provides reimbursements in cash or by mail.

Global Refund wanted something to "bring more intelligence and collaboration to the customer case management process," company officials said.

"France is the number one tourist destination in the world, hosting 76 million visitors a year. Of these travelers, 14 million are non-EU residents and therefore qualify to receive a tax refund," explains Julie Weinberg, tourist relations manager with Global Refund France.

Designed for quick implementation, easy use, and optimized for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, Neocase can be deployed either on-demand or on-premise.

"Neocase couples extensibility with ease-of-use to offer comprehensive software applications that facilitate efficient responses to our customer service inquiries," added Corinne Goetz, director of operations with Global Refund.

Global Refund's deployment of Neocase 10 is expected to roll out to additional countries in upcoming months.

Present in 34 countries and on 4 continents, the company performs over 25,000 tax reimbursements a day.

Harte-Hanks, Inc., a direct and targeted marketing company, has announced that Ultimate Electronics, a vendor of home and car entertainment, has selected Harte-Hanks and its Allink Advantage solution for multichannel database marketing to "increase customer retention and market share," according to Harte-Hanks officials.

As part of the relationship, Harte-Hanks will provide an integrated database marketing product to drive Ultimate Electronics' newly-implemented prospecting strategy. In addition, Harte-Hanks will provide analytic support to help the retailer enhance its understanding of its customer base and fully-integrated e-mail delivery through the Harte-Hanks Postfuture platform.

Ultimate Electronics has 32 store locations in nine states selling name-brand consumer electronics and high-definition televisions.

"There is an inherent value in understanding our existing customers and prospects, so we chose a database marketing solution that allows for real-time analysis and reporting on customer profiles and purchasing behavior," said David Smith, senior vice president of marketing at Ultimate Electronics.

Smith added that Ultimate wanted to "identify valuable customer segments and acquire new customers."

Ultimate chose Harte-Hanks because of "the breadth and depth of its retail marketing experience, the strength of its analytics team and its ability to easily integrate with our existing CRM [customer relationship management] systems," Smith said.

Initial reports from company officials are that Ultimate Electronics has gained "a new, complete view of its current customers and has an enhanced ability to segment and analyze its customer and prospect data." Going forward, Ultimate Electronics plans to delve deeper into customer behavior analysis to support and grow its customer retention and customer prospecting programs.

Carey Lowrey, vice president of information technology at Ultimate Electronics, said the Harte-Hanks product "allowed us to turn the data into information in a fraction of the time of building our own solution and extending our limited CRM capabilities."

Oracle today announced that Arizona State University has implemented Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Student Administration and PeopleSoft Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Higher Education.

University officials say they want to "streamline recruiting and admissions processes, improve service to current and prospective students and create efficiencies across the student lifecycle." The implementation is the first stage of an extensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) system initiative, which ASU is deploying to support the university's rapid increase in enrollment.

ASU is currently rolling out Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Online Marketing and PeopleSoft Enterprise Support for CRM, which will enable the university to plan interactive, ongoing marketing campaigns and provide support for CRM system users respectively.

Already the nation's fourth largest university, ASU's vision is to become "The New American University," hoping to increase enrollment by 56 percent. "No other Research-1 institution has taken on an ERP implementation of this scale in this short a time period," said Oracle Higher Education Vice President Jim McGlothlin.

With centralized student, financial and human resources data, as well as an integrated CRM system that tracks interactions with students, ASU officials hope to have access to more comprehensive, accurate information.

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