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.
Before implementing Pivotal CRM, Davidson's Equity Capital Markets practice relied on a homegrown system which Davidson officials say provided "limited reporting and archiving capability and no workflow management."
Pivotal CRM will provide Davidson Companies with what the company describes as "a comprehensive, integrated, industry-specific application that will increase operational performance, streamline processes across the value chain, and improve responsiveness to client requests."
When the Pivotal CRM implementation is complete, Davidson Companies will have approximately 200 users in 20 offices supporting 16,000 contacts.
"As a result of our growth, we determined that we needed a system that would help us ensure a consistent experience for customers in all of our critical touch points," said Donn Lassila, chief information officer, Davidson Companies, who added that the Pivotal product "is financial services-specific right out of the box, Microsoft compatible, and has an easy to access web-based interface for our users."
Salesforce.com has announced that Karl Strauss Brewing Company has customized its Salesforce SFA and Apex Mobile applications to "meet the specific needs of its field sales teams."
The brewery is also using partner applications from the AppExchange directory to integrate data from Microsoft Dynamics GP with Salesforce, creating a single, centralized source of customer data for sales operations. Applications available via the AppExchange directory are built using salesforce.com's proprietary platform Apex.
The brewery was looking for a way to "help our field reps transition from order takers to service and relationship managers," said John Snead, Director of Beer Operations -- now there's a job title -- at Karl Strauss Brewing Company. "AppExchange has allowed us to provide our field team with complete access to information they need while in the field."
The brewery used the Apex platform to build and customize applications to suit its needs for its sales operations, customizing salesforce to track multi-leveled relationship information about current and potential beer customers including funnel-status for in-process opportunities, demographic profile data, potential volume, alcohol licensing status, geographic detail, and customer contact personal information.
The company also developed a tailored application to track brewery vehicle repair and maintenance expenses, for comparison against territorial profitability and to identify areas for improved performance.
The Apex mobile product allows representatives to complete all necessary order forms via a Blackberry mobile device without changing screens. Within a matter of minutes, the account data is wirelessly transmitted to the home office, an order invoice number is assigned and all of the data is available in the Salesforce application.
To help integrate back-office data in salesforce, Karl Strauss Brewing Company deployed partner applications from the AppExchange directory, including Scribe Sales Order Component, which extends the functionality of salesforce to support order integration with ERP systems, letting users convert opportunities to orders and automatically pass those orders to the back office.
The brewer also uses Scribe Insight for AppExchange, which integrates the salesforce environment with existing on-premise third-party and custom applications in a simple, customizable, cost effective, and straightforward manner.
"With Salesforce, our field team is more effective and business data is readily available for our sales, finance and management teams," said Snead.
The Karl Strauss Brewing Company is the brewer and distributor of micro-brewed craft beer. Based out of San Diego, it was founded in 1988 as the first brewery in the region in 50 years.
Sand Technology, Inc., a provider of intelligent enterprise information management products, announced today that Entega Service GmbH, a subsidiary of HEAG Sud-hessische Energie AG and Stadtwerke Mainz AG (but hey, you knew that), has
implemented the Sand/DNA nearline product for SAP NetWeaver BI.
The Sand/DNA product, officially certified by SAP as an integrated ABAP add-on with SAP NetWeaver BI, was developed to address data management issues faced by companies running large-scale SAP NetWeaver BI implementations.
Entega Service GmbH is an independent service provider for power network operators and energy suppliers, specializing in meter reading, management of energy-related data, invoicing services and accounts receivable management, as well as in information technology and data processing. The company relies on SAP's ISU module to process contract and invoicing data. For reporting purposes, this data is moved into SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW).
"Because we recently switched over to invoicing and data exchange processes based on a dual contract model that distinguishes between power grid operators and energy suppliers, we are expecting data volumes to continue to grow. Therefore, we were looking for a way to accommodate the expansion of SAP BW, and decided to adopt an ILM strategy incorporating a nearline component in order to limit increases in data size and minimize administrative requirements," explains Michael Mokler of Central Project Management at Entega Service.
Entega Service officials say they chose the Sand/DNA nearline product "primarily on the
basis of its ability to provide very high compression rates for selected data -- especially the huge volumes of PSA data used in SAP NetWeaver BI -- while keeping it available for use in analysis or as the basis for new ODS objects or InfoCubes."
CRM for nonprofits vendor Kintera Inc. has announced the availability of gadgets designed to use constituents' nonprofit fundraising involvement on social networking pages, such as MySpace, Facebook or blogs.
The gadgets launch marks a broader Kintera initiative to let nonprofit organizations use "the power of their constituents' social networks" for fundraising and engagement efforts.
A standard feature built in Friends Asking Friends, Kintera gadgets enable nonprofit supporters to share the importance of the organization in their lives with friends, peers and colleagues. In addition to expanding an organization's Web presence, each placement of a Kintera gadget serves as a personal endorsement of the nonprofit. Kintera gadgets also provide a direct connection from the constituent's social networking page to their Friends Asking Friends personal fundraising page.
For example, Kintera's fundraising thermometer gadget offers graphic representation of a constituent's fundraising success in respect to their personal fundraising goals, or tracks the organization's goals overall. Donors receive immediate reward and gratification in seeing the impact of their gift.
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