SES and Comverse, Luxoft's IT Forecast, SuperOffice and Orbis CRM Deal, Open Solutions, Skura and Blue Diesel

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David Sims
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SES and Comverse, Luxoft's IT Forecast, SuperOffice and Orbis CRM Deal, Open Solutions, Skura and Blue Diesel

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Prine's "Let's Talk Dirty In Hawaiian:"

Philippine CRM vendor SES has announced that Comverse has selected Effective, SES's flagship CRM software suite, to "improve its marketing and sales operations in the Far East."

Comverse, a unit of Comverse Technology, Inc., and a supplier of software and systems enabling network-based multimedia enhanced communication services, has acquired the Effective suite in order to "enhance handling and follow-up of marketing leads, proposals and customer relations," according to SES officials.

Comverse Technology is an S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100 Index company with numerous customers in the Far East and sales are performed by several account managers/agents.

"We are pleased that Effective has been chosen by Comverse, a company that provides software and systems to more than 400 wireless and wireline telecommunications network operators, in more than 100 countries," said Clarisa Rojo, CEO of SES, noting that the deal "has the potential to develop for additional business for SES, expanding to other branches of Comverse world wide, and including other SES modules such as Service and Project management."

Effective is a Customer Relation Management (CRM) tool built for the current and future needs of small to medium enterprises as well as large telecom operators, mainly in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.

Luxoft, a Russian provider of IT outsourcing development and services to companies like IBM, Dell, Deutsche Bank, T-Mobile and others, has issued its… drum roll please… predictions for the IT outsourcing industry in 2007. Among others, then, these forecasts include:

Outsourcing Gets More Agile. In 2006 there was increasing interest in employing the Agile development methodology in outsourced environments. This will continue to grow and expand in popularity in 2007. With the right people, project management and metrics in place this highly collaborative approach -- traditionally thought to be only for in-house teams -- will continue to speed client solutions to market.

Hybrid Models Become the Norm. No one approach – in-house, on-site, ODCs or captive models – will rule the day in 2007.  Each company will access its available global resource and skill pool and choose a variety of outsourcing and in-house combinations to reach its desired business and technical goals. Outsourcing … whatever model or mix is ultimately chosen … will become as commonplace as Six Sigma.

Retention Eases Tensions. Clients want well trained, stable and vested vendor teams working on their engagements. In 2007 they will increasingly demand that vendors meet -- or preferably exceed -- the average industry retention rates of 85 to 88 percent as a requirement of winning and doing business.

Near Shoring Comes Closer. No matter where a company is headquartered or has operations, it will increasingly look to near shore development solutions to round out its outsourcing portfolio. In 2007 there will be increasing demand for outsourcing resources in Europe, Eastern Europe and Canada but this phenomenon will be seen with resources around the globe.

Player Consolidation Continues. With the need for outsourcing providers to ensure scalability of services and support for clients, consolidation among smaller service providers with similar strengths and expertise will continue in 2007.  Forrester Research, in its latest report has said that global outsourcing industry could face sweeping consolidation in the next two years, mainly driven by low-cost global competition and broken business models.

Financial Industry Increasingly Banks on Outsourcing. In 2006 financial and banking companies came on more strongly as a consumer of IT outsourcing.  In 2007, this trend will continue with areas like CRM in demand.  Top of mind success factors for the vertical will increasingly be security, risk and financial market diversification, disaster recovery planning and engagement staffing standards. We'll also see more real time areas like on-floor trading technology get in the outsourcing mix.

Luxoft, founded in 2000, is a software developer and IT services exporter with operations in the US, Canada, UK, Ukraine and Russia.

CRM vendor SuperOffice Software Ltd. has announced a strategic partnership with the Business Process Management specialist Orbis Software. The deal will see SuperOffice customers given direct access to a specially designed and priced version of the widely-used BPM Suite, TaskCentre.

Tim Bennett, Sales Director for Orbis Software, said CRM professionals and the wider CRM community in general are "at the forefront of BPM adoption and this deal signifies this trend."

SuperOffice's decision to partner with Orbis Software was highlighted by Gary Edwards, Channel Manager, for SuperOffice when he said the TaskCentre BPM Suite will "enable companies running SuperOffice products to improve every aspect of their CRM activities through the automation of critical business processes. TaskCentre and SuperOffice will use their Service-Oriented Architecture ( SOA ) to facilitate self-service points and information services."

This partnership announcement follows Orbis Software recent entrance in the US marketplace and signals its intent to get serious about the delivery of Business Process Management software.

Livonia, Mich.-based Co-op Services Credit Union has selected Open Solutions Inc.'s core enterprise platform, The Complete Credit Union Solution, and other complementary applications to address its data processing needs. The credit union has approximately $280 million in assets, 45,000 members and six locations.

The Open Solutions product is built on a single centralized Oracle relational database and offers Internet banking, cash management, CRM, business intelligence, financial accounting tools, imaging, digital documents and a bushel of other services.

"We took the opportunity to evaluate what our credit union really needed in a core operating system, both for now and into the future," said Tony Carnarvon, CEO of Co-op Services Credit Union. "To get to the next level, we needed an open architecture system that was flexible and would help us gain operational efficiencies across the credit union."

The Complete Credit Union Solution is a relational, enterprise-wide core data processing platform designed specifically for credit unions.

Ontario-based Skura Corporation, which sells software for Closed-Loop Marketing in the Life Sciences industry, has announced a partnership with Blue Diesel, an inVentiv Health company and interactive healthcare agency, to try to improve the sales and marketing effectiveness of a top pharmaceutical brand.

Skura Corporation's products are geared to help customers with investments in Oracle CRM technology by "enhancing the investments already made," according to company officials.

"Skura Corporation was chosen because of our demonstrated experience and domain expertise with Oracle/Siebel CRM systems," said Jeff Wessinger, President of Skura Corporation (Products Division), citing "customized presentations based on the latest data provided by the client's Oracle/Siebel CRM system."

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What's the number one VoIP conference in terms of attendance? What's the leading VoIP expo for exhibitors in terms of lead generation? And which VoIP industry event will feature special attractions for service providers, resellers, and the enterprise and SMB market, as well as an overview on the future of IP Telephony? Answer: INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO EAST, January 23–26, 2007. See you in sunny Ft. Lauderdale!

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