INeo's LMA, Nortel and Timken, NeoSynergy and MotorAlley's Auto CRM, Worst Tech Ever

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INeo's LMA, Nortel and Timken, NeoSynergy and MotorAlley's Auto CRM, Worst Tech Ever

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Clash's Sandinista!:

INeoMarketing has announced the release of its new suite of lead management automation (LMA) products, a package that includes the PluraPage, PluraCom, and PluraPage+ software applications.

These applications provide customized marketing communications delivered through personalized microsites that "nurture customer relationships" and serve to "increase the quality and quantity of leads for sales departments," according to company officials.  

According to Laura Ramos, a vice president at Forrester Research, B2B marketers "can no longer afford to emphasize lead volume over lead quality. This practice reduces sales efficiency, increases costs, and fuels the gap between sales and marketing."  

To develop its lead management tools, that gauge the buying stage of the customer and act accordingly, iNeoMarketing produced its iNeoMarketing software suite consisting of the PluraPage, PluraCom and PluraPage+ products. These applications generate customized and personalized microsites, landing pages, and marketing and communications (marcom) materials in response to any click from an outbound marketing campaign or upselling/cross-selling effort.

Additionally, the entire software suite exists independently of the IT department, allowing the marketing team to manage the leads without the need for IT support resulting, so the thinking goes, in a faster response time to more qualified sales leads.
In designing its LMA suite, iNeoMarketing wanted to create a product that would focus on the quality of the lead as opposed to generating sheer numbers of leads. The suite is designed to generate customized and personalized microsites, landing pages and marcom materials supposed to convert more opportunities, nurture the customer relationship and "help foster a dialog between the company and the client," company officials say.  

So if the customer has not reached a conclusion about a purchasing decision after reviewing the available materials, he or she can return to their personalized web page for additional information that will help drive them towards a purchasing decision, instead of simply forcing the customer to choose on the spot.     
While the PluraPage, PluraCom, and PluraPage+ do not require an existing CRM system, they can be integrated seamlessly into a company’s CRM database such as  Additionally iNeoMarketing’s PluraPage certified and can be located on the Salesforce AppExchange.  And for companies with no existing CRM infrastructure, employees can track leads through a secure, password protected on-line account.

The Timken Company, a global manufacturer of bearings and alloy steels, has reported success in reducing the amount of time a customer waits in queue by 25 percent using the Virtual Contact Center with VoIP from Nortel.

With $5.2 billion in annual sales in 2005 and operations across 27 countries, Timken has nine contact centers in North America but the company previously had no way to unify its contact centers to have them work as one team, company officials say, adding that Nortel's Virtual Contact Center allows Timken's agents to "interact as if they were co-located to present one face to the company."

Timken customers access a flexible contact center that routes their calls through menu choices to the most appropriate agent. Since the call is not limited to the resources or time constraints of a specific location as it once was, wait times for Timken customers are significantly reduced.

Company officials report a "25 percent to 40 percent improvement" in customer responsiveness, without having to increase staff.

"Prior to implementing Nortel technology, our call centers could not quickly and efficiently share resources or skill sets across our call center sites," said Rick Mowery, Timken section manager for Network Design and Engineering, adding that real-time displays "help keep agents from being surprised by a queue that is backing up because they can see it in real-time, giving us a great grasp of who we're getting calls from and how many calls are in the queue."

"With its products ranging from use in elevators at the Eiffel Tower, to the Mars Rover, and to Air Force One, it is essential for Timken to ensure timely, reliable support for its customers," said Dave Murashige, general manager, Multimedia Applications, Nortel."

Timken is also using Nortel's Remote Gateway 9150 and Nortel Remote Gateway 9115 to support IP telephony (VoIP) services for all their branch offices. This makes it feasible for some of their workers to telecommute and connect securely to the virtual contact center network from their home offices.

NeoSynergy, LLC and MotorAlley, LLC have announced a joint venture to enable consumers to use the Internet to buy directly from car dealers.

Unlike current buying services, the joint venture connects consumers directly to the eCommerce- enabled dealer to reduce marketing costs, overhead and hassle. The joint venture combines NeoSynergy's auto manufacturer-to-dealership (B2B) Web-based enterprise business system with MotorAlley's powerful automotive dealer-to- consumer (B2C) portal to create what company officials are calling "a holistic online vehicle-buying and service system."

But it doesn't eliminate dealerships. The idea is that consumers communicate directly via the Internet with the dealer's business management system -- all the online transactions take place in real-time. Consumers find the "Best Deals" via MotorAlley and then register to "Buy Direct," select a financing method, apply for a lease or loan, make a credit card down-payment to hold the vehicle, and arrange with the dealership to have it delivered or a time to go into the dealership to sign the paperwork and drive their new vehicle home.

NeoSynergy's enterprise software service comprises two parts: First, Darwin eXchange's Web browser interface powers's Buy Direct pages and is the door to the dealer's virtual vehicle sales and service departments. Second, Darwin eXtended Enterprise's functioning dealership- customer management system serves as the engine for managing the virtual and/or physical dealerships.

These two services then work together in real time, creating an enterprise B2B2C application. As a consumer shops and buys a vehicle via MotorAlley, the dealer sees the results immediately in DarwinEnterprise. NeoSynergy's factory communications has completed the real-time supply side information link with vehicle manufacturers and third party service providers to support dealer and consumer online buying processes.

Consumers, in effect, build the dealership's customer relationship management (CRM) because they create their own customer record in Darwin eXtended Enterprise as they register to purchase on the MotorAlley website.

And just to brighten your day, industry observer Dan Tynan has compiled a list of "the 25 worst tech products of all time." Yes, Microsoft Bob makes an appearance, but only at #7, suggesting that Mr. Tynan has a much stronger stomach than most of us.

Much in here is what you'd expect -- Internet Explorer 6, the "portable" Macintosh that weighed about 16 pounds, the "world's smallest Windows XP computer," so small you couldn't read anything on the screen, and the magnificently bad IBM PCjr.

Some barely registered a blip on its freefall from launch to the dustbin of history -- if you blinked you might have missed the Apple Pippin, CueCat or DigiScents' iSmell. Others were more tenaciously bad -- RealNetworks' much-cursed Real Player, and the Microsoft Windows Millennium edition ("ME," the "Mistake Edition.")

But AOL as #1? Okay, I've never subscribed, but is it really the worst tech product of all time? This is a world which has seen the Syncronys SoftRAM, after all. What's so bad about AOL, besides the "awful software, inaccessible dial-up numbers, rapacious marketing, in-your-face advertising, questionable billing practices, inexcusably poor customer service, and enough spam to last a lifetime" Tynan mentions, that is?

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