Voxify Announces Hires, CDC in South Korea, Amdocs 7 Debuts, Tacton Launch, FTS Gets Integrator

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David Sims
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Voxify Announces Hires, CDC in South Korea, Amdocs 7 Debuts, Tacton Launch, FTS Gets Integrator

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the coffee break today, and the music is, at this random moment in the iTunes shuffle, David Bowie's "Modern Love:

Voxify has announced that John Gengarella has joined the company as President and CEO. Gengarella has worked in CRM and high tech for over twenty years.

He joined Siebel Systems in 2002 as General Manager of Siebel's Travel, Transportation and Hospitality business unit. He also led operations for Siebel's vertical applications development group up through the acquisition of Seibel by Oracle.

In a related announcement, Voxify has announced that Carol Snell has been appointed to the position of Chairman of the Board. Snell has "more than three decades of executive management, operations, sales and marketing experience," according to Voxify officials.

Prior to this appointment, Snell served as an active member of the Voxify Board of Directors. She joined in 2002.

At Oracle Gengarella served as Vice President of Operations for Oracle's CRM Applications Division, leading business operations for the $1 billion business unit.

Carol Snell, Voxify's Chairman of the Board, said the hire was part of Voxify's efforts to "extend our position as the front-runner in the speech self-service market."

Prior to Siebel Gengarella was CEO of several technology organizations, including Pineapple Systems, a CRM software company targeting the hospitality industry, and MyBiz Technologies, a hosted CRM product serving the online auction market.

Gengarella has also served as a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting, a mergers & acquisitions associate at Price-Waterhouse, and started out his career as an engineer at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company.

CDC Mobile, a vendor of mobile value-added services in China and a business unit of CRM vendor CDC Corporation, has announced that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Hancast Corporation, a South Korean mobile Internet content provider.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hancast will provide CDC Mobile with popular South Korean mobile games, videos, music and fashion advertisements for exclusive distribution in China.

The growing popularity of South Korean entertainment in China is a social phenomenon often referred to as the "Korean Wave." From music to video games, fashion to television drama, these entertainment products has created a huge demand for immediate updates and access. By providing millions of mobile subscribers with the latest wave from South Korea, CDC Mobile aims to expand its presence in the market for mobile entertainment in China.

According to China's Ministry of Information Industry, at end of November 2006, mobile subscribers in China surpassed 455 million and the mobile penetration rate reached 33.9 percent. According to China Academy of Telecommunication Research of MII, the VAS market value is now more than 10 percent of basic telecom services, which amounts to more than $7 billion.

"The enormous size of the current mobile market provides us with a significant growth opportunity," said Peter Yip, CEO of CDC Corporation, despite what he called "the current slowdown in the overall Service Provider sector."

In addition to enriching its mobile entertainment content, CDC Mobile is also investing in the 3G marketplace. As previously announced, CDC Mobile is investing up to $100 million in its 3G content partner program targeting leading 3G content providers and aggregators in North Asia and Europe as well as the creation of new original content for the 3G marketplace.

Amdocs, a vendor of software and services to enable integrated customer management and what they like, trademarkedly, to call "the intentional customer experience," has launched Amdocs 7, what company officials are calling "the first industry-specific software suite that allows service providers to offer access to any service, over any network, at any time and on any device."

Company officials say this is made possible by "the move to next-generation networks and the convergence of voice, video, data, content, and entertainment."

Results of a survey commissioned by Amdocs, also announced today, indicate that providers expect big revenue jumps from such convergent services and plan to boost spending to deliver a superior customer experience.

With revenue from convergent services expected to grow more than 20 percent over the next two years, the modular Amdocs 7 suite is being positioned on the market as making it "easier and more cost-effective for telecoms, broadband cable and satellite providers to launch these next-generation services, bundle them and offer incentive pricing to customers."

Tacton Systems, a Swedish vendor of product configuration software, has announced that it will launch and demonstrate TactonWorks in early February at a conference in New Orleans.

Conference attendees will see how TactonWorks and SolidWorks allow manufacturers to "automatically configure complete assemblies and drawings to meet customer specific requirements," according to company officials.

As a SolidWorks Solution Partner, Tacton has embedded their product configurator into the SolidWorks Window, letting engineers interactively engineer-to-order a complete 3D assembly simply by defining the customer's requirements, and reviewing how the design changes for each selection.

Engineers can define the configuration rules in a point-and-click environment, using configuration constraints. The Tacton Configurator integrates with ERP systems as well as CRM, e-commerce, PLM, and CAD.

FTS, a vendor of Business Control, Billing and CRM for communications service providers, has announced that it has acquired North American customers and personnel from Systems Integrator Danet, Inc. 

FTS is purchasing the customers' contracts from Danet, a Systems Integrator with experience in implementing and supporting Leap Billing RC (formerly RevChain), FTS' North American-specific billing product. 

This handover of responsibility further strengthens FTS' North American profile as the company grows the number of communications service providers it supports in the region.

FTS is also acquiring personnel from Danet, which FTS officials say will "build up FTS' North American Professional Services capabilities," as the employees have decades of experience of implementing and supporting Leap Billing RC. 

Company officials say the acquisition is part of FTS' strategy to grow both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. Following the successful acquisition and integration of US based Viziqor Solutions, Inc., this deal is considered by FTS to further strengthen its North American footprint.

"This is a rare opportunity to hire systems integration specialists that are experts in our software," said Shaul Ganel, President of FTS' North American Division. He added that the additional systems integration personnel will help the company deliver "an end-to-end service to our customers, helping them through the entire lifecycle of the implementation process."

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