Ascendix Gets MSFT Cert, Compass Wants Partners, First Research and CRM, Sand and BO, salesforce.com, Factiva and Dow Jones

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David Sims
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Ascendix Gets MSFT Cert, Compass Wants Partners, First Research and CRM, Sand and BO, salesforce.com, Factiva and Dow Jones

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

A second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is… the sound of the wind in the windows here in Istanbul, where it's pret-ty windy about now:

Ascendix Technologies has achieved certification of Real Estate Advantage for Microsoft Dynamics CRM V3.0 Test for ISV Solutions.

The certification was achieved last quarter and was administered by VeriTest. The program identifies applications that successfully integrate with Microsoft Dynamics CRM V3.0.

The testing and verification program ensures that applications integrate with CRM V3.0 in a supported manner, maintain the stability of the program, do not restrict any of the core functionality, and continue to function when service packs or upgrades to the base product are applied.

VeriTest also confirmed that Real Estate Advantage adheres to all published specifications as outlined in the CRM V3.0 Software Development Kit.

"We worked very closely with the Microsoft ISV team to make certain our product has the native look and consistent feel of Microsoft CRM, yet meets the complex demands of the commercial real estate professional," stated Todd Terry, Managing Partner and CTO of Ascendix.

Terry added that these professionals "have to manage much more than just customer relationships," saying Microsoft CRM can be an appropriate platform for those in real estate to manage tenants, properties, leases, vendors and financial data, as well as the traditional marketing, opportunity forecasting, issue management and workflow inherent to the CRM platform.

Ascendix will be unveiling the Real Estate Advantage through a series of regional product launch events, with locations tentatively set for Dallas, Irvine, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York and Boston. The first launch event is slated for February 6th in Dallas.

Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and independent software vendor Compass Technology has announced an expansion of its own partner opportunities by launching a channel partner program to distribute its end-to-end fundraising software suite for nonprofits.

This suite, which includes Compass CRM for Fundraisers, Compass Analytics for Fundraisers, and Compass Personalized Marketing for Fundraisers, is built on Microsoft tools and technologies and is designed to help nonprofits manage and grow donor relationships, increase fundraising results, and operate more efficiently.

Compass is specifically recruiting current Microsoft partners. Compass Channel Partner Program Manager Susan Turner is spearheading the outreach and recruitment.

Turner previously managed a group of nonprofit-focused partners for Sage Software's Nonprofit Solutions Division.

"Our goal is to selectively develop an elite group of partners that currently serve the nonprofit sector," Turner explains, saying the selected partners "must know the unique needs of nonprofit organizations and have expertise in fundraising and donor management. We are looking for resellers that know the space, have a true sense of partnership, and want to take our next generation of fundraising software to market."

The first partner training and authorization class will be held in Virginia Beach in mid-April.

She claims what's unique about this particular partner offering is that "for the first time, VARS who service the nonprofit community, particularly with fundraising and donor management software, will have a fully scalable product offering that not only meets customers' needs, but also allows partners to earn generous margins and service dollars for their firm."

First Research Inc., a vendor of what company officials are calling "industry intelligence" products, has announced that Citizens Business Bank has incorporated First Research into its sales process. Citizens Business Bank associates will access First Research directly through a link within its newly acquired CRM system.

Citizens Business Bank is a "relationship bank" for businesses and professionals in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles County, Orange County, and the Central Valley areas of California with business financial centers serving seven counties.

The bank provides services for both businesses and individuals in addition to financial advisory services.

"We are now using First Research to educate our sales force about our customers' and prospects' industries, enabling us to create and maintain the lasting relationships that Citizens Business Bank is committed to building in this community," said Jay Coleman, executive vice president, sales and service division.

Recently, the bank has introduced new technologies to improve their sales process. By incorporating First Research, relationship mangers hope to improve their access to the industry information needed to" successfully engage customers and prospects to build long-term business relationships," bank officials say.

Sand Technology, Inc., a vendor of intelligent enterprise information management products, has announced that it has joined the Business Objects Technology Partner Program.

As part of the agreement, Sand and Business Objects will collaborate on sales and marketing initiatives. The two firms have already worked together on projects for more than a half dozen customers in multiple industries.

The combination of Sand/DNA products with the business intelligence and enterprise information management software in BusinessObjects XI Release 2, results in products marketed as enabling organizations to "meet all their data management needs and service level objectives," according to Sand officials.

"We have worked together on a worldwide basis for some time, and we are now making it official," said Linda Arens, Vice President of Global Alliances and Marketing at Sand. "We see many synergies between our companies, as we work with many of the same partners."

Dow Jones has announced details of its plans to enhance Factiva SalesWorks for salesforce.com's AppExchange to use features now available in Salesforce Winter '07.

Salesforce.com customers will be able to get "a sales intelligence tool that includes improved navigation and the ability to produce company and executive lists for prospecting and upselling of accounts," according to DJ officials. The updated version of Factiva SalesWorks for AppExchange will be available in March 2007.

Factiva SalesWorks enhancements for salesforce.com's AppExchange allow users to generate lists of company or executive leads from within the Salesforce interface. Companies can be filtered by location, industry or company ownership, and executive information can be sorted by job title, company location and industry.

Additionally, users have access to the latest news, financial report or stock price that can be surfaced within an account or prospect record.

Factiva SalesWorks provides content from news providers such as Dow Jones and Reuters and business information from Reuters Fundamentals, D&B, Datamonitor, ZoomInfo, Hemscott, Standard & Poor's, Mergent, Investext, Thomson Financial, Jobson's, Marquis Who's Who, Freedonia, IBISWorld Business Information, MarketResearch.com, and others.

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