Queplix and John Deere, Seagull's Line of Credit, Kintera's Expanded CRM, All Hail King Roger

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David Sims
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Queplix and John Deere, Seagull's Line of Credit, Kintera's Expanded CRM, All Hail King Roger

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the sound of my son's violin practice. The one thing I swore up and down I'd never let a kid do, learn violin. Oh well. Probably my fault -- he liked my Irish music.

Keeping up with the products out there, Queplix, a vendor of commercial open source software for customer care, has announced that its flagship product, QueWeb Customer Care, has been in successful production for more than three years at John Deere, the world's leading manufacturer of agricultural and forestry equipment and vendor of lawn, grounds and turf care equipment.

Bet you didn't know Deere not only also makes construction equipment and engines used in heavy equipment but provides the financial services and other related activities that support its core businesses.

QueWeb, according to Queplix officials, has enabled John Deere to migrate its existing Dealer Technical Assistance Center from a legacy system to a Web-based platform, while still preserving all customizations, core functionality, and the look and feel of its previous application.

John Deere's DTAC is used across the company's Agriculture, Construction & Forestry, Commercial & Consumer Equipment, and Power Systems divisions to support a global network of nearly 8,500 dealers, their field service technicians and Deere DTAC analysts. Users can directly track equipment trouble tickets, search for customer support history, and find documented solutions to product problems via the DTAC in multiple languages.

DTAC was originally built on the Quintus eContact software, which later became Avaya's Interaction Center (AIC) Business Application suite. When Avaya discontinued its line of business applications, John Deere had to move to another Web-based platform.

The company also wanted the new system to be Java-based to ensure the stability, extensibility, and longevity of the DTAC system.

So after evaluating several vendor offerings, John Deere found that Queplix's QueWeb software, with its open source design, meant that "we could keep development and intellectually property internal to the company," said Al Reagan, Manager of Customer Support IT for John Deere.

Reagan added that another benefit of QueWeb was "its ability to completely replicate our previous system on a more flexible, Web-based platform -- from the core functionality, to our existing data, to the user interface."

Following the successful deployment of DTAC solution, John Deere has since expanded usage of QueWeb in multiple internal and external customer-facing departments.

If Roger Federer isn't the most dominant athlete in his sport on the planet I don't know who is, it'd have to be somebody in some sport you've never heard of. He's a better tennis player than Tiger Woods is a golfer, Peyton Manning is a quarterback and Kobe Bryant is a basketball player.

He's better now, in his prime, than Michael Jordan, Roger Clemens, Jack Nicklaus and Joe Montana were in theirs. He's better at his sport than Pele, Edwin Moses or Al Oerter were at theirs. He's a better tennis player than Muhammad Ali and Rocky Marciano were boxers. The only athlete whose dominance ever came close to Federer is Wayne Gretzky, and the fact that Gretzky could so completely dominate a team sport is incredible.

Check that: Johnny Weismuller. Yes he's remembered today primarily as the actor who first played Tarzan, but he was an Olympic swimmer who retired from the sport never having lost a race.

But is he the greatest tennis player ever? I tell you what, I'd love to see the primes of Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Rod Laver and Roger Federer play a round-robin. The first guy to win four matches there would be the best tennis player ever. My money'd be on Federer first, Agassi second.

When you play Federer you're not upset if you lose. You're not going to win the match. What'll make you happy in the post-match interview is if you've managed to win a set. That's a successful outing against Federer. If he gets any better guys'll be proud of how many games they've won against him.

With the decline of boxing as a serious sport tennis is the last pure mano-a-mano sport left. Just you and a racket against one other guy with a racket. No teammates to take up your slack or cost you the match. Officiating has no impact on the outcome. You're not competing against times or stroke counts or judges but a person.

Two guys walk out on the court, one walks off a winner, one walks off a loser. There's no clock and the outcome is always in doubt until the last stroke of the match. There's no garbage time, no clock-killing. It's the closest thing to sword fighting in sports today, the sport most demanding of an athlete's total physical, mental and emotional abilities.

Seagull Software has announced that SVB Silicon Valley Bank has extended to the company a $4 million revolving line of credit for general corporate purposes in support of Seagull Software's business plans.

This new credit facility replaces a $2 million working capital line of credit established in 2004.

The company has not used either line of credit to date, but company officials say they're "pleased to have this resource" at their disposal.

"Silicon Valley Bank is one of the top financial institutions for the technology sector and they have been an excellent financial partner to Seagull Software for almost three years," said Don Addington, CEO and president for Seagull Software. "They have a clear understanding of the fast-paced tech environment and have provided us with ready access to capital," he added.

Seagull Software specializes in technology that transforms legacy applications into SOA-compliant Web services. The LegaSuite software platform includes integration, GUI, workflow and terminal emulation technology.

LegaSuite is based on open standards including Web services, XML, J2EE and .NET. The company's technology is in use in more than 10,000 business and government organizations in over 30 countries worldwide, and by millions of end users.

Earlier the company reported that the LegaSuite 5.0 platform has been certified to run on the SAP NetWeaver platform, earning the “Powered by SAP NetWeaver” qualification. With LegaSuite, legacy applications become standard SOA services that can be invoked by SAP NetWeaver, and these services can now be accessed through the SAP NetWeaver Portal.

Kintera, Inc. has announced it has expanded its social constituent relationship management (CRM) platform to incorporate online fund accounting within Kintera Sphere.

Described by company officials as "the first software as a service fund accounting solution tailored for nonprofits," Kintera Sphere Fundware is designed to give nonprofits and donors "enhanced social accountability and transparency."

Kintera provides nonprofits with an SaaS product for their organizational needs, such as fundraising, donor management, advocacy, wealth screening, e-communications, and now, fund accounting, for what officials say is "a comprehensive product suite with online fund accounting integrated into the platform."

"Kintera is rounding out its social CRM offering by launching an integrated online fund accounting solution… and paving the way for nonprofits seeking greater social accountability to donors and the public," said Harry E. Gruber, Kintera CEO.

Kintera Sphere Fundware is designed to track the flow of funds from end to end, integrating with such business applications as e-commerce, utility billing, grants management and donor management. The new fund accounting product will be available both as SaaS and client-installed, with the first phase of the product available in the first quarter 2007.

Kintera FundWare v7.5, Kintera's existing server-based fund accounting software application, will be available in the second quarter 2007.

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