Infor, Epiphany for Folksam CRM, PacificNet Drops Auditors, VirayNet and Victoria's CRM, Sales Simplicity

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David Sims
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Infor, Epiphany for Folksam CRM, PacificNet Drops Auditors, VirayNet and Victoria's CRM, Sales Simplicity

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the North Mississippi All-Stars' Electric Blue Watermelon:

Infor, a vendor of enterprise software, has announced that Folksam, a Swedish insurance company, has chosen Infor CRM Epiphany to implement its five-year CRM plan.

Infor CRM Epiphany will enable Folksam to "implement an advanced user interface for an ambitious CRM strategy that commenced in 2003," according to Infor officials.

The project's initial phase focused on data warehousing, analysis and process development. The deployment of Infor CRM Epiphany sales, service and inbound marketing will be "supported by one system with one comprehensive customer view, enabling Folksam to completely implement all defined CRM processes and realize the full benefits of the strategy," Infor officials say.

"Folksam is a mutual company, meaning that our customers are also our owners," said Staffan Magnehed, CRM director, Folksam, saying the company's CRM strategy is "about increasing sales and improving the customer experience by collecting feedback from our customers/owners on how to improve products and services."

For example, he says, a better CRM system would benefit the company and the customer by "helping people identify new insurance needs."

"Infor CRM Epiphany provides a single view of the customer and quick access to back-office information," said Patric Timmermans, director, CRM product marketing, Infor. "By managing all aspects of a specific customer relationship at each contact, Folksam can sell more products and maintain high customer retention rates."

Swedish insurance company Folksam was founded in 1908 and handles more than 18 million insurance contracts. The company has approximately 3,700 employees and settles 600,000 claims every year from some 100 offices throughout Sweden and insures every second family home, every second person and every fourth car in Sweden.

Sales Simplicity Software, a sales automation, contact management, and CRM tool for production homebuilders, has announced that it achieved 35 percent year-on-year growth in 2006.

With the new year barely underway, Sales Simplicity has already seen enough sales activity that "will easily double the company's size again in 2007," according to company officials.

Given the current slowdown in the home building sector, Sales Simplicity officials consider their success "that much more remarkable."

Sales Simplicity is engineered to provide CRM, internet lead management software system in the home building sector. With the current interest that Sales Simplicity is generating among builders, Sales Simplicity is poised to move dramatically up-market in 2007, with the addition of marquee customers among the Builder 100.

Pre-integrated into BuilderMT-Timberline, JD Edwards, Corrigo, Punchlist Manager, Builderfinish, FAST, and Envision, Sales Simplicity has more than 175 builders as clients.

FYI: PacificNet, Inc., a Chinese Customer Relationship Management (CRM), mobile internet, e-commerce and gaming technology vendor, has announced that the company and its public accounting firm, Clancy and Co., P.L.L.C., have decided to terminate the relationship effective January 19, 2007.

The audit committee of the company is currently interviewing and negotiating with several potential audit firms in connection with the upcoming audit for the year ended December 31, 2006.

The change in auditors was driven by the growth and business expansion of the company -- company revenue climbed from less than $1 million in 2001 to nearly $60 million in 2006, company officials say -- whose operations and financial reporting requirements have outgrown the resources of its prior auditors.

There were no reportable disagreements between the company and Clancy & Co., P.L.L.C. on any matters related to accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure, or auditing scope or procedure, PacificNet officials say.

"In light of recent experience with meeting SEC reporting deadlines, and also with respect to the proposed timetable of the current 2006 audit, the company determined it prudent to seek other audit firms," said Victor Tong, President of PacificNet.

Tong added that PacificNet has "installed a corporate-wide Virtual Private Network," or secure intranet, "that connects our various offices in China, Hong Kong, and the USA. PacificNet has also implemented a centralized accounting system and office automation intranet web sites for all subsidiaries and geographic locations."

We are currently developing a comprehensive Document Management System to better prepare for our future expansion. Going forward, each of these endeavors will streamline and centralize our accounting operations, hopefully leading to smoother and more timely overall audits."

ViryaNet has announced that the Building Commission of Victoria Australia has purchased additional licenses to expand its use of the ViryaNet products.

Commission officials say with this roll out, the entire Building Commission will use ViryaNet’s product as its CRM tool, which will be enable a 360 degree view of customer.

The Building Commission, located in Melbourne, is a statutory authority that oversees the building control system in Victoria, and regulates building practices.

The Commission selected the ViryaNet product for its Compliance and Conciliation Group, and now, through the acquisition of these new licenses, will deploy the product to its Technical Services Group.

Using ViryaNet's solutions, Building Commission hope to be able to better use its existing workforce, cut response times to customers, and lower operations costs through improved communications, better customer service, and optimized workforce productivity."

ViryaNet is used to manage customer interactions, schedule and dispatch its workforces, manage cases, receive real-time reports from field engineers who use mobile technology, unite all of the systems and applications across their operations, and accommodate real-time business monitoring.

In so doing, the product will unify disparate customer data and databases into a single view of the customer. The CRM function will allow tighter control of the Building Commission environment and eliminate the duplicate customer data that exists within the organization.

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