RightNow CRM and Xactly Alliance, Zoho and Omnidrive Partner, mySAP Goes Postal, Smart Online

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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RightNow CRM and Xactly Alliance, Zoho and Omnidrive Partner, mySAP Goes Postal, Smart Online

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beatles' White Album. For some reason I just never really got into these guys, despite liking most of the music around them -- First Coffee's a fan of the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, The Supremes, Van Morrison, The Kinks et al, but never really warmed to The Beatles.

Oh I've heard all their stuff, I respect them and all that, but I rarely think "Hey, let's listen to The Beatles." Maybe if I just put all the albums from Rubber Soul through Abbey Road -- which I have, the way people keep Bibles in their house but never read them -- on the changer and played 'em all through in one shot I'd have a different perspective.

Xactly Corporation, a vendor of automated on-demand sales compensation management, has announced that they are working on a strategic alliance with RightNow Technologies.

Motivating sales and service staff is "a critical component to any customer experience strategy," Xactly officials say, adding that "focused and well compensated sales representatives are more likely to provide the high touch experience customers expect."

"Xactly Incent is an excellent complement to RightNow's offerings," said Christopher W. Cabrera, Xactly founder, president and CEO. "By teaming with RightNow, Xactly will be able to provide clients with on-demand sales, services and compensation management."

Xactly's contention is that giving sales and services personnel with real-time visibility into their sales compensation and performance will help organizations better align sales teams.

The combination of Xactly Incent's rules-based, services-oriented architecture, and RightNow's solutions is being marketed as a way to "help organization clients in such diverse industries as high technology, telecom, travel and hospitality, public sector, education and financial services build compensation plans that are specific to their organizations," according to RightNow officials.

For example, RightNow Service customers will be able to design variable compensation plans for service or call center employees based on the key performance indicators that mean the most to their business success such as response time, call volume, new versus completed cases, call resolution or average handling time.

"Today's customers have unprecedented choice and control," said Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder of RightNow. "Superior customer experiences are the only definitive way to retain and expand relationships with customers. Compensating and motivating sales and service staff is a step in delivering these types of stellar interactions."

Prior to the advent of Xactly Incent, company officials say, companies "had to rely on spreadsheets to manage sales compensation or alternative enterprise products which were simply too expensive, time consuming and difficult to implement for all but the largest companies."

Happy Auckland/Nelson Anniversary. I love these calendar books that have weird holidays from around the world.

Zoho, which sells Web applications, and Omnidrive, a Web storage platform vendor, have announced a technology partnership that provides users of the Omnidrive platform the ability to view, edit, share and publish office and other types of documents from directly within Omnidrive using Zoho products.

The announcement of the partnership comes at the same time that Zoho and Omnidrive both launch web service API's that will allow other applications to directly integrate and operate with the two platforms.

Users of Omnidrive will now be able to double-click on any supported document from within the Omnidrive web interface to directly edit documents using Zoho applications.

Omnidrive allows a user to store all their files online, and with this partnership users are no longer required to download their documents to view or edit them. The supported Zoho applications include Zoho Write, a word processor, Zoho Sheet, an online spreadsheet and Zoho Show, a web-based presentation editor. The supported document types range from Word documents and HTML pages through to PowerPoint presentations.

The product integration, according to Zoho officials, marks "the first time that a storage provider and a provider of Web office applications have partnered to provide a full desktop-like experience on the Web.

The way company officials describe it is "Omnidrive's ability to aggregate storage and to provide access from anywhere together with the first-class office applications from Zoho combine to form an environment where users can now access, collaborate and publish common files with just a Web browser."

Omnidrive and Zoho officials like to say they have "beaten Google, Microsoft and many other larger companies to be the first to provide an end-to-end product for users." From the ability to easily link files from the desktop with Omnidrive, through to the advanced editing capabilities of the Zoho applications, this collaborative effort marks what they consider "a big step forward for the role of the Web in enabling better access, collaboration and sharing of documents."

Traditionally, Omnidrive officials say, "storing files online has served little purpose other than backup or simple access handled by a Web browser. At the same time Web applications are now able to closely emulate the desktop experience, but have never been able to easily tap into a users existing files. Omnidrive has bridged this gap by providing an active online storage solution that can read and write to desktop and Web applications, allowing users of those applications to easily tap into their existing repository of files that were previously stuck on their desktops."

SAP AG officials have announced that Bowe Bell & Howell, a manufacturer of document processing and postal products, will replace competing products with mySAP Customer Relationship Management to "help drive process efficiencies across its service organization and deliver a more intimate level of customer service."

As postal legislation and the dynamics of the global marketplace continue to challenge mass mailing customers, BB&H sells modularly designed document management products and services to help companies organize paper-based and digital mail communications.

The company will roll out mySAP CRM initially within its North American service organization, and later extend the implementation through parent company operations worldwide.

Smart Online Inc., a vendor of Software-as-a-Service for the small business market, has announced the release of its newly enhanced Web-based Accounting product.

The Accounting application is part of a full suite including group Calendar, Contact Management, Salesforce Automation, Customer Relationship Management and Human Resource Management that can be private labeled for corporations who desire to offer value-added products and services to their small business customers.

Smart Online’s full suite of software, including its comprehensive accounting application, is designed to enable small businesses to have a real-time view of financial activities.

The Smart Online Accounting application now includes a number of new features such as an easy-to-use set up wizard to enable small businesses to create and maintain their accounting information while having their business data backed up regularly.

“Small businesses need the ability to manage their accounting and financial activities without the hassles of having to make an expensive purchase, then install, and finally have to manage traditional accounting applications,” said Michael Nouri, president & CEO, Smart Online Inc.

Smart Online’s Software-as-a-Service Accounting application is designed to enable small businesses to securely create and maintain accounting books, process invoices, payments, deposits, and manage the user’s bank accounts.

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