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February 2007

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CRM Vendor AdventNet, Amdocs and UPC Broadband, Seagull and Fujitsu, Avaya's IQ for CIS

February 28, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee dot biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is various It's A Beautiful Day cuts:

Fujitsu Computer Systems Corporation, a vendor of business process management and service-oriented architecture, and Seagull Software, which sells software to transform legacy business applications, has announced that CentraSite now integrates with LegaSuite, Seagull's flagship product.

Under a cooperative marketing program agreement, Seagull Software can refer CentraSite to customers through its various channels. CentraSite is the industry's only vendor-neutral, standards-based SOA registry and repository.

In September, Seagull Software announced it had become a strategic sponsor of the CentraSite Community, and the referral agreement and integration are the first steps resulting from that sponsorship.

The integration of CentraSite with LegaSuite, according to Seagull officials, means that companies creating an SOA can "expose their legacy assets to their entire corporate development community, as well as the global development community."

There, got all that?

Fujitsu and Seagull Software are among 22 sponsors that contribute to the CentraSite Community, which can be accessed at www.CentraSite.com.

Don Addington, CEO and president of Seagull Software, explained that CentraSite enables services to be "effectively managed and made available for reuse." The benefit for customers, he sees, is that as they build out their SOA infrastructure, "they can minimize the risk in migrating to a SOA environment by maximizing the reuse of their proven, legacy applications."

Robert Sepanloo, senior vice president of the Enterprise Software and Solutions Group, Fujitsu Computer Systems, said the partnership helps "remove complexity and the risks involved in migrating from legacy applications to modern, SOA environments.

CRM Support Center from Extraprise, Forrester CRM Looks at Entellium, InsideSales' CRM and Contact Center, Tele2's Cerillion CRM, Tenrox 9.1

February 27, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Slobberbone's Crow Pot Pie:

Entellium, a vendor of on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, has announced that Forrester Research invited it to participate in its Q1 2007 Forrester Wave report, Midmarket CRM Suites, released this month.

In this review, Entellium was recognized as a strong performer, offering small and midsize businesses "ready-to-use, affordable CRM."

Forrester evaluated several midmarket CRM vendors using nearly 500 criteria grouped into three main categories: current offering, strategy and market presence. Entellium, according to company officials, earned the highest scores for cost and time-to-value, as well as one of the top three scores for product strategy, corporate strategy, and usability.

Findings of the Wave Report related to Entellium include that Entellium is suited for SMBs seeking SaaS CRM, and has customers across a range of industries in financial services firms, technology providers and business services firms. The company's CRM was noted for its "strong mobile and offline access," company officials say.

Entellium's on-demand CRM suite includes modules for sales and marketing functions (Entellium eSalesForce), and customer service (Entellium eCustomerCenter).

CRM at Starbucks: Retaining the Right Customers

February 26, 2007

The Wall Street Journal has printed the full text of a rather impressive memo Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz e-mailed to company executives on Valentine's Day. In it Schultz laments the fact that Starbucks' rapid expansion -- " from less [sic] than 1,000 stores to 13,000 stores and beyond" in the past ten years, as he writes -- has necessarily included a dilution in the quality of "the Starbucks experience."

Amen. You simply can't have 13,000 stores, be shooting for 40,000 around the world, and expect everything to be the same as it was in your first store in Seattle. It will lead, as Schultz says, to "the watering down" and "commoditization" of the brand. My friend, if you're opening in airports and Barnes & Noble stores as fast as possible, you're not controlling quality too closely, you're keeping the profits rolling in.

The questions and concerns Schultz raises in the memo amount to "How can we expand to 40,000 stores and still be 'Starbucks?'" His yardstick is the customer and how Starbucks relates to that customer -- and is that customer getting the experience Schultz yearns for him to have in Starbucks somewhere else these days?

Schultz points out that competitors are piecing off Starbucks customers -- " small and large coffee companies, fast food operators, and mom and pops." The strong implication in the memo is that if Starbucks simply gets back to the Starbucks way of doing things, such competitors will, in his term, be "eradicated."

But as the Journal notes, it might be too late: "… in recent years, as [McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts] have added Starbucks-like touches, Starbucks has become more like a fast-food chain, adding drive-through windows, hot food and promotions for movies on its lattes." Once you're banking money it's hard to discontinue profitable ideas.

Some of Schultz's points are almost prosaically specific: "When we went to automatic espresso machines, we solved a major problem in terms of speed of service and efficiency," he writes. The sort of speed and efficiency you need to metastasize to thousands upon thousands of outlets, yes. 

"At the same time, we overlooked the fact that we would remove much of the romance and theatre that was in play with the use of the La Marzocca machines.

Quilogy Offers Healthcare Framework, InvisibleCRM Touted by Nucleus, Piraeus Signs Raya Contact Center, Office 2007 Moving Slowly in New Zealand,

February 26, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the greatest album released in rock history, The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street:

Always nice to have a new name pop up on your radar screen: Quilogy, Inc., a systems integrator "headquartered in historic downtown St. Charles, Missouri," according to proud company officials, and located "minutes from St. Louis Lambert International Airport," and offices in lots of Midwestern and West Coast cities, offers professional services, and certified training, and specializes in using "emerging technologies."

Anyway, Quilogy has introduced its Quilogy Collaborative Healthcare Framework at the national Healthcare Information Management Systems Society show in New Orleans.

Quilogy is, in fact, a Microsoft National Managed Partner and a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, so you may have heard of them in that regard.

"Many years of working with healthcare organizations have allowed Quilogy to identify a set of patterns that apply universally to healthcare IT endeavors. These patterns form the basis of QCHF," which includes products for its people, best practices, and methodologies, says Bill Van Hout, healthcare practice manager, Quilogy.

Using its alliance with Microsoft, Quilogy incorporates use of technologies such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Server in its products, which include Quilogy Healthcare Transparency Management, Quilogy People Finder, Quilogy Media Platform and Quilogy Forms Management.

...

Interesting little bit by Antipodean industry observer Simon Hendery, noting that "New Zealand's biggest IT users seem in no rush to deploy Microsoft's Office 2007, adopting a wait and see attitude to the software suite."

It's generally worth noticing what happens in New Zealand, as sort of a canary in a coal mine.

CRM Report from Forrester on RightNow, Investigo, AMI's CRM, SCM, ERP for SMB, Landis Lab Misconduct?

February 24, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is It's A Beautiful Day's blazing live album Creed Of Love:

Investigo, which sells a practice management system to the financial services industry, has announced a partnership with Investment Scorecard, Inc., which sells performance analytics, policy monitoring and client reporting products for wealth management firms.

Under terms of the deal, the companies will offer integrated functionality within their respective applications, and are co-marketing the combined product to more affluent investors and their wealth management advisors.

"The market continues to demand greater efficiency and hence, a wealth management platform that integrates front office and back office components for an end-to-end capability," said Investigo CEO Tom Rozman.

Investigo is a Web-based practice management system with an open architecture that allows integration with software applications, while providing data aggregation and standardized portfolio accounting and reporting.

Investment Scorecard provides outsourced wealth analytics, performance measurement and client reporting, as well as insurance and investment policy monitoring products to help wealth advisors monitor investment portfolios and manage risk.

CRM from OpenTV for Mojo Media, Advizor on AppEx, Star Hires Sharr, PacificNet, Plexus and Aberdeen

February 23, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Supersuckers' "A Good Night For My Drinkin':"

OpenTV Corp., a vendor of products for television and cross platform interactive services, has announced a multi-year licensing agreement for its OpenTV Participate system with Mojo Media Works, a Shanghai-based content provider and interactive entertainment operator with operations in mainland China and the Philippines.

Mojo will use OpenTV Participate's single account login and centralized loyalty and CRM modules, "allowing them the ability to build an ongoing relationship with their customers from their very first day of operation," according to OpenTV officials.

Mojo, whose first project with OpenTV is the launch of a multiplatform interactive games and gambling business in the Philippines, will use the OpenTV Participate system as the backbone of its operations. The initial service will involve the management and distribution of the U.S. gambling format Slingo via kiosks in boutiques around the country.

SMS TV services will be deployed shortly afterwards followed by other platforms such as Web, WAP, and J2ME Mobile applications in the future.

The OpenTV Participate system will allow Mojo to manage their entire business centrally with controlled access available for local boutique managers and cashiers.

CRM Director Hired by Naseba, Endeavor's SmartCatalog, Forrester Rates Oracle Siebel, Graham in Jakarta, Colligo's V.2 SharePoint

February 22, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon:

Vancouver-based Colligo Networks Inc., a vendor of offline collaboration products for mobile users, has announced the release of Version 2.0 of the Colligo for SharePoint product family that supports the 2007 Microsoft Office System and Windows VistaT.

Company officials say organizations can use it to "extend the reach of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0" to users who need access both online and offline -- "letting these businesses increase the adoption and utility of SharePoint with their workforce."

The Colligo for SharePoint product family consists of Colligo Reader for SharePoint and Colligo Contributor for SharePoint. The Reader provides offline read access to SharePoint sites and is free for individual users. Contributor is designed for businesses, and adds Microsoft Outlook integration, 2-way synchronization, and advanced security and deployment options.

Barry Jinks, President & CEO of Colligo Networks, said version 2.0 "incorporates feedback from users and we believe it delivers a significant productivity advantage for mobile professionals such as sales people, consultants, managers, and project teams in a variety of industries."

Tony Rizzo, Sector Head, Mobile Software, with The 451 Group, a technology industry analyst company, has written recently "as SharePoint 2007 builds on its customer base, Colligo is going along for the ride -- its services are a true addition to the SharePoint platform."

In addition to compatibility with the 2007 (and 2003) Microsoft Office System, probably the most significant upgrade the product has is the integration with Microsoft Office Outlook.

InQuira 8 Released, Wanted CRM and McClatchy, Talisma's New Hires, Eliot's Ash Wednesday

February 21, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a lyric from T.S. Eliot's majestic poem for today, "Ash Wednesday:"

Here are the years that walk between, bearing
Away the fiddles and the flutes, restoring
One who moves in the time between sleep and waking, wearing

White light folded, sheathing about her, folded.
The new years walk, restoring
Through a bright cloud of tears, the years, restoring
With a new verse the ancient rhyme. Redeem
The time. Redeem
The unread vision in the higher dream
While jewelled unicorns draw by the gilded hearse.









Talisma Corporation, a vendor of Customer Interaction Management products, has announced that it has promoted existing Chief Financial Officer, Wade Pfeiffer to Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer, and named Brad Birnbaum former Vice President of Product Development, Chief Technology Officer.

BPT's Steppin' Out Awards, Martin Dawes' CPP, iCatchIT's KPO not BPO, Altitude uCI

February 20, 2007

By David Sims

David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a sturdy ol' album, Crosby, Stills & Nash:

CRM consultant Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light and Chief Customer Officer of BPT Partners, has announced the finalists for the 2007 Steppin' Out Awards.

(cue the Joe Jackson Night and Day theme music…"we… so tired of all the darkness in our lives… get into a car and drive… steppin' out…" through Joe's elegantly dinner jacketed bass lines you can almost see New York in the '30s and '40s, can't you? See, there's Damon Runyon holding court at Lindy's with all the guys and dolls… feuilletonist S.J. Perelman keepin' 'em in stitches telling about his recent trip to the dentist and declaring "cuspid's last stand… Dotty Parker and Bob Benchley… Paul Greenberg draining a martini or two with Harold Ross… well, guess you had to be there…)

From a field of nearly 40 culled candidates for the award the likes of Microsoft, salesforce.com, NetSuite, Neighborhood America, Rearden Commerce and Zoho, a division of AdventNet made the final cut for what Greenberg describes as "the potentially disruptive impact that they could have in 2007 and beyond."

The Steppin' Out Awards, sponsored by BPT Partners, LLC,  began with the 3rd edition of CRM at the Speed of Light in 2004. The awards "not only bridge the gap between the traditional CRM vendors and the newer Web 2.0 based customer-focused vendors, but also look at more than just features and functions of a company," Greenberg says:

"This award takes into account the business models, what in fact the companies are actually doing strategically, what kind of culture the company has to execute their strategy and what kind of offerings and pricing models are being presented," he said, noting that the award particularly focuses on companies' "willingness to be innovative and the impact that their innovations have had and are likely to have on the customer community and business as a whole."

Neighborhood America, a Naples, Florida-based enterprise social networking company, was cited by Greenberg as one which "does not fit the traditional mold of a CRM company, but at the same time, has a technology and strategy that can potentially change the customer landscape in the near future."

Neighborhood America CEO Kim Patrick Kobza said Web 2.0 has "created a societal expectation that customers can meaningfully interact with companies that provide the products and services that affect our lives. 

Verizon's IVR, Salesforce.com's Social Action, Bull and SpikeSource, Capo at Aastra

February 19, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an Ornette Coleman twofer -- The Shape of Jazz to Come and Change of the Century:

SpikeSource, a vendor of open-source business software with research operations located in Bangalore, and Bull, a European IT company,  have announced a "worldwide technology and business partnership" to "accelerate adoption of open source applications in the enterprise market," according to SpikeSource officials.

The agreement is SpikeSource’s first pan-European partnership. It will include integrating CRM and other open source software applications.

The partnership combines the efforts of both companies to help organizations use open source to innovate and reduce costs, by benefiting from business-ready, fully industrialized open source applications and services.

It will combine Bull’s platforms and services capabilities, with SpikeSource pre-integrated stacks and applications, designed to reduce the costs and deployment challenges associated with open source middleware and application integration.

CRM for Honda Dealer from Xtime, Dunkin' Donuts and Studiocom, PacificNet Hires Lui, Jagged Peak and Towne AllPoints, CDC Buys Respond

February 17, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring:

Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins have announced that Atlanta-based Studiocom Interactive has been awarded the beverage and food marketer's digital marketing duties for 2007, which will include developing "long-term strategies for Customer Relationship Management," Dunkin' Brands officials say.

Studiocom will provide "online strategy and creative support for selected new product launches, plan and buy all online media, and redesign the two brands' consumer websites," Dunkin' officials say, adding that the WPP-owned agency will develop long-term strategies for CRM surrounding the Dunkin' stored value Card, and Baskin-Robbins' Birthday Club program.

Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, and enhanced e-Commerce efforts will also be part of the overall agreement.

"In today's world having a strong and creative online presence is critical for business," stated Will Kussell, Chief Operating Officer of Dunkin' Brands.

Studiocom President, Carlos Pimenta said Studiocom's new Boston office personnel will be collaborating with the brand's agency partner, Hill Holliday, Connors and Cosmopolous in developing online extensions for select product campaigns.

Dunkin' Brands has more than 13,000 franchises in 50 countries worldwide -- 7,293 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants, 5,838 Baskin-Robbins restaurants and 280 Togo's restaurants with system-wide sales of $6.4 billion at the end of 2006. Dunkin' Brands, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts.

PacificNet Inc., a vendor of Customer Relationship Management, mobile internet, e-commerce and gaming technology in China, has announced today the appointment of Daniel Lui as Chief Financial Officer.

Tony Tong, Chairman and CEO of PacificNet, noted that Lui has experience working in China and Hong Kong, as well as experience working with Big-4 accounting firms including a position as an auditor at KPMG and manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

He's fluent in English, Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese, but hey, who isn't, right?

CRM Vendor NetSuite Announces E-Commerce Features, XY Launches AdReply, Sand Runs on HP

February 16, 2007

By David Sims

David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Band's "The Weight" from the Bob Dylan and The Band live album Before The Flood, where The Band's set frankly blows St. Bob's away:

XY Media Solutions have announced the launch of AdReply, a platform that provides "actionable real-time information about college and university enrollment advertising campaigns," according to company officials.

AdReply manages online advertising campaigns and tracks the lifecycle of a lead at various stages from prospect to enrollment within a school's customer relationship management (CRM) system.

AdReply provides point and click reporting, CRM integration, and real-time data feeds that deliver the information advertising vendors need to determine ad placements and help meet established cost per enrollment objectives. "Since the system tracks the costs associated with individual campaigns, performance metrics can be established that rank leads based on the ultimate cost to enroll someone," says Frank Healy, President of XY.

First Coffee wonders about the thought process that led to naming a company "XY" instead of "But Not Z," "24/25," "Male Chromosome," or a similar name.

Healy said the product "allows an institution to use a 'right-pricing' model with vendors if they choose." Additionally, he said, AdReply "manages and tracks multiple lead collection form pages for campaigns such as TV, radio, direct mail, and outside sales rep activities."

The idea, evidently, is that AdReply "puts real-time detailed reports in the hands of key marketing decision makers at the right moment to significantly improve lead to student enrollment rates."

The product's pitched at non-profit and for-profit colleges and universities requiring regionally targeted lead generation campaigns benefit from a built in geo-targeting feature. The product will clean and filter data prior to delivery into the school's CRM as well.

Sand Technology, Inc., a vendor of enterprise information management products, has announced that its Sand/DNA data management  products will run on HP Integrity servers.

Sand is currently working to deliver Sand/DNA Analytics, Sand/DNA Access, and Sand/DNA for SAP NetWeaver BI for HP Integrity servers running HP-UX 11i v3 as well as the new rx2660 entry level server.

The combination of Sand/DNA running on HP Integrity servers will provide a product that lets enterprise customers retain massive amounts of compressed data for extended periods and "retrieve this information when needed for greater operational efficiency," according to Sand officials.

Customers can expect Sand/DNA applications to run on HP Integrity servers in early Q2 2007. "We are pleased to extend Sand/DNA products to HP Integrity servers and the new HP-UX 11i v3 operating environment, making our advanced enterprise information management software available to a larger customer community," said Linda Arens, vice president of global alliances and marketing at Sand.

Data warehouses are growing at exponential rates.

CRM Survey Results from Strativity, Satuit Announces Results, TeaLeaf and uSwitch.com, Happy Birthday Matt and Art

February 15, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane's Giant Steps:

TeaLeaf Technology, a Customer Experience Management (CEM) products vendor, has announced that TeaLeaf CX has been selected by uSwitch.com to "provide a comprehensive understanding of each customer journey on its website," according to TeaLeaf officials.

London-based uSwitch.com officials hope the move will "further improve the user experience and increase conversions of consumers searching for the best utility, financial services, or communications services supplier to suit their requirements."

USwitch.com is not a supplier but acts as an independent advisor, giving consumers a view of what's on offer for home services such as gas and electricity, broadband, landline calls, credit cards and current accounts by offering a comparison of prices and features.

TeaLeaf CX will provide uSwitch.com with a better understanding of transactional processes on its Web site so that uSwitch.com can address issues as they occur. This 360-degree view into its customers' experience, uSwitch.com officials hope, will improve how they resolve issues and increase customer satisfaction.

Narisa Wild, Head of User Experience at uSwitch.com, says TeaLeaf is "architected with straightforward and painless installation taking only two days -- this made it easy to deploy."

Satuit Technologies, Inc., a customer relationship management (CRM) vendor focusing on the investment market, has announced what company officials are terming its" second consecutive year of record growth."

Worldwide revenue growth for 2006 exceeded 68 percent, supported by "a strong expansion in Europe where revenues more than doubled," officials said.

Satuit officials credit the growth to the company's "continued focus and commitment to the financial services sector," The growing trend for hosted products also played a role in the company's growth, they say, with SatuitCRM On-Demand outpacing the On-Premise product at a rate of nine out of every ten deals.

Lumtron's AccuScan Released, SAS Sees Good Results, Netezza in Slovenia, TRG and Xentor

February 14, 2007

By David Sims
David(at)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits' Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. Now that's my idea of Valentine's Day music:

Lumtron Technologies, a vendor of document management products, today announced the release of its AccuraScan module, a tool to efficiently scan, index, and file large numbers of paper documents with minimal user involvement, while at the same time linking those documents to corresponding client records within an organization's client management system.

Calling AccuraScan "the most advanced document capture functionality our users have ever seen," Dan DeSerto, President of Lumtron Technologies, said the company has "capitalized on the power of .NET technology."



Simultaneously supporting both early capture (front-end, or pre-process) and late capture (back-end, or post-process) centralized batch scanning, AccuraScan lets the user verify the accuracy of the document capture process by displaying thumbnails of the scanned pages, and distinguishes control sheets from actual documents.

Multiple scan setting presets and automatic image enhancement tools (auto-rotate, de-skew, de-speckle, etc.) help automate the document capture process. Committing the documents to the database, the product uses integration methodologies for the documents to be routed to the appropriate recipient's inbox (in an early capture environment), or to be automatically indexed, filed, and tied to the appropriate clients' records in the organization's business or CRM system (in a late capture environment).

Happy Valentine's Day… Robert Louis Stevenson.

Oracle and Linux, Microsoft's CRM Analytics, Got Corp. on AppEx, Cloudmark and CRM Spam?

February 13, 2007

By David Sims
david(at)firstcoffee.biz


The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Stephen Stills' first solo album, cleverly titled Stephen Stills, currently listening to "Go Back Home," on which he's got a guest guitarist named Jimi Hendrix:

Could abusive e-mail messages be a problem for your CRM? Cloudmark, Inc., a vendor of carrier-grade messaging anti-abuse products, is introducing Cloudmark Authority for Mobile Operators, an end-to-end messaging security platform designed to block all categories of mobile threats.

The security risk for businesses increases as mobile devices provide hackers and phishers with a new, often unsecured channel for infiltrating corporate systems, company officials say, adding that "mobile devices are now used to store and access CRM, ERP, and other applications so mobile messaging attacks have the potential to compromise highly confidential corporate data."

Cloudmark predicts mobile messaging threats will escalate in the next 12-24 months as more consumers receive their personal e-mails on mobile devices. In North America alone, the number of mobile e-mail users will jump more than 300 percent from 2006 to 2009 based on Gartner Group estimates, driving traffic on wireless networks up significantly.

The percentage of e-mail determined to be spam, phishing or virus attacks reached 95 percent in 2006 according to statistics compiled from Cloudmark's Global Threat Network.








CRM Vet Hawker Tapped at Actix, Zilliant and Deloitte, TVG and Xerox, FTS CRM

February 12, 2007

By David Sims
David(@)firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills jamming on Donovan's "Season Of the Witch." Accomplished, tasteful blues playing, not overfrenzied guitar god pyrotechnics. Much better than you'd think:

FTS, a vendor of Business Control, Billing & CRM products for communications service providers, has announced the launch of Leap Business Control Engine Mobile Edition, what company officials term "a policy control and charging network element based on FTS' Business Control Layer technology."

Leap BCE Mobile Edition lets have real-time customer interaction by "capturing and responding to events in real-time based on a pre-configured set of business policies," company officials say, and adapting network or service behavior in response to customer interaction.

This includes setting service QoS, sending the subscriber a message, provisioning an upgraded service, balance management, charging and other functions. The product comes equipped with a Web self-care portal which lets subscribers manage their services and control their spending or other aspects of services.

Stanley Works and Interactive Intelligence CRM, Convergys, Argent CRM in Liberia, Autologica CRM, Super Technologies,

February 9, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Emerson, Lake and Palmer! Yes! High school rock revisited!

Automotive CRM vendor Autologica S.A., a specialist in business management software for automotive dealers and distributors (known in the industry as Dealer Management Systems), has announced that they will open an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico next April, to "help dealers in the region through their mix of software and specialized training," company officials say.

"Our goal is to become the leading DMS for medium-sized dealerships, a segment that has trouble accessing a quality system due to the high costs that currently prevail in the market," said Ana Drovandi, Autologica's Sales Manager.



Autologica currently provides its dealer management system globally to Toyota, Renault-Nissan, Ford, GM, BMW, John Deere, Mitsubishi, and Isuzu dealerships, among others.

The company offers a version of its DMS adapted to regional needs -- it resolves vehicle importation inventory management; duty, tariff, tax handling; distributor vehicle management; multi-location inventory management and other functions.

"We already have several clients in the region and this office will help us serve them better, and also new dealers from throughout the Caribbean and Central America that we'll be adding," said Drovandi.

Autologica DMS is a Windows-based software product that manages the entire dealership, and also includes integrated CRM, multi-store management, on-line accounting, Excel integration, and advanced strategic tools such as real-time performance indicators.



SAP In Arabia, Kintera's LiquidScore, CoreTrac's Fine Fifteen, Open Solutions in Tampa, Callidus and CelFocus

February 8, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lou Reed's majestic "Rock'n'Roll" from Rock'n'Roll Animal, right now it's at the part where Lou's finished singing the lyrics and is repeating the rhythm guitar riff to a hypnotic degree, Prakash John's bass is picking it up, any second now Steve Hunter'll come blazing in with one of the greatest song-ending solos anywhere… wait for it… the drums, yes… here we go!

Kintera Inc. has announced it is incorporating LiquidScore into Kintera Sphere CRM as an included service for all users.

This means the nonprofit organizations using Kintera's CRM product will have the ability to automatically score and group their supporter base into wealth segments, company officials say, adding that the foundation of Kintera's social CRM platform, Kintera Sphere CRM, will provide "a novel wealth score" based on supporters' liquid financial assets.

The LiquidScore data will be provided for all supporters housed in Kintera Sphere CRM with a valid residential address and matches to approximately 90 percent of individuals.

The score enables nonprofit organizations to segment their supporter database by capacity to donate.

Oracle CRM in Philly, Talisma's CIM, PRNewswire's CRM, Wakefield's SAMI CRM

February 7, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Stephen Stills' Manassas. Something appealing about this album, it was rather quickly forgotten -- as was Stills himself -- after its release in 1972, but I find it holds up a lot better under repeated play than most of the other music from that era:

Talisma Corporation, a vendor of  Customer Interaction Management (CIM) products, has announced that it signed a company record 266 new customers in 2006, exceeding the new customer count of the previous five years combined. 

In addition to signing 63 new customers in the fourth quarter of 2006, Talisma has achieved "nearly 100 percent revenue growth in the past two years," according to company officials.

The most recent companies to join Talisma's customer base include Acclaim Games, Act Soft Inc., Applied Voice and Speech Technology, Ellie Mae, Frost National Bank, Group NBT, Hilton Hotels, Lillian Vernon, National University, P&O Ferries, Vocera, and Whitepages.

In the fourth quarter of 2006, Talisma announced that Talisma CIM 8.0 would be available early this year. The latest edition of the suite contains two new products, Talisma VoIP and Talisma Campaign, which organizations can use to engage customers and prospects to "enhance their experience, improve service quality, and uncover new business opportunities," officials say. 

Zycus Releases AA 4.0, Indian CIOs' IT Satisfaction Drops, Epicor/CRS and RSA Partner, Intradeco Upgrades ERP

February 6, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Déjà vu. Pity poor David Crosby, the only guy in CSN&Y never to have released a half-decent solo album:

Happy Waitangi Day!

...

Epicor/CRS, the retail products division of Epicor Software, a vendor of CRM and other enterprise business software to the midmarket and Global 1000, has announced with RSA, the security division of EMC, a "strategic technology alliance."

The alliance intends to "provide management capabilities based on RSA Key Manager software" within the CRS RetailStore point-of-sale product, Epicor officials say, explaining that the resulting offering will let joint customers "reduce the complexities in encryption deployments."

RSA Key Manager is one of those stand-alone key lifecycle management offerings "engineered to enable businesses to control encryption keys effectively by providing centralized, secure and simplified administration for all applications," according to RSA officials.

Epicor/CRS, according to Epicor officials, will be the first retail product vendor to certify its products through the RSA Key Manager Partner Program, an extension of the RSA Secured Partner Program. The RSA Key Manager program is supported by professional services and systems integration professionals and allows organizations to certify the interoperability of products with RSA Key Manager software.

Epicor/CRS provides software and services to more than 50,000 stores across 140 specialty retailers.

Under the technology alliance, RSA Key Manager software will soon be integrated with Epicor/CRS software to enable the firm's retail customers to enable key management capabilities and "centralize the provisioning and lifecycle management of encryption keys."

RSA Key Manager will make data encrypted by Epicor/CRS available to other RSA Key Manager applications throughout the enterprise.

Ascendix CRM and SalesLogix, Autobytel's MyRide, CDC and China.com, FOX Sports Turkey Fumbles Super Bowl, Aberdeen CRM Study

February 5, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jaco Pastorius's eponymous debut album:

Well, it was a good Super Bowl for the first half, what with the opening kickoff return and all the turnovers, which are really kind of exciting, especially back to back, and the Manning The Bears decided to take the third quarter off and Bad Rex showed up early in the fourth quarter to throw a game-sealing pick, underlining his intent to lose the game with another stupid pick to Bob Sanders later. Worst quarterback performance in a Super Bowl since Tony Eason in 1986, who was playing against the Bears.

Compounding matters was whoever the incompetent morons running FOX Sports broadcasts here in Istanbul are, and their decision to run infomercials over live game action in the first half. The Bears are driving, it's still a game, the station cuts away to show you five minutes of some idiotic battery-operated jiggling belt Guaranteed To Eliminate Fat!, comes back and you see a punt return.

This is what happens when you have people whose abilities max out at running a bakkal try to run a TV station instead.

Orb Hires CRM Vet Edelhertz, 12 Byzantine Rulers, Chambers at Presstek, Reynolds and Reynolds and Xtime, Grossly Overpaid Teachers

February 3, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Traffic's "Shouldn't Have Took More Than You Gave" from their bootleggy Welcome To The Canteen album:

Orb Networks has announced today that CRM and technology industry veteran Paul Edelhertz joined the company as senior vice president of field operations, a new position where he will be responsible for sales and strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining Orb, Edelhertz was senior vice president of field operations for Revenue Science, Inc., a leading provider of behavioral targeting services for the online advertising market. He also served as president and CEO of Santa Cruz Networks, a provider of communication and collaboration services as well as president and CEO of Zamba Solutions, a publicly-traded services firm focused on CRM.

Edelhertz joins the company with more than 23 years experience in building and scaling technology and service businesses.

"Transitioning a company like Orb from start-up to maturity, takes leaders who have done it before and have the relevant experience," said Joe Costello, Chairman and CEO of Orb Networks, noting that Edelhertz has also been an associate partner at Accenture Consulting, led strategic partnerships and run sales organizations.

The company launched the 2.0 version of its MyCasting service in December, surpassed more than 600,000 users of its software last week and developed new relationships in the last quarter with companies including Nokia, Orange, AOL Winamp and Amino.

During his tenure at Zamba the company grew from its formation into a $50 million company in two years and achieved seven straight quarters of profitability.

CRM Vendor Autobytel and Polk, Iteration2 and Ideaca, Printable Tech Buys Prospect Smarter, ImNotify fromVBMan

February 2, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Louis Jordan's Anthology:

Iteration2, a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Certified Partner and 2005 & 2006 US Microsoft Business Solutions Partner of the Year, have partnered with Ideaca Knowledge Services, a Canadian-based technology consulting firm and Gold Certified Microsoft partner, to provide products to clients in extended regions of North America.

Ideaca, the 2006 Microsoft Technology Innovation Partner of the Year, specializes in the development, integration and implementation of business solutions with a major focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Portals and Collaboration tools, custom application development and Business Intelligence. The firm has offices in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Under this newly formed Strategic Partnership with Iteration2, Ideaca will implement and support their Industry Builder, Field Services for Microsoft Dynamics AX throughout North America.

CRM a $7 Billion Industry in 2006, Dynmark's CRM Messaging, Salentica and InfoGrate,

February 1, 2007

By David Sims
david@firstcoffee.biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Charles Mingus' Mingus Ah Um:

Driven by "significant gains in license" and "maintenance revenue," worldwide customer relationship management (CRM) total software revenue totaled.$7 billion in 2005, a 13.7 percent increase from 2004, according to Gartner, Inc.

Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner, credited the "robust gains" as the result of "strong vendor performance across the market, continued rapid adoption of on-demand solutions, increasing penetration of emerging markets, and buyer recognition of CRM applications as key drivers of customer acquisition and retention."

SAP was the No. 1 CRM vendor based on total software revenue, with a 25.9 percent market share in 2005. Increased midmarket opportunity drove growth across the CRM market for both the large suite vendors and on-demand providers, Gartner reported, "such as salesforce.com."



Siebel's strong fourth quarter results drove growth, but at the expense of Oracle and PeopleSoft CRM solutions. Industry specialists such as Amdocs also benefited from high demand for vertical market products.

Gartner has traditionally measured market share in terms of new license revenue. However, due to the emergence and increasing popularity of open-source software and buyer consumption models such as hosted and subscription offerings, Gartner has moved to measure market share in terms of total software revenue.

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