By David Sims
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.
The CIM 8.0 version includes enhancements to Talisma Chat, E-mail, and Knowledgebase.
Talisma has also released Talisma Answer, a complementary product to Talisma E-mail that uses IBM technology to automate the creation and delivery of e-mail responses. Talisma Answer's release coincided with it being awarded an SSPA Innovator Award for Technology Optimization at the SSPA Services Leadership Conference.
PR Newswire, a disclosure and corporate news distribution service, has announced the launch of a CRM-powered MEDIAtlas Gold service.
This service is described by PR Newswire officials as "an enhanced version of PR Newswire's MEDIAtlas offering," an online global intelligence and contact management system that serves over 1,800 clients globally.
MEDIAtlas Gold is being billed as giving users "control of all their communications 24/7 from a single interface." They can create online news release templates, select their target media distribution list from MEDIAtlas' global contact database and CRM system, distribute the release to a customized selection of media contacts, and choose additional distribution via PR Newswire's wire network.
Further, MEDIAtlas Gold gives users access to media coverage their news release generates through a range of external electronic news clipping services that can be linked to the MEDIAtlas Gold interface.
Updated daily, MEDIAtlas and MEDIAtlas Gold contain fully searchable contact details of more than 500,000 journalists and freelance writers around the world.
MEDIAtlas and MEDIAtlas Gold are both powered by software provider Vocus.
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Wakefield Development Company, a Research Triangle real estate developer, has announced the rollout of its Web-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program called SAMI.
The lead generation and follow-up system provides an opportunity for community managers to "maintain accurate and efficient records of each prospective homebuyer," and allows them to "devise the appropriate service strategy to be executed in a timely manner," according to Wakefield officials.
Developed for all of Wakefield Development Company's communities, the system launch was described by company officials as a "response to the company's growth in 2006."
With four new communities just underway, two of which are along the North Carolina coast, the company needed to "implement a business model that would include technology, community unification and consistent branding of all of the communities under Wakefield Development Company," officials say.
"We are excited to offer this powerful, yet user-friendly SAMI system to our Community Managers and Consultants to help manage our business more effectively," said John Myers, president of Wakefield Development Company.
Part of the corporate strategy includes the appointment of Ed Rowe to customer relations manager. Rowe's most recent position with Wakefield Development Company was as community manager at its new downtown Raleigh project called Renaissance Park.
In his new role, Mr. Rowe will be overseeing the entire CRM program, managing all client leads that come into the system.
The SAMI system is currently being used in three locations and will be implemented in all Wakefield Development Company's communities over the next few months.
Oracle has announced that the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the fourth largest housing authority in the United States, has implemented Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and PeopleSoft Enterprise Support to "help provide a more positive service experience for housing authority customers and the public," according to Oracle officials.
PHA worked with Oracle Consulting to create a unified customer interface and case management system.
As the biggest landlord in Pennsylvania, the PHA develops, acquires, leases and operates housing for city residents with limited incomes. The agency receives more than 4,000 calls per day from tenants, applicants and vendors. In order to manage requests efficiently and provide a positive customer experience, the organization needed to streamline its customer interface.
Previous to the PeopleSoft Enterprise Support implementation, customers had to call numerous phone numbers, often waiting a long time, to reach housing authority departments, and the PHA had no system for tracking or managing customer inquires.
Now, the PeopleSoft Enterprise system allows callers to reach a unified, interactive voice response system that provides standard answers to frequently asked questions. Additionally, customers, vendors and housing choice voucher landlords can access specific information regarding payments and waitlist status.
If users are not able to obtain the information they need, the system connects them to appropriate PHA employees who provide further assistance. The CRM system equips PHA employees with each caller's inquiry, case history and rent information, allowing them to provide faster, more personalized service.
The case management system tracks calls handled by PHA employees, ensuring that they resolve each inquiry and reduce paperwork. More than 300 PHA employees use the system.
In addition to implementing PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM and Support, PHA previously replaced its legacy enterprise systems with PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management, and PeopleSoft Enterprise Supply Chain Management.
Using PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM Field Service, PHA can capture, report and analyze financial data such as the actual costs of time, labor and materials for performing maintenance work on thousands of housing units throughout the city.
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