By David Sims
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.
Promising that never-fail quality, "instant gratification," company officials say the Web self-care may "respond instantaneously to customer requests, provisioning commands," and interacting with customers."
Company officials say Leap BCE Mobile Edition enhances existing OSS/BSS by "integrating and complimenting these systems." The product can simultaneously connect to multiple network infrastructures like wire-line, WiMAX, cable, and IP for blended cross-network service plans as well.
"While many speak about the need for real-time customer interaction, FTS demonstrates both the product and customer case studies," said Yair Sakov, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, at FTS. "Using this capability, providers can better cater to their customers dynamically improving the customer experience, increasing retention and revenue opportunities."
In addition to Leap BCE Mobile Edition, FTS offers a prepaid and postpaid convergent billing platform, promising "convergence on multiple levels, with fully integrated SCP/charging/billing and CRM."
In related news Allot Communications, a vendor of IP service optimization products based on deep packet inspection, and FTS have "partnered to deliver service providers a comprehensive and integrated platform for real-time visibility and business management of customer services," Allot officials say.
The platform enables service providers to offer services such as tiered service packages, customer self-provisioning, and smart, service-aware quota management.
The joint product is deployed alongside existing systems and comes equipped with interfaces into billing, CRM, and other BSS systems as well as standard southbound interfaces into the network.
Here we go, one of First Coffee's favorite company names, Terminal Van Gogh Ltd., self-described as an earless "data-driven 1 to 1 variable product" vendor, has announced today that the Conference Board of Canada Case study developed under the Xerox 1:1 Lab is now available at www.terminalvangogh.com.
Billing itself as a company that "closes the gap between an enterprise's Customer Relationship Management strategy and its execution," TVG offers the TVG-Powered engine technology, which lets partners (value-add printers, agencies and data mining & analysis / consulting firms) and their clients "deploy data driven 1 to 1 variable communication products across print, PDF, email and the Web."
TVG is the co-manager of the Xerox 1:1 Lab used in such companies as Reader's Digest, Staples / Business Depot, Heritage Education Funds and BC Tourism. Company officials say the Conference Board's dynamic 1:1 marketing piece achieved a 100 percent higher response rate over the static control piece.
The Conference Board was aware that too much direct marketing risked turning off its members. "We don't want to irritate our members by bombarding them with marketing messages," said Parry Eisenschmid, Vice President at Conference Board of Canada. "The more efficiently we can begin target marketing our initiatives, and the fewer mass campaigns we have to do, the better."
Did it work? "Considering the call to action was for CEOs and high level executives of Fortune 500 companies to visit a personal URL and download their choice of free eProceedings conference, the 1:1 Lab team and the Conference Board were pleased with the results," says Helene Blanchette, National Marketing Manager, Xerox Canada, and co-founder of the Xerox 1:1 Lab with TVG.
Zilliant, a vendor of price optimization and management software, and Deloitte Consulting have announced the formation of an alliance to provide "total price management software and services," Zilliant officials say.
"Of all customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, we believe pricing has the greatest potential to improve profitability," said Paul Clemmons, Principal, Deloitte Consulting, and leader of their Emerging Solutions service line.
Zilliant officials say Deloitte Consulting and Zilliant will team to "help companies in their efforts to improve margins and profitability, using Zilliant's end-to-end suite of pricing applications combined with Deloitte Consulting's comprehensive implementation and consulting services."
"We have rolled out Zilliant to a large sales force in support of complex contract negotiations," said Rusty Palmer, Pricing Manager for Smith and Nephew, a $2.5 billion medical devices manufacturer.
Deloitte Consulting and Zilliant are formalizing their alliance relationship in order to jump what officials from both firms see as "a growing demand for advanced pricing management" products.
Industry estimates indicate that fewer than 10 percent of companies use price optimization technology today. The alliance will focus on business-to-business (B2B) manufacturers, distributors and service companies; industries where Zilliant and Deloitte Consulting are considered market leaders.
Actix, a vendor of systems that "enhance mobile network customer experience while reducing the total cost of ownership," has announced the appointment of Alex Hawker as Chief Executive Officer.
Hawker joins Actix from CRM vendor Amdocs, where he was responsible for global sales. The appointment completes a planned transition from founder CEO Rob Dobson, who will continue to serve as a non-executive director, Actix officials say.
Prior to joining Actix, Hawker was a senior executive at Amdocs, a major company in the telecoms OSS space with $2.48 billion in annual sales, 16,000 employees and an annual growth of 18 percent per year.
Most recently he served as Amdocs' Corporate VP and General Manager of Global Sales, managing both the sales and operations teams.
Hawker was involved with Amdocs' five major acquisitions in the last 18 months, ran the Amdocs Clarify CRM business unit and has previously held senior management positions at companies that include Openwave and HP, where he was responsible for over $2 billion of annual sales to HP's largest carrier customers, Actix officials say.
Happy birthday Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, both born on February 12, 1809.
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