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

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

By David Sims


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. A recent survey by the Winter Corp. found that user organizations estimate their data warehouse systems to more than double in size by 2008. Organizations are faced with this growth, as well as the demand to support more users, greater query and data complexity and increasingly stringent compliance regulations.

These factors are probably driving much of the need for intelligent, cost-effective methods to manage and gain control over information systems in a scalable manner.

"The increase in data warehouse systems has created a distinct need for effective management," said Michelle Weiss, vice president of marketing, Business Critical Systems, HP.

On-demand CRM vendor NetSuite sure has been busy recently, announcing a host of new functionality extending their Software as a Service applications to mid-sized companies' e-commerce operations.

The new features -- including multi-channel, multi-store, multi-currency, and multi-language support, and automated upsell/cross-sell capabilities -- are designed to "enable mid-sized companies to automate e-commerce operations and avoid the cost and pain of developing complex custom applications," NetSuite officials say.

NetSuite's bread and butter is selling hosted on-demand products for companies with Web stores of up to $10 million in revenue. They currently claim over 1,500 e-commerce sites running on NetSuite, generating an aggregate $290 million of sales revenue in 2006.

The new set of NetSuite advanced features emphasizes globalization, multiple Web stores and multiple companies and their subsidiaries. Additionally, NetSuite tweaked the business process customization to "meet the specific needs of larger, more complex businesses and their industry requirements," company officials say.

All new features are tied with NetSuite's CRM and ERP business application suite.

It's NetSuite's professional, unbiased opinion that applications such as Microsoft Great Plains and Sage were designed a decade before the rise of the Internet and, as a result, "it is very difficult and costly to extend them to support e-commerce for a Web business."

New applications from vendors such as Venda and Demandware are designed specifically to build e-commerce websites, NetSuite officials helpfully point out, but "result in isolated, bolt-on systems that are difficult to integrate into core business processes and applications."

Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, touts his product as one where "one system manages transactions placed on the Web as easily as those placed in person or via the phone -- for businesses large, medium and small."

Some of these new e-commerce features are generally available immediately with the standard NetSuite service, some require add-on modules. NetSuite starts at $499 per month per company, then $99 per user per month.

Website Assistant & Manager and Multiple Sites/Multiple Companies are currently in Beta and will be generally available in the second quarter of 2007.

NetSuite claims "1,901,844 Web transactions totaling more than $290 million sold through NetSuite-powered websites in 2006."

The company has also announced the ability to manage online sales with eBay from within the NetSuite on-demand business management suite.

The NetSuite eBay integration, company officials say, allows sellers" to sell on eBay as easily as they do on their own Web sites or with their internal sales teams. Additionally, it also offers powerful capabilities for users to manage all business operations such as inventory, warehouse management, accounting, direct sales, telesales, keyword marketing, e-mail marketing and site hosting.

Earlier this month NetSuite announced that Keith Grinstein was appointed to NetSuite's board of directors. He currently serves as chairman of Coinstar Inc. and as a member of the board directors and audit committees of F5 Networks, Labor Ready, and Nextera.

NetSuite's board of directors consists of Evan Goldberg, founder and CTO of NetSuite; Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite; Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, Deborah Farrington, founder and general partner of StarVest Partners, L.P.; Steve Fink, CEO of Lawrence Investments, LLC; and Philip Simon, president of Lawrence Investments, LLC.

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