By David Sims
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?
Lui has also managed financial accounting and internal control efforts for an American telecom equipment company based in Shenzhen, China, with over 800 employees in China.
Tong said PacificNet has "made a concerted effort during the past months to expand our accounting staff and improve our procedures to assure on time earnings reporting and complete transparency as a public company."
Jagged Peak, Inc., a vendor of Enterprise Demand Management, e-Fulfillment, and CRM Execution products, has announced a national agreement with California-based Towne AllPoints Communications Inc., a direct response communication firm, to supply "joint fulfillment and logistics services," Jagged Peak officials say.
Company officials say the partnership allows growth of Jagged Peak's and Towne AllPoints's "fulfillment and direct marketing execution footprint to expand throughout the country."
Paul Demirdjian, Chief Executive Officer of Jagged Peak, says, the decision to engage Towne AllPoints "expands distribution networks, while appreciably increasing client value."
The partnership, according to Jagged Peak officials, allows each venture to take advantage of fully integrated EDGE-based demand and supply chain management infrastructure, making it possible to offer clients national products.
Towne AllPoints uses Jagged Peak's flagship product Enterprise Dynamic Global Engine within its order management systems.
Michael Mercier, President/CEO of Towne AllPoints Communications, calls his company's relationship with Jagged Peak "fully collaborative… a true partnership where investments have been made on both sides of the coin. We consider it more of an in-source than anything else."
EDGE, is a Web-based software application that enables companies to "control and coordinate distributed orders, inventory, and fulfillment across multiple customers, suppliers, employees, and partners in real time," according to Jagged Peak officials.
CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and a vendor of CRM and other industry-specific enterprise software applications and consulting services, has announced the acquisition of Respond Group, Ltd. a European provider of customer service software applications generally focusing on the management of complaints and enterprise feedback.
Mirroring CDC Software with a position in key vertical industries, the Respond applications and organization are called "highly complementary to CDC Software's Pivotal CRM products" by CDC officials.
Respond adds 800 customers to CDC Software, which itself claims over 5,000 customers. Respond brings AXA Insurance, Barclays, Aegon and other prized pelts, primarily in the financial services industries.
Allianz Dresdner Asset Management, Julius Baer Investment Management and Morgan Keegan & Company are current Pivotal CRM application customers. In October 2006, Pivotal CRM was added to the SecuritiesTech 50 list of top front-office products in financial services.
The Respond products are also used in government organizations, which CDC officials see as a cross-selling opportunity for its Pivotal CRM applications, as well as other software and consulting services from CDC Software itself.
As Pivotal CRM sales and marketing applications are also used in the home building and real estate industries "the importance of complaint management, improving customer service and increasing satisfaction in these industries is expected to create additional cross-selling opportunities for the Respond applications," CDC officials said.
In addition to the synergies of the product lines and industry expertise, both CDC Software and Respond are Microsoft Certified Partners, and the respective applications share complementary architectures based on standard Microsoft platforms. The applications are deployed via the Internet, enabling browser-based deployments.
James Heavey, CEO of Respond, said the pairing would "create a variety of new choices and expanded set of solutions for both customer bases."
Xtime, Inc., a vendor of CRM products aimed at service operations, has announced that the Conant Auto Retail Group of Newport Beach, California has committed to a group-wide rollout of Xtime's flagship software product, ServiceCRM. Conant dealers include Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in Cerritos, the nation's 14-time Honda sales leader since 1991.
Xtime's ServiceCRM software combines consumer Web scheduling, service BDC automation, shop control and service marketing into one product for automotive service departments. Monell chose Xtime's CRM software even though he had invested six months implementing a different CRM product.
Since it was launched at Norm Reeves Honda Superstore in 2005, five Conant group dealers have enrolled in the CRM program with additional implementations planned.
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