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

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David Sims
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Verizon's IVR,'s Social Action, Bull and SpikeSource, Capo at Aastra

By David Sims

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.

Bull and SpikeSource will work together in three areas:

Open source platform readiness. Bull will integrate current and future SpikeSource open source software applications -- such as enterprise content management, e-mail, CRM and Web 2.0 suite -- with its NovaScale servers, extending the range of the ready-to-deploy OSS infrastructures it provides to its customers.

Bull and SpikeSource will collaborate on optimizing SpikeSource products on NovaScale servers.  

Open source integration services. Bull will integrate SpikeSource products as components of its Open Energy offering. Open Energy is a set of services aimed at helping enterprise and government IT organizations maximize the benefit of OSS in their IT projects.

There will also be open source support. Within Bull’s Open Access offer, Bull customers may elect Bull Support Centers to receive global support for all SpikeSource software products, as well as to subscribe to the SpikeNet service developed by SpikeSource. Bull will provide first and second level support capability, backed up by SpikeSource for third-level engineering support, and will provide a single point of contact to customers for both software delivery and support.  

As part of the agreement, Bull and SpikeSource will collaborate and exchange information for the development of future, new OSS-based products, by sharing roadmaps and market feedback.

Jean-Pierre Barbéris, General Manager of Bull Services and Solutions, said the partnership with SpikeSource will add to NovaScale platforms and Open Energy offers "after our recent alliance with JBoss."

For SpikeSource, this agreement "ties in with its aim of bringing the global open source community together in a network of developers and ISVs in order to offer sophisticated applications to enterprises, but with much less complexity and at a competitive price," stated Kim Polese, CEO of SpikeSource. has announced that, for the second year in a row, it has been named among the nation's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" by The CRO, a membership organization for Corporate Responsibility Officers.

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens list ranks companies in eight categories: shareholders, community, governance, diversity, employees, environment, human rights and product, to identify organizations that excel at serving a variety of stakeholders well. The list is drawn from more than 1,100 of the largest U.S. publicly traded companies.

Among those, and its Salesforce Foundation rank number 11 on this year's list.

"During 2006, employees and the Foundation worked with 3,000 non-profit organizations around the globe to further the causes of youth development, to aid in the recovery of natural disasters, and to equip communities for self-sufficiency and prosperity," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at

Now in its 8th year, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens list was first developed by Business Ethics magazine, which was incorporated last year into The CRO.

Aastra has announced the addition of Chris Capo to lead its reseller program for hosted call center services, Centergy Virtual Contact Center Strategic Alliance Program.

Joining Aastra last quarter, Capo is tasked with recruiting VARs for the Aastra OnDemand hosted service offerings including hosted call center products.

"We're very pleased to have someone of Chris' experience and energy leading this important effort," said Tim Whittington, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Aastra Intecom. "He has hit the ground running and has already generated significant interest from major distributors and resellers in our hosted call center products."

Before joining Aastra Intecom, Capo led the U.S. and EMEA channel development team at an Avaya value-added products vendor based in Houston. Prior to that, he worked with a California-based software developer specializing in real-time reporting and visual management products for the contact center.

Capo began his channel management career with Paxar Monarch, an apparel identification provider.

Verizon Business has received the 2007 recipient of Frost & Sullivan's Market Leadership Award for Hosted Interactive Voice Response (IVR) services. 

A key component of the Verizon Business Contact Center portfolio, the Hosted IVR product line, includes Enhanced Call Routing, Global ECR, Speech Services and Internet Protocol IVR. 

Seema Lall, contact center strategic analyst, Frost & Sullivan, noted that hosted IVR services "represent a strategic growth market for the company." 

By using its IP assets to introduce IP Toll Free and IP IVR services, Verizon Business lets customers integrate contact center data and voice applications, manage geographically dispersed operations and help companies transition at their own pace from time division multiplexing -- a method for sending multiple digital signals along a single telecommunications transmission -- to IP. 

Tom Roche, vice president, network voice and data services for Verizon Business, said the key factors for his company's hosted IVR strategy include a "technologically strong product portfolio, understanding of hosted services dynamics, deployment value chain, and the ability to use our core strengths as a leading network service provider."

Roche mentioned the company's continually upgrading its IVR portfolio to incorporate the latest technology advances "such as developments in speech recognition and natural language research."

Using the Verizon Business Customer Center, Contact Center Service customers can order products, manage their networks, view and pay invoices, and access tools and tickets. These capabilities include Verizon IP Toll Free, which routes incoming toll-free calls over IP, which supports multiple-contact media, such as phone calls, e-mail or instant messaging from around the globe.

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