CRM Director Hired by Naseba, Endeavor's SmartCatalog, Forrester Rates Oracle Siebel, Graham in Jakarta, Colligo's V.2 SharePoint

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CRM Director Hired by Naseba, Endeavor's SmartCatalog, Forrester Rates Oracle Siebel, Graham in Jakarta, Colligo's V.2 SharePoint

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon:

Vancouver-based Colligo Networks Inc., a vendor of offline collaboration products for mobile users, has announced the release of Version 2.0 of the Colligo for SharePoint product family that supports the 2007 Microsoft Office System and Windows VistaT.

Company officials say organizations can use it to "extend the reach of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0" to users who need access both online and offline -- "letting these businesses increase the adoption and utility of SharePoint with their workforce."

The Colligo for SharePoint product family consists of Colligo Reader for SharePoint and Colligo Contributor for SharePoint. The Reader provides offline read access to SharePoint sites and is free for individual users. Contributor is designed for businesses, and adds Microsoft Outlook integration, 2-way synchronization, and advanced security and deployment options.

Barry Jinks, President & CEO of Colligo Networks, said version 2.0 "incorporates feedback from users and we believe it delivers a significant productivity advantage for mobile professionals such as sales people, consultants, managers, and project teams in a variety of industries."

Tony Rizzo, Sector Head, Mobile Software, with The 451 Group, a technology industry analyst company, has written recently "as SharePoint 2007 builds on its customer base, Colligo is going along for the ride -- its services are a true addition to the SharePoint platform."

In addition to compatibility with the 2007 (and 2003) Microsoft Office System, probably the most significant upgrade the product has is the integration with Microsoft Office Outlook. Users can now drag-and-drop e-mails, attachments, events, and contacts directly into SharePoint document libraries whether they are working online or offline. E-mail message fields, such as "To," "From" and "Subject" are automatically mapped into metadata columns.

Other upgrades in Version 2.0 include a new user interface that looks and feels like the online version of SharePoint 2007 (including breadcrumbs navigation), and one allowing documents that have been synced to user PCs to be located instantly through the new integration with Windows Desktop Search (if installed). 

Other new configuration options enable IT managers to deploy and configure Colligo Contributor onto user laptops.

Designed to deliver a complete offline product, Colligo for SharePoint is the easiest product family to deploy, learn, and use. Colligo Reader and Colligo Contributor are lightweight client-only applications (under 5MB) and require no server modifications.

Designed for individual users, the free Colligo Reader allows users to synchronize SharePoint sites to their laptops, providing read-only access to document libraries, InfoPath forms, custom metadata and views, and both standard and custom lists.

Colligo Contributor is available now in single lot quantities for $125 from the Colligo online store.  The free Colligo Reader and a 30-day trial of Colligo Contributor are available at

Graham Technology, a vendor of customer-oriented business software and services, has announced it is to double the workforce at its Indonesian location, expanding the Jakarta office from 50 to 100 employees in 2007.

The majority of the new hires will be software developers, with a variety of skill sets being sought.

Since the recent launch of ciboodle, the company's customer interaction software, the Indonesian office is set to become an important development hub for Graham Technology and will be "a valuable project resource for the company's operations across the globe," company officials say.

Mike Hughes, managing director, Graham Technology, said the additional workforce in Jakarta will "not only boost our presence in the region, but will also enable us to increase deployments of ciboodle worldwide."

Graham Technology already has a strong Indonesian presence, with a number of high-profile customers in the country, and is increasing its capacity for further growth into the Asian markets.

Forrester Research, an independent research firm, has decided Oracle's Siebel CRM Professional Edition is, in its quite humble opinion, the strongest current offering in the latest Forrester Wave Evaluation: Midmarket CRM Suites, Q1 February 2007. 

Forrester has also named Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand as a leader.

"Oracle's Siebel CRM Professional Edition's product roadmap focuses on usability, reduced total cost of ownership and enhanced support for key verticals such as financial services, communications and public sector," reported Forrester Analyst Liz Herbert, explaining the decision.  "The product's best-in-class functionality, strong customization capabilities and enterprise-class integration tools make it a good choice for larger, more complex midmarket deployments that don't require a full breadth of the enterprise edition."

To assess the state of the CRM market, Forrester analyzed strengths and weaknesses of the leading mid-market CRM suites vendors across approximately 490 criteria in three areas of current offering, strategy and market presence.

The full 2007 Forrester Wave Midmarket CRM Suites report can be found on the link.

Naseba, a "global business information" vendor located in the United Arab Emirates, has hired Liam Findlay as CRM Director.

Findlay has 12 years of CRM management experience, with the last five years implementing CRM strategies for a leading multinational business information company throughout the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region. He has implemented ISO9001 and BS7799 certifications into multinational companies.

In a previous position as a marketing manager, Findlay "increased the campaign conversion rate from five percent to 25 percent" and doubled the customer base within only 2 years through database-enhanced techniques, Naseba officials say, adding that he has "12 years of experience in team management."

His role within the company is focused on implementing Naseba's CRM ecosystem and community marketing strategy with a twofold focus, Naseba officials say: "to further grow Naseba's reputation and status as a leader in business information and to create new streams of revenue."

Endeavor Commerce, publishers of SmartCatalog, a guided selling and configuration product for CRM and eCommerce, has announced that its SmartCatalog application has successfully passed the Test for ISV Solutions at VeriTest, a division of Lionbridge Technologies, Inc.

This is the second time SmartCatalog has passed certification testing for Dynamics CRM. In 2004, Veritest passed SmartCatalog v5.0. Today's test certifies the latest release of SmartCatalog v6.0 for Dynamics CRM v3.0.

Company officials say this means Microsoft Dynamics CRM users can use SmartCatalog's guided selling and superior rules manager to "ensure their product and pricing configurations are timely, accurate, and automated across all sales channels."

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