CRM from OpenTV for Mojo Media, Advizor on AppEx, Star Hires Sharr, PacificNet, Plexus and Aberdeen

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM from OpenTV for Mojo Media, Advizor on AppEx, Star Hires Sharr, PacificNet, Plexus and Aberdeen

By David Sims
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The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Supersuckers' "A Good Night For My Drinkin':"

OpenTV Corp., a vendor of products for television and cross platform interactive services, has announced a multi-year licensing agreement for its OpenTV Participate system with Mojo Media Works, a Shanghai-based content provider and interactive entertainment operator with operations in mainland China and the Philippines.

Mojo will use OpenTV Participate's single account login and centralized loyalty and CRM modules, "allowing them the ability to build an ongoing relationship with their customers from their very first day of operation," according to OpenTV officials.

Mojo, whose first project with OpenTV is the launch of a multiplatform interactive games and gambling business in the Philippines, will use the OpenTV Participate system as the backbone of its operations. The initial service will involve the management and distribution of the U.S. gambling format Slingo via kiosks in boutiques around the country.

SMS TV services will be deployed shortly afterwards followed by other platforms such as Web, WAP, and J2ME Mobile applications in the future.

The OpenTV Participate system will allow Mojo to manage their entire business centrally with controlled access available for local boutique managers and cashiers. OpenTV will also create engines for Mojo's TV gambling formats as well as provide the OpenTV Participate participation TV module for live TV, web, and SMS-based participation.

Business intelligence software provider Advizor Solutions has announced that SalesAdvizor for the AppExchange is now available for test drive and deployment on AppExchange.

SalesAdvizor is built for those who use the salesforce suite of on-demand CRM applications. SalesAdvizor "combines the power of today's cutting edge analytic software with an easy-to-use interface for sales professionals who depend on to manage their sales pipeline," according to company officials.

"Sales managers need instant answers to their most pressing pipeline questions," said Doug Cogswell, president and CEO of Advizor, saying SalesAdvizor's click-and-analyze technology "puts the tools for analysis into the hands of those who are asking the business questions," such as, "Am I on track for the quarter?" "Are my high probability deals big enough?" and "Which demand creation activities are driving my best deals?"

SalesAdvizor is built around 4 key principles, company officials say -- no setup, instant answers, online and offline freedom and easy sharing of results to others through PowerPoint, Word, Excel and PDF.

"Most business intelligence software is cluttered with complex reports, flashy charts, and complicated analytics," says Cogswell. "These products were not designed for serious analysis or are way too difficult to use -- they require an IT department to support them."

SalesAdvizor officials say their product allows customers to "analyze their data with the click of a mouse." The SalesAdvizor application is integrated with Salesforce and is built on the Apex platform.

SalesAdvizor is available today at a $499 one time fee per user.

Star Marketing has hired Riyad Abu-Sharr as chief financial officer. Star Marketing, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., is a network of customer experience management agencies and specialist services including CRM, interactive, direct, digital, and search media, analytics, teleservices, e-mail, strategic consulting, and process improvement.

Abu-Sharr joins Star Marketing with 25 years of experience in finance and management in company operations, project management, client relations, strategic planning, and financial management, ten of them within the Omnicom Group.

Most recently, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of MMG, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland, a healthcare and communications firm specializing in clinical trials patient recruitment and an Omnicom/DAS agency.

Other previous roles include chief financial officer at OnMark Corporation and chief operating and financial officer at Optima Direct Inc.

Plexus Systems, Inc., which sells the on demand manufacturing performance system Plexus Online, has announced the availability of a new benchmark report from the Aberdeen Group titled "Realize the Returns from Enterprise Management Applications: Make the ROI Calculation Speak to the Financial Value of EMAs Investment in ERP."

A complementary copy of the report is available for a limited time at

The report, published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company, found that whether companies are justifying the purchase of an application, an upgrade, or customization, fewer than 25 percent of them are consistently estimating ROI prior to action, and 20 percent or less measure the actual costs and gains to calculate ROI.

The report concluded that best-in-class companies are, on average, a whopping 88 percent more likely to estimate ROI before initiating projects and 130 percent more likely to measure ROI after project completion.

"130 percent?" 100 percent is absolute, bet the farm certainty, isn't it? Or did First Coffee miss the day in math class when they explained how something can be 130 percent likely to happen?

As a result, these best performing companies produce, on average, 93 percent more improvement across a variety of metrics such as cost reductions, schedule performance, headcount reduction or redeployment, and quality improvements.

"Companies reaping the most financial value from enterprise management applications are less burdened by outdated technology, are more likely to deploy existing applications across the enterprise, and are more likely to integrate disparate business applications," said Cindy Jutras, Vice President and Service Director, Manufacturing and ERP Research, Aberdeen.

Jutras adds that best-in-class companies are "less dependent on spreadsheets and ad hoc reporting and rely more heavily on the reporting capabilities of the installed applications and integrated analytics."

Plexus Online is an on demand manufacturing performance system "combining the capabilities of enterprise resource planning, manufacturing execution systems, quality management, customer relationship management, shop floor integration, and much more," company officials say. The product consists of over 350 functional modules, allowing companies access to information using a Web browser.

Not your typical CRM vendor story here: PacificNet, Inc., which sells Customer Relationship Management, mobile internet, e-commerce and gambling technology in China, has announced today that its Take1 Technologies subsidiary has been selected by a leading gambling operator to provide 400 electronic Video Lottery Terminal machines in Europe.

Take1 has recently introduced a new line of electronic gambling machines, Take1 Electronic Slot Machines, Amusement with Prizes Machines (First Coffee's vote for Euphemism of the Week), Video Lottery Terminal Machines and Electronic Bingo Machines.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, or whether anyone said "Texas Hold 'Em for double or nothing on the purchase price?"

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