CRM Report from Forrester on RightNow, Investigo, AMI's CRM, SCM, ERP for SMB, Landis Lab Misconduct?

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CRM Report from Forrester on RightNow, Investigo, AMI's CRM, SCM, ERP for SMB, Landis Lab Misconduct?

By David Sims
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The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is It's A Beautiful Day's blazing live album Creed Of Love:

Investigo, which sells a practice management system to the financial services industry, has announced a partnership with Investment Scorecard, Inc., which sells performance analytics, policy monitoring and client reporting products for wealth management firms.

Under terms of the deal, the companies will offer integrated functionality within their respective applications, and are co-marketing the combined product to more affluent investors and their wealth management advisors.

"The market continues to demand greater efficiency and hence, a wealth management platform that integrates front office and back office components for an end-to-end capability," said Investigo CEO Tom Rozman.

Investigo is a Web-based practice management system with an open architecture that allows integration with software applications, while providing data aggregation and standardized portfolio accounting and reporting.

Investment Scorecard provides outsourced wealth analytics, performance measurement and client reporting, as well as insurance and investment policy monitoring products to help wealth advisors monitor investment portfolios and manage risk.

Calling Investment Scorecard's features "complementary" to Investigo's capabilities, Investment Scorecard president and CEO Joe Maxwell says his company has unified Investigo's practice management system and data consolidation engine "with our reporting, analytics and performance management capabilities."

RightNow Technologies would like you to know that it has been named a leader in the Q1 2007 Forrester Wave report, "Midmarket CRM Suites" released this month.

According to the report, "RightNow scores well in sales, service, marketing and analytics, making it more well-rounded than other choices on the market. The product's ability to support both B2B and B2C needs means it can provide strong CRM for firms selling in either model, as well as firms whose business spans both models."

In evaluating RightNow's CRM offerings, available through the software-as-a service deployment model, Forrester noted the Bozeman, Montana-based vendor has "a strong suite of tightly integrated tools spanning contact channels," and presents "a robust offering for customer service, especially for consumer-facing organizations."

And in case you weren't sure, it turns out that yes, both ERP and CRM are increasingly becoming mainstream applications for U.S. medium businesses.

That's according to AMI-Partners' 2006-2007 U.S. Small and Medium Business Applications & Solutions Market Overview, which has found that over one third of respondent MBs are currently using ERP/SCM products, and just over one quarter are planning to deploy these products in the next 12 months.

Similarly, almost 40 percent of MBs use CRM products today, and almost one quarter plan to adopt CRM in the next 12 months.

"This data indicates that U.S. MBs have made the connection between streamlining and automating business processes, and maximizing productivity and value in the market," says Sau Lam, New York-based Research Analyst at AMI-Partners.

The research has found that MBs also "recognize the value of integrated suites," as 75 percent of those surveyed use an accounting/financials module that is part of a larger product suite.

Survey results reveal that manufacturing, wholesale and professional services MBs are leading the ERP wave, spending significantly more on these products than counterparts in other sectors. In the CRM arena, the professional services industry outstrips other sectors in adoption and spending.

However, U.S. small businesses are more likely to take a wait-and-see attitude. Although almost three quarters of SMBs use business accounting software, just 12 percent of SBs currently use and 11 percent plan to use ERP/SCM products in the next 12 months.

CRM adoption is low as well, with one out of six SBs currently using and the same percentage planning to use CRM products in the next 12 months.

The study also found that both markets are fairly diverse -- although SMB incumbents such as Intuit, Microsoft and Sage are "strongly represented" in both the ERP and CRM areas, "homegrown, industry-specific and a long list of other products make these markets extremely crowded and competitive."

Meanwhile, although overall SMB adoption of hosted software-as-a-service remains relatively modest, the study found, SaaS is becoming "a well accepted alternative in several specific product areas, such as virus protection, payroll, e-mail/messaging, web conferencing, website content management, HR and CRM."

Based on AMI's 2006-2007 U.S. Small and Medium Business end-user surveys, the 2006-2007 U.S. Small and Medium Business Applications & Solutions Market Overview, authored by Sau Lam, Industry Analyst, and Laurie McCabe, VP, SMB Insights and Solutions, details these and other major trends and spending forecasts across accounting, CRM and ERP/SCM business product areas, as well for related areas, including Internet products, and IT and business process outsourcing services.

Vendors highlighted in the report include Intuit, Sage, Microsoft, SAP,, NetSuite, IBM, Google, ADP, Intacct, and others.

Hey, color First Coffee totally shocked: It appears that various French "screwups" have conspired to punish an American for having the temerity to continue the American tradition of dominating their favorite sporting event.

Tour de France champion Floyd Landis' attorneys say the cyclist's positive doping tests should be invalidated because "the same technicians were allowed to work on both samples. Lab rules prohibit technicians from participating in both tests to prevent them from validating their own findings," according to the Associated Press.

The findings of elevated testosterone in Landis' case were weird from the word go -- they were never found in any of his other samples, and it's exceeding strange to find a spike in testosterone in just one day's tests.

A similar error at the Chatenay-Malabry lab outside Paris in 2005 resulted in the dismissal of doping charges against Spanish cyclist Inigo Landaluce, the AP reported:

"Lab records reviewed by the Times showed technicians Esther Cerpolini and Cynthia Mongongu worked with the 'A' and 'B' tests of samples that resulted in Landis being accused of doping."

Landis has long contended, and it appears with increasing justification, that the French lab that carried out the tests is unreliable, samples were contaminated and that he has been "subject to fundamentally unfair treatment by the anti-doping organizations and international sports federations."

Greg LeMond winning the Tour was a novelty, plus he spoke French and has a French name and he patronized the French, buttering up their fragile egos so that was okay, Lance Armstrong was obviously the greatest ever, but somebody named Floyd winning the Tour? The French don't like that.

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