By David Sims
David at firstcoffee.biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Slobberbone's Crow Pot Pie:
Entellium, a vendor of on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, has announced that Forrester Research invited it to participate in its Q1 2007 Forrester Wave report, Midmarket CRM Suites, released this month.
In this review, Entellium was recognized as a strong performer, offering small and midsize businesses "ready-to-use, affordable CRM."
Forrester evaluated several midmarket CRM vendors using nearly 500 criteria grouped into three main categories: current offering, strategy and market presence. Entellium, according to company officials, earned the highest scores for cost and time-to-value, as well as one of the top three scores for product strategy, corporate strategy, and usability.
Findings of the Wave Report related to Entellium include that Entellium is suited for SMBs seeking SaaS CRM, and has customers across a range of industries in financial services firms, technology providers and business services firms. The company's CRM was noted for its "strong mobile and offline access," company officials say.
Entellium's on-demand CRM suite includes modules for sales and marketing functions (Entellium eSalesForce), and customer service (Entellium eCustomerCenter). Each module is available for purchase separately.
A number of support features are included in the subscription price including the Deployment Automator, a point-and-click customization tool and free 24/7 real-time support for each user.
Extraprise, which sells B2B database marketing services and CRM integration, has announced that it has introduced its CRM Support Center, what company officials describe as "an outsourced support services platform" letting clients handle support and development issues onshore.
Company officials claim the Extraprise CRM Support Center platform is" the first high-level onshore support center manned by Siebel experts."
Ken Marshall, Extraprise CEO, says the Extraprise CRM Support Center platform will help cut costs by "bundling support and development services together in a retained model rather than engaging consultants, hiring full-time staff, or relying on vendor support."
Marshall says Extraprise developed the CRM Support Center to "provide companies an alternative to what has traditionally been an expensive and hard to navigate process found with off-shore or vendor support models."
The Support Center's model is billed by company officials as giving companies "access to expert, senior-level resources from across Extraprise disciplines capable of addressing critical support issues as well managing development projects." There are no third parties involved and no phone calls are routed oversees.
The Extraprise CRM Support Center offers a simple, retainer-based contract with cost savings "more than 50 percent off industry standard Technical Account Manager services," company officials claim, as well as streamlined requests via a single point of contact and capabilities ranging from enhancements and upgrades to bug fixes and platform support.
Extraprise offers support levels ranging from our Silver offering for part-time support up to the Platinum level, which includes full-time resource benefits, on-site presence, and proactive and ongoing development support.
InsideSales.com, a vendor of on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) products with built-in dialer, has released what company officials describe as "several enhancements to its hosted CRM and Contact Center automation suite," designed to "make life easier for both managers and users."
The most recent series of upgrades include dialer upgrades, with Voice Detect Management -- meaning the InsideSales.com dialer can now be adjusted to detect live pickups or answering machines more effectively. Customers can set the dialer to connect only with live customers, and later can change the dialer settings to connect with voice mail and leave automated messages.
There's also Account Lookup Capability, where the InsideSales.com dialer lets agents perform account lookup and contact matching from the dialer screen without having to enter the CRM.
It also offers Multiple Owners for Leads, where in addition to having a primary owner on a lead, the InsideSales.com system lets leads be owned by multiple owners for better team lead management and follow-up.
Tele2, one of Europe's largest alternative telecoms operators, has gone live in Croatia with a new converged CRM and billing product from Cerillion Technologies.
Cerillion officials say they've supplied a turnkey product, migrating Tele2 Croatia from their existing outsourced billing system to its own product in "less than three months."
The product consists of Cerillion CRM Plus, a CRM system allowing sales and customer service staff to manage the customer lifecycle, and Cerillion Revenue Manager, a carrier grade, convergent rating and billing product.
Tele2 Croatia, which launched commercial services over its GSM network in October 2005, celebrated its first year of operations recently with more than 300,000 mobile users.
Louis Hall, Cerillion's chief executive, said the deal represents "a major expansion of our business into Central and Eastern Europe and will act as a strategic stepping stone" to future business in the region.
Tenrox has announced the availability of Release 9.1, the latest version of the company's Project Workforce Management product.
Release 9.1 has new features, including a Project Planning Module and integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. In addition, several enhancements have been made to project status views, shift and work schedule support, the ability to create custom dashboards and more.
The product uses the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 feature set to provide an end-to-end integrated product that can be hosted or deployed on-premise.
Release 9.1 is "based on customer feedback from the Tenrox User Conference and customer advisory board," according to Rafat Hilal, Vice President of Research and Development, who noted that improvements are designed to provide end-users with "additional flexibility, ease-of-use, configurability and alternatives for CRM integration."
New features and enhancements include the Tenrox Project Planning module, described by company officials as "a simple intuitive tool that addresses the most common project planning requirements."
It's integrated with other Tenrox modules to allow for the sharing of its project related information, including the work breakdown structure, Enterprise Resource Pool, resource assignments and remaining work. Information such as actual work, assignments and estimated time to complete can be retrieved from other Tenrox modules.
Tenrox offers add-on products and special out-of-the-box connectors to financial applications such as Sage Accpac ERP, ADP, QuickBooks, Great Plains, Navision, PeopleSoft, Oracle and SAP, to project management software such as Microsoft Project and to CRM applications such as salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM.
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