By David Sims
David at firstcoffee dot biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is iTunes set to shuffle – current song "Butch and Butch" from Oliver Nelson's The Blues and The Abstract Truth:
If you're a devotee of contemporary poetry go ahead and bake a cake, as Robert Lowell, Howard Nemerov, Robert Hass and Richard Wilbur (as well as Ralph Ellison) were all born today -- the same day the Salem Witch Trials began in 1692.
FYI: Talisma Corporation, a vendor of what it calls Customer Interaction Management products, has announced that the CIM Forum, a non-profit business and technology consortium focused on improving online customer interactions which it sponsors along with IBM, has grown its member base to over 250 different organizations.
Additionally, the CIM Forum is releasing the "Best Practices in E-mail Management" report, the organization's second published report since its launch last July.
The CIM Forum was formed with founding members including Epson, IBM, Microsoft, Outsell, Pitney Bowes, and Sprint. Among the new members are organizations such as Boeing Employees Credit Union, Mazda, Salesforce.com, and The University of Notre Dame.
"The CIM Forum offers a unique opportunity to engage in a dialogue among peers and experts regarding the importance of online customer service best practices," said Allen Bonde, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Marketing of eVergance, which helps to co-manage the Forum and its research.
The "Best Practices in E-mail Management" report addresses four major areas it sees as "crucial to providing an exceptional customer experience," to wit using Web forms and links, creating specialized teams, using prepared/auto responses and managing response times.
According to recent research cited by Talisma officials, of the 93 percent of sites offering e-mail as a customer support option, only 39 percent acknowledged the receipt of customers' messages with an automated e-mail response. It also found that 42 percent of sites resolved e-mail inquiries within 24 hours, but 41 percent of sites took three days or longer or were completely unresponsive.
The "Best Practices in E-mail Management" report will help businesses solve the aforementioned existing e-mail management problems that "plaguing the industry," Talisma officials say.
This is the second best practices report released by the CIM Forum; the first was focused on enterprise chat best practices, and is also available for free to registered Forum members.
The CIM Forum is hosting a CIM Community Webinar discussion on March 6th at 9 a.m. (PST) titled "Knowledge Management Best Practices." To register for the Webinar, visit www.cimforum.org/webinars.asp.
Technology Evaluation Centers, which sells enterprise software evaluation tools, has announced a strategic partnership with BPT Partners LLC, which sells CRM research and education.
This alliance is aimed at providing software selection services to TEC customers considering CRM software purchases or upgrades.
TEC's mission, officials say, is to "aid decision makers in identifying and evaluating software" fitting their company's business and system requirements. This partnership with BPT is seen by TEC as allowing TEC to become "pioneers in the CRM evaluation industry, reach new territories and increase its knowledge capital," company officials say.
Bruce Culbert, Paul Greenberg and Dr. Jeff Tanner of BPT Partners, LLC will become CRM Research Residents at TEC providing direction, validation and certification of the framework and evaluation criteria used in the software selection process.
Having Paul Greenberg's expertise available to "keep our CRM RFI database leading edge, and to help our participating CRM vendors identify new trends in the marketplace, is something that's very exciting," said Charles Luffer, TEC's vice president of strategic alliances.
BPT Partners sells CRM training, education and research. With offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, DC and partnerships that span the globe, BPT Partners provides full service CRM training from executive education on CRM strategy to training in sales methodology to an entire company's sales force.
Technology Evaluation Centers provides enterprise software evaluation tools, including decision support systems helping stakeholders find software that's a good fit for their company's business and systems requirements.
In compliance with section 9b paragraph 1 of the Dutch Decree on the Supervision on Securities Transactions (Besluit toezicht effectenverkeer 1995) -- and First Coffee has always prided himself on his unwavering commitment to section 9b paragraph 1 of the Dutch Decree on the Supervision on Securities Transactions (Besluit toezicht effectenverkeer 1995) -- Seagull Software has announced that, in light of the position of the Chief Financial Officer of the Company becoming redundant upon completion of Rocket Software's proposed acquisition of the shares of Seagull Holding N.V., the Company and Mory Motabar, Chief Financial Officer, have now reached agreement on termination of Mr. Motabar's employment.
Translation: Mory's out.
During the interim period between this announcement and the contemplated closing of the transaction Michael Haynes, Director of Finance for Seagull Software for three years, has been named Acting Chief Financial Officer.
Vertical Alliance, Inc., a vendor of ticketing, patron management, and digital marketing applications to the sports and entertainment industries, has announced that it has secured a multi-year contract for comprehensive ticketing services with Denver-based Kroenke Sports Enterprises.
The agreement will include Denver's Paramount Theater, the new Dick's Sporting Goods Park, and the Colorado Rapids. Vertical Alliance's products combine ticketing, customer relationship management (CRM), digital marketing applications, and content management services.
Paul Andrews, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Kroenke Sports Enterprises, said the Vertical Alliance product lets Kroenke "control all fees related to the ticketing operations."
Factors in the selection of Vertical Alliance included brand management and ownership, specifically the opportunity to manage and promote the individual brands of all properties related to Kroenke Sports Enterprises. This not only includes branded Web sales, but customized and branded box office and back office applications.
It also lets Kroenke Sports Enterprises set and manage all fees assessed to customers for ticket purchases.
Kroenke officials also liked the Vertical Alliance product's contact management application's customer management, using the familiar Microsoft Outlook design and workflow. Features include bulk correspondence capabilities and direct target market campaign tools.
Plus the product lets Kroenke's marketing managers run detailed customer reports, and launch e-marketing campaigns directly from the ticketing application.
Established in 1999, Dallas-based Vertical Alliance, Inc. sells CRM-based ticketing, patron management, and digital marketing services for the college athletic, professional sports and live entertainment industries.
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