South African Mobile CRM with Kagiso, Plexus Online, Epicor and John Heathcoat, Scott at Entellium, Kintera's New CEO

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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South African Mobile CRM with Kagiso, Plexus Online, Epicor and John Heathcoat, Scott at Entellium, Kintera's New CEO

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a scorching hot rendition of The Kinks' greatest song, "20th Century Man," from their double-live One For The Road album:

Epicor Software Corporation, which sells enterprise business software for the midmarket and divisions of larger companies, has announced John Heathcoat and Co. Ltd., a British precision fabric engineer, has selected the Epicor Vantage enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite.

Epicor's manufacturing product has seen double-digit growth in UK sales over the past year, according to company officials.

John Heathcoat and Co. wanted visibility of the manufacturing process across the organization, which they "were not achieving with their previous enterprise applications," Epicor officials said, adding that the company began the search for an ERP product that would have "clearer production line visibility, better stock control and more accurate delivery date quotations that would also be able to develop with them into the company's future."

"John Heathcoat and Co. found that all areas of their business were covered" by Epicor's product, said Anthony von Bergen, Regional Director of Epicor in the UK.

John Heathcoat & Company Ltd. supplies a range of apparel and high technology technical textiles to diverse markets around the world, including automotive, aviation, marine, food, medical, military, filtration, geo-textiles and protective apparel.

Didn't know there was automotive apparel, did you? Bet you'd thought that went out with dusters and goggles, right? See? Pays to read the column.

As First Coffee lives in Istanbul I like to shine the flashlight into corners of CRM you might not be getting much coverage of in the United States or Western Europe, such as Kagiso Software in South Africa.

Kagiso has recently announced a reseller arrangement with Open networks, and "their range of CRM and Web development capabilities," according to Kagiso officials:

"Mobile CRM is now available free to anyone who purchases a regular CRM license to the ONCRM product line."

For about seventy bucks for the first user and seven for extra users per month, your company can now "allow sales and managerial staff to access shared calendar, their entire client database plus allow any mobile user (with secure access of course) to bulk SMS a group directly from their phone."

It's instructive to see what are CRM priorities in other business cultures. "Business cards lost?" Kagiso asks rhetorically. "Not with mobile CRM -- capture new details immediately while in the meeting. Appears real time (no sync required) to people in the office."

The ONCRM package comes with bulk e-mail integration, bulk SMS integration, "10,000 contact database space," a shared corporate calendar management and "document storage capability -- for scanned contracts," etc.

"In short," Kagiso officials say, "serious firepower for small to medium businesses in South Africa."

Kintera, which sells software as a service (SaaS) to nonprofit and government clients, has announced that its board of directors has "unanimously" named Richard N. LaBarbera as chief executive officer, effective immediately.

LaBarbera was also elected as a member of the board of directors. He has served as the company's chief operating officer since February 2006 and as Kintera president since February 2007.

Kintera co-founder Harry E. Gruber has resigned as Kintera CEO, but will continue to serve as a member of the company's board of directors, company officials say.

"We thank Harry for the contributions he has made during his tenure at the company, and look forward to the insight and expertise he will provide while serving on Kintera's board of directors," said Alfred R. Berkeley, III, chairman of Kintera's board of directors.

Berkeley said LaBarbera "brings to Kintera a strong record of successfully driving effective business operations and managing for profitable growth."

LaBarbera joined Kintera from Echopass Corporation, a vendor of CRM software as a service and call center products that integrate with partners such as and RightNow Technologies. He served as chief operations and services officer at Echopass.

LaBarbera previously served as president of Niku Corporation, an enterprise software company now part of Computer Associates that addresses client needs for CRM, portfolio management, resource and project management, and IT management and governance.

LaBarbera served as senior vice president of the enterprise products division at Sybase, Inc., which was responsible for approximately $800 million of Sybase revenue.

Kintera will be announcing its normally scheduled fourth quarter and fiscal year 2006 financial results on Thursday, March 29, 2007 after market close.

In other executive news, Entellium has announced that David Scott, a former senior executive at both Intermec Technologies and PeopleSoft Inc., has joined Entellium as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Scott will be responsible for developing and managing Entellium's product marketing, corporate communications and sales growth strategies.

Scott's career has included stints at General Electric -- "I grew up in the ranks of GE," Scott said -- and The Boston Consulting Group. As Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Pleasanton, CA-based PeopleSoft, Scott supported the company's $2.5 billion Global Services Division.

Plexus Systems, Inc., which sells on-demand manufacturing performance system Plexus Online, has announced that STAT Medical X-Ray Tubes, Inc. has adopted the Plexus Online system to "improve operations at the South Carolina-based medical device manufacturing company," according to Plexus officials.

The implementation is part of STAT Medicals move to a newly-constructed manufacturing facility for their line of x-ray tube assemblies.

Plexus Online is an on demand manufacturing performance system for medical device manufacturers, combining the capabilities of enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), quality management, customer relationship management (CRM), shop floor integration, and more.
Tim Davis, STAT Medical X-Ray Tubes President, said the investment into Plexus as a fully integrated system "is a natural fit for our philosophy. It is as important as our upcoming ISO certification."

Plexus Online consists of over 350 functional modules, allowing companies instant access to vital information using a simple web browser.

Boy, nothing like being an above-average but not great NFL player entering free agency in a year when the league's boosted the salary cap, is there? Don't even need to have been to a Pro Bowl to knock down eight figures in guaranteed money as a decent but not spectacular guard or linebacker.

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