By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The New Riders of the Purple Sage's "Louisiana Lady:"
TomorrowNow Inc., a vendor of third-party maintenance and support for enterprise software applications, has unveiled the newest version of its patent-pending TomorrowNow Support TechnologyT which, according to company officials, "enables the company to deliver real-time, high-quality support response services globally."
By the way, First Coffee isn't sure if that "T" on the end of the product name is supposed to be there or not, if it's a truncated "TM" or what. We'll let it go for now.
With its broad applicability, company officials say, this technology can also be used by any service organization needing "always-connected," around-the-clock emergency support. Such as, oh… yours?
TomorrowNow uses the company's proprietary technology not only to route and solve problems with clients' enterprise business applications, but also to monitor and track the routing and response system's health. The technology can monitor the availability of service engineers' handheld devices including pagers and mobile/smart phones such BlackberriesT to ensure that emergency response equipment is working and in continuous contact with TomorrowNow's support center.
TomorrowNow's case response process contractually guarantee 30-minute standard response times, as compared to existing vendor-supported maintenance programs, which TomorrowNow officials say "typically offer standard response times of 24 hours or more."
Emergency Response Model for Support Problems TomorrowNow's 24-hour-a-day, follow-the-sun support model is based on the company's patent-pending system, built on IBM's Domino development platform, Microsoft.Net, and Java.
Greg Nelson, TomorrowNow's CIO, is of the belief that this technology "can be beneficial to any organization where instantaneous diagnosis and real-time responses are crucial."
When an emergency response engineer's device is unavailable, the system can respond in a number of ways. It can send notifications to other engineers, managers and IT staff or automatically route the request to any number of technicians. In this way, an alternate service engineer can respond until the remote communications device is back online.
The system also automatically reroutes the request to an available engineer if the client's assigned service engineer is on the phone or otherwise assisting another client.
According to a recent customer survey conducted by managed Web hosting provider Rackspace Managed Hosting, nearly 36 percent of responding SaaS customers do not know the uptime guarantees provided in the SaaS vendor Service Level Agreement although, the survey found, "security, application uptime and network connectivity are among their top technical concerns."
The survey also concludes that 49 percent of enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) customers do not know where the infrastructure behind their SaaS application lies, whether it is hosted internally with the SaaS provider or through a third-party hosting provider.
"What this survey tells us is that infrastructure issues are top concerns to SaaS customers, but unless they make infrastructure a priority on the due diligence 'check list' during the purchasing process, they will be left in the dark and ultimately open to unwanted outages or compromised data," said John Engates, chief technology officer, Rackspace Managed Hosting.
Ten points if you can guess what line of work Rackspace Managed Hosting is in. No, manufacturing precision carburetors for heavy machinery is not right.
"SaaS providers need to clearly communicate their hosting and infrastructure details in the Service Level Agreement, drilling down to security promises, uptime guarantees, network connectivity, data backup processes and more. This way, customers are aware of their SaaS provider's service obligations, and they can rest assured their mission-critical applications such as e-mail or Customer Relationship Management software will perform as promised," Engates advised.
Publishing teen magazines? Uh, no, try again.
The Rackspace's SaaS survey found that customers value application uptime differently for each category of SaaS application. E-mail and business productivity applications, such as spreadsheets and document creation, were listed as the most critical applications when it comes to availability with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications running a close second.
In music to some companies' ears, SaaS customers value application uptime enough to pay significantly more for increased uptime guarantees. The Rackspace survey found thirty percent of SaaS customers would pay "at least 25 percent more" for four extra minutes of guaranteed uptime per month, taking them from a 99.99 percent uptime SLA (i.e. approximately four minutes unplanned downtime per month) to a 100 percent uptime SLA (i.e. zero minutes unplanned downtime per month).
Guess again where Rackspace earns their bread? Yes, you in back… leading extreme adventure tours on the South Island of New Zealand? Sorry, thanks for playing.
Overall, the Rackspace survey revealed that SaaS is making significant traction in the small-to-medium size and enterprise market with 51 percent of respondents using a SaaS application and 72 percent of those users considering additional SaaS applications. Rather than a brief IT trend, 69 percent of respondents believe SaaS is the preferred software delivery method of the future, indicating infrastructure scalability will be top of mind.
The methodology for this research involved sending an email survey via a third-party research tool, Clicktools, to 2,788 of Rackspace's customers -- there's a hint -- with annual revenue ranging from less than $1 million to more than $1 billion. Nearly 15 percent of survey recipients responded to the questions, and the majority of survey respondents' annual revenue ranged from $0 to $49 million.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents provide software services over the Internet and therefore are classified as SaaS providers. Detailed information and the full survey report can be found at http://www.rackspace.com/downloads/surveys/SaasSurvey.pdf.
SugarCRM Inc., a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced the opening of Sugar Europe in Dublin.
Some guys get all the luck… hey Rich, we volunteer to open TMC Europe in Dublin.
Based on growing demand across Europe, Sugar officials say, the new office will "foster close relationships with SugarCRM's customers, partners and user communities across the continent." Clint Oram, a co-founder of SugarCRM, will serve as General Manager of Sugar Europe and will lead the European team from Dublin.
Over the last three years, company officials say, SugarCRM has seen "widespread adoption across Europe," with its strongest growth in France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Currently, about one-quarter of SugarCRM's commercial customers are located in Europe and more than 30 percent of Sugar Open Source downloads take place in Europe.
Read where Ms. Rodham compared herself to JFK yesterday. Boy, where's Lloyd Bentsen when you need him? Yeah, tell me JFK, the man who started the Vietnam War, is the person you want to be comparing yourself to at this point in American history. The only more tone-deaf politician alive in America is Jean-Francois Kerry.
Interesting, isn't it, that Democrats are always trying to find the next JFK and Republicans are trying to find the next Ronald Reagan?
After all, there's still BWI airport to rename.
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