By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is From One Good American To Another by Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys:
Fresh off announcing the release of Siebel 8 for life sciences yesterday, Oracle has announced that UMB Bank, n.a., an independent bank in the United States, has deployed Oracle’s Siebel Sales and Siebel Universal Customer Master. UMB is also deploying Siebel Contact Center.
“With Oracle’s Siebel applications and infrastructure software, we have created an integrated customer information system that brings together data from 11 disparate systems," with the goal of providing "both our front- and back-office personnel with a comprehensive and consistent view of the customer," said Kanon Cozad, senior vice president and director of application development for UMB Bank.
Kansas City-based UMB deployed Siebel Universal Customer Master in its commercial lending and asset management operations. The bank now has a customer data hub that unifies customer information across multiple business units and functionally disparate systems.
The bank, which has operations in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska, also deployed Siebel Sales in its commercial lending and asset management operations following a complete redesign of the sales process.
UMB is using Siebel Sales to automate core sales processes, including sales call planning, follow up and reporting. Bank officials say they hope Siebel Sales will improve the way it cross-sells products across multiple lines of business by "breaking down information silos and giving the sales team a better understanding of the full sales potential of any given customer."
"Better management of outsourcing providers" would save North American companies over $300 million a year in improved contact center performance as well as enhancing service for customers, according to research and analysis by software provider Exony.
The company says organizations that outsource contact center operations could realize annual contract savings of 4.5 percent by targeting 10 key areas for improvement. Coincidently enough, Exony themselves offer products to assist in such outsourcing.
Industry statistics cited by Exony officials show that five percent, or just over 3,000, of North America's 60,000 contact centers are outsourced, and of a total of more than 3.3 million agent positions in the U.S. and Canada, 10.5 percent or 354,000, are outsourced.
Exony calculates that improving organizations' ability to measure and manage their outsourcing providers would save $900 per year for each of these outsourced agents, amounting to an annual total savings of $319 million in North America alone. These savings could pay for an additional 15,948 customer service agents, dramatically improving efficiency and cutting call waiting times. Or they could go into shareholders' pockets. Your call (sorry).
Ian Ashby, CEO, Exony said his company's analysis shows "a lack of control is fueling a $300 million-plus black hole that is costing companies in the U.S. and Canada dearly. Already, around 50 percent of companies that outsource are dissatisfied because expectations are not being met and our research demonstrates that these firms are spending too much on their outsource contracts."
Advances in IP technology mean that the outsourcing and VCC markets are expanding rapidly, of course, but the complexity of managing outsourcing relationships and gaining an accurate picture of operations spread across multiple sites and providers is dramatically reducing the benefits organizations are able to achieve. Issues such as increased management and reporting costs, lack of a single view of all operations and an inability to move resources in real-time are all holding back adoption.
Exony recommends better routing and reporting on calls, with the idea being savings through better integration and reporting on telecom links with outsourced providers, and improved management of extended networks for lower administration costs when managing resource changes, such as adding agents.
Canton, Michigan-based public relations agency, Markit Strategies and PR has announced today it has been named agency of record for CRM vendor Plexus Systems, Inc. in Auburn Hills, Michigan for the second year.
Plexus, a software-as-a-service firm, has released record earnings, posting a 53 percent growth in 2006. It sells the on demand manufacturing performance system Plexus Online, combining the capabilities of enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), quality management, customer relationship management (CRM), shop floor integration, and more.
Patrick Fetterman, vice president of marketing for Plexus, called Markit Strategies "integral to the success of Plexus over the past 14 months."
Plexus Online is an on-demand manufacturing performance system, originating internally at a manufacturing company, and was designed to resolve quality challenges, including production, distribution and global supply chains management issues.
Today, Plexus Online is used for other functions, such as accounting, compliance and human resources. Plexus Systems serves a cross section of manufacturing industries (OEM and suppliers), particularly automotive, defense, medical device and aerospace companies. The vendor has partnered with Apax Partners, a private equity group.
SAP AG has announced more than 80 new additions to its portfolio of qualified SAP All-in-One industry products as partners use the first enterprise service-oriented architecture platform for midsize companies from SAP.
Using enablement programs and tools from SAP to introduce new and upgraded products based on SAP ERP 2005, partners across the globe have introduced an initial 14 new products in the Americas, 15 new products in Asia Pacific and 53 in Europe, Middle East and Africa. SAP made the announcement at the CeBIT 2007 trade fair, being held in Hanover, Germany.
The qualified SAP All-in-One partner products include micro-vertical best practices and, according to company officials, will enable improvements in user experience, analytical reporting and integrated customer relationship management (CRM).
Sand Technology Inc., a vendor of CRM and other enterprise information management products, has reported a loss for the year ended July 31, 2006 of $3,926,971 ($0.31 per share), a decrease of 47% against a loss of $7,363,054 for the same period last year ($0.57 per share). All figures are in Canadian dollars.
For the quarter ended July 31, 2006, the net loss amounted to $1,201,521 ($0.09 per share) against a loss of $2,225,178 in the fourth quarter of last year ($0.17 per share).
NetSuite would like you to know that more companies have switched to NetSuite from QuickBooks. These companies, NetSuite officials say, switched to NetSuite for one software product that integrates ERP, CRM and e-commerce, which can accommodate rapid growth as well as "take away the pains associated with using different silo applications."
QuickBooks is widely used by small businesses, but it has limitations for growing companies. The most powerful version of QuickBooks -- QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions -- can only support 20 simultaneous users and only track a finite number of items, customers, or vendors, according to Intuit.com findings cited by NetSuite officials.
Primarily an accounting package, QuickBooks requires a business to buy and integrate separate applications in order to run sales force management, ecommerce operations, marketing and customer support.
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