By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an iTunes Grateful Dead assemblage, highlights being "Scarlet Begonias" and "Row Jimmy." Get past all the bushwa, all the skeletons and flowers and smoke and stumblebum Deadheads not in possession of a life, and you have an excellent American blues-folk rock band which understood song structure. The guitar work on the longer jams gets real boring real fast, yeah, but maybe that's why you had to take all the drugs to sit through the shows:
So I'm 32 for 32 in my brackets, how about you?
Seriously, First Coffee's 23-9. Smartest pick: VCU over Duke. Stupidest pick: Wright State over Pitt. Bad pick I'm still proud of: Davidson over Maryland.
Pharmacy benefits manager Cypress Care Inc. has announced that it'll convert from its existing salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) product, synthesize its customer data and business intelligence, and reduce its total cost of ownership for CRM technology by more than an estimated $400,000 over the next five years, by switching to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Marc Datelle, president of Cypress Care, says the "superior use of business IT" is part of the company's rapid growth to more than $100 million in annual revenues in less than six years. "The switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM will expand Cypress Care's Microsoft software platform, providing the unified technology base needed to accelerate the company's growth," Datelle said.
"We had data about our customers all over the place. Our selling groups were stepping on each other's toes," Datelle said, explaining that they'll use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM to "pull all of our customer information into one universal view -- one that each business unit can take ownership in."
But hey, the really big sports news: New Zealand beat England by six wickets in their group match in the Cricket World Cup. With minnows Kenya and Canada left to play, the Black Caps are virtually assured of winning the group.
Norfolk, Virginia-based CRM vendor Dominion Enterprises, which sells a range of media and information services, has acquired Resite Information Technology, an Internet marketing and Web-based software business serving the apartment management industry. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Resite IT has a client base of 80 property management companies, which are responsible for approximately 2,000 apartment complexes nationwide.
The company provides three main products to apartment communities: ResidentHub, for online payment and enhanced resident customer service, LeasingPath, for streamlining the leasing process online and MarketingWebsites, for customizing Web sites for apartment communities.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Dominion Enterprises Conrad M. Hall called Resite an "important new addition to the services we offer the apartment industry."
The flagship properties offered by Dominion Enterprises' For Rent Media Solutions division include For Rent magazine, comprising 85 publications in 190 markets nationwide and ForRent.com, which has over 50,000 apartment listings.
Resite IT's co-founders Brad Wisler, Chief Executive Officer, Mike Trotzke, Chief Technical Officer, Marc Guyer, Lead Engineer, and Greg Starr, Vice President of Business Development and the company's 12 employees will remain with the business under Dominion Enterprises' ownership and continue to be based in Bloomington.
Funny how the West bracket started out with pretty much all of college basketball's storied programs -- Kentucky and Kansas, the two winningest teams of all time, play each other, and the draw also featured such royalty as UCLA, Indiana and Duke. All it was missing was North Carolina.
PacificNet, Inc., a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor with a tidy sideline in gambling technology in China, has announced that its subsidiary, PacificNet Games Limited (PacGames), has launched a new line of gambling products called the Multiplayer Electronic Table Game Series at the 6th International Gaming & Entertainment Expo in Macau, China.The first products in the Multiplayer Electronic Table Game Series, Multiplayer Electronic SicBo Machines, were given positive reviews upon their initial presentation to the leading casino operators in Asia.
PacificNet Inc. currently owns 51 percent of PacGames and has a preemptive right to maintain the 51 percent ownership in case of any dilution due to exercise of options or warrants by any new investors.
"This is the first time PacificNet has had a chance to showcase our gaming products at a leading international expo in Macau," said Tony Tong, CEO of PacificNet. "After achieving early success in the Macau gaming market we believe that we are ready to expand into other parts of Asia as we see strong demand and opportunities for growth in other Asian gambling markets."
Macau is the fastest growing part of China, and PacificNet officials pronounce themselves "very excited" to be moving forward in their pursuit of the Macau gambling technology business.
One game is SicBo, which originated in China over one thousand years ago and is a game of chance played with three dice that are shaken in a basket or a plastic cup. Usually the dice are shaken on a small plate covered with a bowl, which is then lifted to reveal the roll. In modern casinos the dice are shaken mechanically, and the outcome is keyed into a computer which automatically lights up the winning zones on the table.
SicBo is popular in Asia and widely played (as dai siu or big small) in casinos in Macau. It is played in the Philippines as hi-lo. It was introduced into the USA by Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century, and can now be found in most American casinos. Grand hazard and chuck-a-luck are variants of English origin.
Vormittag Associates, Inc., an ERP vendor for the IBM iSeries, has announced that it has pre-configured its S2K enterprise management software with the Extol International line of business integration software.
Extol sells B2B integration software for both internal and external collaboration. The move is a pitch to mid-market manufacturers' and distributors' growing need for business integration, which if done correctly can help resolve the issues of inaccurate forecasts, poor inventory management, incorrect order fulfillment and unnecessary labor costs, among others, thereby decreasing charge-backs, penalties and fines.
VAI is selling the S2K software system with pre-built integration to the Extol Business Integrator. To expedite the most commonly used business integration functions, certain S2K functions automatically launch views and maps to Extol Integrator. For example, S2K now ships with preconfigured maps between Extol and most major trading partners; the Extol functionality includes EDI management that integrates with multiple departments and applications throughout the enterprise.
The integration is being billed to customers as allowing them to "perform at superior levels in the supply chains of their customers," and to "manage their own global sourcing."
The S2K/Extol product is being billed as helping small IT teams respond to customer demands and new business opportunities. "Even small supply side companies require a business integration product just to stay in the game," said Steve Rosen, Extol Vice President Marketing. "Supply chain participation is no longer merely sending and receiving documents, like EDI, for example. The large retail, automotive and industrial customers demand a collaborative approach from their suppliers."
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