By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Neil Young's Live Rust:
Got an e-mail from a Dear Reader who had the same terrible customer service experience with Orbitz that First Coffee did a while ago:
How did you find Orbitz E-mail address , I also want to write because after booking a flight they never came through with confirmations as they say. Calling a phone number got me talking to some rep in India [which again got me promises ] NO RESULTS !
Very poor business people which I want them to know if you can provide me with their address. Thanks much.
Now someone explain to me how Caiman.com's still in business.
It might be a function of living in Istanbul, where the sports channels are Fox Sports and EuroSport, but First Coffee is enjoying watching cricket. It's quite a simple game -- keep the ball from knocking the sticks behind you by hitting it away, and score runs as you hit it -- and at least as interesting as baseball. In its one-day variety, anyway. I'm still not sure I could take the five-day cricket tests without making it a long tailgate party, which I'm told by a South African friend is how it's done.
I watched Ireland's stunning upset of Pakistan and some of the England - Canada match -- great things to do while practicing bass scales -- before turning the channel, outvoted three to one, to my kids' favorite sport to watch -- sumo wrestling. You get a lot more of that over here, too. The sports my kids are growing up watching are cricket, tennis, sumo, athletics, biathlon and American football. Not bad fare.
ERP Works of Australia officials have announced they will take advantage of iCatchIT KPO Marketing services, according to iCatchIT CEO Jonathan Corners.
Corners and ERP Works Principal Consultant David Gill signed an SLA agreement making iCatchIT the KPO marketing provider for ERP Works. In addition to Web development, software customization, and internal accounting, iCatchIT also offers KPO marketing.
Gill, who describes himself as "an Australian CRM entrepreneur," has formed ERP Works to market the Sage Accpac Integrated CRM & ERP product in Asia. He says he envisions a company that supplies one-stop business products for clients:
"Providing integrated CRM and Enterprise Resource Planning services to our Asian Pacific market is part of our long-range objective and, with the support of iCatchIT, we are in very high spirits now that it is becoming a reality."
ERP Works is a Sage-certified Solution Provider of Sage ERP software, which enables managers to gain access to enterprise-wide CRM services integrated with standard ERP processes, such as A/P-A/R, Inventory, Purchasing, HR, and of course CRM Sales and stakeholder contact.
"We couldn't be more excited. Gill is a valued client, and we are very happy with the level of trust that he has shown us," Corners said. "CRM Works was an early client of iCatchIT 's and this will expand and strengthen our business relationship even further."
ICatchIT Operations Manager for Australia Cecil Casas thinks every new business venture is "a venue for us to show our KPO marketing service and what dedicated staff can do in a KPO environment."
This is Family Hour, so First Coffee is happy to report that Olathe, Kansas-based CRM vendors Ruf Strategic Solutions, a database marketing company, is celebrating its 30th anniversary of business success this year.
This milestone is "a tribute to the commitment of four brothers who are keeping the family business running, as well as carrying on their father's dream of entrepreneurship," according to company officials.
Jacob and Sondra Ruf founded the company in the basement of their home in 1976, where Jacob developed decision support software to help organizations increase productivity and efficiency. Although Ruf passed away from colon cancer in 1995, his business is carried on by his four sons: Kurt, Eric, Jake II and Brian.
Kurt Ruf, eldest son and partner of Ruf Strategic Solutions, explained that his father was a self-taught information systems expert: "He was one of the founding fathers of this industry."
Jacob Ruf, along with Martin Baier, family friend and member of the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, worked together to create the first ZIP code-level marketing system. Ruf decided to expand on this and focus on database marketing, which led to creating the first commercially available relational database and the first business-clustering system using proprietary "corporate lifestyles." They sold companies tools for managing large amounts of data.
"The industry has changed so much since the introduction of the Internet," said Eric Ruf, brother and partner. "Tracking and measuring has become much easier for companies, but they still need a way to decipher mass amounts of data. This is where we come in because it is so important not only to have a strategy to reach your market, but also to have the ability to execute a successful campaign," Eric said.
The Ruf brothers' latest development for the travel and tourism industry is Visitor Analysis, a product promising "comprehensive analysis of actual visitors to a destination. It reveals visitors while providing insight into their travel behaviors and preferences," according to company officials.
"We know that the future of this company lies in the expansion of our current products for specific industries, such as travel and tourism," said Brian Ruf.
The Ruf brothers credit their success to the Midwestern values and work ethic their father instilled in them. "Dad always pushed us to compete, whether that was with each other or in business," said Kurt Ruf. "We are all quite different, but I think that is what makes this company work. We all have our own ideas to bring to the table, yet every one of us has the same goal -- to keep our father's dream alive. If we can do that as a family, then we're doing pretty well."
And that, friends, is what this great country is all about.
The Gosport Borough Council has become one of the first UK councils to implement a call center system that live connects to maps and council information via the Web.
A result of developments by Geographic Information Systems supplier GGP Systems and IT developer Status Computers, the system will give call center staff instant on-screen access to addresses, council records and location maps.
Gosport had been using a conventional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, but council officials decided they needed a product that would allow their call center to more easily deal with enquiries on a wide range of council services. A requirement was the integration of CRM, GIS, a central NLPG-standard address gazetteer, and back office systems.
“We had direct experience of conventional CRM systems and investigated all current offerings,” says Mike Glavin, Gosport’s GIS Administrator.”
Status Computers has looked at council requirements from the ground up and has developed the first commercial CRM-type system specifically for local authorities.
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