By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is… well, we're back to our touchstone here, the album we have to listen to at least six times a year, the greatest rock album ever made or which will ever be made, the Rolling Stones's shambling kudzu sprawl of a masterpiece, Exile On Main Street, a runaway freight train joyriding between Chicago and New Orleans at night with Hank Williams, Keith Richards and Robert Johnson passing a whiskey bottle around the locomotive as the ghosts of Mississippi Delta blues guitarists and white Southern gospel shouters trade off at the throttle, a freeway crash of blues, country, gospel and rock with a tanker-truckload of the Rev. Billy Joe McAllister’s Kentucky Gospel Whiskey on your way to see what those Delta Sunday morning gospel musicians do in the juke joints on Saturday nights:
Research firm Forrester Research, which has to First Coffee's knowledge never been described as " a freeway crash of blues, country, gospel and rock," has recently named Oracle's Siebel CRM as having a strong current offering in their report "Forrester Wave Evaluation: Enterprise CRM Suites for Financial Services, Q1 March 2007."
Forrester also names Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM and Siebel CRM On Demand as "strong performers" in this recent report.
To assess the state of the CRM market, Forrester analyzed strengths and weaknesses of various enterprise CRM suites vendors across 464 criteria in three areas of current offering, strategy and market presence.
According to the vendor summary cited in the report, "Through years of experience, the Siebel CRM product has developed in such a way that it routinely provides critical but undervalued functionality. It is one of the few products in this evaluation to offer strong field campaign management to accommodate bank branches, insurance agent offices and investment broker offices."
Now that the subscription delivery model is getting more popular, Oracle's expanding its hosted CRM offerings. What with more than 12 new product releases in just over three years, Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand delivers a well-thumbed hosted CRM product.
Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand provides such CRM capabilities as built-in analytics, a built in-virtual call center, and vertical editions featuring industry-specific out-of-the-box functionality.
"Financial services customers are realizing tremendous benefit from pre-built, industry specific functionality such as account set up and field campaign management," said Oracle Vice President of CRM Strategy Mike Betzer.
Flat Rock, Michigan-based -- and how many times do you start a news item with that lead-in? -- Kaleidico, an Internet technology company selling Web-based lead management tools to mortgage companies and other sales organizations, has announced the release of icoSales Enterprise Edition.
The product is a customizable lead acquisition, allocation and management application aligning "prospects with the sales person data shows is likely to understand their needs and finalize their transaction," according to company officials.
The product manages all leads regardless of type or source, incorporates data verification services, and synchronizes with online lead generation companies.
"We created icoSales EE for mortgage companies, banks, call centers and other large sales organizations looking for a lead management platform with CRM functionality," said Bill Rice, CEO of Kaleidico. "These organizations want to ensure that the leads they purchase are accurate, qualified and closable."
IcoSales EE is built specifically for organizations with more than 1,000 sales agents and multiple, affiliate offices. It allows for controlled branch autonomy so field offices can purchase and measure leads from different sources than the home office, better understand how their sales people are performing with specific leads and then make changes as appropriate.
For example, a mortgage company that has offices in Boston and Los Angeles can purchase and measure leads from one set of vendors for its Boston office and work with an entirely separate group of lead providers for its Los Angeles office.
Star B2B, a business-to-business and consumer targeted marketing firm, has joined Star Marketing Group, a division of Omnicom Group, Inc. Star B2B joins Star Marketing's other units, which include Optima, Critical Mass, The Daggerwing Group, Innovyx, Javelin Direct, SigmaWorks Group, OMD Digital and OMD Direct.
Star B2B offers marketers a value proposition in the business-to-business and consumer sectors. Its demand generation response rates are implemented via multi-touch and multi-channel communications which are, company officials promise, "100 percent measurable."
Company officials also promise "upfront research and analysis" allowing Star B2B to "target fewer, yet more promising leads."
Star B2B is led by Dennis McGuire and Michael Carney. McGuire co-founded Saligent, a business-to-business lead generation agency. Carney is the former managing director of Rapp Collins Chicago. Star B2B is a joint venture between Omnicom's Star Marketing and MarketStar, a sales and marketing outsourcing company.
Star Marketing is comprised of Omnicom agencies mixing and matching from a variety of marketing disciplines, including CRM, interactive, direct marketing, digital and search media, analytics, ROI and marketing sciences, teleservices and e-mail.
Infusion Software, a vendor of CRM and marketing automation software for small businesses, has announced the appointment of David Yohe as its Director of Marketing and Jeff Mask as Director of Business Development.
Yohe joins the company from global retail and manufacturing software producer JDA Software where he served as Director of Direct Marketing and Mask worked with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals as a Sales Representative in California.
Yohe is a graduate of the University of Arizona where he earned a BA in Radio/TV Media Arts focused on Marketing and Advertising. Mask holds a B.A. degree in Communications with an emphasis in Marketing and Advertising from Brigham Young University.
Prestige International USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prestige International, Inc., has announced the expansion of service at its Los Angeles area facility to include support for luxury brand and concierge services.
As a global vendor of BPO and CRM outsourcing services, Prestige International extends this capability to its Los Angeles contact center where it currently supports several luxury/concierge clients. Over the past several months, product knowledge and best practices for the support of luxury brands and concierge service were transferred to the Los Angeles facility from other global locations, including San Francisco and London.
Summit Realty Group, a commercial real estate firm serving greater Indianapolis and a member of the Cushman & Wakefield Alliance, and Ascendix Technologies, the publishers of Real Estate Advantage, have announced that Summit Realty Group has selected Real Estate Advantage as its new industry-tailored CRM platform and project management platform.
Summit officials say they wanted a centralized system to manage contacts, projects and property data as well as to improve access to that data. The firm also wanted a system that could be used while on the road or in the office.
The realty group's officials were "impressed with the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM," they said, but wanted something that could "combine the Microsoft technology with applications tailored for the commercial real estate industry."
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