What CRM is Not, NetSuite at Linden Lab, GoldMine's Facelift, Agassi Out at SAP

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What CRM is Not, NetSuite at Linden Lab, GoldMine's Facelift, Agassi Out at SAP

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Pogues' rendition of Eric Bogle's "Waltzing Matilda," a fine song about the World War I campaign by the ANZACs at Gallipoli, not the unofficial Australian national anthem:

It's a favorite pastime for those of us in CRM to spend lots of time and effort defining what CRM is -- Paul Greenberg's done a heroic job -- but First Coffee would like to take a few moments here to define what CRM is not. Orthodox theologians would call this the apophatic approach -- defining by the negative.

For example, CRM is not the Wild Horse Coordinated Resource Management Project, scheduled to begin this year near Ellensburg, Idaho, according to local reporter Mike Johnston:

The Western Watersheds Project sent a letter to the state Department of Fish & Wildlife indicating it will challenge proposed cattle grazing in the state-owned Whisky Dick Wildlife Area 15-20 miles east of Ellensburg, the site of the Wild Horse CRM project.

Fine idea, great project. But not our baby.

NetSuite, Inc., a vendor of on-demand business management software for small- and mid-sized businesses, has announced that Linden Lab, creator of Second Life, a 3D virtual world, has selected NetSuite to help manage its rapid growth.

In January 2007 alone, Second Life Residents converted their Linden Dollars into approximately $5 million, company officials say. NetSuite "operates invisibly in the background to manage back-end operational processes," NetSuite officials say, adding that Linden Lab is "in the process of implementing NetSuite CRM functionality."

"Second Life has grown nearly seven-fold in the last twelve months," said John Zdanowski, Linden Lab's chief financial officer. "We needed a system that could support our growth." Company officials say they needed business software that could be installed quickly -- in about 60 days -- and just as swiftly scale with its rapid growth.

Linden Lab chose NetSuite in large part for its ability to replace separate ERP and CRM applications with a single, integrated business management application, and its track record in scaling with growing companies, Linden officials say.

Second Life is a 3D online world with a population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.

The Second Life Grid is a development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, the former CTO of RealNetworks, to create a shared 3D experience.

St. Jude Medical, Inc. recently announced it has completed the testing process established by the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, an initiative promoting the adoption of standards that enable healthcare information to be shared across clinical settings. The testing took place during IHE's annual Connectathon in Chicago.

St. Jude Medical is the first manufacturer of cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices to test a product for conformance with an IHE interconnectivity profile. Great company doing great work, but not what we do.

CRM vendor GoldMine gets a facelift: Dystrick design, Inc., a creative design and communications agency, has announced the launch of the new GoldMine Web site at www.goldmine.com. The new site was created for CRM vendor FrontRange Solutions.

Designed and implemented by dystrick, the site promotes the release of GoldMine Enterprise Edition. "Heightening the significance of the launch of the new site," GoldMine officials say, Microsoft has featured GoldMine Enterprise Edition as its mid-market Sales & Marketing product as part of the January 30, 2007, launch of Windows Vista.

Microsoft has linked its Windows Vista site to the new GoldMine site, driving visitors to the site to hear about GoldMine Enterprise with Vista. The new site also serves as an introduction for a new FrontRange marketing and branding campaign for GoldMine Enterprise Edition.

Last month CRM Studios announced that it has executed a letter of intent to enter into a strategic agreement with Urban Television Network Corporation to re-launch the Urban Television Network. URBT will provide programming specifically targeting African-, Hispanic- and Asian-American audiences.

CRM Studios is an independent, top-tier film and video production company based in Fort Worth, no doubt they do a fine job, but they don't do our job.

SAP AG has announced that Executive Board member Shai Agassi has left the company "by mutual agreement," to "commit himself to his personal agenda of environmental policy and alternative energy sources and other issues."

Industry observers say Agassi was unhappy that he would have to wait longer to take over the company. Nancy Gohring has reported that "Agassi was scheduled to become co-CEO of SAP when Henning Kagermann leaves the job of CEO. However, SAP chairman and company founder Hasso Plattner asked Kagermann to retain his position until 2009," instead of leaving this year.

"Most likely, [Agassi] wasn't happy when I asked [Kagermann] to stay until 2009," SAP chairman Hasso Plattner said during a conference call to discuss the changes.

Some industry observers characterized the move as the new guard being pushed out by the old guard, as Agassi was widely seen as the driving force behind both NetWeaver and SAP's foray into on-demand which, as Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research told Gohring, are "absolutely critical to SAP's success. If he's not there to push these initiatives, I wonder if there's anyone else who can."

In a prepared statement Plattner said he had "shared with Shai my plan that he should become successor to Henning Kagermann as a co-CEO for SAP. With the extension of Henning's contract to 2009, it became apparent that Shai was not comfortable committing to a 10- to 15-year period, which was not in keeping with his personal career timeline."

Given this, "I made the recommendation to the Supervisory Board that we change our plans and now adjust SAP's executive management team responsibilities," Plattner said.

"I look forward to new opportunities, and working on issues that are important to me, including alternative energy and environmental policy issues, as well as the future of Israel," Agassi said.

The SAP Supervisory Board has accepted Agassi's resignation effective April 1, 2007. Leo Apotheker, president of Customer Solutions & Operations, and member of the Executive Board, will assume the new role of Deputy CEO of SAP AG effective immediately.

Klaus Kreplin, Corporate Officer, will continue to lead SAP NetWeaver technology, Jim Hagemann Snabe, Corporate Officer, will lead development of the SAP Business Suite and industry solutions and Bob Stutz will continue to lead the CRM team. All will report to Kagermann.

Plattner said Agassi's departure is "not at all related" to the recent lawsuit Oracle has filed charging SAP with stealing corporate information.

And no, the Moroccan Red Crescent Organization (CRM), fine work that they do, do not do what we do. So there you are -- we're not the Wild Horse Coordinated Resource Management Project, cardiac rhythm management, a film and television studio or the Moroccan Red Crescent. Hope that's all cleared up now.

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