By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, this Friday the 13th -- don't spill your coffee all over your laptop or drop it out of a fifth-story building -- and the music is Aimee Mann. First Coffee listens to quite a lot of Aimee. I'd heard the 'Til Tuesday singles, of course, but hadn't paid much attention to her solo career. It was hearing her sing a duet with Jim White on "Static On The Radio" that really hooked me on her voice, and the Live At St. Ann's Warehouse album that sold me on her songs:
Oracle has announced Oracle Siebel Wireless support for Blackberry from Research In Motion, bringing Oracle's CRM applications and capabilities to BlackBerry users.
With Siebel Wireless on the BlackBerry platform, users can access real-time CRM data via mobiles. "CRM is becoming a primary use of mobile and wireless technology among enterprises," noted Mary Wardley, research vice president, CRM Applications, at IDC.
In addition to having access to corporate e-mail, phone and other applications, users can manage customer interactions, service tasks, assess corporate data and collaborate while out of the office. Users can push notifications or data to any user via the BlackBerry push-based e-mail, voice and SMS text messaging channels.
Oracle officials are also pushing the idea that IT departments can use BlackBerry Enterprise Server's over-the-air application management and deployment to "help simplify integration and maintenance as mobile applications evolve."
Reynolds and Reynolds have announced an integration between their Power Customer Relationship Management application and Callbright's Call Management System. Officials of both companies say that it will enable automobile dealerships to "improve significantly the effectiveness of CRM activities, especially lead management and dealership call tracking."
Callbright sells a Web-based call management system for managing telephone traffic in real time. Its integration into Power CRM means that when a customer calls the dealership, a record containing the caller's information can be added to the CRM system. Dealership personnel also can link new and existing customers together, as well as take notes on calls within the CRM software.
Tony Fowler, vice president of New Product Design for Reynolds, explained that when a customer or prospect calls the dealership, a screen-pop appears that includes the caller's name, telephone number, and available demographics, "even if the caller has never contacted the dealership before," delivered "while the customer is on the phone, instead of after the call is completed."
Callbright actively integrates with Do Not Call lists and "enables dealerships to reach large audiences with pre-recorded announcements quickly and efficiently and to identify which advertisements are the most effective, based on telephone call response rates."
Cetova will launch C-Plan for its business performance products suite. "C-Plan is another one of Cetova's non- technical easy-to-use products," allowing users to "automate their existing budgeting processes and replace spreadsheets with data management and collaboration," says George Lambrianakos, President and CEO of Cetova.
With its Excel based interface, C-Plan enables non-technical users to view and compare past data trends. Users may enter their budgets manually or they may select from a variety of forecasting methods. They also have the ability to include comments and file attachments documenting their budgeting assumptions.
C-Plan organizes its users within a hierarchy to direct the workflow for the submission of budget worksheets. The workflow also provides notifications for budget submissions, approvals and rejections, which lets users track the progress of their budget cycle.
Cetova's integration with ERP systems means business data such as payroll, CRM, or sales can be integrated for planning and budgeting purposes and then combined into financial accounts, company officials say.
Spain's Inmersa Technologies has announced the release of Inmersa ERP Suite Open Source, an integrated "Browser Business Technology 100 Percent Internet for Small and Micro Companies 24/7 Anywhere, Anytime," according to the jawbreaker of an appellation, accessible "from any built in Browser Device."
Inmersa is a back and front-office product with ERP, CRM, Web portal and store front capabilities with Content Management System and Portal Creation on Click 100 Percent LAMP -- Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP.
Among others features, Inmersa has functions for sales, buys, dashboards, scorecards, mail reports, billing, finances, services, self-services and others. Company officials promise the product adapts to "any business environment," and focus on the product's use as a "flexible, cost-effective alternative for small and micro businesses."
Hong Kong-based Affinitiv has "aligned itself with Salesforce.com," company officials say, in "a new partnership to give its customers access to best-of-breed online Sales Effectiveness Technology."
The companies will work together to "help clients implement online technology products and automate the sales processes surrounding their SaaS initiatives," officials say.
Carole Bird, who heads up the Affinitiv Sales Effectiveness practice in APAC, says her company's alliance with Salesforce.com "provides clients with the technology, methodology and processes to achieve great success across the sales organization."
Affinitiv offers Business Strategies and Technology Consulting through its presence in North America , Europe , the Middle East and Asia.
Proposal Software, Inc. CEO John A. Laurino has announced that the company's proposal management software, Proposal Management and Production System, is now integrated with the widely-used LexisNexis InterAction client relationship management software.
LexisNexis sells CRM software and services to centralize a law firm's collective knowledge about clients and contacts.
By synchronizing access to InterAction software with PMAPS, the same data organized within InterAction can be directly accessed from within the proposal management platform. This is obviously pitched to law firm's proposal teams, who usually respond to RFPs and prepare proposals for new business objectives.
According to John McDonnell, vice president of LexisNexis, InterAction aggregates data such as client profiles, matters, notes and activities, and "transforms this data into the Relationship Intelligence a firm needs to make decisions."
InterAction is used by 80 percent of the nation's largest law firms, McDonnell said, and 30 percent of the United Kingdom's top law firms.
In other good news, Lagan has announced it has provided its call center software to the city and county of San Francisco to support a new 3-1-1 non-emergency call center.
Lagan's 3-1-1 product will be implemented both city and countywide and across departments including police, fire, public utilities, public health, social services and airport service, totaling over 27,000 users.
The call center hosted a public launch on March 29, giving San Francisco's 800,000 citizens access to city services through one consolidated phone number, 3-1-1. Lagan's services let municipalities provide improved customer service to residents, businesses and visitors by processing and tracking citizen requests and notifying callers when an issue or request is resolved.
Lagan will be deployed initially in the Department of Public Works and MTA (Muni-Transportation) and will eventually encompass departments citywide.
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