By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again." Once in high school, during a particularly boring class, First Coffee wrote out all the lyrics to this song, one of the truly great songs of the rock era, on his desk. It was a true, although unappreciated, work of art:
Oracle has announced that it will preview the latest version of Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand, which'll count as its 14 release in three and a half years. The product is engineered to help users "simplify user tasks, reduce clicks and page refreshes, and provide page customization features to personalize work environments," company officials say.
Siebel CRM On Demand also plans to enable integration capabilities so that customers and partners can establish integration between Siebel CRM On Demand and other applications. The new release, company officials promise, "plans significant functionality enhancements across its sales, marketing, services, analytics, built-in call center, and industry edition capabilities."
Anthony Lye, Oracle Senior Vice President, CRM On Demand, says the product's being hosted on Oracle's Grid-based on demand infrastructure with an all-Oracle stack should give customers "levels of scalability, availability, and security at a cost we don't think any of our competitors can match."
Planned capabilities in Siebel CRM On Demand include "next-generation usability," which basically means using the latest in browser technologies such as Ajax, in-line edit, and Web 2.0 constructs. The company also plans to add homepage customization so users can arrange elements on the page, including lists, history, and favorites.
There are also customization capabilities which let organizations embed best practices, streamline data entry and configure different layouts for different types of records, as well as support for complex, cross-matrixed organizations with features that make it easier to setup the system to model their organizational structure and provide access to the appropriate information.
Nashville-based inBusiness Services has announced their selection by the Independent Community Bankers of America as an ICBA Preferred Service Provider for customer relationship management (CRM) software.
InBusiness Services is the developer of 360 View CRM, a product for integrating a financial institution's core products and services with third-party offerings to "build a three-hundred-and-sixty-degree view of the customer independent of any core customer information file limitations," according to company officials.
360 View CRM was developed specifically for financial institutions and includes functions for managing referrals, incidents, customer touches, personal follow ups, cross-sells, customer ranking and attrition and other needs.
According to the 2006 ICBA Technology Survey, 31 percent of community financial institutions plan to evaluate CRM applications in the next 12 to 18 months.
"As more and more community banks examine the advantages of implementing CRM Software, we are excited to have teamed up with inBusiness Services, which is well suited for community banks," said Dan Clancy, senior vice president of services for ICBA.
Creative Manager has announced version 8.4.2 of its flagship product, Creative Manager Pro. Expected in early May, the focus this month is on graphical calendaring.
After last month's integration with Apple's Mac OS X iCal and Microsoft's Outlook, Creative Manager Pro "turns it attention inward to allow the user to see a graphical representation of the project schedule across the entire firm," according to company officials.
"For the past few months, we've been focused on integration with outside systems," said Ron Ause, Creative Manager's director of marketing. "This new release now adds more features to our own internal calendar."
The new graphical calendar allow users of Creative Manager Pro to see all projects on one calendar view, and gives users the ability to color-code projects for presentation and review. The product adds features that work with Apple's latest Tiger Mac OS X and future Leopard Unix-based Operating System and Microsoft Windows.
Creative Manager Pro "goes beyond costing to offer full Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting, and Extranet capabilities," company officials say.
Creative Manager Pro is created for ad agencies and other creative design and service firms. It's basically a Web-based integrated project management software and job tracking tool "streamlining the entire firm, from developing new business, to staffing, managing, and executing projects through to accounting and financial reporting," company officials say.
RegOnline, a vendor of online registration and event management services, has completed integration of its services with salesforce.com.
This integration "addresses the growing needs of the event planning business," RegOnline officials say, as "more event professionals capitalize on automation of their processes with computer software."
The integration of CRM tools into registration software is intended to help improve the efficiency of the process. Specifically, integration with Salesforce allows users to share leads and customers between services.
With the addition of RegOnline to the AppExchange network, RegOnline officials expect that SalesForce clients with event management needs will begin looking at online registration software as a complementary system to their lead-generation efforts.
The addition of CRM software to event management is done on the theory that it promotes understanding of the event planning process as a sales funnel.
Seattle-based Tableau Software, a vendor of visual analysis software, has launched its Tableau v3.0 data analysis software.
Company officials say it is "designed for information workers in all job functions and industries," as it "enables people to summarize and explore their everyday data with an intuitive interface that generates crisp visual displays."
Tableau v3.0 lets users create fully interactive dashboards in a drag and drop workflow "without any IT support or programming," company officials say, so users can "compare information, including data from multiple sources. For example, you can monitor business performance in a dynamic dashboard using data from Excel, Oracle, and SQL Server simultaneously."
Tableau v3.0 has what company officials describe as "a new class of filters that dynamically update all displays in worksheets and dashboards" as well, letting users "create and adjust a filter and watch an array of visual displays update simultaneously."
CGI Group Inc. has announced the signing of a contract to implement CGI's Strata product in order to modernize the billing and customer care environment of its partner, Australian communications giant Telstra. The Strata decisioning capabilities will be integrated with a product based on out-of-the-box Siebel CRM, Kenan Billing and Tribold Product Catalog capabilities.
As part of the deployment, CGI will replace Telstra's existing decisioning application used for Credit Assessments and centralize it on the Strata platform for both Credit Assessments and Collections.
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