Oracle in at Swisscom and out at MRF, SugarCRM in Ubuntu, CA's Enterprise IT Management, Autonomy and Convera

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Oracle in at Swisscom and out at MRF, SugarCRM in Ubuntu, CA's Enterprise IT Management, Autonomy and Convera

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bill Evans jazz:

Oracle has announced that current CRM client Swisscom, a communications provider in Switzerland, has implemented Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management to "deliver and bill for media and entertainment services including ringtone and movie downloads and IPTV."

Swisscom officials say the application is tasked with improving the time to market for new media and entertainment services from nine months to a few weeks.

Swisscom has been using Oracle's Siebel applications for its front-office and customer relationship management (CRM) application to its more than 4 million fixed line and 4 million mobile customers, as well as broadband and IPTV subscribers.

Ueli Hostettler, Planning and Strategy Manager, Swisscom, said Oracle's" vision for delivering media and entertainment services over communications channels" matches Swisscom's goals for technology architecture, allowing the communications provider to "increase customer satisfaction."

Oracle officials say Bebo, a social networking site in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand as well as the United States, has implemented the Oracle Database 10g to provide scalable infrastructure for its growing social network. The Web site has more than 31 million registered users and garners over 5 billion page views each month and 1.2 million photo uploads each day.

According to recent numbers from Gartner cited by CA officials, "on average $8 out of every $10 spent in IT is 'dead money,' not contributing directly to business change and growth," much of that spent on CRM, of course. Some enterprises spend 90 percent of their IT budgets "just to keep standing still."

Those comments come from Gartner, Inc.'s "The 2006 Gartner Symposium Keynote: IT Must Think Differently, Act Differently and Be Different to Drive Business Growth," by Mark Raskino, Daryl Plummer, Audrey Apfel, Richard Hunter, and Stephen Prentice, released October 2006.

CA has announced the next product in its Enterprise IT Management line with a Unified Service Model and an accompanying set of Capability Solutions.

"IT organizations continue to devote a large percentage of their time and limited resources just to support existing capabilities," CA officials say, explaining that their new products address this by "enabling organizations to better manage costs and risk, improve service levels, and align IT efforts with the goals of the business."

"IT organizations must overcome complexity and become internal providers of value-added services," said Al Nugent, executive vice president and CTO at CA.

The Unified Service Model is maintained in a Configuration Management Database. CA CMDB is designed to support the Unified Service Model, which is enabled through automated mapping of relationships between IT services and infrastructure components that support those services.

This mapping facilitates resolution of issues and allows IT to prioritize actions based on the importance of those services to the business. "As long as IT operations remained siloed in terms of process and technology, IT organizations will be limited in their ability to adopt a truly service-centric approach to business enablement," said Tim Grieser, vice president, System Management Software Research, IDC.

CA IT Governance products would let IT executives manage demand, by providing insight into the cost and quality of an end-to-end service -- "such as e-mail or CRM," company officials say -- rather than being limited to the management of the infrastructure and labor components that support those services.

SAP India has announced that MRF Limited, an Indian tire manufacturing company, has selected SAP for Automotive products.

Carefully noting that the tire manufacturer "opted to replace existing applications from Oracle," SAP officials say the tire manufacturer has chosen SAP ERP and SAP CRM products based on the SAP NetWeaver platform.

With global operations manufacturing and distributing tires to more than 75 countries, MRF officials say they needed the SAP products to "improve visibility throughout its entire value chain from raw materials to finished-goods partners in order to better plan for and adapt to fluctuations in global supply and demand."

The new products will let the company integrate data between logistics and finance, eliminating redundant work and saving time and operational costs, officials say.

MRF will implement SAP solutions at its six global manufacturing plants and 100 sales offices including the company headquarters in Bangalore. The implementation is currently underway with a go-live expected in the fourth quarter of 2007. MRF will also establish an automotive user group within the company in its efforts to better user reception and ensure better ROI.

Canonical Ltd, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has announced the availability of Sugar Open Source for users of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS edition (Long Term Support).

The "simplified deployment process" and "ease of use" of Ubuntu, combined with SugarCRM's feature-rich business processes, is designed to help companies "build better customer relationships at a lower cost," according to SugarCRM officials.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS is freely available, including security updates for five years on servers, with no restrictions on usage. Businesses can download and install Sugar from the Ubuntu repository using the integration that Canonical and SugarCRM have developed.

SugarCRM's Web 2.0 architecture and AJAX-enabled user interface offers a product in the customer relationship management market. Sugar Open Source has been translated into over 50 languages and over 300 extensions have been built to enhance and extend the application.

"Demand for Ubuntu is growing rapidly among SugarCRM customers who require enterprise-level performance and reliability when running Sugar. Ubuntu offers a great user experience and vibrant community that complements SugarCRM's open source project," said John Roberts, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of SugarCRM.

Worldwide commercial support, for Ubuntu deployments where the assurance of a Service Level Guarantee (SLG) is required, is available directly from Canonical's Global Support Services team. Support for SugarCRM is available directly from SugarCRM at

Launched in October 2004, Ubuntu is a Linux distribution with millions of users around the world and is free to download, free to use and free to distribute to others.

Autonomy Corporation has announced the hiring of the Federal sales team from Convera FAST. The team members, who hold federal clearances to service and sell to the U.S. government community, will be based in Autonomy's Falls Church, Virginia offices.

Executives joining Autonomy include the Vice President of Sales and Operations, Vice President of Product Engineering and the Security Program Manager.

Stouffer Egan, CEO of Autonomy said the sales team has been serving the interests of Convera customers, who "represent the majority of the company's RetrievalWare revenue," and that it is important that these customers "have access to continued support, advanced technology and cleared services personnel" which Autonomy sells.

Earlier this month Convera Corporation announced an agreement to sell its RetrievalWare enterprise software business to Fast Search & Transfer ASA for cash.

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