By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Beethoven's late quartets, specifically Op. 127, 130, 133 and 135:
Sertel S.A., a Spanish provider of integrated customer support and services, has announced that they will deploy Jacada call center products to increase customer service efficiencies and "provide accessibility for visually impaired agents," Jacada officials have announced.
The agreement was developed through Jacada reseller, Datapoint Spain. Sertel S.A. is a customer management company that provides multi-channel service and support including telephone, fax, Internet, SMS, Web, and e-mail.
Mario Medina, communication and technology director for Sertel S.A., said prior to this project, "our visually impaired agents were not able to access the systems they needed to complete customer interactions. We selected Jacada products to provide extended accessibility to our business systems for these visually impaired agents in order to enhance their performance within the customer service environment."
Sertel, part of the ONCE Foundation in Spain, handles more than 25 million customer contacts annually, and has more than 750 operating sites in Spain, which service more than 300 clients across the financial services, telecommunications, tourism, insurance and utilities industries. Thirty percent of the agents working for Sertel have disabilities.
Founded in 1990, Jacada has more than 1200 customers and operates globally with offices in Atlanta, Israel, London and Munich.
Kintera Inc. has announced that the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure increased online giving in 2006 by 84 percent using Kintera Sphere technology.
Komen Maryland, one of many Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates using Kintera Sphere and recipient of Komen's 2006 Affiliate of the Year award, uses Kintera's social CRM system, which includes a content management system (CMS), e-mail and communications, and events technology to help the organization "save lives and end breast cancer forever," according to Kintera officials.
"Kintera's comprehensive social CRM system provides us with the tools we need to efficiently and effectively maintain a substantial online presence that includes event registration and online donation processing," said Patrick Drabinski, public relations director for Komen Maryland.
Building on their use of Friends Asking Friends Kintera Thon in 2005, Komen Maryland's 2006 Race for the Cure had 50 percent more online registrations. Friends Asking Friends, an online event fundraising software application, enabled Komen Maryland's more than 15,000 online registrants to create personal Web pages that show dollars raised and send e-mail solicitations to personal contacts.
Kintera's social CRM platform, which includes Friends Asking Friends, lets Komen Maryland merge the online and offline experiences of constituents into a single comprehensive view of all interactions. Event participants and donors can be added to Komen Maryland's CRM system and new interactions update existing contact records.
The social CRM system also lets Komen Maryland send targeted e-mails and communication. By merging the online and offline data of constituents, Komen Maryland is able to segment its donors based on identified preferences.
SugarCRM, a vendor of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced that it will host the first ever SugarCRM Global Developer Conference, May 3-5, 2007, at the Sainte Claire Hotel in San Jose.
All the usual suspects, HP, Intel, Microsoft, MySQL, Novell, Pervasive, Oracle and Sun, have signed on a sponsors of the conference, described by SugarCRM officials as "is designed for developers, administrators, users, and managers of CRM projects."
The conference offers over 40 sessions, including a keynote address from SugarCRM CEO John Roberts with special guest Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems. Breakout topics include "Building a Business Around SugarCRM" from community member David Moceri and "Implementing SugarCRM in the Developing World" by SugarCRM partner David O'Keefe.
Since its founding in 2004, SugarCRM has built a large CRM community with over 30,000 members, including 8,000 registered developers. The product won Customer Inter@ction Solutions' 2006 Product of the Year.
Company officials also promise major Sugar product announcements and roadmap strategies, keynotes on Commercial Open Source CRM from industry executives and community presentations on Sugar modules, dashlets and extensions.
There's more lighthearted fare on offer as well -- Thursday's dinner at the Testarossa Winery will feature the SugarCRM band performing live, and Friday's dinner at Tied House will be accompanied by comedy night.
Dallas-based Endeavor Commerce, publishers of SmartCatalog, a guided selling and configuration product for CRM and eCommerce, have announced its SmartCatalog product has been selected by Richardson Electronics.
Richardson Electronics is a global company with more than 70 sales offices throughout the world. A significant percentage of the company's products are modified or assembled for customer-specific requirements.
John DeNatale, CIO, Richardson Electronics, said he hopes SmartCatalog can "benefit our quote to order process. We evaluated and selected the SmartCatalog based on its integration with CRM, up-sell and cross-sell functionality, and the ability to deploy guided selling and configuration to the Web."
SmartCatalog lets enterprises increase revenue, decrease cost, and increase customer satisfaction by moving their business intelligence to the point of sale. SmartCatalog delivers sales configuration to ease the quote-to-order process for a sales channel.
And SmartCatalog deploys guided selling and product/service pricing, bundling and cross-sell/up-sell rules to the Web for what company officials call an "intuitive on-line buying experience."
Virgin Mobile, the British virtual network operator, has selected predictive analytics software to drive marketing campaign optimization and reduce customer churn.
The software from SPSS is supposed to let Virgin Mobile "analyze its customer data and the results of previous direct marketing campaigns to identify appropriate customer segments for new marketing initiatives" targeted at the mobile operator's 4 million customers, according to Virgin officials.
Virgin Mobile undertakes more than 100 marketing campaigns each year. By identifying the most appropriate customers for each of these, the mobile operator hopes to be able to lower campaign costs, reduce customer churn and increase revenue per user from event-triggered marketing activities.
So customers who add additional minutes by a certain amount and are likely to churn can be sent a text message reminding them of the benefits of a rewards scheme, at or close to the time they re-up their minutes, rather than within an ad hoc campaign.
Basically, Virgin Mobile hopes to be able to better predict the likelihood of a customer leaving and take measures to prevent this. Caroline Schmidt, CVM controller at Virgin Mobile, says the SPSS' predictive analytics "enables us to get closer to our customers and predict which campaign will work best for each one."
Customers only receive the communications they are likely to respond to and "we achieve higher response rates and a greater return on investment for each campaign," Schmidt explains. "This is true next-generation CRM."
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