By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Billie Holiday's Lady In Autumn.
Infusion Software, a vendor of what it calls "on-demand active CRM" and marketing automation software built primarily for small businesses, has announced Version 5.0, the latest release of its flagship product Infusion CRM.
Company officials say Version 5.0 offers an upgrade path for the company's entire customer base of software-as-a-service users.
The version includes conversion tracking, which allows users to insert a pay-per-click conversion code to the success page of e-commerce shopping carts inside Infusion CRM, "enabling small business to benefit from immediate ROI on specific pay-per-click advertising campaigns," company officials say.
There's also something called "Round Robin Sales Team Assignment Logic," which includes two distribution types available to use with Round Robin assignment -- One Record Per Round, or Random Based on Ratio. Evidently, When creating a round robin for distributing contacts, CRM can users select their preferred logic to distribute the records.
The "Expiring Credit Card Trigger" sounds genuinely useful. This feature allows companies to create a trigger that automatically runs for a certain number of days before or after the expiration date of a credit card. Infusion CRM users can then follow up with customers regarding expiring cards without having to worry about getting their current information on-time.
Infusion Software is a privately-held software company headquartered in Arizona.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange-listed Update Software AG, a European vendor of CRM products headquartered in Vienna, has taken over 100 percent of German CRM specialist Orgaplan Software GmbH.
The deal was closed in Cologne yesterday.
The purchase price of EUR 5.8 million will be paid on the basis of a two-year earn-out model. With this takeover, Update officials say the company is "continuing its strategy of sector-focusing" and "expanding its technology and competence leadership in CRM systems for the financial services segment."
The addition of Orgaplan will give Update "the largest customer base in the German banking market," Update officials claim, as well as "the most comprehensive portfolio of tailored CRM products for the banking & finance sector." Update CEO Thomas Deutschmann called the acquisition "a further step in our strategy of growth through sector-focusing.
With approximately 200 customers, Orgaplan Software is one of the higher-profile CRM vendors in the German banking and savings bank sector. The company’s customers include more than half of the savings banks and public-sector credit institutions in Germany and a third of the big commercial and agricultural credit cooperatives.
Besides its headquarters in Cologne, Orgaplan operates a branch in Hanover and has around 60 employees. Hans-Ulrich Krauss and Burkhard Demming founded the company in 1987, and developed its CRM software named "Kunden-Betreuungs-Programm." The two founders will remain with the company following the takeover.
Update Software was founded in Vienna in 1988, has over 200 employees and saw annual revenues of EUR 23.4 million in 2006. Its products are used by more than 120,000 employees at over 1,000 companies.
Mumbai-based blueMango has released Ryo CRM, under the name Ryosuite.com. Company officials say it is a suite of enterprise applications providing on-demand products designed to "facilitate you in managing your businesses effectively."
Among all relevant factors, "affordability”, “accessibility” and "manageability" are the ones identified by blueMango officials as "the key factors for the reluctance of most SMBs to embrace the business application." Keeping these factors in mind, blueMango Solutions is launching the CRM application named RYO CRM, part of their Enterprise Application Suite branded as RYO Suite.
However, there are more applications in production for SMBs to come under RYO Suite, officials say, including RYO Project, RYO ERP, RYO Payroll, RYO Logistic and RYO Billing, "to name a few."
RYO Suite will be launched as an on-demand product using the pay-per-use model of hosted environment. "It is a subscription-based mode," company officials say, where companies can subscribe for monthly or annual usage per user license.
The company is offering a free trial for 15 days, details at ryosuite.com.
Amdocs Limited has reported that for the quarter ended March 31, 2007, revenue was $706.4 million, an increase of 17.5 percent from last year's second quarter.
Net income on a non-GAAP basis was $114.5 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, excluding acquisition-related costs, which include amortization of purchased intangible assets, in-process research and development write-off and other, and excluding restructuring charges and equity-based compensation expense, net of related tax effects, of $27.3 million.
This is compared to non-GAAP net income of $95.5 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2006, excluding acquisition-related costs, which include amortization of purchased intangible assets, and equity-based compensation expense, net of related tax effects, of $13.8 million.
The company's GAAP net income was $87.2 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $81.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2006. Free cash flow for the quarter was $57.9 million, comprised of cash flow from operations of $91.2 million less $33.3 million in net capital expenditures.
Dov Baharav, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited, said during the quarter "we formally launched our Amdocs 7 suite of products."
Baharav cited "an existing customer in Europe" for whom Amdocs has been engaged to provide a CRM product for "multiple market segments."
In an article carried by New Zealand Reseller News, industry observer Ben Ames writes that "IBM has a plan to stop the computing delays familiar to users of virtual worlds and online games, simply by adding its Cell gaming chips to its mainframe servers."
Nicknamed the "Gameframe," Ames says that in addition to solving "performance problems in delivering rich graphics for the 3D Internet, future versions could handle business applications like ERP, CRM, virtual stores and meeting rooms, collaboration environments, data repositories and mapping."
Industry observer Ann Steffora Mutschler writes that IBM officials say it'll be a "blazingly" fast and powerful hybrid platform: "Big Blue said the project leverages the mainframe’s ability to accelerate work via specialty processors, as well as its unique networking architecture, which allows the ultra-fast communication needed to create virtual worlds with millions of simultaneous users sharing a single universe."
IBM developed the Cell Broadband Engine chip in conjunction with Sony and Toshiba for use in industries ranging from aerospace and defense to gaming, Ames says, including Sony's PlayStation 3 video-game console.
The idea, says Ames, is for IBM to "create a hybrid machine through the integration of the Cell processor with its System z9 Business Class (z9BC) mainframe server. The z9BC is the vendor's entry-point product for businesses that need less capacity than the System z9 Enterprise Class mainframe."
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