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May 2007

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Siebel CRM, Successful CRM Adoption, CRM Mobile Market, Infor Epiphany, Salesforce and Dow Jones, WorkWise

May 31, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beatles' Abbey Road:

Princeton Softech, a vendor of enterprise data management, has announced that Australian Newspaper Network, News Limited, has purchased Princeton Softech Optim Siebel Solution to manage continued data growth and improve operational efficiencies following a planned Siebel upgrade.

Optim's enterprise data management solutions help companies implement a proactive approach for faster, safer upgrades.

The News Limited newspaper network includes over 110 national, metropolitan, regional and community newspapers that reach into all areas of Australia and account for more than 70 percent of the country's circulation. Additionally, the organization has online and magazine divisions.

CRM and VoIP, Enforta WiMAX, Microsoft CRM, TEC Report on CMA, PacificNet

May 30, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is some Coleman Hawkins, some Clifford Brown and Max Roach:

Enforta has announced that it has commissioned its network and started to offer services in the regional capitals of Voronezh and Penza.

Networks in the cities of Ulyanovsk, Tula, and Yaroslavl are also operational and awaiting final regulatory consents. Services in Krasnoyarsk and Samara will be commissioned during June and July.

"We expand our service area by another 6 million people with the inclusion of these additional seven cities", said Victor Ratnikov, Enforta's General Director, adding that Enforta now operates "the largest wireless broadband 'footprint' in Russia covering a total of 25 regional capitals with over 50 million people."

Enforta has also announced that it expects to begin deploying the new Alvarion "BreezeMax 5200' product upon obtaining final Russian certifications during Q3.

"Enforta is unique in operating networks at both the 3.5 GHz and 5.2 GHz licensed frequencies", said Lee Sparkman, Enforta's President, adding that in his opinion enterprises will appreciate the "high data throughput and stability of 'BreezeMax 5200'" products, while consumers and small business will appreciate "the simplicity of self-installed equipment supported by 'BreezeMax 3500'."

Enforta plans to begin services in an additional eight cities during the second half of 2007.

"There are no 'silver bullets' when it comes to providing broadband services," Sparkman said, but going forward "Enforta will have the flexibility to deploy either Alvarion BreezeMax 3500, ideal for consumers and small business requiring self-installable equipment, or BreezeMAX 5200 for high performance, mission critical, enterprise applications, or both."      

Enforta was formed in October, 2003 with the objective to provide broadband services using WiMAX and other advanced technologies in Russia's regional capitals.

CRM Cert from Microsoft for Customer Connect, Vodafone CRM Brownout, Cortex 7.0, Lagan Muni CRM, Auto/Mate, VendorGuru

May 29, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Hootie & the Blowfish's "I'm Goin' Home:"

Customer Connect Associates, long affiliated with Microsoft, has become a Microsoft Certified Partner for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Connect officials say, adding that the "Certified Partner" designation recognizes "expertise and the total impact that Customer Connect has had upon the CRM marketplace."

Customer Connect President Geoff Ables said the company's goal is to reach the level of Microsoft Gold Certified "within the next twelve months."

Earlier this month Customer Connect Associates was retained by ClearWater Marketing to implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy and products.

Industry observer Howard Dahdah in Sydney reports that Vodafone's CRM brownout was expected: "A customer relationship management (CRM) upgrade that caused Vodafone Group's pre-paid service to brown out for more than a week was totally foreseen," according to company officials.

Starting May 17, Dahdah said, the company was upgrading its Oracle's Siebel system handling its Australian pre-paid billing system.

So for over a week Vodafone couldn't provide such new products or services as voicemail or moving customers to new propositions, or change the rate plans or even churn customers to or from pre-paid phone accounts, Dahdah says, noting "there was no impact to the telecom company's post-pay business."

"This was scheduled as a piece of work. It was not as though we thought it would take a day and it has taken longer. It was certainly a nine-day brown out period that was factored in," Dahdah quotes Greg Spears, Vodafone's head of corporate communications as saying.

Spears added the work is part of the final phase of a three-year upgrade to the company's new CRM system.

EMS-Cortex, a New Zealand-based IT company with worldwide offices and operations,  has announced Cortex 7.0 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 is available through the Microsoft SPLA and provides "a good opportunity for hosters wishing to move into higher valued hosted services," company officials say.

Secrets Revealed: CRM Explains Why Airline Customer Service Stinks.

May 26, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Clash's Sandinista!:

Before you do anything else -- well, after you finish reading First Coffee -- click on Dr. Bill and Genesys, one of the very few genuinely funny customer service spoof videos. Dr. Phil-style it explores the travails of Sharon and George's relationship issues because Sharon is always on the phone with her less-than-helpful customer service agent.

There are second and third Dr. Bill videos too, dealing with a call center agent who feels inadequate because he is always apologizing to customers, and "Bob," a business executive that refuses to own up to the fact that his company’s contact center has a problem with long wait-times. Trust me, they're worth checking out.

In today's news, airline customer service is getting worse, and the sun rose in the east this morning. Why?

NetSuite Mobile CRM, CinTel Buys Bluecomm, Sage v7.2, Open Solutions, Elion CRM Head, Salesforce.com Ethics

May 25, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elvis Presley's From Elvis In Memphis, the best actual album he ever released:

CRM vendor NetSuite, Inc. has announced that NetSuite is available wirelessly on mobile devices such as BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Palm Treo.

Third-party application developers Antenna Software, Explore Mobile and iEnterprises have extended NetSuite via NetSuite's SuiteFlex development and integration platform to meet the needs of wireless users, providing NetSuite customers with a variety of choices for mobile products.

Unlike stand-alone products typically targeted at only sales users, company officials say, NetSuite is an end-to-end business management software application in the SaaS industry that "allows all mobile users to perform their key business activities from accounts receivable, to quote and order management, to closing transactions and sales, to customer support and service."

Each of these end-to-end processes is now available to the mobile worker via their wireless device with NetSuite extensions from Antenna Software, Explore Mobile and iEnterprises. Users can "have access to key data in real-time and from everywhere to run their business as usual while away from the office," company officials say.

"SuiteFlex," NetSuite's application development and integration platform, is designed to enable the extension of NetSuite to third-party systems, the creation of third-party vertical applications within NetSuite, as well as the customization of end-to-end business processes for any end-user company.

CinTel Corp. has announced that it has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire one hundred percent ownership and equity interests of Bluecomm Co. for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6.5 million.

CRM for Churches, Talisma and Mimeo, Scripps CRM, Accenture CRM Survey, Xtime and Ferman, New SAS CRM Products

May 24, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, in honor of Bobby Zimmerman's turning 66 today, is The Bootleg Series No. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue:

Too many vendors forget about large swathes of the economy which could benefit from their products. Kudos to Biz IT Pro and PYA Wise for realizing that managing church congregations, volunteers and events is more than a full-time job. Churches are turning to technology to support their organizational, financial and relationship management needs, which is why Business IT Professionals, a customer relationship management (CRM) product provider, has partnered with PYA Wise Software Solutions, a vendor of Microsoft-based management products.

The two firms will focus on developing customizable technology products to churches nationwide.

CRM for Higher Ed, DataForce Leads, Surado CRM, Microsoft's IT Spend Share, Verde Energy, Infoglide and Sun,

May 23, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Slim Dusty's "A Pub With No Beer:"

Somehow missed the news a couple weeks ago when DataForceLEADS Version 2.0 was released, but it's the latest in the DataForce CRM suite of online sales tools designed to "enhance sales results" while making the user experience "simple and comfortable."

Using a technology called Data Grids, this new version allows the user to enter and edit information in one view similar to updating an Excel spreadsheet without the clicks and drill downs in traditional applications.

It has what it calls a simple user interface "designed to ensure 100 percent user adoption Ajax-XML architecture, including Data Grids for fast data entry and edits."

Data is exchanged between Excel spreadsheets and DataForceLEADS by a Copy and Paste feature, and a new layer of analytics blankets both the CRM tool and the Revenue Management module. Its project management allows editing and tracking of sales cycles, and the enhanced sales channel management has automatic lead and opportunity routing and updating, integrated sales forecasting ending and spreadsheet roll ups.

Jim Romano, DataForce founder and CEO, says the service is priced at only $20 per user per month with no ongoing service fees, and "complete and unlimited training is provided at no cost and also includes live chat, message boards and video demonstrations to support our clients."

Overall, the largest portion -- fully 50 percent -- of software professionals expect to increase their IT development spending with Microsoft more than any other company, according to respondents of a recent Evans Data Corporation study.

In a study designed to clearly articulate the opinions and attitudes of software professionals, Microsoft ranked highest for expected increases in IT spending.

CRM from Microsoft, Satuit CRM, MatrixPlus, CDC and Syndmail, Consona CRM, Certeon's S-Series,

May 22, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the songs on my iPod arranged from largest file size to smallest, the good ol' uncompressed, 80, 90, 110 MB files copied directly off CD with that full sound you don't get out of those skinny li'l ole 4.5 MB iTunes downloads, starting at the top, with Elton John's "Funeral For A Friend," Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna," David Bowie's "Station To Station" from the live Stage album… the Redwoods Of The IPod.

Certeon, a vendor selling "Application Intelligent Networking" for application access over wide area networks, has announced that its S-Series Application Acceleration Appliances have received the "Designed for EMC Documentum" logo designation. 

The Certeon S-Series Application Acceleration Appliances uses Application Acceleration Blueprint software to identify network traffic streams that need to be accelerated.  The "Designed for EMC Documentum" accreditation demonstrates that the Application Acceleration Blueprint for EMC Documentum Content Server and eRoom collaboration software have successfully met a comprehensive set of criteria for design, development and implementation.  

In addition to the accreditation, Certeon is announcing a referral relationship to try to get the EMC sales force to engage Certeon for delivering collaborative Enterprise Content Management (ECM) products based on Certeon's S-Series appliances.

Satuit Technologies has announced that Fund Evaluation Group LLC, a provider of advisory services to institutional investment clients, has selected Satuit as its customer relationship management (CRM) provider of choice.

After a "thorough evaluation of various vendors and products from very simplistic project management tools to robust CRM products," Satuit officials say, "the final decision was between Microsoft CRM and SatuitCRM."

"We chose Satuit Technologies because of their focus on the financial services industry, and our ability to use their product 'out-of-the box,'" reports Anthony Festa, CFA, Managing Principal at Fund Evaluation Group.

Google and Salesforce, O2 and Vettro, Marketbright and AppEx, QuickArrow Spring '07, Autonomy, eTelecare

May 21, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Vivaldi's The Four Seasons:

Interesting news, that Google and salesforce.com could be joining up here to fight off Microsoft.

The Wall Street Journal, which notes any official confirmation or announcement could be a couple weeks off, said this morning the two firms are "discussing an alliance that could help them compete more effectively with Microsoft."

The companies are "still hashing out details of a potential partnership," but one possible outcome, speculates whoever the insiders were the WSJ talked to, is a "Web-based offering that integrates some of Google's online services such as email and instant-messaging with those of Salesforce.com."

O2, a vendor of mobile services to consumers and businesses in the United Kingdom, and Vettro have recently announced a partnership to offer mobile enterprise applications for the business segment in Europe.

As part of the agreement, O2 is also deploying Vettro 360 for Sales & CRM to its own field sales organization as part of "a joint effort to embody the best practices of mobile application deployment, training, and usage," according to Vettro officials.

Vettro has been accepted to O2's Preferred Partner Program in the UK. This agreement makes Vettro one of only a handful of application partners to have been accepted to O2's program, and enables its entire Vettro 360 suite of mobile applications to be sold directly by O2 sales personnel.

The Vettro partnership is expected by O2 officials to strengthen O2's portfolio of offerings targeted to a growing population of mobile workers, and is intended to help corporate customers deploy mobile applications for field service, sales, IT service management, and pickup and delivery.

Getting to Customer-Centric CRM... Or Else.

May 19, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Stones' Let It Bleed:

Sitting down to work here in Istanbul on a beautiful sunny morning, about ten o'clock, I hear a marching band outside. Of course I go to check it out.

First there's a girl with a large Turkish flag. Next comes a boy with a slightly smaller flag, both stepping drum-major style. Next is a girl holding a large framed portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Republic of Turkey in 1922.

Then come a few dozen kids in smart band uniforms, marching mostly in step, playing a tuneless song (like most traditional Turkish music) heavy on the drums and cymbals.

CRM for Pharmacy, ShareOffice CRM, Flytxt Focus on Mobile CRM, Microsoft CRM, Mindshare and Firestone

May 18, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Ol' Blue Eyes's Songs For Young Lovers:

According to a report recently published by research firm Cutting Edge Information, new CRM initiatives for the pharmaceutical industry track interactions with different audiences and help companies better understand their key customers.

"When it comes to drugs, mass marketing techniques that serve other industries often fail to create lasting customer connections," the report finds. Instead, companies turn to more direct, personalized communications to build relationships with doctors and patients.

Cutting Edge Information identified several reasons why some pharmaceutical companies are leading the field in customer relationship management. Organizations on the cutting edge of CRM tend to share seven core principles of success: They invest adequate resources at the outset of the initiative and provide sufficient investments annually to support the program, create an internal champion for CRM through the structuring of a CRM department, team or ad hoc group and establish a centralized database to share knowledge across the company.

They also define CRM and educate internal parties to ensure buy-in, understand target audiences and provide customized messages via preferred media touch points, recognize that CRM requires a long-term commitment, in terms of both resources and measurements and improve their programs by continuously monitoring progress and industry advancements.

Cisco on Salesforce.com, Xtime CRM Results, iMagic's iLead CRM, FirstWave, Deltek's EVM, Bullhorn and Relevante

May 17, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bill Evans' Village Vanguard recordings:

Cisco has announced the availability of the Cisco Unified CallConnector for salesforce.com. The fully integrated Cisco Unified Communications and Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) product is designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), branch offices, and remote workers.

Its call-control features are designed, Cisco officials say, to "help increase the productivity of all users, from salespeople wishing to easily document customer interactions to customer service representatives looking to deliver an improved customer experience."

Cisco and salesforce.com have "brought together Internet telephony with on-demand CRM to help change the way SMBs connect with their customers," said Kendall Collins, senior vice president of marketing, saleforce.com.

For inbound calls to Cisco Unified IP Phones, screen-pops within the Salesforce application provide users with a complete view of the customer's history, such as recent activity, outstanding follow-up tasks, sales opportunities, or service-level agreements.

Tigerpaw CRM, TMC Recognizes Sage, TEC Evaluates ERP and CRM, Spectra and Optegra, Convergys and Suddenlink

May 16, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Igor Stravinsky's Firebird Suite:                                                                                                         

Sage Software has announced that we savants here at Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC)'s Communications Solutions have named the ACT! by Sage Premium for Workgroups 2007 (9.0) contact and customer management product a 2006 Product of the Year Award winner.

TMC recently honored the most innovative products and services brought to market in 2006 as part of its seventh annual Communications Solutions awards program, recognizing "vendor vision, leadership, and attention to detail in business application development."

ACT! Premium for Workgroups 2007 was released in September 2006.

CRM From Nielsen and Experian, Virage and BP, Satori and Deltek, Customer Connect CRM, Zator at CallCommand

May 15, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition, as orchestrated by Ravel:

The Nielsen Company and Experian Marketing Services have announced an alliance to provide CPG businesses with a new consumer relationship marketing (CRM) product.

This new joint product, announced at Nielsen's annual Consumer 360 Conference, will allow marketers to "more effectively target and establish direct relationships with consumers at the household level through relevant messaging, in order to build brand loyalty and marketing ROI," according to Nielsen officials.

Rising mass media costs and an increasing number of media channels has created the need for CPG marketers to engage their consumers more directly through targeted marketing at a household level, company officials believe.

The Nielsen and Experian's joint CRM product will apply the companies' purchase data, consumer life stage, attitudinal and geo-demographic information, and analytics expertise "to help CPG marketers more accurately know, target and connect with their consumers."

This product is intended to help CPG marketers understand consumer purchasing behaviors at the household level, deliver customized and relevant communications based on those behaviors, and measure responses in order to create more effective marketing campaigns, company officials say.

"Household targeting has become the goal for savvy CPG marketers," said Tim Kregor, U.S. president of Nielsen Homescan & Spectra, a service of The Nielsen Company, which already has its boxes in millions of American homes to measure TV viewership.

"The direct, targeted communications enabled through Experian's alliance with Nielsen are critical to establishing the one-on-one relationships that CPG companies need to drive brand loyalty," said Mark Zablan, president of Experian Marketing Services.

In addition, store-level information from Nielsen's retail trade database (the area around a store in which the store derives most of its business) can be combined with Experian's consumer information to provide CPG marketers with products for marketing directly to their retail trade areas.

CRM for Air Arabia, Contact Center Study from Compass, WealthCraft and Decillion, B&D Buys Inforte, StreamServe for SAP

May 14, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an old favorite here at the sprawling campus of First Coffee, Duke Ellington's Blues In Orbit:

WealthCraft Systems Inc. and Decillion Solutions Group have announced that they will partner in Asia to market WealthCraft's total wealth management product, including Advisor Workbench, Atoms Order Management, and Atoms SWIFTNet Funds Gateway.

The full product suite, integrated with Microsoft CRM, is a software system specifically designed to offer financial institutions and financial managers an automated product to "enhance the delivery of wealth management services," according to company officials.

WealthCraft CEO Kelly J. Tallas said given the current Asian economic environment, "the number of wealthy individuals is growing dramatically, and according to a Merrill Lynch world wealth report for 2005, personal wealth in Asia is estimated to reach $10.1 trillion by 2009."

Wealth management firms, Tallas said, need consolidated, multi-channel wealth management platforms to integrate all the components required for managing client portfolios, letting them improve advisor/ client communication and "therefore increase client satisfaction."

Tallas said Decillion's experience providing business products for financial institutions throughout Asia and its awareness of the SWIFTNet system, when combined with WealthCraft's product, "offer a synergistic opportunity for both companies, enabling us to achieve much greater market penetration in a much shorter time span than either company could achieve alone."

WealthCraft and Decillion anticipate beginning their new partnership with the first of a series of SouthEast Asia business focus seminars, sponsored jointly by WealthCraft, Decillion and Microsoft, to be held in Singapore later this spring.

To support its activity in Saudi Arabia, National Flight Service has selected Frontliners to deliver contact center outsourcing services on behalf of Air Arabia.

By outsourcing CRM operations to Altitude-powered Frontliners, NFS expects to see increased customer reach for Air Arabia passengers, improved customer satisfaction and cost savings.

NFS is a General Sales Agent for airlines in Saudi Arabia.

How To Get the Right CRM Tool

May 12, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Cannonball Adderley's Somethin' Else:

One of First Coffee's favorite regular features in any newspaper or magazine is, of course, the rerun Calvin & Hobbes comics. But another one is Carl Bialik and Jason Fry's "The Daily Fix" feature in The Wall Street Journal, where they round up the best sportswriting appearing that week.

Unlike sportswriting, which is quite ephemeral… well, except for the best of it, which ages as well as a good song, wine or customer, well-done CRM has quite a long shelf life. In other words, much of the best advice doesn't change. How you apply it does, of course.

CRM Vendor Autobytel Results, The Generic CRM Column, EDS and Voxify, Centric and Red Hat

May 11, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an iPod mix of ABC:

Industry observer Melanie Badenhorst puts the matter plainly when she writes "As a CRM practitioner, I'm tired of reading articles about why you need CRM, and why companies aren't getting the benefit, and how to really do it."

Amen. I remember a pastor I had once told of a man who attended a church he pastored in Africa years ago. The man, who the pastor knew lived quite close to the church, would come to a service and listen most attentively to the sermon -- sit in the front pew (always available), take notes, strain to catch every word, nod at the good points and ask the pastor a question or two on his way out.

Then the man would disappear for weeks. Months. One Sunday the pastor would see him again -- sitting in front, taking notes, listening intently, asking intelligent questions afterwards, and then disappearing for weeks.

RightNow's CRM Servers, SAP and Scheer, Web2Anything, Microsoft CRM Partner Iteration2, eLoyalty Results, SAS and Gartner

May 10, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is k.d. lang's hymns of the 49th parallel, a nice Christmas present from our Canadian sister-in-law last year:
IDS Scheer, a vendor of Business Process Management products, has announced that its Small and Medium Enterprises business unit has concluded a deal with the consumer packaged goods brand Hero, Inc. a holding company for Signature Brands, LLC and Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation.

The company chose IDS Scheer's ARIS SmartPath for CPG Foods, a product including SAP All-In-One enterprise software from SAP bundled with ARIS industry-specific reference models and consulting services.  Used to align the company's supply chain, this implementation will support 250 employees at Signature Brands and Beech-Nut.

Tim Kennedy, CFO of Signature Brands, said he hopes the move "will help us to reduce manufacturing costs and improve business processes throughout our organization."

Hero works in the consumer goods and infant feeding sectors with its subsidiary units Signature Brands and Beech-Nut. Established in 1951, Signature Brands sells in the retail dessert decorating products sector.

CRM Vendor Cegedim Buys Dendrite, Ascendix's Real Estate CRM, BPT Steppin' Out and salesforce.com, RightNow CRM, Sage Software

May 9, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Miles Davis Twofer -- Kind of Blue and In A Silent Way:

Ascendix Technologies has announced the availability of its Real Estate Advantage CRM offering in a hosted model. It's being pitched for situations where an on-premise installation of Real Estate Advantage is not possible or desirable, so hosting options have been made available and are packaged in two different offerings.

Wes Snow, President of Ascendix Technologies, puts it a bit more precisely: "Commercial real estate companies now have an industry-specific choice as opposed to salesforce.com to manage their business in a hosted environment."

There's the "subscribe/host" option. "If it is desirable to follow more of a Software as a Service model, the Subscribe/Host product has been provided," company officials say. They say the advantage with this product is that "there is no ownership of Real Estate Advantage but rather an annual subscription to this service that grants the company rights to use the product over the contracted period of time."

Naturally this option is targeted to those companies with tight constraints on cash, or those with minimal investment in technical infrastructure.

CRM from Oracle, Intelliworks CRM at HBS, DST's Fund CRM, Kana Q1 Results, Voila Hotel CRM, SPSS

May 8, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Buddy Rich Big Band's Mercy, Mercy:

Oracle has announced the availability of the new CRM applications for Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12.  Delivered as part of Oracle's "Applications Unlimited" program of enhancements to current Oracle apps, Oracle's new CRM apps "optimize the value and cost-of-ownership of CRM" by letting customers "streamline business processes, increase user adoption, provide greater insight into customer trends and increase operational efficiency," according to Oracle officials.

"There continues to be a strong demand for increased CRM operational efficiency to help customers streamline business processes, reduce operating costs and optimize effectiveness," said Director of Research Sheryl Kingstone of the Yankee Group.

The suite has tools to let users mine the data they get from customers.  The sales manager dashboards provide a consolidated analytical view of sales performance and the account planning capabilities can be used for working with long-term strategies and relationships.

Specific features and benefits include a simplified user interface, for what Oracle officials call an "intuitive and simplified user experience." There's also cross industry business processes and task flows, basically redesigned and streamlined CRM task flow to let users do things like create and track orders easier.

Oracle is touting the product's cross-suite application integration, the out-of-the box and supported integration between Oracle E-Business Suite 12 and Oracle Contact on Demand, providing enterprises with a low-cost, flexible and secure entry point into integrated Computer Telephony Integration.

To make it more attractive to sales teams, Oracle has improved the CRM capabilities with new reports and productivity enhancements.

Teradata CRM in Meijer, Jitterbit 1.2, B-Kin Mobile CRM, FrontRange GoldMine PE, Vive Sarkozy!

May 7, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring:

Congratulations to Nicholas Sarkozy, the president-elect of France. I must confess, First Coffee was rather hoping to see Mlle Royal elected, it would have been such evil fun to watch France as a serious country go swirling down the ol' porcelain pony.

But in electing Sarkozy the French have shown a realism First Coffee frankly doubted they had, an acknowledgment that Socialist delusions are worthless in reality, so maybe the place is salvageable after all. Of course it remains to be seen how much opposition trade unions, "students" and "youths" throw up.

CRM from Microsoft for Conceptus, Verticals on Demand, Kana Hires Angel, PacificNet Sells 3G, Middle East CRM, Australian CRM

May 5, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius' début album, titled Jaco Pastorius. There are only three or four bassists in the Jazz Hall of Fame, and only one electric bassist -- Jaco:

Microsoft has announced that Conceptus Inc. has chosen Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 to help with the Essure system, Conceptus' flagship medical device.

Since FDA approval of the Essure system, a permanent birth control procedure, in 2002, sales have grown to over $40 million, including 100 percent year-over-year growth in 2006.

The Mountain View, California-based company picked Microsoft's CRM software to "streamline tracking of Essure-trained doctors and stimulate the customer demand and discovery of these physicians," Microsoft officials say.

"Building a worldwide market for a paradigm-shifting medical procedure requires a large, coordinated marketing, sales and training effort," observed Jeff Letasse, senior director of IT for Conceptus, saying the right CRM tools could help turn "an emerging breakthrough like the Essure procedure into a gold-standard procedure in a matter of years, rather than the decades that it often used to take."

ISS Group Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, developed the CRM system and assisted in integrating it with the company's Web sites and other systems using the Microsoft-certified ISS Group's iBridge data connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 provides Conceptus with marketing, sales and service capabilities, all with a familiar and consistent user experience based on the Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Office Outlook.

Specific benefits that Conceptus has begun realizing since ISS, VelocIT and Conceptus completed deployment in January include more reporting options, where data and reports can be entered through Microsoft Office and Outlook, a Web browser, or a broad range of mobile devices.

Conceptus also liked the product's data input -- "close integration with Outlook enables employees to look up customer information, send and manage e-mail, set up appointments, and capture customer or doctor discussions from within the familiar environment of Outlook," Microsoft officials say.

Matt Wallach, vice president of sales and marketing for Verticals onDemand, Inc., a private company, joined Market News First for an interview with host Saul Albom which aired May 2, 2007.

CRM from Blackbaud, FINS Offers CRM, Deluxe Commercial CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Ascendix, Terrasoft, Welcome back, Elvis Costello

May 4, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is… well there I was noodling around on iTunes last night, desultorily buying a bit of this and a little of that, when I see the entire old Elvis Costello catalogue is now available for download.

Baby! Let's have My Aim Is True, This Year's Model and Armed Forces just for starters, ruthlessly plunder Imperial Bedroom, Get Happy!! and King of America, might dip into Blood and Chocolate or Almost Blue, Trust, Spike or Goodbye, Cruel World soon… I told my wife to be sure to tell me when she's sick of hearing it around the house.

How did I manage to live so long without this on the ol' iPod? Anyway, the music this morning is what will soon be the gloriously overplayed Mr. Declan MacManus… what, you didn't think his real name was "Elvis Costello," did you?

CRM on MPLS, SugarCRM to Support Oracle Linux, CDC Share Buyback, Entellium SFA "Leader," Virgin Satisfaction High, Turkcell... Not

May 3, 2007

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 "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts," a better Western than most movies:

The China-based CDC Corporation, vendors of CRM products and other enterprise software, mobile applications and online games, have announced that as of May 1, 2007, the company has repurchased 6,936,624 common shares at an average price of $5.13 per share for a total of $35,604,235, including brokerage commissions, since May 2, 2006.

The board of directors has approved an additional share repurchase program which authorizes the repurchase, at the discretion of senior management, of up to $20 million of the company's common shares for 12 months until May 2008.

In addition to the share repurchase program, senior management of the company, including the chief executive officer, has purchased approximately 387,000 shares since January 1, 2007.

CRM vendor Entellium has been recognized for its SFA products as well -- in "The Forrester Wave: Sales Force Automation, Q2 2007, Forrester Research, Inc. April 2007" Forrester Research named the company a "leader" in SFA.

The report says Entellium's SFA offers "strong, easy-to-use setup and configuration tools" as well as a well-organized user interface with context-sensitive links that help users complete tasks.

SugarCRM's New Portal, Talisma's CIM 8.0, Kapow and Siebel CRM, Vazzana at Xterprise, RetiCorp, CDC and Vectra

May 2, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Surfaris' immortal "Wipe Out:"

This week, at its first-ever Global Developer Conference, SugarCRM Inc., a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, will announce the availability of Customer Self-Service Portal and Knowledgebase for Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise customers. 

"CRM is moving beyond the four walls of the enterprise," said John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM, adding that a Customer Self-Service Portal and Knowledgebase "give companies the ability to expose key elements of their CRM to customers to serve them more effectively and at a lower cost." 

The portal is being pitched as providing self-service capabilities to customers and prospects for key marketing, sales and support activities. The new functionality includes case self-service, where customers can log cases, upload relevant information, and track cases to resolution without ever having to pick up a phone, as well as account updates, which allows customers to update account, contact, billing and shipping address information in one single location.

There's also a knowledge search for customers to search for resolutions, with access to FAQs written and managed within SugarCRM, and "Sugar Studio Integration," where customizations are managed within Sugar Studio for easy layout changes, custom fields, history and revision tracking.

SugarCRM officials say there is also a Wikified user interface for managing non-technical content, including posting, linking, editing and deleting content, supplemented with workflow approvals so the content staging process includes managerial review for posting of new content; includes audit tracking for revision.

The new portal will be available in mid May. SugarCRM will post pricing details later this week.

Talisma Corporation, a vendor of Customer Interaction Management (CIM) products, has announced the release of Talisma CIM 8.0, the latest version of their customer service, sales, and support suite. 

CRM On Demand from Oracle Siebel, Teradata CRM for Norwich, Creative Manager Pro Released, OPV on AppEx, Autonomy and MOD

May 1, 2007

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Charles Ives' A Symphony: New England Holidays:

Had a nice evening last night with Najide Tehrani, paterfamilias of the TMCnet family, fortunately his wife, daughter and he are in Istanbul for a few days, so my wife and I met them at Haci Baba's, the finest traditional Turkish kitchen-style restaurant here. We enjoy the city so much it's nice to be able to show friends to all the good places.

If anybody else is coming to Istanbul just let us know.

Oracle has announced the general availability of the Siebel CRM On Demand Integration Pack for Oracle E-Business Suite, described by Oracle officials as "delivering pre-built integration between its subscription CRM application" and back office suite.

And hey, it can be yours for $30,000 per processor. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply.

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