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? That'd be child abuse:
Blackbaud, Inc.'s CEO Marc Chardon has announced that the company has released its technology platform, code-named Infinity, along with two new products for nonprofits' information management.
Released to selected customers in March, Blackbaud Direct Marketing, formerly code-named "Bullseye," and Blackbaud Enterprise CRM, formerly code-named "Galileo" are billed by company officials as combining "the strength of the company's knowledge of the nonprofit sector with its technology platform."
Blackbaud has been selling products to the nonprofit IT market for about twenty-five years. "For the past two years," Chardon said, "Blackbaud's development team has been designing and building a technology platform that will not only support this new breed of enterprise-level products but will also enhance the performance of existing products."
The new platform includes scalability, standards-based technology and what company officials say are "new levels in IT security."
"The unveiling of Blackbaud Enterprise CRM and Blackbaud Direct Marketing marks a milestone," Chardon said, noting that the move "extends our capability to support the current needs and future growth of the largest nonprofit organizations throughout the world."
Blackbaud Enterprise CRM is a suite of products that makes up a centralized system of record for all interactions and is designed to provide a 360 degree view of the constituent, which can be seen by all of a nonprofit's organizational elements.
Blackbaud Direct Marketing, which ties in to the company's Raiser's Edge product, and which can be used as a part of Blackbaud Enterprise CRM, helps nonprofits manage complex, multi-channel direct marketing campaigns, from list segmentations to reporting.
Among early adopters of the new offerings include the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), two large state university organizations, and a major healthcare system.
When you hear the story that the Dutch bought Manhattan Island from the Algonquin for the equivalent of $24 -- although the Indians didn't think it was a "sale," they thought the Dutch were simply offering gifts for hunting rights -- you're thinking, as we all do, "Twenty-four bucks? Boy, the Dutch sure got rooked on that one."
Here's the Writer's Almanac description for what the island was like back on May 4, 1626 when Peter Minuit landed on the island, two days before the sale took place:
"The Dutch were drawn to Manhattan because of its extraordinary fertility and variety of wildlife. There were tall oaks, chestnuts, walnuts, maples, cedars, and pines, right up to the edge of the water. A vast array of flowers, including many roses, grew wild on the island of Manhattan, and the fragrance of flowers drifted far out to sea. Sailors coming into harbor said it was one of the sweetest-smelling shores they'd ever approached. There were huge 21-inch oysters and six-foot lobsters in the bay, and so many fish in the streams that they could be caught by hand."
So now you can see why they'd overpay -- it was nothing like Manhattan today.
Fidelity National Information Services -- FNIS, "finesse," get it? -- has acquired Marketing Solutions Inc., a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) and profitability offerings to community financial institutions.
MSI develops Web-based technology products for community financial institutions to tailor offerings, cross-sell products and "maximize client relationships." MSI also gives financial institutions ways to offer personalized direct mail to clients, using outsourced marketing options.
As a result of the acquisition, MSI's CRM capabilities, profitability products and relationship pricing structure will be integrated with other FIS products.
"We have partnered with MSI in the past and share a number of clients," observed Gary Norcross, president of the Integrated Financial Solutions division of FIS. As part of the agreement, MSI's executive team, led by Neal Packard, will join FIS.
If this affects you in any way: CRM vendor Terrasoft Company has been licensed BAS for taking part in the program as the consultant. This means Terrasoft CRM projects might be subsidized by the BAS program, financed by the Japanese government and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO. The program is valid for Middle East countries, in particular Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
In order to qualify for BAS program participation, Terrasoft demonstrated "high expertise and considerable experience as a consulting service provider," company officials say.
BAS supports projects to develop new markets, improve the quality of services, lower production costs, find new financial sources and plan future business development in the aforementioned regions.
Officials from Deluxe Financial Services and Commerce Bank, a regional bank holding company with approximately 360 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma, say they will deploy "anti-fraud and CRM tools."
Deluxe will provide its customers with products such as advanced fraud recovery assistance and protection through Deluxe ID TheftBlock 2.0. This offers two levels of service -- a fraud recovery and a fraud recovery plus detection option. "According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft strikes seven to 10 million new victims each year," said Charles Kim, Executive Vice President, Commerce Bank.
In addition, Commerce Bank will further their efforts to strengthen customer relationships with DeluxeCalling, an outbound calling service designed to reach new indirect loan customers.
Save on Support.Com has announced that the company will be providing additional CRM and Accounting Software starting with the new CRM program, Sage CRM SalesLogix.
Save On Support sells business software, and its services will "continue to extend to clients an even wider list of management software options," company officials say. The newest addition to Save on Support.com's software options is TMC's 2006 Product of the Year Award winner, Sage CRM SalesLogix, which has over 300,000 users.
Dallas-based Ascendix Technologies has announced its Real Estate Advantage's availability in a hosted model. Wes Snow, President of Ascendix Technologies, said commercial real estate companies "now have a choice as opposed to Salesforce.com."
The Subscribe/Host option is now there for those who want no ownership of Real Estate Advantage, but rather an annual subscription. It's targeted to those firms with "tight constraints on cash and/or have minimal investment in technical infrastructure.
So what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding indeed? Great to have you back, Elvis.
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