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. A new XML publisher provides companies with standards-based flexible reporting and document output capabilities.
Oracle Vice President of CRM Strategy Mike Betzer said with this latest Oracle CRM release, "a telesales representative can create an order within a CRM sales application without going through the supply chain of the application to create or manage orders."
The product suite is available immediately for traditional deployment, and is also available on demand via Oracle On Demand.
Intelliworks, Inc., a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) products for higher education, has announces that Harvard Business School has completed deployment of its software solution for the Executive Education program.
The software enables HBS to track interactions across the life cycle of each participant from program inquiries, to marketing campaigns, to admissions and beyond.
In conjunction with this announcement, HBS Chief Information Officer Stephen Laster becomes the newest member of the Intelliworks Advisory Board.
The HBS Executive Education program is designed for senior executives interested in further learning in certain business areas. Intelliworks software allows the school to keep a constant record over time of all interactions with participants, including marketing outreach and inbound inquiries.
DST Systems, Inc. will unveil its DST SalesConnect data management and CRM product this week in Washington, D.C. Company officials claim the product "virtually eliminates the redundant data reconciliation processes fund firms undergo every day to maintain accurate dealer and representative data."
The company provides information processing and computer software products and services to support the mutual fund, investment management and other industries.
The SalesConnect solution features a central repository of firm, office and representative information that systematically matches trades coming into DST's shareholder recordkeeping platform, TA2000, to the correct representative. In addition to trades coming through TA2000, SalesConnect can accept client transactions that originate from other platforms, including feeds from omnibus or third-party providers.
DST SalesConnect also provides a data interface with a hosted CRM component, which displays this reconciled firm, office and representative data in a context that supports the initiatives of the distribution team.
The issue of managing and tracking representative-level information actually has far-reaching effects on how fund companies do business. On the fund distribution side, sales reps need this data to manage their distributor relationships. On the operations side, back office teams keep track of the representatives selling their funds to manage issues such as market timing and account information security.
CRM vendor Kana Software, Inc. has announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2007. Total revenues for the first quarter of 2007 were $13.0 million, an increase of 14 percent from the first quarter of 2006.
License revenue for the first quarter of 2007 was $3.6 million, an increase of 26 percent from the first quarter of 2006.
The company reported a GAAP net loss of $3.8 million, or $(0.10) per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2007 versus a GAAP net loss of $1.0 million, or $(0.03) per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2006.
For the first quarter of 2007, Kana reported non-GAAP net loss of $3.0 million, or $(0.08) per share, as compared to a non-GAAP net income of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per share, for the first quarter of 2006.
In January 2007, the company launched Kana OnDemand, which provides its product suite as a hosted, software-as-a-service option. Kana OnDemand lets clients migrate to an on-premise model as their business needs and customer service requirements evolve.
Voila Hotel Rewards, a CRM, point-based frequent guest program created for independent hotel companies, has announce as partner Coral International Hotels.
For participating hotels, Voila offers CRM technology whereby through a Web-based portal, hotels can access guest preferences, send welcome e-mails in advance, issue post-stay follow-ups, and even manage e-mail and direct mail marketing campaigns.
"Voila is more than just a guest loyalty program," said Marwan Ramadan, President EMEA for Voila Hotel Rewards. "The use of a global network and the marketing capability of our proprietary CRM make available valuable opportunities for hotels to boost occupancy, maximize revenue, and improve profit margin."
The Service & Support Professionals Association has named the winners of its Spring 2007 SSPA Recognized Innovator program in three categories -- Analytics, Offer Management, and Web 2.0.
The Spring 2007 SSPA Recognized Innovators in the Analytics Innovation category are InQuira and Knova. In the Web 2.0 Innovation category, the SSPA recognized Lithium and eVergance. Knova and Talisma have been honored for Offer Management Innovation. Winners were selected by a panel of seven judges, including industry experts, SSPA members, and SSPA Vice President of Research John Ragsdale.
According to Ragsdale, companies began embracing CRM’s “360 degree view” a decade ago, and now have massive stores of customer history and interaction data, but what is missing is strong, business user targeted analysis tools to identify strategic business intelligence from the data. Recognized Innovators offer ways to derive “order from chaos,” and help companies identify key business learnings.
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