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.
"This award speaks directly to the granular level of detail we build into the total ACT! product," said Joe Bergera, senior vice president and general manager for ACT! and Sage Software Global CRM.
ACT! Premium for Workgroups is now being featured with Product of the Year award winners on the Communications Solutions Web site ( www.tmcnet.com/comsol).
As it currently does for CRM products, software evaluation firm Technology Evaluation Centers is announcing the launch of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Distribution Evaluation Center, designed to help companies select the right ERP.
According to TEC, organizations often select the wrong ERP--Distribution product because they lack a clear understanding of their needs. To eliminate this problem, TEC recommends the use of its customized ERP--Distribution request for information template, developed to "help organizations conduct a thorough and successful requirements-gathering phase," company officials say.
TEC also recommends that organizations use eBestMatch, its ERP--Distribution software evaluation tool, to conduct an online comparison of ERP--Distribution products.
ERP--Distribution is defined as software that has been specifically designed for companies in the distribution and logistics industries. Traditional distribution business needs are focused on moving goods through a supply chain, and the distribution software market has developed products to fulfill these needs.
The software products developed for ERP--Distribution include the additional functionality of supply chain management (SCM), distribution process management (DPM), and retail and commerce.
Spectra Logic Corp., a data archive and backup products vendor based in Boulder, Colorado, has adopted Optegra's VRO 360 for Manufacturing, a product designed specifically for manufacturers to "streamline marketing, sales and service processes," according to Optegra officials.
Optegra is a global consulting company working in the customer relationship management (CRM) marketplace based in Englewood, Colorado. Optegra assisted Spectra Logic with their implementation of Infor CRM Epiphany for Sales.
Spectra Logic uses the Infor Baan ERP 4C4 Enterprise Resource Planning system to manage their operations.
VRO 360, built on Infor CRM Epiphany, puts Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products such as Baan, SX Enterprise and BPCS, to the Infor CRM Epiphany Sales platform complemented by the Microsoft Outlook desktop and custom Web portlets.
"VRO 360 for Manufacturing will enhance our sales initiatives by opening up access to critical CRM and ERP information to our sales executives via Microsoft Outlook, the application they most frequently use," said Mike Sausa, Spectra Logic's Vice President of Sales Operations.
Spectra Logic will use Optegra's VRO 360 for Manufacturing to streamline its sales process for both direct and channel sales efforts by enabling management of sales related business processes, including Lead Distribution and Management, Account and Contact Management, Opportunity and Forecast Management and Order Management.
One aspect of the VRO 360 for Manufacturing is that it provides sales personnel with a comprehensive view of their accounts by harmonizing customer information residing in ERP with prospect information residing in CRM. In addition, it provides sales personnel with this information in both Infor CRM Epiphany and Microsoft Outlook.
Tigerpaw Software, Inc., a leading provider of customer relationship management (CRM) and professional service automation (PSA) software for small and midsize businesses, has announced its first, real time accounting integration between Tigerpaw CRM+ and QuickBooks accounting software.
Tigerpaw CRM+ announces the general release of QBTrak, developed and sold by TigerTrak, a division of Action Networks. QBTrak creates a bi-directional, real-time link between CRM+ and QuickBooks that allows transfer of data between the two applications, eliminating the need for manual exporting and importing of files.
Features of the new CRM+ companion product include real-time accounts receivable integration, real-time customer list integration, and automated customer credit hold.
“We have thousands of users currently pairing CRM+ with QuickBooks to run their business,” said Tigerpaw Sales Manager, Mike Cook.
QBTrak’s accounts receivable integration enables invoices created in Tigerpaw to be posted to QuickBooks without user intervention. Similarly, the customer list integration automates the seamless transfer of customer account information -- both new accounts and modifications to existing accounts -- into QuickBooks. The customer credit hold feature enforces user-defined thresholds to automatically place a credit hold on customers with excessive overdue balances.
QBTrak’s collection utilities provide tools, such as automated email notifications, to help businesses recover unpaid bills.
QBTrak is a component of TigerTrak’s Sentry companion-product suite built for Tigerpaw CRM+. Sentry, which retails for $999, includes tools for contract expiration notification, quote expiration notification, service order escalation, closed service order reporting, and custom purchase order generation. Sentry requires Tigerpaw CRM+ version 10.5.
Convergys Corporation has announced a six-year managed services billing contract with Suddenlink Communications, an operator of cable broadband systems, serving approximately 1.4 million customers.
The contract calls for Convergys’ Consulting and Professional Services to implement and operate Convergys’ ICOMS customer care and billing platform to support Suddenlink’s video, high-speed data, digital phone, and other broadband services.
The contract also provides the option for Suddenlink to use components of Infinys, Convergys’ modular, convergent, business support system software.
Convergys’ Consulting and Professional Services team has already begun migrating Suddenlink’s customer base to ICOMS and the migration will be complete during 2007. Suddenlink officials hope ICOMS functionality will provide Suddenlink with the ability to create, sell, and support its triple play bundles with a single bill and a single view of the customer.
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