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

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM for Higher Ed, DataForce Leads, Surado CRM, Microsoft's IT Spend Share, Verde Energy, Infoglide and Sun,

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. Other vendors ranked in this survey were: SAP, Apple, IBM, Sun, Adobe, BEA, Oracle, AMD, Intel, Cisco, HP, Computer Associates, Compuware and Borland.

While many new vendors are taking advantage of the emergence of virtualization, SOA, software as a service and Enterprise 2.0, it is still those incumbents who continue to enhance their product roadmaps and, in some cases, their pricing models who are forecast to benefit the greatest in IT spending, Evans Data officials say, adding that these incumbents enjoy the greatest revenue growth due to their focus on the key enterprise priorities of applications integration, security, cost cutting, business intelligence, ERP/CRM and web based applications development.

The study, based on interviews with over 380 active developers, also found that the top three companies developers expect to see an increase in their Application Development spending with next year are SAP (54 percent), Microsoft (50 percent), BEA (44 percent).

The companies developers expect to see an increase in their Service Oriented Adoption spending with next year are SAP (41 percent), BEA (40 percent), IBM (34 percent).

The higher education CRM market is getting pretty lucrative these days. The latest news is Jenzabar, Inc., a vendor of software and services for higher education, has announced that Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire is now fully live on the latest version of Jenzabar CX -- version 8.1, an ERP product designed specifically for higher education. In partnership with Jenzabar, the College completed the final stage of their ERP implementation early this year.

Saint Anselm College is currently finishing implementation of its Jenzabar Constituent Relationship Modules (CRMs).

Everybody's jumping in CRM: Verde Energy, which provides quotes on solar power, solar thermal, and wind power projects, has announced the deployment of a customer relationship management (CRM) portal for its nationwide network of renewable energy contractors known as Verde Pros.

Verde Energy launched the CRM portal, hosted by, to provide lead delivery and customer life cycle management tools.

Extending the services available to Verde Pros, the CRM portal offers a platform for the management of Verde Energy qualified leads and the ability to schedule follow-up, store contract details and site notes, and manage their sales.

Infoglide Software Corporation has announced that it will deliver a new insurance product aimed at tackling identity fraud that incorporates CRM and other technology from Sun Microsystems.

The product brings together technology and domain expertise to create Identity Focused Insurance products, designed to "enhance fraud detection while preserving customer service," company officials say.

The product will have the ability to tie fraud risk analysis to the claim process in real-time and is now available in the United Kingdom.

Infoglide Software's Identity Resolution Engine uses Similarity Search technology to resolve the identities of people or items that are of critical interest to the insurer, even through input errors and attempts to deceive. Identity resolution software supports improved customer service, supply chain management, and claims handling by distinguishing who's who, and who knows who, within the claims process.

Infoglide Software's IRE, company officials say, ensures that the insurer's data sources -- including claims, employees, Special Investigation Unit "watch" lists, and CRM -- are used to give a truly three dimensional view of all identities and entities within the claim.

Identity Resolution Engine, through its integration with Sun Microsystems' Java Composite Application Suite, can be applied to multiple areas of an insurer's business and is part of Sun Microsystems Claim's First Notice of Loss, recently launched at SunLive 2007.

"Infoglide Software's Identity Resolution Engine allows insurers to know who's who as they conduct business. Whether it's recognizing when their customers seek to defraud, or when employees attempt to circumvent policies, IRE adds significant value to any insurer," says David Piesse, global head of insurance for Sun.

Surado Solutions, a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products for small to medium sized enterprises, has announced that its flagship products Surado Enterprise CRM 5.1 and Surado Small Business CRM 5.1 will now include project management capabilities that tightly integrate with MS Project Manager.

Introduced last August, the Project Management Features are now part of the core Surado CRM product lines. Surado CRM Project Manager includes the ability to create and manage projects, tasks, sub-tasks and associated activities.

In addition, users will be able to assign and track resources, budgets, status, project timelines and project managers. Because the Surado Project Manager is part of the core product line, it links projects to individuals and vice versa.  These individuals may be users of the system and/or other third parties linked to a project.

Surado Project Manager integrates with Microsoft Project Manager so users can migrate project information data between Microsoft and Surado.  In MS Project, users will be able to view the project using Microsoft’s graphing capabilities.  In Surado, the Projects will be linked to other areas of the CRM system to provide a true 360 degree view.

Tomorrow being Bob Dylan's 66th birthday, no doubt you are currently wondering if you should honor the day with multiple playings of Blonde On Blonde, Blood On the Tracks, Highway 61 Revisited or Bringing It All Back Home.

First Coffee recommends rediscovering the vastly underrated Nashville Skyline instead.

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