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June 2007

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Compass Technology, Alliance Bank Malaysia, FrontRange Voice, Open Solutions, Steria, Frost and Sullivan, Cisco, InsideSales.com

June 29, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is It’s A Beautiful Day’s album Live In Seattle:   Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and independent software vendor Compass Technology will be presenting fundraising software for nonprofits at the Microsoft Partner Solutions Theater during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver, July 10-12.   Nonprofit technology and software pioneer Jeff Shy will lead the presentation of Compass CRM for Fundraisers. With over thirty-six years of experience in developing nonprofit fundraising software products, Shy recently joined Compass as vice president of product management.   Compass wants other Microsoft certified partners in the nonprofit industry to join the Compass Channel Partner Program. Compass Partner Program manager Susan Turner explains the goal is to “selectively develop an elite group of Microsoft partners that currently serve the nonprofit sector… participating in the Compass Partner Program gives Microsoft partners the opportunity to compete with Sage and Blackbaud for fundraising and financial management business in the nonprofit sector.”   Compass officials claim their Compass CRM for Fundraisers is “the only complete fundraising and donor management software running entirely in Outlook and built on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.” …   Malaysian industry observer Lee Wei Lian has reported that Alliance Bank Malaysia Bhd group has “committed to invest over RM260 million ($75.2 million) over the next three years to build an enterprise-wide business intelligence platform.”   Its group chief executive officer Datuk Bridget Lai, Lee said, wants the business intelligence platform to “enhance its customer relationship management and business scorecards as well as help move it closer to FRS 139 compliance.”   Lai was speaking at a partnership-signing ceremony between ABG and business intelligence products provider, SAS Malaysia. SAS was represented by its CEO and founder Jim Goodnight at the signing ceremony, according to Lee. Goodnight is a new member of the International Advisory Panel, a group advising the prime minister on matters pertaining to the development of ICT in the country.

Oracle Contact Center Anywhere 8.1, Maximizer Software, Salesforce.com, RightNow Technologies, IBM, Hot Banana, GOT Corporation, Soffront CRM

June 28, 2007

 By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Willie Nelson’s beautiful, highly underrated The Troublemaker album:   Following last year’s acquisition of Telephony@Work, Oracle has announced the release of Oracle Contact Center Anywhere 8.1, what Oracle officials are calling their “first comprehensive multimedia IP contact center product.”   It’s a scalable, multi-channel product providing agents with a 360-degree customer view across a wide array of communication channels including calls, e-mail, voicemail, fax, Web and interactive voice response.   Traditionally, CRM applications and telephony components have been stand-alone applications from different vendors requiring computer-telephony integrations between voice and data platforms. This makes true multi-channel contact centers costly and time-consuming to implement. Oracle is promising a “complete customer-to-agent” experience using Contact Center Anywhere’s multi- channel technology.   The product is built to run on the Oracle technology stack including Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Fusion Middleware.

SAP & Pooch Inc., Infor CRM, Dassault Systemes, Marketing Management Analytics, Cardiff & Microsoft, WorkStream, Open Soultions

June 27, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lou Reed’s 1984 Live In Italy, certainly the best live album Lou’s delivered himself of — yes, better than the iconic Rock’n’Roll Animal. Shame Lou and guitarist Robert Quine ended up hating each other, they sounded so stinking sweet together. Ol’ Lou’s released some pretty uneven material over the years but one thing you can say for him, he knows how to pick guitarists, from Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter to Robert Quine and more recently Mike Rathke.   SAP America, Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG, has announced that Pooch Inc., a luxury product catalog and Web site selling dog products, has implemented SAP Business One for their “e-commerce platform.”   The product was delivered and deployed by SAP Business One certified business partner Apollo Consulting of San Francisco. SAP Business One will drive Pooch’s business launch initiatives.

Perpetual Sourcing, Ideaca Knowledge Services, SAP Arabia, Jitterbit, Autonomy Corporation, TARGUSinfo, WealthCraft Systems Inc., Triad Software Services

June 26, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Dread Zeppelin’s Un-Led-Ed. Gotta love a reggae band fronted by an Elvis impersonator doing covers of Led Zeppelin songs. It’s a joke, sure, but a great one — the music’s first-rate. So all together now: “You ain’t nothin’ but a black dog…”   Perpetual Sourcing has announced the launch of a CRM developed specifically for staffing.

CRM David Versus Apple Goliath, Loyalty Lab and Rockler, Auto/Mate CRM, Autonomy, Technalign 2.1

June 25, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of a second cup of coffee this morning, and the music now is Beethoven’s Third Symphony:   Loyalty Lab, Inc., a vendor of loyalty and customer relationship products, has announced that Rockler Woodworking and Hardware, an independent woodworking supplies retailer, has enlisted Loyalty Lab to host a best customer program.   Rockler, which operates 33 stores, a Web site and a 156-page catalog, will use Loyalty Lab’s Web-based Customer Relationship Management platform to “manage all aspects of its new retail loyalty and customer management initiative,” according to Loyalty Lab officials.   Scott Ekman, Rockler’s Vice President of Marketing, said the Loyalty Lab products are expected to spare the 53-year old retailer “the financial strain of a major software overhaul,” and to help get them “on the right path for best customer management.”   In hosting the program, the Loyalty Lab platform will manage shopper enrollments, transaction processing, rewards and accruals. Loyalty Lab also enables integrated marketing and retail loyalty and campaign management, serving as the central core of e-mail, Web-based and POS communications drawing from a single database.

CRM and Mobile Web, RFID and Customer Adoption, Good Times in Budapest

June 25, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Loudon Wainwright III’s great live album, Career Moves:   Yes First Coffee’s back, thank you, Mrs. First Coffee and I spent a wonderfully relaxing week in Budapest, staying at — unpaid hotel plug here — the comfortable and pleasant Normafa Hotel, nestled in green hills a fifteen-minute bus ride above central Buda. Our two boys are at summer camp for two weeks and our daughter stayed with a friend for a week, so we took advantage of a rare opportunity to get away just by ourselves.   The hotel itself was half of the attraction, we live in Istanbul and it was such a nice break to be in a clean, green, quiet place, with paths in the woods to walk, a couple days we just hung around the hotel, going into the city for dinner.   We saw some folk dancing, stumbled across a quality English book store, a pleasant find, and avoided anything threateningly edifying, as both Mrs. First Coffee and I have seen enough Impressive Old Churches and Museums Showing A Whole Lot of Old Stuff. The best thing that happened to us was getting stranded in a fish restaurant by torrential rains where it was just us, the hotel staff and a group of about twenty Hungarians singing traditional songs to drink lots of Hungarian brandy by. You can’t plan stuff like that.   We did enjoy the well-done Golden Eagle pharmaceutical museum on Castle Hill; in a different life Mrs. First Coffee worked as an Auckland pharmacist, and after touring the collection of mortar and pestles, large glass tincture jars, 17th century herbariums and brass scales she said that it makes her realize how little, really, pharmacy’s changed in the past three or four hundred years.

CRM’s Pegasystems, Hypercom’s SmartPayments Vista-Certified, Lumen and PostgreSQL, Saaspoint’s TimeTrack, Teradata EPM

June 18, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Dust Rhinos’ Sociable — Live. Guinness all around, please…   Hypercom Corporation officials say the company’s SmartPayments product suite has become “the first electronic payment processing software to pass certification tests ensuring compatibility with Windows Vista.”   The Hypercom SmartPayments Client and SmartPayments Server product lines have earned the “Certified for Windows Vista” designations from Microsoft Corp.   The certified for Windows Vista logo helps ensure that Hypercom SmartPayments products work smoothly with Windows Vista-based PCs and enable merchants to make full use of the new security features and other enhancements of the new Microsoft operating system.   Hypercom SmartPayments products still maintain their certifications for earlier-generation operating systems, including Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.   “Products that carry the Certified for Windows Vista logo have met explicit standards of reliability and quality, and have been tested and proven to deliver a superior experience with Windows Vista,” explains Dave Wascha, Director of Windows Client Product Management at Microsoft Corp.   Hypercom’s SmartPayments’s products are designed to provide a secure, scalable platform for integrating payment processing solutions with point-of-sale, accounting/billing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Internet shopping cart systems. …   Lumen Software, a vendor of CRM and other commercial open source Software-as-a-Service and portal products, has announced its decision to employ the PostgreSQL-supported LAPP (Linux-Apache-PostgreSQL-PHP) stack for its open source development platform Lumenation.

Verticals onDemand, iCongo in Canada, Ascent from India to Pittsburg, Asia Commercial Bank, Visionael and T-Online France, Creative Manager 8.4.3

June 15, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is P!nk's Try This:   Verticals onDemand, a vendor of onDemand CRM products for the life sciences industry, and MediMedia Information Technologies, a division of MediMedia USA, have announced that they will integrate their products to provide pharmaceutical managed care teams with what officials from both firms are calling "the first onDemand CRM product pre-loaded with formulary data."   For the first time, officials from both firms say, managed care account managers can deploy CRM applications pre-loaded with formulary data. Formulary data will be automatically updated through Web services and the Salesforce.com API.   The new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM product, officials from both companies say, makes it "easy to load, update, and route formulary data, empowering managed care account managers with up-to-the-minute formulary details at a glance." Data updates and system assimilation occur automatically, without IT staff intervention.   According to both companies, managed care is underserved by traditional IT providers, which typically impose broad-spectrum sales systems on the very specialized area of managed care.

Centric CRM, Pika Technologies, Maximizer Wins Award, Customer Experience Management, IBM's BladeCenter

June 14, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is P!nk’s Try This:   Centric CRM, a developer of open-source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology, has announced the company will receive investment funding from Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corporation.   Centric CRM will use the funds to pursue growth opportunities forecast for the CRM technology industry, company officials say.   After more than seven years of continuous development, David Richards, CEO of Centric CRM said, the investment from Intel Capital “will be used to fund additional product development, and to expand our sales and marketing activities to capitalize on the rapid growth in our space.”   According to Gartner’s “CRM Software, Worldwide, 2006-2011,” the CRM market’s growth “remained strong through 2006, due to business confidence generating solid vendor performance. Growth is expected to moderate in 2007 but remain healthy throughout the forecast period, with a compound annual growth rate of 11.7 percent.”   The rapid growth in the CRM technology market is being fueled by an increased business focus on strengthening customer relationships, Centric officials say, as well as an increased acceptance by businesses of open-source and Software as a Service (SaaS) business models.   Centric CRM delivers its software using both hosted and on-premises methods, allowing its customers to choose the approach that works best for them.

Maximizer, Aspire and Sage, SafeHarbor, INova, Lagan and Macfarlane

June 13, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The New York Dolls’ surprisingly good “reunion” album, One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This:   Maximizer Software, a vendor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, has announced that West Coast Environmental Law, a not-for-profit law organization, is using Maximizer CRM in a not-for-profit setting.   The organization, which analyzes environmental law, is using Maximizer to manage day-to-day client relations as well as relationships with donors.   Based in Vancouver, West Coast Environmental Law a legal advocacy firm providing their expertise free of charge to those involved in legal matters that affect the environment. As a not-for-profit organization, West Coast Environmental Law needs to serve its group of legal advice clients as well as manage relationships with its financial backers whose donations fund the organization’s programs.   “With very modest resources to devote to information technology,” firm officials said, the organization “required an easy-to-use client and donor relationship management system that could be quickly customized to support its specific requirements.”   “Not-for-profit organizations have many of the same challenges as their corporate peers without the financial and human resources to meet those challenges,” noted Peter Callaghan, Chief Sales Officer, Maximizer Software. …   Aspire Technologies, a vendor of sales quoting software products for the global small and midmarkets, has announced its partnership with Sage Software’s Small Business Division as a recognized third party add-on for Peachtree Accounting editions.   The partnership represents the first quoting product to be recognized and listed as a Peachtree 3rd Party Add-on Solution.

Starbucks CRM: The Java Jive or the Customer Vibe?

June 12, 2007

Dear David,   I own and operate a coffee roastery as well as two retail locations in K--. I don't normally comment on articles such as yours but this time I can't help myself.   In the coffee world there are two types of people, coffee people who minor in business (us) and those who are business people that minor in coffee (s.bucks). Unfortunately for us coffee people, there are far too many people like yourself who are wanna bes who just don't get it.

GeNUIT and KTL, IFS, National Bank of Dubai, VoIP Unlimited and Zultys, Sage and Qqest

June 11, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   A second cup of CRM coffee this morning, and the music is still Aimee Mann’s Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse, it’s one of those albums I can’t seem to get out of my mind or off the iTunes player these days:   GeNUIT, Inc., what company officials like to think of as “an emerging name in enterprise software products,” has announced that KTL Solutions, Inc. has signed on as a Promys Authorized Reseller.   KTL will be providing the fully integrated Promys PSA suite to professional services organizations across the Mid-Atlantic United States. Promys is a business management application designed to deliver performance indicators and other information. It can be accessed remotely.

Oncontact Software, Vettro, 5 fifteen Ltd, Salentica Systems, ReachForce

June 11, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aimee Mann’s wonderful Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse:   Oncontact Software has announced the release of Oncontact CRM 6.0, the CRM software to “update its graphical user interface and visual style to complement Microsoft Windows Vista operating system,” according to Oncontact officials.   Based on the Microsoft.NET platform, Oncontact CRM 6.0 is designed to help mid-market organizations automate pertinent business information. Company officials claim it is “the only CRM product available to offer project management capabilities.”   “Our CRM product is the first to integrate the updated look and feel of Microsoft Windows Vista, making it easy to use for customers already familiar with the Windows Vista interface,” said Jon Zimmerman, president, Oncontact Software.   Oncontact CRM 6.0 stores customer information on one central screen, allowing users to communicate with potential prospects and existing customers. Additional features include Microsoft Office 2007 compatibility, Lotus integration, a time billing module and an advanced search function.

CRM Surging in Western Europe, SM-Plus 2.07, L2 Fuse, Cutting Edge Pharma CRM Reports, Jenzabar, NCR CRM, Intervoice

June 8, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane, for this Bowie fan’s money, a better overall rock listening experience than the ridiculously overpraised Ziggy Stardust. I put Station To Station above the Zigster, and Diamond Dogs if I’m feeling particularly seedy. No, around these parts, pilgrim, Siggy Freudust is throwing elbows with Lodger, Stage and, heck, Let’s Dance for inclusion on the list of the Thin White Duke’s Five Least Maddeningly Inconsistent Albums:   Research firm IDC has issued a report finding that the Western European CRM applications market grew by 6.3 percent in 2006, beating last year’s forecast by almost one percentage point and reaching a value of almost $3 billion.   IDC officials say they see no reason the up tick won’t continue.   The report, titled “Western European CRM Applications, Forecast and Analysis 2007-2011,” finds that early CRM adopters, especially in the financial services and telecommunications sectors, are investing in CRM again, while the low-end segment is seeing a significant impact of software-as-a-service, according to Bo Lykkegaard, IDC’s program manager for European Enterprise Applications as reported on industry journal Web site WiseMarketer.   IDC’s forecast breaks down the CRM application market by deployment model, finding that revenue from on-demand CRM applications grew almost 40 percent during 2006 and is expected to maintain this momentum.

Gartner Calls for CRM Nominations, ACT!9.0 by Sage, Tableau Founder in AAAS, SierraCRM, SPSS Management

June 7, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Prince’s Purple Rain:   Ever see all those companies and vendors cited as being in Gartner reports, and wonder “How do those guys make it in?” Here’s your chance, friends.   Gartner is accepting nominations for its fifth annual Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Excellence Award. Nominations will be accepted via an online entry form from any end-user organization that has “exhibited excellence in placing its customers first with successful CRM implementations,” according to company officials.   Nominations must be submitted by July 13, 2007.   Enterprises are invited to enter and work within a case study framework to describe their CRM initiatives and why it demonstrates CRM excellence.

NeoCase, Bango, Forrester Reports, Managing Editor, ReachForce, Remember D-Day

June 6, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits’ Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards outtake collection:   Neocase Software, Inc., a vendor of collaborative customer service software, has announced that William Pollie has been appointed president of U.S. and North American operations.   Pollie will oversee activities pertaining to product development, customer and partner relationships, sales, and channel strategy while facilitating communications with Neocase’s European division as the company continues its U.S. and global expansion.   Pollie most recently served as the company’s SVP of sales.

A CRM Field Guide to Nine Customer Birds, With Thanks to Roger Tory Peterson

June 6, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     Businesses need customer birds to survive. Without them, businesses rapidly go extinct. It is the purpose of this field guide to explain the basic types of customer birds, how they can be identified, and their relative value to your company.   Veteran business owners will know how to use this guide. But if you’re new to CRM, it will prove useful to familiarize yourself with the basic categories of customer birds:  
  1. New Birds. People who are buying things from you for the first time.

Microsoft CRM Plays for Trail Blazers, Intelliworks Intros Orion, CoreTrac, Etelos and Pageflakes, Legal CRM

June 5, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the eponymous debut album from Emerson, Lake & Palmer:   The phrase "that's a slam dunk" for business software just took on a deeper meaning. The NBA team Portland Trail Blazers has selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, sending their Onyx system to the bench.   Seeing as how the Trail Blazers are owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the only real surprise is that they hadn't switched to Microsoft tools before now.   The Portland Trail Blazers' IT team expects the new system to play a critical role as the organization shifts to serving a more demographically diverse range of customers due to the recent repurchasing of the team's home facility, the Portland Rose Garden.   The franchise chose to replace its existing Onyx CRM system with Microsoft's customer relationship management system to help manage and maintain relationships with not only its core of basketball fans, but concertgoers and attendees of many other types of events as well. Integrated with Microsoft Office Outlook — next you'll be telling me they use Microsoft Word too — Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the same look and feel as Outlook, "overcoming user training and acceptance issues right from the start," Trail Blazers officials say.

CRM from SmartOnline, Telerx's Hire, OnDemandIQ's New Version, Televerde's ISO, PGi's iRgent, XIGroup, Jamcracker

June 4, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz     The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon:   Telerx, a contact center outsourcer working in the packaged goods and healthcare industries, recently announced the appointment of Linda Schellenger to President, effective immediately.   Schellenger will oversee six interactive communications centers with 2,000 employees while managing strategic development, business planning and client program consultation.   Schellenger recently served as senior vice president of sales and marketing for Telerx, and will serve on the Telerx Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Telerx leadership team in 2006, Schellenger served as chief marketing officer for TCIM Services, Inc. …   OnDemandIQ has introduced a Life Sciences version of its OnDemandIQ Insights' hosted business intelligence product.   Specifically designed for small to medium sized sales and marketing organizations in the life sciences industry, OnDemandIQ Insights' is used by organizations to get the information they need "to reclaim selling time and grow sales," according to company officials.   The product integrates relevant data such as script data, CRM call activity and sales information into a Web interface.

Infusion U for CRM, Open Solutions, Luxoft and DeutscheBank, Syclo and IBM, BuildYourMarket 6.0, Appirio, Salesforce and Google

June 1, 2007

  By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aimee Mann's Live At St. Ann's Warehouse:   Infusion Software, a vendor of what company officials call "active" Customer Relationship Management (CRM) marketing automation software for small businesses, has announced the launch of Infusion U, described as "a learning platform for Infusion Software customers."   Infusion U will provide Infusion Software customers with "in-depth training for Infusion CRM, its small business sales and marketing software designed to put marketing on auto-pilot." The education program was created specifically to help customers more fully use features and benefits of Infusion CRM.   "We launched Infusion U to offer our customers the training to become 'power' users with our software," said Clate Mask, president of Infusion Software.   Infusion U instructors will lead two-day courses for customers focused on topics ranging from learning the basics (CRM Boot Camp) to more comprehensive topics such as mapping out business processes, drip marketing campaign development and exploring Infusion CRM's affiliate marketing functionality.   Infusion U courses will be held monthly.
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