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. The first course, CRM Boot Camp, will be held May 31-June 1 and again July 12-13th at Infusion headquarters in Arizona.
Infusion U's upcoming courses open to attendees include "CRM Business Processes," on how to effectively map business processes to automate within Infusion CRM, and "E-mail Best Practices," on how to apply e-mail best practices to business and marketing.
Texans Credit Union has announced it has selected Open Solutions Inc.'s The Complete Credit Union Solution, a relational core data processing platform for credit unions, to address its enterprise-wide data processing needs.
Open Solutions sells integrated enabling technologies for financial service providers.
With branches throughout North Texas, Austin and Houston, Texans Credit Union has assets approaching $2 billion, 30 branches and serves more than 156,000 members. The credit union selected Open Solutions primarily for its "advanced commercial lending and deposit capabilities," Open Solutions officials said.
"Unlike traditional credit unions, Texans Credit Union is focused on developing and expanding its relationships within the commercial marketplace," said Greg Gallant, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Texans Credit Union, explaining why the company saw the need for a sophisticated core platform with advanced capability and logic
The Complete Credit Union Solution is built on a centralized Oracle relational database designed to be an open architecture application.
Syclo, a vendor of mobile technology, has announced today its acceptance into the IBM SOA Specialty after successfully completing IBM's SOA technical and business requirements. This means Syclo's Agentry mobile platform integrates with the IBM software and strategy for SOA.
Syclo's SMART Suite includes prepackaged and preintegrated applications that mobilize CRM, ERP and EAM systems, among others.
"SOA is an increasingly important business requirement for organizations because of the business flexibility it enables," said Sandy Carter, vice president, SOA and WebSphere, IBM Software Group.
Syclo's Agentry mobile platform application is designed to bring information to thousands of users at the lowest possible total cost of ownership. Compliance with SOA standards enables Syclo's mobile applications to link to SOA-compliant data sources and systems, allowing data from various sources to be integrated with enterprise applications, third-party portals and process management systems.
Industry observer John Adams has a good Q 'n' A with DeutscheBank's "high touch" CRM, where Daniel Marovitz, DeutscheBank's COO, talks about high-touch CRM and the benefits of offshoring to locales closer than India.
Marovitz tells Adams that yes, CRM differs for commercial clients and retail users. For commercial clients, "it's a high-touch environment. Retail CRM systems deliver quantitative data on things like when someone has made a deposit, when the CD comes due and whether someone made his last mortgage payment."
High-touch CRM, he explains, "does that too, but there's also more detail about meetings and presentations that we made to clients, reports about upcoming meetings, electronic pipelines that detail what deals we expect a client to do and what revenue might get generated, as well as historical revenue and lending."
DeutscheBank decided to go with Russian vendor Luxoft, to "near-shore" the project. Marovitz explains the thinking behind going with a Russian vendor, saying "they are not half a world away in India. They're in Russia and the Ukraine. That's a lower cost location, but not one that's a million miles away in terms of travel and time-zone concerns."
So DeutscheBank gets cost savings, he tells Adams, "but not without [sic] having a cultural or physical chasm between the teams that are working for us. In terms of being able to get there and have face-to-face meetings on critical issues, it's much easier than having to go all the way to India."
Prospect Digital, an online marketing vendor, has launched version 6.0 of its BuildYourMarket.com product to integrate CRM, Web marketing, marketing communications, compliance assurance and variable-data-print engine for financial advisors.
Company officials characterize it as a "true Web 2.0 application."
Prospect Digital's 6.0 version "serves as advisors' virtual marketer, automatically drip marketing on their database with full-color, NASD-reviewed print and electronic marketing collateral that guides prospects through the conversion funnel," company officials say.
Kathran Martin, CEO of Prospect Digital, says the 6.0 version "allows advisors to launch a fully branded, targeted, professionally designed marketing program with 16 personalized touches or more in a matter of minutes."
"The 6.0 version eliminates the misuse of valuable marketing resources," said Jack Martin, President of Prospect Digital. "We know that 80 percent of leads created by marketing are never acted upon by sales. The latest research suggests that 80 percent of those who inquire about an advisor's services will buy within a year, but 90 percent will buy from someone else."
The cost? "The price of a daily cup of coffee," company officials say. Hm, this columnist, would hate to have to choose between his daily cup of coffee and most anything else.
Appirio, a Services 2.0 and on-demand integrator vendor, has announced it has joined the Google Enterprise Professional program. The program "extends the power of Google across the enterprise and helps customers get more value out of their Google enterprise deployments," Appirio officials say.
The Salesforce.com partner has launched a series of Google Gadgets for Salesforce.com that integrates iGoogle with Salesforce.com's CRM application and platform. In addition, Appirio now offers integration and deployment services for Google Apps and custom application development products that use Google and Salesforce.com.