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. A team of Gartner analysts, along with various media partners, will evaluate and select three finalists based on the Eight Building Blocks of CRM, which include vision, strategy, “valued customer experience,” organizational collaboration, information, technology and metrics involving internal and external measures of CRM success and failure.
“Companies that use a strategic framework to estimate, plan and promote their CRM initiatives, while building up their capabilities in small piloted steps, are twice as likely to achieve planned business benefits as enterprises that pursue projects without a framework,” said Adam Sarner, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Three finalists will be chosen by August 13, 2007. Each finalist will be asked to present their CRM use case to conference attendees at the Gartner Customer Relationship Management Summit, scheduled for September 17-19 in Hollywood, Florida. The winner will be announced during the conference.
Sage Software has announced ACT! by Sage for Financial Professionals 9.0, a contact and customer management product that provides data management, activity tracking, reporting and sales productivity tools for financial advisors, brokerage firms and teams of financial services professionals.
ACT! for Financial Professionals centralizes prospect and client data in a single, secure database and helps individual advisors and teams use contact, account, investment and financial planning information, and assists with regulatory compliance tracking.
Users can synchronize contact, calendar and to-do information with their Palm OS or Pocket PC devices. Purchase of ACT! for Financial Professionals also includes one year of ACT! Business Care maintenance and support.
ACT! for Financial Professionals is the second ACT! industry product. Sage Software introduced ACT! by Sage Premium for Real Estate 9.0 in May 2006.
Tableau Software, a vendor of visual analysis software, has announced that Tableau Co-founder and CTO Pat Hanrahan has been elected to the 2007 Class of Fellows by The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Academy was established in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John
Hancock, and others to a) copy French institutions, and b) “cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”
The membership of the Academy encompasses 4,000 Fellows and 600 Foreign Honorary Members and comprises members from mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, business, government, public affairs, and the arts.
Your most humble servant has not yet been elected. I’ll let you know when that happens. Please start holding your breath now, as I’m all for cultivation, interest and happiness.
Among its Fellows are more than 160 Nobel Prize laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.
“It was my enormous privilege to nominate Pat for inclusion in this illustrious group,”
said Dr. Ed Lazowska, the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science &
Engineering at the University of Washington.
In addition to Dr. Hanrahan, this year’s class of new Fellows includes former Vice
President Albert Gore, Jr., former Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day
O’Connor, New York Mayor and businessman Michael Bloomberg; Google Chairman
and CEO Eric Schmidt and pianist Emanuel Ax.
SierraCRM Inc. has released a process management engine for SugarCRM, the open-source customer relationship management software. The new engine, designed to help users capture more new business and create a “customer-for-life” environment, is offered in both full-featured and “lite,” configurations. The latter, with fewer functions, is available as a free download.
“This new module allows any company using SugarCRM to streamline and automate many daily tasks involved with customer acquisition and management, freeing up time to focus on selling and servicing customers in a more effective and automated manner,” said Bill Convis, SierraCRM chief technology officer.
He described the SugarCRM open systems model as the “first true commercial-grade CRM that users can download and set up for free.”
With the new module, the workflow engine takes care of communications to a new lead, contact, opportunity, or case along with scheduling and follow-ups, Convis explained.
Financial institutions have generally found it has become a necessity to differentiate their services with higher regard being placed on customer service. According to a survey conducted last year of 35 financial institutions across the United States, 94 percent said it was “critical” or “extremely important” to improve the customer’s experience.
SierraCRM’s full-featured version sells for $499. SierraCRM Inc. was formed in 2004 by Bill Convis, a consultant in the CRM industry since 1996 when he joined Clarify, Inc. Convis left Clarify in 1998 and started Sierra Software Solutions, a Clarify Consulting and Implementation company.
SPSS Inc., a vendor of predictive analytics software, has announced the appointment of Alex Kormushoff to Senior Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations, reporting to the Company’s President and CEO Jack Noonan. Rich Holada, Senior Vice President of Technology, will now report to Noonan.
Consistent with the company’s succession plan, these management changes are being made in connection with the resignation of John Shap, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, who will be leaving the company for another career position, and the resignation of Jon Otterstatter, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, who is leaving the company to devote more time to personal matters.
Kormushoff is a technology veteran with nearly 30 years of industry experience. He joined SPSS in 2005, having previously served as interim CEO for BroadVision, where he also held the positions of Executive Vice President for Worldwide Operations and Senior Vice President for Worldwide Professional Services.
The Midwest’s largest publicly held savings bank, Flagstar Bank, the primary subsidiary of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., of Troy, Michigan, has recently selected Open Solutions Inc.’s The Complete Banking Solution, a relational core data processing platform for community banks, to address its enterprise-wide data processing needs.
Flagstar has 156 banking centers in Michigan, Indiana and Georgia. Additionally, the bank has 72 home loan centers in 18 states, is one of the leading originators of residential mortgage loans, and originates loans nationwide.