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. Matt Wallach, vice president of sales and marketing for Verticals onDemand, says until now, "there was no easy way for managed care account managers to efficiently support their customers and see critical formulary data at the same time."
Verticals onDemand’s flagship products are VBioPharma, for global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and VMedical, for global medical and surgical device companies. It's a privately-held company headquartered in Pleasanton, California. MediMedia Information Technologies sells plan specific formulary data.
CRM vendor iCongo has announced that Canada's Lecavalier Auto Parts, a distributor of recycled auto parts and equipment, has selected iCongo's ICE3 suite of collaborative e-business systems. The iCongo e-commerce platform will be used for Lecavalier's retail and wholesale customers, allowing them to conduct their entire order entry and order management processes online.
The applications being implemented by Lecavalier include iCongo's ICE3 Business-to-Business Catalog and Online Order Entry System, ICE3 Business-to-Consumer E-Commerce System, ICE3 Customer Portal, marketing and collaboration modules.
Roger Fugre Jr., President of Lecavalier, said by using iCongo's ecommerce products, "we will be offering our customers the systems required to obtain important up-to-date product information and to place and track orders more quickly and efficiently online."
Ascent Systems, a professional services firm, has announced the launch of its "Ascent Technology Center," which firm officials say "cuts the total cost of information technology projects by up to 70 percent."
The ATC will provide full-spectrum technology services to its clients and is expected to employ nearly 300 people when fully staffed. Ascent offers technology consulting, custom software development, CRM, ERP and PLM systems integration, Web content management, and IT project outsourcing to clients in the Pittsburgh region.
"We believe that, throughout the last decade and a half, the U.S. IT services industry has not mounted an effective campaign to reduce the cost of IT projects and has sent the work offshore rather than do it here," said John Twigg, Chief Executive Officer of Ascent.
Twigg added that results are being seen in the Bangalore region of India, which has grown its technology industry by billions of dollars and 170,000 workers over the last few years. "So, we are launching such a campaign in Pittsburgh today."
Twigg has spoken on the detrimental effects of offshore outsourcing on radio and television programs as well as at numerous technical and business events. He also
represents the interests of U.S. members of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers in meetings with legislators in Washington D.C.
Twigg foresees a trend where lower IT costs will let clients of any size to increase their use of technology to be more competitive. "A 2004 Deloitte Consulting study showed that Pennsylvania manufacturing firms lag the U.S. national average in productivity by 11 percent," Twigg noted, adding that Ascent's consulting rates for enterprise resource planning systems will be "close to 70 percent below traditional ERP providers."
Asia Commercial Bank has signed an agreement with Thien Nam Information Technology Company, an international reseller of banking and financial processing systems, to upgrade its core processing platform to the latest release of Open Solutions' product named The Complete Banking Solution, described by company officials as "a relational, enterprise-wide data processing product."
Open Solutions sells technology for financial services providers internationally, and has recently signed an international reseller partnership agreement with Hanoi, Vietnam-based Thien Nam Information Technology Company.
Headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Asia Commercial Bank has more than $1.7 billion in assets, 84 branches and 658,000 customers. ACB originally converted to Open Solutions’ TCBS platform in 2001 through a private label reseller agreement that the company had had in the region.
Processing independently since that time, ACB will be upgrading to the company’s latest release now that Open Solutions has begun to directly market within the Asia Pacific marketplace. Thien Nam joins Open Solutions list of international resellers such as Thailand-based SLC, Canadian-based Celero, India-based R Systems Inc. and Asian-based CSII.
Visionael Corporation, a vendor of service automation and delivery management software and services, has announced that T-Online France has selected Visionael's Network Resource Manager to automate delivery of its triple play services to residential customers.
With the Visionael product, T-Online France was able to use open interfaces to its CRM, billing and activation systems to enable delivery of services. This is critical in the French market, where its competition for Triple Play services includes ISPs, Alternative Carriers and Cable MSOs.
Visionael's product also enables T-Online's France customers to go directly to the Web site to subscribe for services. Now, T-Online France users can select IPTV or VoIP services or increase their DSL speed, and the service will be delivered without manual central office provisioning or a truck roll for on-site installation.
Creative Manager, the vendor of Creative Manager Pro software, has released version 8.4.3 of its flagship product, Creative Manager Pro.
Last month saw Creative Manager Pro "improve its Ad Agency software internally and externally," company officials say, with improvements allowing the user to "see a graphical representation of the project schedule across the entire firm." Externally, the Ad Agency Software expanded its server base to its Australian and New Zealand clients.
This month, Creative Manager Pro, which offers Project Management, CRM, Digital Asset Management, billing and accounting and Extranet capabilities, has added 52 enhancements in four key areas: Accounting, Project Management, Media and Reporting.
The list of enhancements is broad. For instance, campaign budgets now have several new options for tracking actuals to the budget. Users can now pull in actual figures by Item, by Project Type or can specify which budget item each project goes to.
No installation or conversion are necessary, and all updates are at no cost to users of Creative Project Manager and Creative Manager Pro. All client logins and vendor logins are always free. Creative Manager Pro's new features work with Apple's latest Tiger Mac OS X and future Leopard Unix-based Operating System and Microsoft Windows.