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. The entire customer lifecycle — starting with a customer initiating communication (phone call, e-mail, Web callback, IVR self-service) to the logging of the activity in the CRM system — will be delivered through Oracle’s CRM and business intelligence applications. It supports out-of-the-box integration for voice calls with Siebel CRM.
Maximizer Software has announced that it has entered into what company officials are calling “a new strategic alliance” with sales and education research firm ES Research.
ESR is a vendor of sales process evaluation and sales training firm evaluation. It recently launched the first Certified Measurement Program aimed at formally certifying the top sales training organizations.
Under the terms of the new agreement Maximizer and ESR will share customer bases for mutual cross and up-sell potential, share research and best practices with joint customers in educational events such as Webcasts, and participate in marketing programs aimed at raising awareness of the two company’s offerings and cooperation.
ESR CEO David Stein noted that while corporate sales professionals understand the requirement for professional sales training, they understand that “the most sophisticated sales teams harness sales technologies to improve processes and the results they deliver.”
Salesforce.com has announced the company’s 2007 annual meeting of stockholders will be held on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, 5:00 p.m. on the East Coast. The meeting is to be held at the Mark Hopkins Hotel located on 999 California Street, San Francisco, California 94108.
The record date for the meeting was May 22, 2007, and only stockholders of record on that date are eligible to attend the meeting. An audio Webcast will be available to the public on salesforce.com’s Web site.
RightNow Technologies has announced that Datamonitor research recommends the company’s product be on higher education’s “shortlist for CRM technology selection.”
According to the June 2007 report “Decision Matrix: Selecting a CRM vendor in the higher education market,” the combination of being well regarded in the higher education market and “having a robust product makes RightNow a vendor that institutions should put on their shortlist when considering the purchase of a CRM application.”
The Datamonitor report also states that RightNow offers institutions “attractive pricing” and “rapid deployment.” Institutions seeking to implement CRM in the most basic to even the most sophisticated ways, Datamonitor says, “will find RightNow Technologies to be an attractive vendor.”
In evaluating RightNow’s higher education CRM product, available through the software-as-a-service deployment model, Datamonitor noted that the Bozeman, Montana-based vendor had “the highest score amongst all of the profiled vendors in four of the eight user sentiment categories, including product quality, customer support, service capabilities and client engagement.”
The report found a “particularly compelling feature” of RightNow’s CRM product to be the ability to embed other applications, such as a student information system or document management system, using a custom tab.
IBM has benchmarked the performance of Infor CRM Epiphany beyond 10,000 concurrent users in a real world test, a finding which “verifies the scalability and performance of the CRM product,” according to Infor officials.
The scalability metrics benchmark tested Infor CRM Epiphany Sales and Service on their WebSphere application server, exceeding 10,000 concurrent users without any failures in a six-hour test run.
IBM tested the product based on information provided by one of the largest banking organizations in the world to establish business scenarios in three defined test scripts. The scripts were based on the level of detail and response required for a customer service representative to complete a customer interaction. These were comprised of 50 percent simple, 30 percent medium and 20 percent complex customer interactions.
The test was run on IBM 595 P5 with six processors per each of eight logical partitions. Each LPAR ran three WebSphere application server instances with two processors each. In addition, the test was run on an all AIX platform with an 8-way P5 running a DB2 database with a three terabyte storage area network. Response times were sub three seconds for 90 percent of test activities.
Hot Banana, a Web content management product from J.L. Halsey, has released its latest version — Hot Banana 5.6 — at CFUnited 2007, a ColdFusion Conference. The Web content management system for marketing, is now 100 percent compliant with Adobe ColdFusion 8, which means it can use the features of the new, soon-to-be-released ColdFusion 8 server platform.
The latest Hot Banana release also has new features including CAPTCHA Web form validation, Rich Text Editor enhancements and Web form data integration with NetSuite, a SaaS CRM.
Hot Banana now enables the transfer of Web form data to salesforce.com and NetSuite, with more integrations with additional SFA and CRM vendors planned. The product is billed as allowing “non-technical” users to build multi-level Web forms with CAPTCHA validation on basic Web site pages or on advanced landing pages, set up Web analytics, lead source and conversion tracking; and transfer the captured lead-generation data from the Web form to almost any SFA, CRM, database or e-mail marketing product.
TheCustomer Relationship Management Association has announced it will begin using GOT Corporation’s on-demand CampaignerPro e-mail marketing application. As CRMA’s Premier sponsor, GOT Corporation receives an annual membership for ten employees, visibility at local chapter meetings and can post CRM-related white papers.
GOT Corporation joins Oracle, CRMA’s Platinum Sponsor of record. Other CRMA partners include Salesforce.com, RWD, BPT Partners, KnowledgeStorm and others.
Soffront CRM v. 8.6 has been named by TMC as a 2006 Product of the Year. Soffront CRM v. 8.6 was released in 2006 with such enhancements as increased marketing and sales capabilities, improved customer support functionalities, enhanced automation, and better integration. It’s geared to mid-sized companies or departments of larger companies.