By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is, in honor of the Fourth of July, the great American music, a four-CD burned set selected by yours truly, ranging from Louis Armstrong’s 1927 recording of “Mack the Knife” to last year’s New York Dolls comeback album. No other country or culture in the world can match America’s music, further proof that art flourishes best in a tolerant, diverse free market culture.
I’d put our top ten of just the 20th century up against anyone else’s of all time if I could just narrow it down to ten — when you have to leave Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Muddy Waters, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, B. B. King, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Parker, Woody Guthrie, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, The Velvet Underground or, God forbid, The Supremes off a list of your country’s best music then you, my friend, have an embarrasment of riches. God bless America indeed:
That didn’t take long. Fresh off pictures of exultant shoppers brandishing the first iPhones purchased comes the news that CompanionLink Software, a vendor of mobile synchronization products, has released CRM synchronization for the Apple iPhone.
The product will synchronize contacts and calendar from ACT! by Sage, GoldMine, Lotus Notes, Novell GroupWise, Time & Chaos, Google Apps, and Palm Desktop to the Apple iPhone.
CompanionLink sells to mobile professionals who “don’t use Outlook as a primary customer relations tool,” company officials say proudly. By extending iPhone synchronization to a dozen other platforms, CompanionLink is offering a product delivering two-way synchronization of all contacts and calendar events.
Users of industry standard CRM applications will have their alarms, phone look-ups, and travel directions fully available on the iPhone, company officials promise.
“The mapping, Web browsing and calendar capabilities of the iPhone make it extremely compelling for today’s mobile professional,” says Wayland Bruns, CEO of CompanionLink Software. “The iPhone is a leap in value over every prior handheld.”
CompanionLink is available in two versions: Express and Professional. Both versions support iPhone synchronization and start at $49.95. The current implementation requires Microsoft Outlook to be installed. A direct sync that works without Outlook is anticipated in the current quarter.
SugarCRM Inc., a vendor of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced the Atlanta Meet-Up Group, which is focused on Sugar best practices.
SugarCRM users and enthusiasts from the Atlanta metropolitan area gather on “Sugar Wednesday” to teach each other new SugarCRM capabilities and techniques, swap tips and tricks, and answer Sugar-related questions at the Atlanta SugarCRM Meet-Up Group.
David Gearhart, Regional VP of Sales for SugarCRM, said the meets are to “swap SugarCRM lessons learned and have select speakers provide hands-on instruction. More importantly, we get a chance to hear how others are using SugarCRM for their business. All skill levels are welcome.”
Open to the public and free to join, the Atlanta SugarCRM Meet-Up Group convenes monthly on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 pm at Jocks & Jills Galleria, 1 Galleria Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA 30339. For more information, please visit http://opensource.meetup.com/72/
Diversified Advertising Services, a division of Omnicom Group, has acquired San Francisco-based Expert Communications. A direct response agency, ECI specializes in one-to-one marketing for highly regulated industries, such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications and utilities.
Founded in 1995 by Bara Oscodar and Colleen Cramsie, ECI is comprised of advertisers in account services, production, creative and database marketing. In addition to its full-service agency capabilities, ECI offers comprehensive in-house database resources, with on-site data warehousing, modeling and analysis.
ECI will operate as part of the STAR Marketing Group of CRM-focused agencies, which include Javelin Direct, Critical Mass, Innovyx, Optima and others.
It’s amazing the permutations on-demand CRM engenders: Trial Solutions, a vendor in the litigation support software market, has released its on-demand version 9.0 of ImageDepot, for litigation teams with document repository projects who need support from worldwide locations via the Internet.
ImageDepot version 9.0 includes image and native file support, document review work-flow management, document redaction and annotations and e-mail integration as well as real-time audit log and activity reports.
Trial Solutions provides wholesale litigation support services, SaaS on-demand litigation document repository and review software, computer forensics, electronic discovery, attorney staffing and trial preparation.
Lawyers as service providers, and cases as customers to be managed… I can see it.
HCL Infosystems Limited, an Indian information enabling company, has announced the launch of Datacentre in a Box, what company officials are calling an integrated product that “meets the complete IT infrastructure requirements of small and medium enterprises,” a “simplified one-point product for all the IT infrastructure needs that an emerging business has.”
It comes with high-technology modules along with network components and remote management systems in a single rack with space and power-saving design intended to be cost-effective. It can support business applications including ERP, CRM, SCM, mail, Web (proxy) and print services, company officials say.
Executive Vice President, HCL Infosystems Limited, George Paul said the product is designed to handle complete IT needs of small and medium enterprises, “while offering the advantages of simplified one point product, reducing IT deployment and maintenance costs and offering a nation wide reach for support.”
HCL also plans to have a pan India road show of the products focusing on the SMB clusters.
Most interesting report from industry observer Robert Stockdill
, reporting from the CIES World Food Business Summit in Shanghai — First Coffee’s guessing your company isn’t attending. Stockdill finds that retailing giant Carrefour has learned “the global grocery retailing trend of cutting back the range on offer does not serve customers’ expectations.”
Stockdill says the chairman of Carrefour’s management board, Jose Luis Duran, “admitted the giant France-based multinational made a mistake when it culled its supermarket product ranges,” saying the move, in retrospect, might have been interpreted as a lack of respect for the customer.
To undo the damage Carrefour is expanding its range by 15 percent annually, with an even balance of branded and house brand products, Stockdill says.
Carrefour admitted to another mea culpa, underestimating the importance of customer relationship management. “We used to believe CRM was not a high priority. Today we have to be much more flexible,” Stockdill reports Duran as saying.
Today Carrefour maintains a database of millions of households, divided it into different customer segments to communicate products and promotions.