By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Kinks’ live album One For The Road:
Endeavor Commerce, publishers of SmartCatalog, a selling and configuration product VeriTest has certified for both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Commerce Server, has announced today it will unveil version 6.1 of its SmartCatalog for CRM application.
SmartCatalog has seen “significant market growth” in 2007, company officials say, having recently won five new global enterprise customers. For the first half of 2007 overall revenue grew more than 90 percent, with software sales revenue growth at 155 percent.
SmartCatalog 6.1 offers a new end-user application containing features making the product more flexible, scalable and easier to use for both on-line and off-line users. SmartCatalog’s new end-user application is architected using the ASP .Net 2.0 Framework.
Using an Outlook style of navigation, the user experience of SmartCatalog is designed to be consistent with Microsoft Office applications. The new sales messaging guides on-line and off-line CRM users through the quoting process offering rules-based alerts. This enhancement lets users to take advantage of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
SmartCatalog is billed by company officials as allowing enterprises to “increase revenue, decrease cost, and increase customer satisfaction by enabling intelligence at the point of sale.”
Bscaler has released a new version of the Enterprise Resource Manager, their SaaS Plus Web-based business management product. Said Steven Mulhall, BScaler’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, “we are not aware of any other affordable software that organically integrates CRM, SFA, Service, MRP, WMS and financials.”
While others are “shipping CRM or accounting packages,” BScaler CEO John Pham said, “BScaler provides the next generation ERP in a modern Web-based product.”
“With today’s global economy, business executives must make decisions in real-time. Whether you are traveling or on the golf course, BScaler’s SaaS Plus Web-based technology will deliver your complete business information, in any language, 24x7,” he added, relieving execs dreading being caught out on the 12th green.
Customers can go for a subscription and pay per user per month, or own the ERM Appliance and pay only for BScaler support, company officials say.
Soffront Software, a vendor of mid-market CRM software, has announced that VoicePlus has selected Soffront CRM to “track service tickets more effectively and invoice with greater accuracy and detail.”
VoicePlus provides integrated call processing systems and custom applications to various types and sizes of business.
VoicePlus selected on-demand Soffront CRM because “we wanted a product that allowed us to access and view our ticketing software from anywhere,” explained Brad Eickman, VP of Operations, VoicePlus. “With Soffront, we can track all service issues and supply our customers with more detailed service and accounting documentation.”
Through the use of Soffront’s Customer Portal, VoicePlus customers can access the Soffront application directly from their Web site. “Our customers can open tickets via the Web, in addition to the normal technical assistance call,” explained Eickman.
FTS, a vendor of business control, billing and CRM products for communications service providers, has announced that it is working with Distributor of IT and Hardware and Systems Integrator RT2i in the African CSP market.
Systems Integrator RT2i is dedicated to the African market and has built a client list in the African telco sector. RT2i will now market FTS’ products alongside its current portfolio, “giving both companies increased depth in the African Service Provider market,” FTS officials say.
In particular, the partnership with FTS will see RT2i resell and support the hardware required for FTS’ products as well as provide system integration capabilities to support FTS’ end-to-end converged products with HP OpenCall.
Service Providers in Africa now have increased access to FTS’ portfolio of Business Control, Billing and CRM products. This includes FTS’ flagship product, Leap Billing, which enables providers to charge in real-time for any type of service -- voice, video, data or content. It is also a truly integrated pre/postpaid converged product with fully integrated CRM and billing.
Funny how these things converge: In her younger days, Mrs. First Coffee worked as a volunteer for New Zealand’s Surf Life Saving. Later she marries a CRM writer. And today, the Dominion Post
reports that Surf Life Saving is one of the first organizations in New Zealand to buy a customer relationship management system developed by Oracle.
My wife and I are available for the signing ceremony, FYI.
The charity’s business development manager, Nigel Cox, told the Post that Surf Life Saving is using Oracle CRM OnDemand to support a business it has just set up to offer first-aid training.
Surf Life Saving, according to Cox, has been offering courses in Wellington since October as a trial, and in Auckland for the past two weeks, and soon plans to offer a nationwide service.
“Using Web-hosted software to manage the business means it does not have to set up and run its own technology infrastructure, which it would otherwise have needed in each of the nine regions in which Surf Life Saving operates,” the Post reports.
“It gives us a single view of our customers, no matter where we are in the country. One of our supporters is a nationwide company and we can track how everyone deals with that customer. It will also let us track sales calls and manage our sales forecasting,” Cox says.
Cox says the system should pay for itself very quickly, since “selling training courses means the charity does not have to rely solely on ‘putting its cap out’ for funding,” in the Post’s words.
Douglas Shaw & Associates, a fundraising agency specializing in nonprofits and Christian ministries, has “formed a non-equity alliance with StrategicOne, a Kansas City-based CRM consultancy,” according to industry observer Mickey Khan
The alliance is expected to expose Douglas Shaw clients to predictive modeling, strategic analysis, performance measurement and CRM data warehousing services, Khan says.
“Basically our client base is moving to a more sophisticated direct response program that makes use of a multichannel approach that includes things like Internet broadcast and telemarketing,” said Ted Pauls, president of Douglas Shaw, located in West Chicago.
Douglas Shaw was founded in 1994. Its client roster includes Precept Ministries International, Youth for Christ, Moody Church Media, Joni & Friends Inc., Answers in Genesis, Wycliffe Associates, Operation Mobilization and Rescue Missions nationwide.
StrategicOne has served clients such as The Salvation Army, Moody Bible Institute, Focus on the Family, Alliance Defense Fund, Concerned Women for America, Prison Fellowship and ALSAC-St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.