By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Lou Reed’s Live In Italy:
The Sage Group plc has announced an agreement to acquire from its owners Singapore-based Creative Software Pte Ltd, a vendor of payroll and human resource management software products, for an enterprise value of about $6.5 million.
CSPL has 4,000 customers spread across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Hong Kong. With branch offices in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong, CSPL employs around 70 people and is based in Singapore. Last year it reported an annual turnover of approximately $3.2 million.
Paul Walker, Sage Chief Executive, said the acquisition allows Sage to offer a comprehensive product “comprising ERP, CRM, payroll and HRM… localized to meet the needs of our Asian customers and broadens our geographic and product reach in the important Asian markets.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete within the next few months. Following completion the business will report to Gee Sing Low, Managing Director, for Sage Asia.
Cognizant, a vendor of IT and business process outsourcing services, joins the list of premier sponsors of BPT Partners’ CRM Certified Seminars in Applied CRM Strategy and Social Media and CRM 2.0.
BPT Partners, founded by Bruce Culbert and CRM legend Paul Greenberg, delivers best-of-breed CRM certification training, consulting, research and resources to the Global 2000. BPT is the only authorized organization offering professionals CRM Certification endorsed by the National CRM Association, CustomerThink (formerly CRMGuru.com), Rutgers’ University Center for CRM Research in the U.S., Greater China CRM and the CRMA-Japan in Asia Pacific.
Bruce Culbert, managing director of BPT Partners, said Cognizant’s track record and commitment to customer success is “stellar,” adding “we are honored to have them among BPT Partners’ premier sponsors promoting today’s CRM industry standards.”
Argyll and Bute Council has created a virtual Customer Service Center function that enables Council advisors to work from offices distributed throughout the mainland and islands, while having access to common technologies and resources.
The Customer Service Center is powered by Macfarlane CallPlus contact center technology embedded within a new Cisco IP infrastructure. CallPlus is also integrated with Lagan Frontline CRM software, with the intention that relevant customer and Council information can be passed to advisors as calls are answered in order to deliver “one and done at first point of contact” service.
The virtual Customer Service Center went live in June 2007. In the initial phase of deployment, Council Tax queries are being handled at a single Center in Campbeltown — with a team of four Council Tax Advisors handling around 700–800 customer calls a week. Within months, the operation is likely to be many times bigger and operating on a multi-site basis.
Advisors use technology integration between the Council’s Lagan Frontline CRM software and Northgate SX3 Council Tax system that enables them to change customer records without the need for double entry. It is the first time this type of system integration has been achieved in a Scottish Council.
The process of technology-enabling the new Customer Service Center started in February 2007. The Lagan Frontline software was installed and fully integrated with the Council’s Northgate Council Tax system and Civica (formerly Comino) Workflow and Electronic Document Management software by April 2007. The installation of the Council’s Cisco IP infrastructure followed, with the Macfarlane CallPlus contact center being integrated into this set-up shortly after.
The Council is already using VoIP telephony at three council locations and plans to extend this number over time.
The Automotive Division at Alfahim, including Emirates Motor Company, Eastern Motors and Western Motors, has recently gone live with AutoLine Dealer Management System including CRM. Processes will be “engineered and reengineered as and when needed,” officials of the United Arab Emirates-based Alfahim say.
AutoLine is a system geared for the retail motor industry with over six thousand installations active across more than thirty countries around the world. The system comprises more than twenty core modules to serve business efficiently in a process-controlled environment and allows for high standards of customer service.
Alfahim implemented the latest AutoLine version which has Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as the central hub. Peter Beynon, Managing Director of Alfahim, said with CRM being the core of the Dealer Management System, “every user who directly or indirectly interacts with our customer base will be able to update Customer or Vehicle information, so that we continuously update customer details.”
In the long term, Alfahim officials say, adoption of CRM as a strategy will lead to higher employee satisfaction, since “all the information is at the tip of their fingers; which will reflect in higher customer satisfaction, better lead management and higher conversion rates, and more efficient up-selling, cross-selling, and repeat sales.”
Sand Technology, a vendor of intelligent information management software, has announced today that Sun Microsystems Germany will resell the Sand/DNA product suite for all Sun Microsystems computing platforms.
Combining sun and sand? Great idea, I believe it’s called a “beach.”
The combination of Sand/DNA running on Sun Servers with the Solaris Operating System is billed as allowing customers to retain compressed data for extended periods and retrieve this information when needed, bringing greater operational efficiency and analytical power.
Sun and Sand have worked together on several benchmarking activities. In performance tests carried out at the Global Storage Center in Scotland using the Solaris 10 OS and the Sun Grid system, Sand achieved load speeds of greater than 1 terabyte per hour and query speeds of 2 terabytes per minute, processing 75 million rows per second on a Sand customer data set of 165 terabytes consisting of ISP web log data, CRM data, and transactional data.
Business & Decision, a consulting and systems integration company specializing in business intelligence and Customer Relationship Management, has acquired DSS, a Russian consulting and IT company specializing in business intelligence.
With recognized expertise in Customer Performance Management and Risk Management, DSS also offers Customer Relationship Management services. As a SAS partner in Russia, the DSS acquisition will reinforce Business & Decision’s existing SAS partnership throughout Europe, company officials hope.
The acquisition of DSS has been realized in cash, with an earn-out based on profitability and turnover performance.
With a workforce of 45, DSS has reported a turnover of $1.1 million in 2006 and has a target of $2.4 million in 2008. The company’s major clients operate within the telecommunications and banking sectors.