CRM's and Theikos, Hartman at MEA Digital, Open Source CRM, NetSuite Poaching Microsoft, Livelink ECM

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David Sims
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CRM's and Theikos, Hartman at MEA Digital, Open Source CRM, NetSuite Poaching Microsoft, Livelink ECM

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an iTunes playlist of obscure but good Rolling Stones songs -- just finished "100 Years Ago," the current track is "Crackin' Up," next up's "Child Of The Moon."

Theikos, a consulting firm focused on the SaaS marketplace, is now offering On-Demand Professional Services for organizations using's on-demand CRM applications and platform.

Theikos is announcing the availability of on-demand consulting services which include business process consulting, set-up and configuration of Salesforce applications, reporting, Apex development, and more. Service selection, purchase, and work order requests can be completed online.

"Theikos On-Demand Professional Services gives customers a quick and easy way to engage expert resources for their on-demand projects and ad-hoc requests," said Bobby Napiltonia, senior vice president, Worldwide Alliances,

With the community exceeding 32,000 customers, the market for on-demand applications has grown to the point where some clients need On-Demand Professional Services -- purchasing expert consulting services via the Web to execute on tasks and projects that need to be done for the client's Salesforce application.

This generally replaces the traditional consulting services contracting process with an online purchase and work order submission path. Introductory pricing is available through the end of August, and is posted at

Interactive marketing strategy and services firm MEA Digital has announced that John Hartman has been named Vice President of Strategy. In this role, Hartman will lead the agency's strategic planning and measurement and analytics disciplines.

Most recently, John was the Vice President of Professional Services at Kintera, a CRM provider to the non-profit sector. Prior to Kintera, John was a manager at Accenture, working in their change management practice with such clients as Merrill Lynch and State Farm Insurance.

MEA Digital is based in San Diego, and works with clients such as Oakley, Nickelodeon, Callaway and Mitsubishi.

Happy birthday, Bugs Bunny, from all of us here at First Coffee headquarters.

The acquisition and deployment of CRM and other open source software is now a strategic imperative for UK business, according to research released by Ingres Corporation, "The Managing 21st Century Business Information" survey.

The study questioned IT professionals from the UK's largest public sector and enterprise organizations on a host of open source and information management issues.

The report found that the versatility and adaptability of the open source model is allowing companies to eliminate historic vendor lock-in, reduce database management costs and rapidly develop critical business applications, including Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and CRM products.

And open source is gaining in popularity. 77 percent of businesses were either planning to deploy, or had already deployed, open source software in their core business systems, shattering outdated preconceptions of the inappropriateness of such technology in a mission-critical enterprise environment.

The top three issues keeping IT Directors awake at night are "reducing cost'," "adding value to the business" and "keeping the IT lights on" -- while the drive to achieve real business benefit through rapid application delivery was a strong theme running through the findings.

The survey also found that two out of three IT professionals believe that security is no more or less of an issue for open source software as it is in the closed source world, seven out of ten respondents agreed that open source will deliver the cost savings that are now demanded from today's IT departments and 69 percent of respondents believe closed source software vendors cannot justify the high licence fees they typically charge.

Despite the relative immaturity of the open source database market, respondents believe developing and deploying applications is more straightforward on open source, than in the proprietary world

Commenting on the survey results, Brian Mort, Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, Ingres Corp., said open source "had to grow up and offer the highest levels of service, support, security and enterprise-grade reliance, on top of the well documented business model flexibility and collaborative nature of product development."

NetSuite, a vendor of on-demand business management application suites including ERP, CRM and e-commerce functionality for small and medium-sized businesses, would like you to know that they're still picking off midsized Microsoft GP users.

Evidently companies that recently switched from Great Plains to NetSuite span a spectrum of industries including manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, and computer software, according to NetSuite officials.

Companies switched for "a variety of reasons," NetSuite officials say, including "ease of use, reduced cost due to NetSuite's software on-demand delivery model, and NetSuite's one-system, financial management approach which integrates ERP, CRM, and e-commerce."

The software applications used by most midsized companies do not allow business data to move easily across departments, since most mid-size companies manage their business on separate, unintegrated software packages-one for accounting, one for warehousing, one for sales force management and one for customer support.

Open Text Corporation, a vendor of enterprise content management software and products, has announced the latest version of Livelink ECM - Contract Lifecycle Management, a product for contract creation, negotiation, contract fulfillment and renewals.

When building contracts, users can pull information from a clause library maintained within Livelink ECM and can also interact with line-of-business systems, such as CRM and ERP applications, in particular SAP solutions.

With ongoing legal and regulatory concerns, including eDiscovery challenges, corporate and auditing scandals, and new internal governance rules, organizations now place a greater focus on the effective management of contracts.

Livelink ECM - Contract Lifecycle Management, according to company officials, offers organizations a product to "automate and manage contract processes from creation of individual clauses to secure collaboration during the negotiation process; proactive alerts for contracts that require review and tracking of clauses, renewal dates and terms; and retention, archival and disposition of contracts to satisfy compliance, legal and business policy requirements."

The product also integrates with a variety of enterprises systems so that contract content can be made available in other environments.

The newest version of the product features a reusable template driven approach to enable companies to create contracts and construct complex agreements within pre-planned and pre-approved parameters. By automating repetitive tasks associated with contract creation, organizations minimize errors and streamline the approval processes.

This enables resource-constrained groups, such as Legal and Procurement, to focus on the creation of approved contract templates and best practices.

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