SAP CRM for Prudential, BakBone, Lebanese CRM Training, Open Solutions Alliance, Sage CRM and Harte-Hanks, E-Supply Link and ECI

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David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

SAP CRM for Prudential, BakBone, Lebanese CRM Training, Open Solutions Alliance, Sage CRM and Harte-Hanks, E-Supply Link and ECI

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is From Elvis In Memphis:

SAP Asia Pacific Japan has announced that Prudential plc's Asian fund management arm has selected SAP to "improve operational efficiency and to better service their clients." The company will implement the SAP CRM product for 7,000 users across Asia.

SAP CRM, powered by SAP NetWeaver, will provide their fund management business in Asia with strong business process integration and master data management capabilities for what Prudential hopes will be a "360 degree view of the customer across all customer-serving channels in the company," SAP officials say.

The CRM product is designed to enable better communication and synergy among marketing, sales and customer service teams regardless of which channel they choose to interact with the company. In addition, implementing the product will provide the company with the capability to accurately forecast and monitor its business across the region in real-time.

"The right CRM software platform is critical to a company's ability to serve customers efficiently and have accurate insights into its business performance," said Eric MacDonald, President and CEO, SAP Southeast Asia.

Recently, SAP achieved leader status in Forrester Research's "Enterprise CRM Suites for Financial Services, Q1 2007" report.

The Center for Business Excellence of the RAK Free Trade Zone in Lebanon will organize a two day training course in Customer Relations Management (CRM) on August 15 and 16.

The course is "planned to enable companies to manage their relationships with customers," sponsoring officials say, adding that it will be "open for the registered companies, employees from the public and private sectors along with the individuals as the course is designed to suit various individual needs."

Oussama El Omari, the zone's CEO, emphasized the importance of the customer service courses, saying that it would "provide attendees with the skills needed to improve customer service," and was "planned to empower the participants in securing the highest level of customer satisfaction and designed to enable them to deliver better customer care."

El Omari said the scheduled training course will be delivered by "a professional expert" who will introduce the attendees to the customer relations management tactics and techniques "in a way to improve the relationship between the departments and their clients."

The Open Solutions Alliance, a nonprofit, vendor-neutral consortium, has announced the availability of its first interoperability prototype. The OSA's debut prototype includes specific standards and best practices for delivering a Common Customer View across open applications and is on display at LinuxWorld San Francisco.

The CCV prototype integrates data from diverse front-office, back-office and planning applications to present a complete view of customer activity and interactions. The CCV prototype is being built, tested and demonstrated with products from Adaptive Planning, Centric CRM, JasperSoft, Openbravo, Talend and Unisys.

"The OSA was formed this year to address interoperability among open solutions. The CCV prototype is the first major fruit of our collaborative labors," said Barry Klawans, OSA spokesperson and CTO at JasperSoft. "We see the adoption of open solutions increasing, and with it the demand for these point products to work together."

According to a SpikeSource user survey conducted last fall, business customers rank "acquiring new customers" and "increasing customer loyalty" above all else. Meeting these goals can be difficult when business applications supporting various customer interactions are disconnected and diminish the end customer experience.

Companies that can integrate relevant customer data between the increasing number of open source applications they're using will have the most success in attracting new customers, retaining the existing ones and ultimately, increasing revenues as a result.

And while several large proprietary vendors offer "customer data hub" applications, these often overshoot the needs of most private and public sector enterprises where deployments of open products are on the rise, OSA officials charge.

The CCV prototype is based on the OSA Interoperability Roadmap's proposal and is expected to be the reference implementation for future proposals including Single Sign-On, User Interface integration, data integration, and Application Programming Interfaces.

Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, a vendor of Total Data Quality products, has announced Sage (UK) Limited as a new customer implementation of the Trillium Software System. Sage provides software and services to more than 700,000 businesses in the United Kingdom and is a subsidiary of The Sage Group plc.

Sage has selected the full Trillium Software System suite of products to "support an enterprise-wide drive in the United Kingdom for customer and prospect data quality improvement," Harte-Hanks officials say.

Earlier this year, Sage implemented Trillium Software's TS Discovery product for data profiling and analysis. In May 2007, it employed TS Quality within its central customer database for data cleansing, enrichment and ongoing quality management. TS Insight, for data quality monitoring, will be implemented later in the year.

John O'Connor, customer data manager, Sage (UK) Limited, said the Trillium Software System will "help us ensure accurate information to improve the productivity of sales and marketing operations and customer service," and "support our regulatory compliance with the [UK] Data Protection Act and future data quality programs across the business."

"Having first seen Trillium Software ranked as a leader in industry analyst, Gartner Inc.'s 'Magic Quadrant for Data Quality Tools' report, we later selected the Trillium Software System following extensive product evaluations," O'Connor said. "We are delighted with initial results."

Electronic Commerce, a Silicon Valley’s consulting firms specializing in Electronic Data Interchange, has announced a partnership with e-SupplyLink of Traverse City, Michigan. E-SupplyLink specializes in supply chain, order fulfillment software.

According to Susan Stecklair, president of San Jose-based Electronic Commerce, “This new relationship with e-SupplyLink will broaden our offerings to our client base."

E-SupplyLink’s order fulfillment product works on multiple platforms for the management of order fulfillment, warehousing, shipping, and labeling. ComplyLink, e-SupplyLink’s premier product, contains Advanced Ship Notice kits specifically designed to address the labeling and messaging requirements of retail, automotive, and pharmaceutical companies to reduce labeling, testing, and mapping mistakes.

If you have data backup issues for your CRM, you might be interested in Tech Data Corporation's announcement that Advanced Infrastructure Solutions Division will distribute BakBone's NetVault: Backup StoreVault Edition.

It enables value-added resellers to deliver a versatile, competitively priced data protection, backup and restoration product for a wide range of midsize businesses and larger enterprises or institutions with critical data storage and availability requirements.

Users also can use BakBone's NetVault: Backup Application Plugin-Modules to customize their data storage activities for specific recovery scenarios, including disaster recovery, isolated device failure or data corruption. With BakBone's NetVault: Backup APMs, users can determine how often they backup their e-mail systems or CRM database and to which devices the data is stored.

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