By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Dropkick Murphys’ The Gang’s All Here:
AppExtremes has announced AppExchange certification of Conga Merge, a product that “simplifies the production of content-rich documents and spreadsheets for printing or immediate distribution” via e-mail.
“Conga Merge lets our customers automate complex documents far beyond the reach of typical merge products,” said AppExtremes CTO Michael Markham. “By using multiple Salesforce reports, it can assemble data sets they can’t otherwise access, enabling template-based production of documents and spreadsheets now created manually.”
An integrated merge-to-e-mail option eliminates the usual save-to-disk, attach-to-e-mail steps, with parameters that pre-define e-mail templates and set recipient fields, enabling point-and-shoot production and distribution of complex quotes and proposals, executive briefs and account profiles.
The ability to use existing Salesforce administrator skills was a key objective in the design of the product, which requires minimal effort to configure for end users, company officials say: “The new capabilities build on the widespread adoption of Conga Merge for complex mass merge applications with master-detail relationships, such as summaries of open invoices, or pending orders.”
Conga Merge provides customers such features as merging from multiple objects and merge-to-Excel, which are “the kind of capabilities the AppExchange was created to nurture,” according to Salesforce.com officials. Features include activity logging and follow-up tasks, the ability to store the text of merged output, and the ability to use templates on local drives as well as those stored in the Salesforce mail merge repository.
Focus Softnet has announced that it will be launching version 2.0 of its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) product at the Gitex Technology Week to be held from 8–12 September, 2007 in Dubai.
The software developer plans to use Gitex as a platform to further its growth prospects and expand its reach throughout the Middle East and North Africa region. Focus will also be introducing customized versions of its world-class enterprise products for various industry verticals as well as catering to the needs of the SOHO segment with its low-cost business management product, Focus Reach.
“Gitex is one the largest globally recognized technology events in the world and an important one for us. Participating in Gitex will ensure worldwide exposure for our products, while also presenting us with an opportunity to meet visitors and exhibitors from different parts of the world under one roof,” said Ali Hyder, CEO of Focus Softnet.
Focus Softnet has major plans for the Middle East market at Gitex and beyond. It plans to roll out different versions of its ERP, Focus RT, for selected business verticals. The software products vendor will look at penetrating the Enterprise market further and winning a bigger share of the pie by creating a dedicated team to take care of major projects in the GCC region.
Focus also plans to bring to the market the concept of a distributed environment bolted on a centralized database in addition to enhancing after sales support via remote support to reduce response time to less than 15 minutes on a 24x7 environment.
“This year, we plan to launch version 2.0 of our CRM, which will be an HTML version on Java Architecture as compared to the existing Servlet based version. We also plan to focus on niche market segments by introducing tailor made business products to suit different verticals and industry sectors, and will be on the look out for strategic partners from various MEA countries,” Hyder continued.
The company counts amongst its many customers Boeing Middle East, Air Arabia, Gulf Craft, and National Bonds.
GMP Services, a privately-owned software development company based in Statesboro, Georgia, has announced that GMP CMS 2.0 is Web 2.0 ready. The GMP Content Management System 2.0 has several Web 2.0 features such as blogging (including video blogging), RSS feeds, social bookmark tools and share via e-mail.
GMP CMS 2.0 is a 100 percent browser-based content management system written that supports Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and any browser based on the gecko rendering engine. The CMS 2.0 built-in HTML editor allows administrators and collaborators to upload, insert and manage text, images, video, music, flash, documents and digital downloads from nearly any browser.
GMP CMS 2.0 is a feature rich Web site management application that has many features that content management systems that cost thousands of dollars don’t have, says Allen Harkleroad, CEO and owner of GMP Services Inc.
“We do things with content management that the competition on wishes and dreams about doing, and we the price is much more affordable. Don’t let the price fool you, you get more features and bang for your buck with GMP CMS 2.0 that you do with any other CMS application,” he claims.
And yes, he is related to the pro tennis player Ashley Harkleroad, also from Georgia (two Harkleroads from Georgia, how could they not be related?), but says he’s only a sixth cousin or thereabouts, so he can’t get you U.S. Open tickets or anything. I already tried.
The editor is similar to most modern word processors “such as Microsoft Word,” Harkleroad says: “The editor has three views, and the GMP CMS 2.0 works with nearly any Web browser, whether you are working from Windows, Macintosh or Linux.”
By default CMS 2.0 prevents SQL Script injection. If a script is pasted into one of the content modules it is automatically removed when the module is update. And there’s a BadBot filter to redirect incoming visitors based on the User Agent, IP address (or IP range), Machine Name, Host name, and even referrer.
“There is no need for virtual folders or complicated installation procedures to install GMP CMS 2.0,” according to Harkleroad, who says just drop the files into your site, “add a couple of settings to the Web config and you are ready to begin adding pages and content. The average setup time is 15 minutes from start to finish.”
Customers may order CMS 2.0 the day it is released — August 31, 2007.
Relationals, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) for the publishing and media industry, has announced that Gannett Co. has deployed Relationals CRM to “streamline sales operations, increase opportunity potential, and improve advertiser communication across 45 of their daily newspaper properties, including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Arizona Republic, The Indianapolis Star, and Asbury Park Press.”
Using Relationals, Gannett officials say, has streamlined their operations by developing a set of best practices and automating processes to improve revenue opportunities including accelerating CRM adoption by minimizing the time and effort required to update customer contact information and opportunity pipeline, and creating telesales or e-mail campaigns and improving data quality of customer data within the CRM and with other systems in the organization
Gannett publishes USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper.