By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Steve Taylor’s Meltdown:
The St. Louis-based small and mid-sized business technology vendor Axis Integrated Solutions, a Sage Software Premier Business Partner focusing on CRM and ERP for small and medium-sized businesses, has added a new office in Tulsa.
The firm was formed by the merger of three powerhouse regional independent Sage Premier Business Partners two years ago. According to one of Axis’s founding partners, St. Louis-based Kelly Hummel, Axis has just created a Tulsa-based joint venture technology products service company in cooperation with the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based CPA firm, Howerton, Morris, Simpson and Smith, PLLC.
Both Axis and HMS&S are Sage Business Partners. Under the direction of Ed Simpson, Axis’s new Tulsa office will continue to work closely with Sage Software’s portfolio of small and mid-sized business software products, with a special focus on Sage’s Accpac line of mid-market ERP software packages.
“This joint venture is a coming together of allies,” Hummel said. “This joint venture is also a visible outgrowth of Sage Software’s strategic commitment to create an alliance between its business partners and independent CPA firms — the Sage Software Accountants’ Network.”
Hummel said the firm has “major operations” in Chicago, Miami, St. Louis and Kansas City, and serves clients ranging from Florida, Latin America and the Caribbean These services include core accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources, warehouse management and business intelligence products.
BearingPoint, a management and technology consultancy, has been selected by the Costa Rican Ministry of Finance to develop and implement a new tax system interoperable with CRM for the country. The contract is valued at $20 million over two years.
Costa Rica will use an SAP product specialized for the Public Sector for its new tax system, which will be able to interoperate with the country’s legacy system, and will also be one of the first such systems to combine both customer relationship management (CRM) and financial management functionalities.
The new system is anticipated to allow the Ministry of Finance to improve revenue flow through more efficient collection of taxes, help reduce the amount of tax fraud and allow Costa Rican citizens to access their tax records electronically.
“BearingPoint is proud to have been chosen by the nation of Costa Rica to implement a new collection and disbursement product for the country,” said James Horner, senior vice president of BearingPoint’s Emerging Markets practice. “This project will improve the financial position and capabilities of the country, while also enabling e-government services such as electronic filing and records access for its citizens.”
BearingPoint’s Emerging Markets practice is active in approximately 50 nations worldwide, providing management, economic and technology consulting services to developed and developing economies.
Systime Computer Systems Ltd., a CRM vendor and 100 percent subsidiary of the CMS group and one of the largest Oracle’s JD Edwards consulting and implementation practices in the Asia Pacific region, has unveiled its Oracle Accelerate for products and components manufacturing industries in India, according to company officials.
Systime, one of the early participants in Oracle Accelerate — Oracle’s global initiative for small and medium businesses which was launched in the Asia Pacific region in early 2007 — has developed a JD Edwards based product with pre-configured industry specific business flows for the products and components manufacturing industries.
This product from Systime for the products and components manufacturing industries in India will “help customers in these industries access an industry-specific IT product at low cost, low-risk and with faster time-to-value,” company officials say.
Systime has already developed 14 pre-configured reports and accounting definitions for the products and components manufacturing industry. The product uses Oracle’s JD Edwards 8.12 and has India-specific localizations pre-built into it. It comes with pre-configured Business Scenarios and Business Data, Task Views, Roles and Security to ensure faster and smoother implementation at the customer site.
This product has a wide applications footprint and built-in functionality; it uses Oracle’s information architecture with industry best practices. It brings comprehensive, easy-to-own industry focused products to small and medium businesses, company officials say.
Pervasive Software, a vendor of embeddable data management and integration software, has announced the release of Pervasive DataSynch for Use with QuickBooks and Salesforce.com, a product to give users “on-demand access to reliable synchronization of data between Salesforce.com’s on-demand CRM applications and QuickBooks’ on-premises software,” Pervasive officials say.
The product, company officials say, offers a “compelling combination of a low price point, embeddable light footprint and robust integration on demand, backed by Pervasive’s 20 years’ experience in the integration industry.” It’s designed to give customers reliable, immediate access to specific application integration products that meet the needs of both small businesses and departments within larger organizations that have no IT staff.
Pervasive DataSynch bills itself as delivering “complex, bi-directional integration at a low price, allowing customers to be up and running in less than one hour with no technology learning curve.”
Pervasive DataSynch for Use with QuickBooks and Salesforce automatically synchronizes customer, product and order information between Salesforce and QuickBooks, company officials explain, “eliminating the time delays and errors caused by duplicate data entry or incomplete customer, product or service status information.”
Bidvest Bank, a vendor of specialized foreign exchange and banking services in southern Africa, through its retail brand, Rennies Foreign Exchange, has implemented Microsoft’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to improve services to clients.
Microsoft Gold Certified partner, IS Partners, was responsible for the implementation.
Bidvest Bank officials say the bank is “unique,” in that its “niche success includes foreign exchange, trade finance and related activities.”
The CRM product encompasses contact management, sales force automation and basic case management components to address the bank’s key objectives of improving customer retention and profitability, as well as customer growth and efficiencies.
“Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 has provided a central repository of client-based information to be used by staff and executive management. Sales and marketing staff, for example, are primarily responsible for capturing client contact and related information into the CRM system,” says Heath Turner, CRM director at IS Partners.
Bidvest Bank’s product sales stages include client contact, credit evaluation and facility documentation. The processes involved in the various sales stages have been automated for each product category, such as credit and non-credit, for example.
Basic case management has further ensured that any queries and service-related issues can be captured against a client and assigned to the staff member responsible. Excel templates have also been provided for data take-on, and have been populated from the bank’s source systems.
“All Bidvest Bank’s transactional data resides in two core systems. These include the treasury, derivatives and capital markets system and the debtors and collections management system,” explains Turner. “The CRM system is fully integrated to ensure new or updated customer information, which resides in the CRM system, can be directly uploaded to the operational systems.”