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

September 2007

You are browsing the archive for September 2007.

Talisma CRM for Higher Ed, Freeland at IRI, Sage Summit, Russian Energy CRM, Communication Service Needs CRM

September 28, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Doris Day's "Secret Love:"

Information Resources, a vendor of information products for the consumer packaged goods, healthcare and retail industries, has announced that John Freeland, President-Worldwide Operations for Salesforce.com, will join IRI as President and Chief Executive Officer effective October 1.

He succeeds Scott W. Klein, who has served as President and CEO since January 2004 and is joining Symphony Technology Group as an operating partner while working with Freeland to ensure a seamless transition.

At Salesforce.com, Freeland was responsible for the company's Successforce portfolio of services and business alliances. Salesforce.com also had one of the most successful IPO’s in recent years during Freeland's tenure.

Prior to joining salesforce.com, Mr. Freeland was Accenture’s Global Managing Partner leading and growing its global CRM practice from $ 1.2 billion to $ 3.7 billion during his tenure. He was also responsible for launching Accenture’s Market Sciences unit and served as managing partner responsible for building Accenture’s global insurance practice into an $ 800 million business.

Romesh Wadhwani, IRI’s owner and Chairman of Symphony Technology Group, said IRI has performed well in the last four years since its acquisition by Symphony, and "we now need to supercharge our growth and profitability by driving new revenue… John has made a career out of doing this at Accenture and Salesforce.com and will do it again at IRI… in the end, it is all about delivering breakthrough insights that drive dramatic revenue growth and productivity for our clients."

Sage Software has announced its keynote and featured speakers for Sage Summit, the company’s annual customer conference, taking place November 3-6, in Chicago.

The event is geared towards the small and mid-sized businesses who use Sage Software products and services.

Sage Summit will formally open with a joint keynote on Sunday, November 4th starting at 2:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, featuring Ron Verni, Sage Software CEO, named one of 2007’s “Top 100 Most Influential People” by Accounting Today magazine.

Nina Smith, Sage Software president, Business Management Division and Doug Meyer, Sage Software president, Industry & Specialized Solution Division will speak, as will Christopher Gardner, CEO of Christopher Gardner International Holdings, and the inspiration for the recent movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

Gardner will "articulate his keys to self-empowerment, beating the odds, and breaking the negative cycles that keep people from succeeding," according to Sage officials.

Additional speakers at Sage Summit include Rieva Lesonsky, Editorial Director of Entrepreneur magazine, Bob Scott, Editor-In-Chief of Accounting Technology magazine, Kevin Parker, Editorial Director of Manufacturing Business Technology magazine and Marshall Lager, Senior Editor of CRM magazine.

Lesonsky will host an interactive session in which attendees will discuss a variety of current issues and general business cases identified by the audience.

SoftBrand’s New CRM Tools for Hotels, Denplan Selects Softlab, TMC Launches Call Center Jobs Channel

September 27, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Kinks' Arthur:

SoftBrands, a vendor of enterprise application software, has introduced a new set of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools for hotels, which company officials say can be used to "centrally manage guest, travel agent and company profiles and communication across multiple properties."

Called Mosaik CRM, the applications join the existing Mosaik Business Intelligence decision support product. Mosaik CRM is marketed as a complete profile and customer relationship management product, including sales force automation, campaign management and loyalty program administration.

Mosaik CRM is closely integrated with SoftBrands Epitome .NET Property Management System and Core Central Reservation System. SoftBrands will sell, install and provide support for Mosaik CRM worldwide.

SoftBrands' Mosaik CRM is the result of a partnership between SoftBrands and Serenata Intraware AG, a Munich-based hospitality technology provider with experience in hotel CRM. Built on the Microsoft .Net architecture, Serenata NetHotel currently manages over 30 million profiles.

Steve Van Tassel, senior vice president and general manager, SoftBrands Hospitality, said the idea behind basing the offerings on the NetHotel suite from Serenata was to "build from a robust, scalable system provided by a proven partner."

Denplan, a member of the Global AXA Group, has selected Softlab to implement CDC Pivotal CRM "as a mechanism for improving marketing performance and support consultants in helping dentists develop their practice," according to Denplan officials.

"As a trusted advisor, Softlab helped us select a product that can support our business objectives to maintain client retention rates and improve our market share," said Phil Metcalfe, Head of IT at Denplan.

CRM from Salesboom, Creative Manager Pro, Talisma CIM, VeriWaveQoE Test, Autonomy's Off-Site Hosting, SpeechCycle Noted

September 26, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Buddy Rich Big Band's Mercy, Mercy album:

With U.S. online retail sales for Q1 2007 totaling $31.5 billion, a study has revealed that "U.S. online retailers are failing in key areas of customer service, which has the potential to be devastating to the online retail market which is forecasted to reach $329 billion in 2010," according to Talisma officials.

Mystery shopping from April to June 2007, 34 percent of e-mails went unanswered by what Talisma officials describe as "100 of America's top online retailers," with just over 50 percent of responses providing accurate and complete information. The findings of the audit are highlighted in a downloadable report published by customer service and Customer Interaction Management (CIM) software vendor Talisma.

CRM for Pharma, Perlego and Implement, QuickArrow and OSI, OpenAjax for CRM Mashups, Astadia's Six Tools on Salesforce.com's AppEx

September 25, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is The North Mississippi All-Stars’ Electric Blue Watermelon.   Perlego Systems, a vendor of “hosted mobile device lifecycle management,” has announced a partnership with Implement.com Corporation, which hosts Microsoft Exchange deployments. Perlego Horizons will be used by Implement.com to provide enterprise mobile IT management products.   Steve Schwartz, President of Implement.com, said Perlego gives his customers the ability to “quickly, easily and cost-effectively deploy strong mobile device management capabilities. We believe this new partnership gives us the competitive advantage we need.”   Administered over the air, Horizons provides tools for comprehensive smart device configuration capabilities, including remote management, data wipe, content delivery and device backup. Perlego’s hosted Web console provides distributors, carriers, VARs and enterprise IT managers with a system for end-to-end device management needs, including deploying applications and issuing patches.

SugarCRM and Softbank in Japan, Knouen and Siebel, Sage SalesLogix and HP, Serious Questions About Caiman.com

September 24, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning… actually, it being evening here in Istanbul, the news as of the first glass of wine, and the music is Dave Brubeck’s stone-cold classic Time Out, inspired in part by the 9/8 time signature used in Turkish music:   SugarCRM, a provider of commercial open source customer relationship management (CRM) software, has announced Softbank Technology has signed an agreement to distribute Sugar solutions in Japan.   The new partnership will service a broad range of customer needs by offering ASP services that use Sugar.   “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the service we give our customers. We looked at Salesforce, SugarCRM and Siebel, and ultimately decided to go with SugarCRM because of its superior functionality in relation to cost,” said Norikazu Ishikawa, President & CEO, Softbank.   Ishikawa said the company “saw the value of having access to Sugar’s source code, which allows us to make specific customizations to meet our needs and those of our customers.”   Softbank sells a range of products and services, including support for e-business operations and products for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of various types of networks and systems.

First Milk's IFS Deal, Extentia and ConzultZone, Microsoft CRM Boot Camp, PacificNet and Advansys, Nexedi ERP

September 24, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jimmy Buffett's Living and Dying in 3/4 Time, for First Coffee's money the best album he's done:

Famed mime Marcel Marceau died over the weekend, so let's observe a moment of silence. Rimshot, groan. First Coffee detests mimes as heartily as the next guy, miming is a classic case of an art form being perfected early by a genius or two who made it look so easy (cf. Marcel Duchamp or the Sex Pistols) that hit spawned a horde of distinctly less-talented imitators, 98 percent of whom are utterly worthless.

Here's a company who gets in First Coffee on name alone: IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has announced that First Milk, Britain's largest UK- farmer-owned business, has selected IFS Applications to provide "full integration of all critical business processes and optimize production across its cheese division sites nationwide."

In a deal worth $3 million, IFS Applications will be deployed in eight creameries and packing plants.

CRM Failure, Vista Defrag Updates, Fairsail on Salesforce.com, 48 Fill's CRM and HRM

September 21, 2007

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is The Clash's Give 'Em Enough Rope:

Microsoft has released a pair of Windows Vista updates, one of which is "specifically a performance booster for the new operating system," according to company officials. This move shows that, as would be expected, performance remains a top concern for computer sites, and especially for CRM, dependent on high-speed database access.

Issues addressed by the "performance booster" update are speed of wake-up from hibernation and quicker time calculation for the movement of large files.

Performance problems generally can have many sources, Microsoft officials say, including insufficient memory, outdated chipsets, and poorly-written applications. A prime source of poor performance, however, is disk file fragmentation. It can cause such performance issues as slow boot-up, sluggish Web browsing, slow application loading and delayed file access.

Server fragmentation issues can, of course, cause further-reaching issues due to the high-volume constant access of server data.

Pivotal CRM for Ohman, TargusInfo Lead Converter, NetSuite ERP, PacificNet iMobile in China, eGain for Pharmaceutical Firm

September 20, 2007

The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Adam Carroll's album Far Away Blues:

CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has announced that The Ohman Group, an investment bank in Sweden, has chosen the Pivotal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suite of software applications to "create a single view of client activities, streamline access to all client information, and improve cross-departmental communication and coordination," according to CDC officials.

Ohman chose Pivotal CRM for "its functionality specifically designed for the financial services-industries," CDC officials say. Ohman officials say they expect their employees now to be able to develop deeper insight into their clients' needs, preferences, and influencers, and have access to tools that will help them improve team collaboration and client service, as well as track performance.

"Previously at Ohman, information was stored in a variety of databases and systems resulting in different departments being unable to easily access or collaborate on client information," said Pontus Barrne, CFO, The Ohman Group. With Pivotal CRM, "we anticipate having a holistic view of all relationships and their mutual influence which will enable us to offer customized products and information when they are needed."

The Ohman Group is an investment bank that has been a part of the Swedish financial market since 1906 and a member of the Stockholm Stock Exchange since 1911. It offers a broad cross-section of financial services, including securities trading and asset management.

TargusInfo, a vendor of On-Demand Lead Verification services, has unveiled LeadConversion Advisor services for enterprises "intent on improving their bottom line through more effective marketing and sales," company officials say.

First Coffee is waiting for the day somebody names a lead conversion product Alchemist.

Available today, LeadConversion Advisor services gauge the potential value of a sales lead collected from online sources, which lets companies prioritize these leads.

The Vienna, Virginia-based firm unveiled its latest service on the first day of the company's two-day Online Lead Quality Summit at the Palms Hotel and Casino.

Sage PFW ERP 5.6, Pika Appliance for Asterisk, Convenos’ Success with AppExchange

September 19, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is George Jones's Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?:

Sage Software has announced the general availability of Sage PFW ERP 5.6, which company officials are describing as "a major new version of this business management system that features key, customer-focused enhancements within its core business management, distribution and manufacturing modules."

Sage PFW 5.6 provides businesses with interface updates, efficiency enhancements, and performance optimizations for "a better, more intuitive user experience," company officials say.

The software is geared towards small and mid-sized companies with up to $150 million in revenue, companies with subsidiaries outside the United States, as well as import/export companies, which can use the product's multi-currency capabilities.

The product features a scalable, three-tier architecture with tight security control, which delivers better productivity for users and improved overall system performance.

Updates include New Vendor Status, Customer Status, Order Hold Features, designed to "help business owners better manage the status of their vendors and customers, and reduce data entry errors. Version 5.6 also provides extensive visibility into customers' credit histories with its new credit tracking fields and calculation capabilities," Sage officials say.

Sage PFW 5.6 will be certified on the new Microsoft operating system, supporting the Vista Business and Ultimate editions.

Market researchers worldwide expect the use of online data providers and online access panels to increase in the next twelve months, according to The Online Research Barometer, a survey conducted by Greenfield Online-Ciao Surveys, a vendor of Internet survey products.

Study results indicate that 82 percent of market researchers surveyed in North America and 87 percent in Europe are predicting their use of online respondent providers will increase in the next twelve months. This compares with 76 percent and 85 percent, respectively, when Greenfield Online-Ciao Surveys completed its last Online Research Barometer in November 2005.

Albert Angrisani, president and CEO of Greenfield, said with B2B research commanding 34 percent and 25 percent of market research efforts in North America and Europe, respectively, "this confirms that our strategy to focus on growing our B2B practice is right on target."

The two most important reasons for conducting market research online remained time, mentioned by 81 percent of North American market researchers and 78 percent of Europeans, and competitive pricing (76 percent and 75 percent, respectively).  North Americans were particularly interested in access to complex target sample groups (62 percent).

Salesforce.com Winter '08, SAS Marketing and CRM, Infor CRM and Teradata, Emovendo's PageVester, Informatica's AppEx Entry

September 18, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is It’s A Beautiful Day’s absolutely blazing live album Creed Of Love. It almost convinces you that the violin is a rock ‘n’ roll instrument — at least a violin in David LaFlamme’s hands:   On-demand CRM vendor Salesforce.com has unveiled Salesforce Winter ‘08, which will expand Salesforce from four to six major application product lines with two new applications — Salesforce Content and Salesforce Ideas.   Marc Benioff and other company officials unveiled the new product at Dreamforce 07 in San Francisco.   These two new applications will “deliver Salesforce to every employee in the enterprise and empower customers to take advantage of the wisdom of crowds,” Salesforce.com officials said, adding that “the 24th generation of Salesforce will further extend salesforce.com’s leadership in the CRM market by using the Force.com platform to bring Web 2.0 community-based technologies to the entire suite of Salesforce CRM applications.”   The Salesforce Winter ‘08 release will expand the Salesforce product line from the original four CRM applications of Salesforce SFA, Salesforce Service & Support, Salesforce Marketing and Salesforce Partner Relationship Management to include Salesforce Content and Salesforce Ideas.   Salesforce.com officials, who claim to have “created the Software-as-a-Service category,” now say they have “created the Platform- as-a-Service category,” and are “the first multi-application, multi-category company in the on-demand industry.”   Salesforce Content gives users Web 2.0 technologies to deliver Content Management-as-a-Service.

CRM Fest at Dreamforce '07, ShareMethods, PluraPage, Saaspoint's PropertyPoint, Access Data Corp., Considered Sales, Ken Kesey

September 17, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is "Fields of Athenrye" by The Malleys, from the album The Songs of Celtic: Green and White Anthems, Vol. 2:

You know, the worst thing about O.J. getting arrested in Las Vegas is how much time it'll take away from his finding the killer of Nicole and Ron.

PluraPage, a hosted eMarketing software company based in Herndon, Virginia, has announced the launch of PluraPage Basic, available for free to salesforce.com software users. The product is a scaled-down version of the company's proprietary technology PluraPage Landing Pages, a tool that lets users create personalized landing pages on the fly for lead generation and conversion efforts.

"This is a special offer that solves the internal resource issues for Salesforce users and marketers who want custom, hosted landing pages to enhance their programs," said Joseph Rizzo, CEO of PluraPage, while exhibiting at the salesforce.com Dreamforce meeting in San Francisco. "We are giving the marketer complete control over the look, feel and quantity of landing pages without requiring them to have a background in IT or computer programming."

PluraPage is a salesforce.com partner making PluraPage software available to Salesforce users for free through the Salesforce AppExchange.

InvisibleCRM on Idea Exchange, Pervasic CRM, RightNow and Higher Ed, Contactual and Sylantro, Promero Telecom

September 15, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Poguey-style Irish rock band Brace Yourself Bridget!

InvisibleCRM has announced that it has used Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange to "enhance" its product line for Salesforce with new features, according to company officials. In the effort to meet the growing number of Salesforce users' requests InvisibleCRM technical experts have "analyzed user ideas from the Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange and added more than 50 new features to its products."

InvisibleCRM, an AppExchange-certified Salesforce.com technology partner, has always been responsive to the latest on-demand innovation trends. InvisibleCRM entered into partnership with salesforce.com in 2005, joined AppExchange in 2006, and supported a Salesforce.com Foundation program this spring.

Inspired by the success of Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange and Salesforce user ideas, InvisibleCRM has extended its product offering to address customer requests.

Users can find initial ideas extracted from the Salesforce.com's IdeaExchange and InvisibleCRM's technical expert's responses answering how to implement the required functionality with the help of InvisibleCRM products for Salesforce.

The suite for Salesforce includes 3 applications -- SalesDesktop, SalesFolder, and SalesAlerts, all available via the AppExchange. SalesDesktop unifies Salesforce and Microsoft Outlook creating a fully functional sales workplace.

Reed DataLink for CRM, SFA Released, Accelerate4Pharma Released, Auto CRM in Iraq, Cornerstone and Microsoft, Kintera CRM, Open Solutions and Netupdate

September 14, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a "Whiskey In the Jar" collection, with versions of the song by a dozen artists. St. Bushmills' Choir, Salty Frog and The Crofters' versions are particular standouts, The Pogues' is surprisingly lifeless:

Reed Construction Data, a vendor of construction information products, has announced an enhancement of Reed DataLink, its service that gives customers the ability to select and import projects and related information into third-party customer relationship management (CRM) or sales force automation (SFA) applications.

The product allows users to give their sales forces leads and market intelligence. "The amplified Reed DataLink service reduces the traditional time of SFA or CRM information implementation from months to a matter of days, increasing the effectiveness -- and results -- of the users' front-line sales team," according to company officials.

Reed DataLink is an option with the online service, Reed Connect, which was updated with new features in February and has become one of RCD's most successful product launches. With DataLink, companies with sales management systems can integrate select data from Reed Connect directly into their own environments.

This is designed to boost the value and efficiency of a customer's SFA system by providing information and updates to an end-user's SFA screen.

"DataLink gives our customers an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on market information, managed through their own applications," said Craig Roberts, Director of Product Management with Reed Construction Data. "By design, this product aligns with the technology our customers already use, regardless of what system they have in place."

Technology from Cast Iron Systems is used to power DataLink's integration services.

CRM DIY From Australia, SaaS in New Zealand, Danieli and Infor CRM, Graham and PacifiCorp, WorkLenz

September 13, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Crofters' Hold My Beer While I Kiss Your Girlfriend:

Here's something to consider: Australian industry observer Sandra Rossi writes about an Australian financial planning group who decided they needed CRM, and built their own.

The Brisbane-headquartered firm, FinancialLine, "developed its own customer relationship (CRM) system designed to deliver high levels of financial information to an increasingly IT-savvy client base," Rossi writes, saying "the system is also bringing new levels of automation to portfolio and investment strategy management and is being used to underpin expansion of the company."

It's known as the Evolution system. FinancialLine managing director Peter Sarai told Rossi that developing its own CRM system is a "departure" from conventional practice for the majority of financial planning firms, which usually buy third-party software. "We knew we had to invest in the newest technology. But it also created significant challenges," Sarai said.

One major factor was the popularity of Microsoft's .NET platform causing "a severe shortage of software developers in Australia skilled in using .NET," Rossi said.

Ultra IS With CRM Module, Rugby World Cup Stupidity, PacificNet and Gambling, Cloud9 Analytics, Packeteer iShaper

September 12, 2007

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Come Swing With Me album:

Net Solutions North America, a Web development company in Bellingham, Washington, has released Ultra IS Association Edition Website Development Package, which company officials say "allows multiple administrative rights and application of sites within a Web site." The UIS AE can handle other ProFusion modules like ProFusion Mailer, CRM, E-Learning, Forums, Blogging, and Document management tools.

NSNA said the product is marketed as "Web site applications for associations, chambers of commerce, franchises and other organizations wishing to improve communications." It provides for multiple site administrators to allow various departments to keep their page content current.

When asked for a brief description on ProFusion Association Ultra IS Website Package, Patrice Valentine, President of Net Solutions North America, said the application "allows a person or persons with no Web development background to act as their own Webmasters, thereby decreasing the overall cost of ownership."

The Ultra IS AE comes with the ability to create an unlimited number of main, secondary and tertiary level pages and choose to display or hide those pages at any time. It allows the administrator to provide for mini-sites for its members or internal users or divisions.

An unlimited number of mini-web sites, each with up to 6 main pages, with unique graphics design and unlimited number of sub pages can be created and maintained by the members. The application allows for scheduling of fee based and free events and online registration for those events.

Cloud9 Analytics has made its debut with a pair of on-demand sales analytic applications that promise to "boost sales team effectiveness and increase sales," including a service that delivers key sales reports directly to sales managers' mobile devices, company officials say.

Already in use by over twenty Salesforce.com customers, Cloud9's analytic applications are billed by company officials as able to "transform Salesforce into a selling machine that accelerates sales cycles, uncovers new revenue opportunities, promotes
team selling and improves revenue predictability."

With "half of all reps missing their sales quotas and a 40 percent annual turnover rate," said Jim Dickie, Managing Partner of CSO Insights, "the sales function in most organizations is clearly broken. Though CRM systems were supposed to help, four out of five sales VPs say CRM alone does nothing to increase sales."

The athletic Dickie characterized Cloud9 as "enabling CRM to finally deliver on
its original promise to increase sales."

The free Cloud9 Messenger application automatically generates weekly "What's Changed?" reports and sends them by e-mail to mobile devices.

OpenTravel CRM Released, Oracle Siebel CRM Rated, Autonomy CRM Ranked, ReachForce CRM Readied

September 12, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Led Zeppelin IV, or whatever it's called, Zoso, you know, the 1971 record with "Stairway to Heaven" on it:

In Decision Matrix: Selecting a CRM Vendor (Competitor Focus), research group Datamonitor evaluated offerings from different CRM players and found that Oracle is "a clear market leader with an impressively versatile and highly competitive CRM portfolio."

"Out of the eleven products profiled, Oracle Siebel CRM emerges as the de-facto standard," the research group found. "Oracle Siebel CRM is a constant presence on the Market Leaders graph, and it is not the market leader or co-leader in only 2 out of 12 categories. Oracle Siebel CRM proves capable of building up a significant lead over its rivals, most notably in analytics and product maturity."

The report said Oracle's CRM on-demand also addresses issues higher up the market through tactical ad-hoc installations, or as specific products to particular deployment problems: "This has prompted vendors to offer a portfolio of options ranging from traditional on-site deployments, to hosted products and single- or multi-tenant subscription-based models and the increasingly seamless migration paths between those models."

Even in this field, Datamonitor says, "Oracle holds a decisive lead in the CRM market. The breadth and depth of CRM products under the Oracle brand is staggering, users are very positive regarding the vendor and its standing in the market is matched only by SAP." I'm sure Larry Ellison loves hearing that.

Oracle's CRM product lines, particularly Oracle Siebel CRM, are described as "among the leading products in almost every aspect of CRM technology, comprehensively outpacing all other competitors.

Relationals On-Demand CRM, Sedona Relationship Management Deal, Dolphin Dynamics and Pegasus Solutions, Etelos CRM, IMagicLab Inventory Software, Omniture Business Optimization

September 11, 2007

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols:

Relationals, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) for the publishing and media industry, announced that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has selected the Relationals on-demand CRM platform to "streamline their sales processes including lead management and targeting, marketing and outreach, opportunity management and advertiser support," according to Relationals officials.

"No other system provides the comprehensive approach to ad sales operations more than Relationals," says Jamie McGinnis, product manager for the newspaper. "Their proven value to the media industry and their pre-sales support efforts have been remarkable."

The challenge faced by the Post-Dispatch was to "centralize sales operations to improve customer retention, identify new and missed opportunities, and streamline reporting," newspaper officials said.

Sedona Corporation, a vendor of CRM and Member Relationship Management for small and mid-size financial services institutions, announced that Profit Technologies, a Sedona business partner, has entered into an agreement to provide Sedona's Intarsia software to its first bank.

In February of 2007, Sedona announced a partnership with Profit Technologies whereby they would market Intarsia, Sedona's CRM/MRM technology, as part of their Growth and Retention practice. The new Intarsia user, with assets in excess of $800 million, represents the first Profit Technologies customer signed under that partnership.

Profit Technologies is using the comprehensive capabilities of Intarsia, company officials say, along with their Value Creation Strategies which is focused on Growth and Retention. By using this combination of state-of-the-art technology and practices, Profit Technologies is assisting financial institutions to determine which of their accounts are most profitable, how to retain those accounts, how to grow those profitable accounts, and how to make sure they are effectively marketing to profitable accounts.

Sedona CEO and President Marco Emrich said he was "confident" that Sedona and Profit had "the foundation for a very successful partnership."

Dolphin Dynamics signed a deal with Pegasus Solutions which will add over 60,000 hotel properties to the portfolio of travel products available on the TravelScanner selling platform.

Interview with Larry Ritter at Sage CRM Solutions

September 11, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Black And Blue, by The Rolling Stones, a quite different album from any they've done, understandable since they were between guitarists at the time:

Today we have an interview with Larry Ritter, senior vice president of product management at Sage CRM Solutions. The company is celebrating the 20th birthday of its flagship CRM product, ACT!  Ritter leads the Sage CRM Solutions product  management teams for the company’s ACT!, SageCRM/SageCRM.com and Sage SalesLogix product lines.

Ritter is responsible for development, user testing, marketing and overall product strategy, and led product development efforts for Hewlett Packard and Citrix Systems prior to joining Sage.

FC: ACT! is 20 years old.

CDC Buys Catalyst, Microsoft CRM, InfoStreet's StreetSmart, Interactive Intelligence, BMMsoft Data Warehouse Study

September 5, 2007

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Rev. Gary Davis's Say No To The Devil, great country blues:

CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and a vendor of CRM and other industry-specific enterprise software applications and business services, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Milwaukee-based Catalyst International, a vendor of supply chain execution products and services.

With approximate annual revenues of $35 million, the acquisition of Catalyst is expected to be immediately accretive to CDC Software upon completion of the acquisition.

Catalyst's software products and services are "highly complementary" to CDC Software's IMI Supply Chain product line, CDC officials said, and the company's CDC Global Services operations. The IMI suite of supply chain products supports fulfillment in multi-company, multi-site and multi-channel environments.

After completion of the acquisition, the Catalyst SAP practice business segment is expected to be merged into CDC Global Services, which provides consulting and outsourcing services across a variety of technologies and industries.

"This acquisition will expand our global supply chain offerings and base of blue-chip customers, and at the same time, strengthen our CDC Global Services offerings by adding significant expertise and resources in large-scale supply chain execution," said Eric Musser, CEO of CDC Software.

Musser added that "the Catalyst International SAP logistics consulting practice will extend our strategy of building services practices across key areas of the ERP application space."

InfoStreet, a SaaS vendor of StreetSmart, a suite including CRM and other Web-based, IT, Productivity and Groupware oriented software applications, has rolled out its latest enhancements which include an Asynchronous JavaScript and XML interface.

Company officials say the new interface will provide users with "a marked improvement in speed and a more streamlined user experience." Company officials gave such examples as "suggestion boxes will automatically narrow down users' searches as they type, inbound e-mail automatically populates mail Inboxes based on user-specified intervals, navigation and management of e-mail folders have also been enhanced as part of the AJAX upgrade." Visual enhancements have been implemented.

InfoStreet will offer these StreetSmart upgrades at no additional charge to its customers. Siamak Farah, CEO for InfoStreet, called the AJAX addition "just the first of several enhancements that our customers will see for this year, moving us one step closer to our mission of having all software run as a service, delivered via the Internet."

Capital Card Services Inc., a servicer of more than 500,000 MasterCard and Visa accounts for institutions nationwide, has selected IP-based business communications software from CRM vendor Interactive Intelligence.

The deployment, which is expected to be complete by March 2008, will replace Capital's existing PBX and dialing systems enterprise-wide. The company selected the Interactive Intelligence software to consolidate disparate communications applications onto a single platform, according to Capital's CEO and president, Jeff Aegerter.

"When we began looking for a new system we had already decided to migrate to a voice over IP network to help us increase operational efficiencies, such as more quickly rolling out distributed sites," Aegerter said.

SFA, CRM Vendor on Inc. 5000, Boring Novel's 50th Anniversary, Validar Lead Manager, Epicor Software, AIMMS, Accenture and KPN

September 5, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Stan Rogers' Fogarty's Cove:

Satuit Technologies, a sales force automation client relationship management (CRM) vendor for the professional investment market, has been named to the inaugural Inc. 5,000 list, which ranks the fastest-growing private companies in the country.

The Inc. 5,000, an extension of Inc. magazine's annual Inc. 500 list, catches many businesses that are too big to grow at the pace required to make the Inc. 500, as well as a host of smaller firms. "Taken as a whole," Satuit officials say," these companies represent the backbone of the U.S. economy."

Out of the 5,000 companies on the list, there are only 276 software companies. Satuit, based in Massachusetts, was named one of the Top 15 fastest growing software companies in all of New England.

IDS Scheer SAP in Australia, CRM from Emax, KnowledgeBlue and Compiere CRM, LogicaCMG, Dealer Specialties, Geronimo!

September 4, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is — finally, iTunes, about time, and thank you — Stan Rogers’ great live album Between the Breaks:   British firm Emax has announced the formation of a Global Loyalty Division. As its first project, company officials say, EmaxLoyalty will support the pan-global rollout of selektpoints, a new coalition program currently being launched in several Middle Eastern countries prior to a full global rollout in 2008.   The program, which recently won the award for best innovation in a loyalty program at the Cards International Global Conference in Berlin, provides regional and international banks and retailers with a loyalty program which is based on their debit or credit “chip and pin” card.   The scheme is billed as offering “significant benefits for consumers, banks and merchants,” company officials say: “Consumers can earn points automatically without the need for a loyalty card, simply by registering their payment card. Banks offer the scheme to their customers, while merchants award points only where, when and how they choose.”   Emax has developed a CRM platform, based on Microsoft Technology, which will enable selektpoints to manage relationships with both consumers and the multitude of merchant partners that participate in the new program.

The Greatest CRM Fad You'll Never Need

September 4, 2007

Ever notice that most CRM and business books are much more useful for holding up a corner of your desk than putting new business on your desk?

How many companies improved profits from studying Ernest Shackleford, a screw-up whose main achievement is that he avoided turning himself and his men into frozen penguin hors d'oeuvres? There's a man worthy of emulation.

What business turnarounds are credited to Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick's book Competitive Leadership: Twelve Principles For Success? Brian banged that quickie out immediately after his team won the Super Bowl, then must have misplaced his copy as his Ravens subsequently posted losing season after losing season. Principle #1 must have been "Have Marvin Lewis coordinate your defense." Isn't that helpful?

Are you sweating the small stuff, finding your cheese, cashing purpose-driven profits?

Morello Picked by AstraZenica for CMS, LinkDotNet Grows 70 Percent, Customer Service 'Most Important' for Auto Insurance, Avaya, Graham Ciboodle

September 4, 2007

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is …   Morello from Mediasurface, a British content management product provider, has been chosen by AstraZeneca as the sole platform of choice for their Global Web Content Management System

The product will integrate into AstraZeneca's larger Global Sales and Marketing Information Systems initiative including integration with AstraZeneca's Siebel CRM.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca wants Morello to be the sole platform of choice for its new Global Web Content Management System, in what Morello officials are calling "one of the largest content management projects ever undertaken."

Morello will replace AstraZeneca's two existing bespoke WCM systems and a handful of agency based WCM systems as part of their global e-service integration strategy (ESI).

Kay Wesley, Global Director - eMarketing for AstraZeneca, said Morello offered "the best total product by meeting our key business criteria and new business innovation requirements in a way that some more established Enterprise Content Management (ECM) players could not."

AstraZeneca have over 250 content managed sites worldwide, which are a mixture of corporate and country sites, product and therapy sites, community initiatives and charitable causes, with varying numbers of authors and levels of traffic.

The ESI program is a complete integration led by sales and marketing, and wholly supported by IS. An integral part of this project was giving AstraZeneca's e-Marketers and business users control of the Web sites that they managed and were measured on.

LinkDotNet has announced an average annual growth rate for its GCC business of 70 percent over the past five years, and is celebrating its tenth anniversary in the Gulf at Gitex 2007, a show in which it has participated since its entry to the region.

LinkDotNet sells CRM and other software in the Middle East, as a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom.

The company's software development subsidiary, LINK Development, has a service offering today that spans diverse areas like portal & intranet development, e-commerce, Enterprise Integration, CRM and Helpdesk Solutions.

Sherif Dahan, LinkDotNet GCC Territory Manager says, "Our work in software development for the government and private sector has been instrumental in our growth, while our position as a trusted Microsoft Gold Certified Partner in five competency areas has also helped boost our business."

Connect Ads was set up in the region in 2000 when the concept of a dedicated online media house was rare. By operating the largest portal network in the region, comprising MSN Arabia, Hotmail & Windows Live Messenger, along with its own range of portals, Dahan says that the company is raising the standard of online advertising in the Gulf through greater options and reach.

In the area of e-government, Dahan anticipates higher demand for Citizen Relationship Management (CiRM) products, performance measurement tools for public services known as Dashboards, and products that enable delivery of public services through multiple channels and devices.

Avaya's contact center products were honored at Middle East Contact Center Awards, where six of the eleven awards for contact center excellence were bagged by companies that have implemented Avaya solutions.

Initiated by Insight and sponsored by Avaya, the Middle East Contact Center Awards is dedicated to the contact center business in the Middle East. The event is considered a benchmark for the region's estimated 500 contact centers, with about 25 based in the United Arab Emirates alone.

The awards presented at a gala dinner recognized the performance and service excellence of some of the best contact centers in the region.

Convergys and Telecom Egypt, IFS, RightNow 8.2, Frost and Sullivan Hosted Contact Center Report

September 3, 2007

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie's Station to Station album:

Yes, happy Labor Day, in honor of which I, as a free American, am laboring:

Convergys Corporation a vendor of CRM, human resources, and billing services, has announced a new agreement to provide consulting services to Telecom Egypt, the largest fixed line provider in the Middle East and Africa serving over 11 million subscribers.

As part of the agreement Convergys will help implement a business process re-engineering project to enhance Telecom Egypt's billing operations, re-engineering all of them to align with Telecom Egypt's new billing platform.

The contract builds upon the 5-year licensing contract Telecom Egypt signed with Convergys in 2006 to manage the replacement of the existing billing system with Convergys' Infinys rating and billing product.

"The new Infinys product has provided us triple play billing capabilities and the capacity to support new subscribers," said Khaled Marmoush, Telecom Egypt Chief Information Officer. "We realized the importance of reengineering our business processes to use the new billing product and to improve our customer service."

Jean-Herve Jenn, Convergys President, International said re-engineering its billing processes will "further improve Telecom Egypt's ability to support a high volume of transactions, new bundled service offerings, and retain customers."

Telecom Egypt moved its billing to Infinys to lower IT costs through the consolidation and elimination of redundant systems, using a distributed open source platform, and limiting the need to pay for expensive and time-consuming custom system and application development.

The Infinys product also facilitates revenue growth and profitability for Telecom Egypt, Convergys officials say, through its capabilities to support the rapid launch of new convergent service bundles, the roll out of next-generation IP based services, and the application of new business models.

Swedish firm IFS's Middle East office has signed an operational support agreement with a greenfield petrochemical plant which produces ethylene gas and polyethylene plastics, for ERP, CRM and other services.

The $2.4 million contract includes consulting services related to IFS Applications components for maintenance, manufacturing, supply chain management, financials, and human resource management and follows the successful implementation of these components.

The plant is in now in the production phase.

CRM’s Promero Releases Smart8 v2.1, Wanted Names New CFO, Zoho Releases Zoho Start, JasperSoft and Unisys Deal, Maximizer and ISB

September 1, 2007

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Black Crowes: Live:   Internet-based call center and CRM vendor Promero has released the latest version of its proprietary software Smart8 v2.1. The product provides intelligent call routing and dealer-franchise locator hosted software.   Company officials say it gives companies the ability to route inbound 800 calls automatically to a proper distributed network of employees, franchises, call center or home based agents. Call routing is based on any criteria: area code, ZIP code, caller ID, skills, language, customer value, status or other business rules.
Featured Events