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.
“In the hosted services space, multi-tenancy is a must for companies looking to efficiently address the broadest possible market,” said Frank Costa, CEO of Perlego.
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QuickArrow, a vendor of SaaS services automation solutions, announced that OSI Consulting has selected its product to further automate and track services operations. Beginning next month, OSI will deploy QuickArrow to 450 consultants worldwide.
QuickArrow’s PSA product “streamlines processes by incorporating Project Management, Resource Management, Financial Management, and Advanced Reporting capabilities in a single product,” company officials say. OSI officials, for their part, say they expect “increased efficiency of projects,” and will use QuickArrow’s client access portal to “deliver real-time project visibility to and enable deeper collaboration with their clients.”
This is “a prime example of selecting a proven product rather than reinventing one,” said Meg Boring, OSI Consulting Vice President of Operations. “As our business continues to expand across North America, it’s imperative to have an online product to automate, consolidate, and manage our Professional Services.”
One factor in the selection process for OSI was the speed to value available with QuickArrow’s SaaS product, Kevin Bury, QuickArrow Vice President and COO said. “Waiting 6 to 12 months to install, assemble, and customize an on-premise product is difficult when organizations are expanding so quickly.”
QuickArrow’s PSA product integrates with various SFA, CRM, and financial applications, replacing homegrown products and labor-intensive spreadsheets to automate workflows and streamline operations.
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OpenAjax Alliance, an organization “dedicated to the successful adoption of open and interoperable Ajax-based Web technologies,” according to Alliance officials, has revealed what Alliance officials are calling “initiatives for secure mashups and mobile Ajax, as well as a new white paper on Ajax security.”
Ajax is behind the increasingly popular “mashup,” a Web site or application that combines content from more than one source into an integrated experience.
“Developing an Ajax-based ERP/CRM system for accountants and others accustomed to functionality and responsiveness in a traditional desktop application, we have focused on features and speed improvements,” said Espen Antonsen, System Developer, 24SevenOffice. “Cross-platform issues have in the past been marginalized due to time constraints. Now with new Ajax-toolkits emerging and the OpenAjax interoperability we can achieve cross-platform easier and quicker.”
The alliance has released a white paper titled “Ajax and Mashup Security,” summarizing how Ajax applications can be attacked and providing a set of best practice techniques to address each of the vulnerability areas. It’s available at www.openajax.org.
Simultaneous with finalization activities on OpenAjax Hub 1.0, the alliance has begun work on OpenAjax Hub 1.1, which will extend OpenAjax Hub to add support for secure mashups and to enable mediated Comet-style client-server messaging. As with OpenAjax Hub 1.1, the alliance will deliver both a specification and a commercial-quality open source reference implementation.
The secure mashup features of OpenAjax Hub 1.1 will isolate mashup components in secure “sandboxes” and use the OpenAjax Hub’s publish/subscribe features to achieve mediated cross-component messaging.
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Astadia Consulting, a vendor of on-demand consulting and a long-time Salesforce.com partner, has announced six new vertical industry products built on the Force.com platform and available via the AppExchange. The announcement was made at the recently-concluded Dreamforce ‘07, salesforce.com’s User and Developer Conference.
For construction, with McGraw-Hill Construction, Astadia has a service which integrates offerings from McGraw-Hill Construction with Salesforce on an automated basis.
There are two platforms for financial services — the Astadia Commercial Banking Platform offers local, regional banks and money center institutions a unified approach to managing client relationships across a broad range of banking products and services, with lending and treasury management coverage with expanded options for capital markets, trade banking, card services, leasing and private banking. And the Astadia Institutional Investor Platform allows broker and dealers to supply institutional clients such as fund managers and money managers with relationship data.
For higher education the Astadia Higher Ed Recruiting & Retention Platform provides institutions a tool to identify prospective students so they can be qualified, applications for admission processed, and the admitted student/institution relationship nurtured.
For the media, the Astadia Media Advertising Platform gives companies who sell ad space access to client and prospect information with automated ad order submission within Salesforce via custom systems integration with AdMark and other order insertion systems. And in telecommunications, the Astadia Telecom Platform enables wireless, wireline and DSL service providers’ ability to track customer accounts and subscribers, to facilitate the order and provisioning process, and to measure key industry metrics.
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Pharmaceutical industry observer EyeforPharma published an interview with Fonny Schenck, the 20-year veteran from Johnson & Johnson, who spent seven years pioneering award-winning programs in CRM and eBusiness integration, multi-channel optimization and SFE support. He is now leading the CRM practice at Across, based in Belgium.
Highlights include Schenck’s advice not to ignore the newly accessible e-voices of patients and physicians at your peril, and don’t use the old “we’re a different type of industry” to excuse the slowness in achieving CRM excellence. Read the whole thing.
CRM just a few years ago was still a visionary project for most pharma companies, Schenck said, a high-tech concept that could deliver better knowledge and access to customers. Now it is nothing less than a necessity. Yet many companies remain unable to shift the focus of marketing and sales teams from using CRM as a reporting tool to embracing CRM as a culture, thus missing the greatest potentials it can deliver.
To find the best examples of effective CRM, Fonny says, you need to look outside the industry. He gives Tesco as “an excellent example of how to capture data and use it properly, creating personalized messages for its millions of customers that go beyond broad segments but really get at each individual,” according to EyeforPharma.
Schenck thinks many pharmacos are still only piloting more advanced CRM concepts such as segmenting customers based on attitude and preferences, and delivering customized messages. The life of a Pharma marketer is changing, he thinks, and to stay ahead of the game they will need to embrace business and customer intelligence, analytics and CRM: “These are necessary aspects to understand when moving from product-centric marketing to a more customer-centric approach.”