Datacap’s Cycle Faster Program, Teradata Adds MRM Capabilities, Customer Management Application Spending Forecast to Grow

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David Sims
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Datacap’s Cycle Faster Program, Teradata Adds MRM Capabilities, Customer Management Application Spending Forecast to Grow

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's 1957 album Come Fly With Me, his most fun, breezy album:

Okay, kicking off with today's public service announcement: Datacap, a vendor of flexible capture and forms processing software, has announced that its third annual Cycle Faster program to raise funds and awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation will make its debut at the American Records Management Association International Conference and Expo in Baltimore, October 7-10.

Since its inception in 2005, Cycle Faster has brought together scanning, capture and ECM (enterprise content management organizations) to contribute more than $40,000 to such worthy causes as the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the Tyler Hamilton Foundation. At the AIIM Conference earlier this year, Cycle Faster also raised $5,000 for Boston's Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

In other words, it's a good cause, and First Coffee's pleased to promote it.

At ARMA, Cycle Faster sponsors include Fujitsu, EMC/Captiva, Böwe Bell & Howell, Kofax, DocuWare, Kodak, Parascript, Filebound and Canon, whose contributions and efforts are essential to the success of fund raising efforts.

Playing off the business-to-business (B2B) focus of the ECM industry, Cycle Faster B2B 2007 began in Boston in April and will wrap up the cycling season at Datacap's booth #721 at the ARMA Conference. Sponsors and individual donors will compete on a virtual trainer on the Expo floor and race against each other to post the best time on a one-mile ride. Donations to the Lance Armstrong Foundation will be made on behalf of the winning organizations.

"We started Cycle Faster in 2005, and the program quickly took on a life of its own as our partners and friends got involved," said Scott Blau, Datacap CEO and an avid cyclist. "We are grateful to our sponsors and proud to bring our industry together to help raise awareness for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and other great causes."

ARMA Conference attendees can monitor rider progress on the virtual course on a large flat-panel screen and can enter to win a $900 gift certificate from International Bike (, donated by Fujitsu.

Teradata Corporation, a data warehousing vendor, has announced the addition of Marketing Resource Management (MRM) capabilities to its Teradata Customer Management Solutions portfolio, effective immediately.

Company officials say the enhancement is the result of a new business partnership with enterprise software provider Assetlink. The rebranded and ported product, called Teradata MRM powered by Assetlink will be available on demand and delivered on site.

Teradata MRM is designed to let companies automate "the entire marketing process," officials say, giving them tools to plan and control marketing activities while measuring the business impact of their initiatives. With resource control tools added to the Teradata CM portfolio, marketers can "reduce the time it takes to plan, design, launch and analyze the cost and value of end-to-end marketing campaigns," Teradata officials say.

"Marketers today face increasing complexity and rising executive pressure to deliver more return on customer relationships, and MRM tools have become a requirement to help marketers do all that is demanded of them," said Dr. Mark Jeffery, clinical associate professor at the Kellogg School of Management and managing partner, Agile Insights.

Gone are the days where "marketing operates as a funding black hole," Jeffery said. "Now more than ever, marketing is core and strategic to the business model and has evolved to the level of an economic science, making business planning and metric tools like MRM a way of illuminating how the business can more effectively deliver economic performance."

Sam Gragg, vice president of Teradata Customer Management Solutions Marketing, said his company's CRM capabilities are "evolving… a true data warehouse-driven CRM portfolio brings together the best of real-time detailed information, advanced analytics, and operational, event-triggered communications."

According to an AMR Research piece posted on the industry journal site, customer management application spending is forecast to grow by 16 percent in 2008, reaching an average of nearly $2,200 per employee, with mid-market companies -- defined as "those with less than $1 billion in annual revenue" -- expected to see the greatest increase of nearly 22 percent.

According to Rob Bois, research director for AMR Research, "Spending has reached an all-time high, with expectations nearly as lofty. But implementation failure rates have not improved, and neither have ROI metrics."

The report identified a number of positive trends, including that 2008 is set to see the largest average planned increase in CRM budgets ever, and that the appeal of software-as-a-service (SaaS) is growing and impacting the industry average for upgrade rates -- 65 percent of companies now upgrade at least once a year, with 25 percent upgrading more frequently.

All well and good, but CRM failure rates still remain high, AMR notes, with 29 percent of companies reporting an implementation failure that kept them from going live with the software -- compared to 31 percent in 2006. At the same time, user adoption remains low, with somewhere from 33 percent - 47 percent of customer management applications facing "serious adoption issues." In fact, as AMR notes, "25 percent of CRM 'seat licenses' remain undeployed."

BECU, formerly the Boeing Employees Credit Union, which bills itself as "one of the top five financial cooperatives in the United States," has renewed its contract with Open Solutions Inc. for an additional five years.

The credit union uses Open Solutions' The Complete Credit Union Solution, a relational data processing platform, to handle its retail transactions, consumer loan servicing and integration strategy.

BECU's VP&CIO Butch Leonardson, attributes the credit union's member experience approach to technology as an enabler to its success and growth. Since completing what BECU officials call "the largest technology conversion in credit union history in a single weekend in November 2002," the firm has doubled its asset size to $7.3 billion and expanded to more than 40 branches and over 500,000 members.

The Complete Credit Union Solution is built on a centralized Oracle relational database designed to be an open architecture application. It helps credit unions streamline both front and back office processes and creates a centralized view of members, employees and business partners.

Epicor Software has announced the availability of Epicor iScala Collect, a pre-integrated inventory control and management offering, including barcode capabilities for the Epicor iScala enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite.

Company officials say it provides "a more accurate view of inventory and its movement," and "removes the risk of data entry error, speeds up data capture and enables difficult and time-consuming processes around paper-based warehouse products."

The capabilities of iScala Collect "go beyond basic data collection and entry," company officials say: "IScala Collect has expanded capabilities in zone and task directed activity, as well as license plate support and other order fulfilling and inventory management operations." The product can operate even when disconnected from the ERP system, which means that the warehouse stays up and running.

It can be used as the back bone for common picking types including requisition, orders, sales orders and stock transfers. Supporting iScala ERP stock Bill of Materials, iScala Collect business rules either enforce picking of quantities to fill complete BOM parent quantities or allow short pick and shipment of components.

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