CRM's iEnterprises Upgrades Lotus, December 12: $755 Million Day, Teradata's Version 6, Vital Insight CEM, Inside View CMO Schulman

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CRM's iEnterprises Upgrades Lotus, December 12: $755 Million Day, Teradata's Version 6, Vital Insight CEM, Inside View CMO Schulman

The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits' Mule Variations:

Teradata, a vendor of data warehousing products, has announced the availability of its software for marketing automation, Teradata Relationship Manager Version 6. The new portfolio "injects enterprise intelligence into multiple-step customer conversations across multiple sales and service channels," company officials say, such as "the Web, store, ATM and call center."

With new architecture and capabilities, it helps marketers plan, coordinate and evaluate threads of customer dialog -- many driven by the customers themselves.

The new software adds flexibility and simplicity for users while integrating analytical and operational customer management, using active enterprise intelligence from the Teradata Warehouse with the latest Java-based software. "In marketing practice," Teradata officials say, "multi-step customer dialogs have been found to achieve much higher response rates and more profitable returns" than conventional marketing approaches.

"This is what the future of business-to-consumer marketing looks like," said Lisa Loftis, a consultant for Intelligent Solutions, which bills itself as "a professional services firm which assesses and guides business intelligence and customer analytics initiatives.” The ability to "coordinate a consistent thread of multi-step conversations with customers across multiple touch points is the holy grail of marketing," she noted.

"As a user of Teradata CRM, we are excited by RMV6," said Craig Gard, manager of applications and development for Meredith Corp., a media and marketing company.

IEnterprises, a vendor of desktop and wireless customer relationship management (CRM), has announced what company officials are calling "a major automation upgrade to its iExtensions CRM Domino/Lotus Notes software," pitched at "enabling small and medium sized businesses."

With its automated functionality, "given the automation runs through the entire CRM product," company officials say, "users can pre-populate, trigger, or issue notifications by allowing macros to run when opening, editing or saving any data" in the product.

These macros give CRM automation ease of use and flexibility, company officials say: "When a user adds a new lead, for example, iExtensions CRM's automation can assign the lead to an internal sales representative or partner. The representative can then directly contact the lead by clicking on the URL."

The automation is being marketed as making scheduling and following up on sales procedures and performance easier, as tasks -- "no matter how simple, multi-step or complex" -- can be triggered either one or multiple times daily. "For example, sales representatives can be prompted with documentation and instructions at each step of the sales process," company officials say.

"Automation is the cornerstone of iExtensions CRM 6.5," said John Carini, chief software architect of iEnterprises.  “We've applied our understanding of customer relationship management processes and how users interact with technology to weave automation through the most heavily relied on features of iExtension CRM 6.5."

iExtensions CRM 6.5 also uses IBM's newly-launched Domino Lotus Notes 8.0, with full integration into Notes 8.0 Mail. Features such as "e-mail Caller ID" and automatic attachment import, are designed to make it easier for users to copy, funnel and house e-mails under appropriate account and contact databases.

First Coffee loves it when he learns about sports leagues he didn't know existed -- Vital Insight Group, a "Customer Experience Management (CEM)" vendor, has been selected by the Central Hockey League's New Mexico Scorpions to help the organization "address fan satisfaction issues in real-time," according to Scorpions officials.

Should be an easy sell -- "The Scorpions are one of the most -- if not THE most -- exciting teams in minor league sports today," said Jason Tryfon, President of Vital Insight. "Our CEM programs will help them pinpoint what's important to the fans, and then use that information both in real-time and strategically to address issues, play up positives, and keep building on the excitement of the team as an entertainment choice."

Let me guess -- the fans want a winning team playing exciting games. There. Feel free to send First Coffee the consultant check c/o TMC.

E-mail surveys created by Vital Insight for the Scorpions were aimed at season ticket holder retention after the team moved from its prior location to the new Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Once the season begins next week, subsequent surveys will address fans' opening night experiences and their thoughts on concessions.

Since the check's already in the mail, here's something for free: As far as concessions go, fans want to pay as much for a beer as they would in a reasonably-priced bar.

Vital Insight's flagship Foresight application's technology lets the team not only gather valuable data from customers but make it immediately actionable, "which is what sets Vital Insight's tool apart from both traditional syndicated, paper-based research methods and the myriad CRM tools available today," Vital Insight officials say.

InsideView, an on-demand sales intelligence application, has announced that Rand Schulman, a veteran of the SaaS and Web analytics industries, has joined the company as CMO and will direct InsideView’s marketing strategy and positioning, in addition to leading the company’s efforts in gaining increased acceptance in the CRM space.

Schulman has worked as chief marketing officer of WebSideStory (VSCN) and taken the firm through its IPO; headed product strategy at Webtrends/NetIQ; and most recently served as General Manager Internet Products at Unica Corporation.

He founded of the first software as a service and Web analytics companies, Keylime Software, later acquired by Yahoo! He was named one of the top 100 B-to-B marketing executives by BtoB Magazine in 2006, and he has been an executive at a number of other software firms including executive vice president at Software Publishing.

Brian Jacobs, general partner at Emergence Capital Partners and a member of the InsideView Board of Directors, said as an investor in and other prominent technology-enabled services companies, "we focus on investing in firms developing disruptive technologies that will significantly impact the business landscape."

Customers use Inside View's proprietary aggregation technology to target verticals and companies undergoing specific business changes, approach prospects with a value proposition, discover decision makers and use introductions to bypass inefficient cold-calling efforts. InsideView offers integrated mashups with SFA/CRM vendors.

After analysis of previous years' holiday sales figures, CRM and eCommerce vendor Volusion predicts that the biggest shopping day of the year will break the typical pattern seen in most years this decade.

From 2000 to 2005, the biggest online spending day of the year fell on a Monday, the vendor's research has found -- "Shoppers tend to spend time browsing in stores on the weekends and then buy gifts online when they return to work, where they usually have the fastest internet connections. This pattern held true in 2006 as well when on Monday, December 11th, consumers spent $556 million online."

This was the biggest online shopping day in history, until Wednesday, December 13th, when consumers spent a whopping $667 million.

The biggest online spending day this year will be Wednesday, December 12th, 2007. "The Monday halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been biggest spending day of the year every year this decade with the sole exception of 2006," Volusion officials say. "Merchants will be pushing their free and discounted shipping promotions that won't end until the 17th or 18th, and consumers will respond to these later promotions by waiting to purchase on Tuesday and Wednesday instead of Monday. Expect sales to exceed $750 million on December 12th, 2007."

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