By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz To Come:
Voila Hotel Rewards, a global, point-based frequent guest program intended for CRM at independent hotel companies, has welcomed Diagonal Hotels as its newest partner.
The brings together a worldwide network of four- and five-star hotels of independent groups under a single umbrella for a guest loyalty program. In addition to earning points for eligible spend and redeeming for complimentary night stays and room upgrades at participating hotels, Voila officials say “members will also enjoy special perks, such as member-only room rates, special welcome amenities, instant recognition, and multi-network airline mile exchange opportunities.”
For participating hotels, Voila offers CRM technology available at no cost. Through a Web-based portal, hotels can manage e-mail and direct mail marketing campaigns, access program performance reports, enroll members, and verify booked reservations linked to each member’s tier, details, and preferences.
Diagonal Hotels has two properties: In Barcelona, Hotel Alexandra, and in Granollers, Hotel Augusta, and an associated hotel in Sitges, Hotel Calipolis. It’s a member of Great Hotels Organization and a launch partner of Voila Hotel Rewards with its private-label program, Great Hotels Rewards.
Josep Antoni Martinez, Director of Sales of Diagonal Hotels, said for small independent hotel groups, “reaching out to the global market is a formidable task, given the limits of our resources.”
“Diagonal Hotels represents exactly the type of hotel company that Voila Hotel Rewards was created for,” said Marwan Ramadan, President EMEA for Voila Hotel Rewards. “Small hotel companies with innovative minds and the desire to reach out for more than what their resources and immediate market can deliver.”
Voila is a brand-neutral program, and is currently in discussions with additional hotel partners around the world that may qualify to become founding members of Voila Hotel Rewards.
Headquartered in Newport Beach, Southern California, Voila is operated by Hospitality Marketing Concepts.
Online CRM vendor Salesforce.com has announced that United Capital Financial Advisers, a wealth management firm, has standardized on Salesforce for Financial Services. The company used the Force.com platform to integrate a Great Plains accounting system and Charles Schwab Portfolio Center with Salesforce.
“When we decided to deploy Salesforce, we were looking for a contact management system,” said Gary Roth, Chief Operating Officer at United Capital Financial Advisers. “The Force.com platform has enabled us to integrate all of our business information into a central location, enabling us to save a tremendous amount of time that we used to spend on compiling and reporting data both internally and to our Board of Directors.”
The product also “helped us save time in terms of the records we maintain and must open to examination by regulatory agencies,” Roth added.
United Capital Financial Advisers grew over the past two years both organically and through acquisitions and, as a result, acquired and maintained key customer data in multiple, disparate systems. The Salesforce system consolidates this customer information from more than a dozen offices across the country. This consolidation helps ensure recordkeeping protocol is properly adhered to at all times, while allowing for more coordinated company-wide client mailings.
United Capital Financial Advisers oversees more than $8 billion in client assets and provides a range of services including investment management products, goal-based financial advice, insurance, and other products.
Saama Technologies, a vendor of business intelligence and data management products, has announced the appointment of Andre Boisvert to its advisory board. Boisvert is a 30-year veteran of the software industry and a pioneer in the development of the Business Intelligence market.
“We are delighted to have Andre join our advisory board,” said Suresh Katta, Saama CEO, noting that “his background in Business Intelligence, coupled with his current leadership role in leveraging open source technologies, will not only benefit Saama’s customers, it will benefit the industry.”
Boisvert began his career with IBM, where he spent 13 years in senior management positions across sales, marketing and R&D. After IBM, Mr. Boisvert went on to Cognos and Oracle, where he was senior vice president of worldwide marketing and a member of Oracle’s management committee.
In 2000, Boisvert became president and COO at SAS Institute, the world’s largest privately held software company with revenues nearing $2 billion annually.
He also serves as chairman of Compiere, an integrated open source ERP and CRM company, and Zenoss, an open source network and system monitoring company. Additionally, he is an outside director at UBmatrix, Palamida and Odyssey Financial Technologies.
Saama made a splashier announcement recently when they signed NFL Hall of Famer and former San Francisco 49er Ronnie Lott to its advisory board. Lott, one of the greatest defensive backs to play the game, is co-founder of HRJ Capital, a private equity investment firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Chicago, New York, Zurich, and Shanghai, which manages approximately $1.8 billion in assets.
, an Indian industry journal, is reporting that Talisma has released CRM 7.2, saying Talisma CRM 7.2 “includes over 20 new features and enhancements, including the addition of Talisma WebAxs, SMS text messaging, and emergency notification.”
The product is certified for Microsoft Vista, and Microsoft Office 2007, MoneyControl says.
Talisma’s latest offering lets businesses “provide a highly personalized customer experience with new features, such as the SMS text as a component of the Campaign module, event management enabled for payment gateway integration, truly on the cutting edge of innovation,” Talisma officials say, adding “the new capabilities in this latest offering will open new avenues for businesses to communicate better with important customers.”
Dan Vetras, president & CEO of Talisma, said the latest release is aimed at verticals such as BPOs, the hospitality industry, and retail sector. “In Talisma CRM 7.2, we fine-tuned existing areas of our suite to improve the company’s offering,” he said.
Some of the several new features of Talisma CRM 7.2 include browser-based access to let users access Talisma anywhere. Talisma Web Access will have a subset of the features available in the Talisma desktop client, company officials say. There’s also SMS text messaging and an enhanced campaign module, giving users “the ability to send e-mail to a secondary e-mail address,” and “tighter integration between event management and the campaign module, allowing the user to use event properties in a campaign.”
MangoMobile, an Omnicom company and vendor of mobile marketing products, has launched a mobile marketing campaign to support the launch of the Nissan Rogue crossover vehicle.
Working with Tequila, a division of TBWA Worldwide, they created a series of online ad units that let consumers download Rogue-themed content, including a fully-branded advergame, directly to their mobile devices.