Infusion Software, vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses, has announced it has secured funding of $9 million from MDV-Mohr Davidow Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. It's Infusion's first round of venture financing.
Company officials say they'll use the financing to "accelerate customer acquisition via increased sales and marketing efforts" and "enhance its CRM software built specifically for true small businesses," which Infusion defines as "owner-run organizations with 2-50 employees that have grown organically."
The salient difference between TSBs and other small businesses, Infusion officials think, is that "these businesses do not have layers like larger organizations, and thus automation of business processes via easy-to-use technology is highly desired."
"Infusion's approach to CRM technology, strong customer traction among small businesses, and management team have enabled the company to capture a notable share of what we believe to be a very significant market opportunity," said Nancy Schoendorf , MDV general partner and an Infusion Software board member.
Infusion Software's product, Infusion CRM, is Software-as-a-Service which centralizes, organizes and automates lead generation, lead conversion and client fulfillment. Infusion CRM was developed to provide a centralized customer management system with modules including e-commerce, lead capture, e-mail marketing, click tracking, billing and collections and other functions of sales, marketing and customer service.
Clate Mask, President and CEO of Infusion Software, said the investment "allows us to accelerate our plan to revolutionize the way small businesses drive and manage their growth."
Q4 Sales has introduced a new CRM service called Customer Revenue Transitions that looks at how a company's best customers move -- and spend -- over time and what it means to the bottom line.
"We have licensed a successful software tool that quantifies market opportunity and identifies key segments by value," said TJ McCue, president of Q4 Sales.
Many companies talk about the Pareto Principle -- the famous 80/20 rule, McCue says, "but few really know which customers spend the most and how that changes over time. The changes may signal a need to change marketing spending accordingly."
McCue said his company is "also finding interest by our clients in 'Benchmarking Clubs' where we have companies in the same industry, but noncompetitive geographic markets, who want to aggregate customer profiles and find that 'best customer.' Customer Revenue Transitions does that. And it is a lot of fun because we learn things that each company can use to grow its business."
Customer Revenue Transitions is a service for the SME space starting at $2,200 for a basic assessment. It can be completed in as little as two to three weeks.
Wrapped Apps Corporation, which sells a Service Delivery Platform, has announced that it has become a partner on salesforce.com's AppExchange. Wrapped Apps provides Independent Software Vendors and service providers with a platform "for faster on-demand deployments and reduced costs," company officials say.
The Wrapped Apps SDP is available in two categories on the AppExchange: Integration & Data Management: Application Integration & Mashups and Industry Solutions: Software.
Clarence So, senior vice president of marketing, Salesforce.com, said Wrapped Apps' service "can be used in conjunction with the Force.com platform to help ISVs who have already invested time and resources in developing traditional software applications go on-demand."
The Wrapped Apps Service Delivery Platform can usually bring applications onto the AppExchange within 30 days. It addresses a range of technical issues for on-demand deployment, streamlining the on-demand process for ISVs.
Force.com is the on-demand platform for business applications. It allows applications to be easily shared, exchanged and installed via salesforce.com's AppExchange marketplace.
Etelos has announced that it has formalized a partnership with Web development firm BluCapp as a Premier Development Partner. According to terms of the deal, BluCapp is expected to create, develop and enhance future versions of Etelos CRM for Google Apps, and BluCapp will take advantage of the Developer Edition of Etelos CRM to release its own version of the application.
"Taking an existing CRM product and building from its base of success is a great example of how the Etelos Ecosystem benefits a Web developer," BluCapp CEO Robert Thordarson said. "Being able to use the Etelos Marketplace to manage the deployment of the application ensures that BluCapp's CRM will be easy for businesses of any size to implement."
By using the Etelos Marketplace, BluCapp is expected to be able to distribute the application to most any business on demand. BluCapp also expects to manage licensing, billing and support content through the Etelos Marketplace.
The Etelos Marketplace provides an online storefront that gives businesses the ability to choose an on demand application and install it unto the hosting environment of their choice.
"BluCapp has a great vision for the future of CRM," Etelos Founder & CTO Danny Kolke said, adding that the partnership between BluCapp and Etelos is expected to give business users "customizable, on-demand applications that they can place in the hosting environment of their choosing."
BluCapp is expected to release its first version of its branded application in their storefront in the Etelos Marketplace by the end of 4Q 2007.
This is kind of eerie: European Broadcasting giant BSkyB is suing IT consulting firm EDS for over $1.5 billion for "allegedly miss-selling a customer relationship management (CRM) project that failed," according to industry observer John Kennedy, writing in the Irish trade journal SiliconRepublic.
Easily one of the largest such IT cases in history, Kennedy reports, it centers around BSkyB's allegations of deceit, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract by EDS.
"The scale of the claim," Kennedy writes, "contrasts sharply with the value of the original contract [$98 million] and is believed to be based on profits allegedly lost."
BSkyB selected EDS in 2000 as systems integrator for a CRM project that it won ahead of PricewaterhouseCoopers, he says, and explains that "the broadcaster alleges EDS failed to use any recognized form of time and cost estimation when tendering for the work and just produced a reflection of what it thought BSkyB wanted."
In other words, "it is being alleged that EDS put forward a sales pitch that it knew was misleading."
The contract was terminated in January 2003 and BSkyB began the legal action against EDS in 2004.
Kennedy reports that EDS said it will refute BSkyB’s allegations through the course of the trial and defend its position.
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