CRM, ERP Job Demand Steady, Dealer Specialties and Best Bid, NSB Ranks First in POS Software, LivePerson's Timpani Adoption, Oracle CRM for Dubai's Jafza

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CRM, ERP Job Demand Steady, Dealer Specialties and Best Bid, NSB Ranks First in POS Software, LivePerson's Timpani Adoption, Oracle CRM for Dubai's Jafza

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue:

Dealer Specialties, a division of Dominion Enterprises and vendor of data and photo collection, inventory management and data distribution services, has announced it has teamed with Best Bid Motors, a start-up automotive auction site, to offer dealers what it calls "low-cost alternative for auctioning their inventory."

As part of the exclusive agreement, Dealer Specialties' dealers will automatically get free listings on the auction site, and will have the opportunity to manage and sell inventory, as well as create an online customized auction store.

Brian Page, General Manager of Dealer Data Services at Dealer Specialties, says the partnership "provides our dealers with the value of having yet another channel for free distribution of their inventory."

Launched in the fall of 2007, Best Bid Motors provides a portal for dealers to actively participate in an auction site under one of their subscription plans. An aggressive Internet marketing campaign promises to raise consumer awareness of the site as well as dealer participation.

Once dealers are registered with the site, Best Bid Motors can upload and manage auction inventory including detailed specifications, photos and Vehicle Videos. Best Bid Motors also offers dealers a customized, virtual storefront option featuring their brand information, logos and more.

Dealer Specialties will begin feeding dealer listings and inventory information to the Best Bid Motors web site beginning in November.

For the second consecutive time, CRM vendor NSB Group has been ranked as the number one supplier of POS software to the top specialty softgoods retailers, according to the IHL Consulting Group in their recent report, "A Retailer's Guide: POS Software for Softgoods Retailers."

The research report evaluated vendors of POS software installed among the top 250 North American retailers in the specialty softgoods space, and ranked the top 5 according to such criteria as "total number of vendor accounts among the leading 250 softgoods retailers" and "estimated number of POS systems running the vendor's software based on store count and lanes per store data."

Greg Buzek, President of IHL, noted NSB's "customer base, years of retail experience, multiple implementation models, and close Microsoft partnership."

David Henning, CEO for the NSB Group, said his company has been working with retailers in this space for 35 years.

The Connected Retailer Store Solution is a store automation system with multichannel retailing capabilities, touting "improved employee productivity, and increased levels of customer service." The product is billed as a tool to help retailer "respond rapidly to changing business needs without jeopardizing the upgrade path to future releases, ensuring a long-term favorable cost of ownership."

LivePerson, a vendor of online engagement products that facilitate real-time assistance and advice, has announced the adoption of its Timpani Voice product by "several customers," including Bell, Canada's largest voice, data and wireless communications company, Qwest and others.

Described as "an enterprise click-to-call product that proactively introduces the voice channel to targeted visitor segments based on behavioral events," Timpani has a proactive chat platform which includes enterprise-level voice capabilities.

Using Leveraging LivePerson's business rules engine fits with ActiveAnalytics' data mining technology, which analyzes online visitor behavior and predicts which visitors are most likely to convert if engaged by an agent.

Bell has deployed Timpani Voice across multiple lines of business, including wireline, Internet, digital voice, and long distance; customers who visit the Bell Web site to cancel or move their service to a new location receive invitations to speak with a Bell representative.

"Timpani Voice has saved us close to 70 percent of customers who had expressed a desire to cancel service," said Parth Shukla, Director of Interactive and Multi-Channel Marketing for Bell. "Enabling consumers to remain online and do business with us in their channel of choice reinforces Bell's multi-channel service options and increases customer satisfaction."

After effectively using LivePerson's click-to-call technology to retain customers, Bell has since deployed the product in areas where the company experiences a high level of complexity and fall-out for online fulfillment, including move center and multi-product bundles.

Offering invite-to-talk and click-to-talk applications, Timpani Voice features computer telephony integration options and is compatible with both conventional telephone service and talk by PC for site visitors.

Online recruitment company The IT Job Board has announced the results of its latest Skills in Demand report, finding that ERP/CRM skill demand have stayed the same year on year with over 7,000 positions currently being advertised.

Demand in help desk positions has increased by 45 percent compared to the same period last year, and demand for IT project managers has risen by 35 percent compared to the same period last year.

The survey found that developers positions have increased "only slightly" at 10 percent compared to the same period last year.

Adam Stokes, Operations Manager at, called the demand in help desk roles "great news for graduates and junior candidates, as these types of roles provide a launch platform for their IT careers."

Stokes said how "interesting it is how strong the ERP/CRM market still is -- there still seems to be a high demand for these applications, and the combination of continued demand plus the lengthy  implementation schedules mean there's a real shortage of candidates with these skills in the market."

A growth in the demand for Project Managers is usually an indication that there is a growth in new projects being scheduled that need recruiting for, Stokes explained, but added "the relative inactivity in the Developer market might suggest that the apparent increase in IT projects may not be something to get too excited about.  There is a cyclical element to project management recruitment, as IT systems naturally age and need replacing."

Oracle has announced that the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) has gone live on the Oracle E-Business Suite "in order to enhance customer experience and improve operational efficiency," Oracle officials say. This customer relationship management (CRM) centric product serves as an integrated platform for all Economic Zones operations in line with Dubai World's enterprise application strategy.

Salma Hareb, CEO, Jafza and Economic Zones World, said they needed a product that could "scale with our growth and be flexible in adapting to varied requirements of the different economic zones and logistics and industrial parks in our portfolio, while enabling a consistent business process model."

Hareb added that in his opinion the introduction of about 100 additional eServices will result in "exceeding 90 per cent e-enablement of Jafza's customer services."

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