By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Weird Al iPod mix:
Salesforce.com Foundation, the philanthropy outreach of Salesforce.com, announced the successes that educational institutions have achieved using donated licenses of Salesforce.com's on-demand CRM technology through the One Percent Product Donation Program.
Bronx Lab School, the Knowledge Is Power Program, Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators, San Jose Education Foundation and USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences are among the more than 2,500 nonprofits and educational institutions around the world using Salesforce.com technology as a result of the program.
"The same on-demand CRM technology used by the private sector can have a profound effect at educational institutions by giving teachers and administrators next generation tools to track student performance," said Suzanne DiBianca, executive director of the Salesforce.com Foundation. "The mission of educational institutions to reinvent their learning institutions using the latest Internet technology goes hand in hand with the Salesforce.com Foundation's mission to redefine corporate philanthropy."
DiBianca cited the example of 30 new small schools within the New York City Department of Education who have built a data portal using donated Salesforce.com licenses in order to access accurate and real-time student information. The schools customized the system to match school-specific programs such as attendance and grade tracking, and today there are 800 users across the 30 schools using the data portal.
"The Salesforce.com Foundation has given the Bronx Lab School and other like-minded schools the innovative tools we need to better serve our missions," said Marc Sternberg, principal, Bronx Lab School.
The Salesforce.com One Percent Product Donation Program donates 10 licenses to qualified nonprofits. Additional licenses are offered at an 80 percent discount.
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One wonders about the wisdom in moving to California these days, but intrepid Opera Software has bravely planted its flag in Silicon Valley. "Among partners and customers in Mountain View," company officials say, Opera is "set to advance its efforts in enabling a universal Web experience with a new office in the heart of the tech industry."
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and with nine satellite offices, Opera Software has grown with the increasing business opportunities for Web use on various devices. Company officials say the Opera browser's small size and portability make it "the browser of choice" for manufacturers of device segments, such as Nintendo, Motorola and Samsung.
"Today, the industry and consumers are realizing the value of using the same services wherever they are," says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "Our presence in Silicon Valley will allow our business relationships and Web development initiatives to deepen with closer collaboration."
Opera currently sells a Web browser and browser-based products for the desktop, mobile, devices and vertical markets. Opera officials say they see the convergence of Web services among various device types as "an opportunity" for the company's portable-browser core. Opera intends to further its cooperation with U.S. operators and device manufacturers to directly provide its mobile Web-browsing to the American market.
Opera Software opened its first U.S. office in 2005 in San Diego.
To announce Opera's arrival in Silicon Valley, the company chose a San Francisco venue, the Rickshaw Stop, to host its next product launch party. The doors will open to the "Rock Opera" event at 7:00 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, October 25, 2007.
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U.S. Auto Parts Network, an online vendor of aftermarket auto parts and accessories, announced that Josh Berman, MySpace Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer and Jeffrey Schwartz, the former Chief Executive Officer of Autobytel have joined the Company's Board of Directors.
Robert Majteles, Chairman of the Board, said together with the recent addition of Barry Phelps, "we believe we have completed the process of building a strong, public company Board of Directors and we look forward to serving our shareholders well."
Berman is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of MySpace.com. Under Berman's leadership, MySpace has grown exponentially since its launch in 2004, with an average of 300,000 new users signing up daily and 115 million current active users worldwide. Berman has also co-founded and managed ResponseBase Marketing, where he was COO and CFO, and Xdrive Technologies, where he CFO.
Schwartz brings eight years of automotive marketing experience to the Company's Board of Directors. He currently serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vertical Passion Media, a media and marketing company focused on classified listings, content and community in the motors category.
From 2001 to 2006, Schwartz served in various senior executive positions at Autobytel, including President and CEO, and most recently as Director and Vice Chairman. Autobytel is an automotive marketing services company, selling various marketing, media, and CRM products to its 25,000 dealer franchises and major automotive manufacturers.
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FTS, which sells business control, billing and CRM products for service providers, announced the installation and implementation of Leap Billing, an end-to-end billing and customer care product, at Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel).
Camtel is Cameroon's national telecommunications provider, providing telephony services including national and international telephony, Internet services, leased lines, satellite communications, and wireless CDMA.
Camtel officials say they'll use Leap Billing to sell new services to its customers while "benefiting from creative billing schemes." The key benefit to the customer, as Camtel officials see it, will be "a single, unified bill that outlines the different services they
have used from across the package that they subscribe to." The bill details the services that they have been charged for, from wireline telephony and internet services to wireless CDMA usage.
The Customer Management product also provides all of Camtel's customers with a single
point of contact for all their queries. David Nkoto Emane, Camtel's Director General, says in addition to "the new services we are able to provide," Leap Billing also "improves our subscriber-facing activities… On top of this, we saw an immediate RoI as the system allows us to improve our revenue collection."
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BroadSoft, a vendor of VoIP application software, announced a mash-up of its BroadWorks VoIP application platform with Salesforce.com. The joint product will let users integrate the BroadWorks VoIP platform directly into Salesforce.com's customer relationship management (CRM) applications, allowing users to access click-to-dial, recorded-call logging and other advanced voice features.
By introducing a computer telephony integration connector for the BroadWorks platform, Salesforce users can integrate with the BroadWorks-based phone system, so they can use their carrier-grade VoIP calling features, such as call control, call hold and call transfer, in conjunction with the CRM features in Salesforce.com.
Additionally, BroadWorks end-users can automatically capture and manage detailed logs of all calls from within Salesforce.com to track interactions with customers. The integration also automatically opens a caller's Salesforce.com contact record when the user receives an incoming call.
Telecom service providers can now offer the BroadSoft-salesforce.com integration as a value-added service. The BroadSoft-salesforce.com product is now available for service providers on a free trial basis.