By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Beatles mix:
Soffront Software, Inc., a vendor of mid-market CRM software, announced that VoicePlus has adopted Soffront CRM to "track service tickets more effectively and invoice with greater accuracy and detail," Soffront officials say.
VoicePlus sells call processing systems and custom applications to various types and sizes of business.
VoicePlus selected on-demand Soffront CRM because "it offered a robust, Web-based product at an attractive price," according to Brad Eickman, VP of Operations, VoicePlus. "We wanted a product that allowed us to access and view our ticketing software from anywhere," he explained. "We also needed a system that could be easily customized to meet all of our needs, now and in the future."
Through the use of Soffront's Customer Portal, VoicePlus customers can access the Soffront application directly from the Web site. "Our customers can open tickets via the Web, in addition to the normal technical assistance call," said Eickman. "This capability gives them more options and allows us to provide even better customer service."
Manu Das, founder and president of Soffront, noted that Soffront CRM is popular with mid-sized businesses, offering on-demand, on-site, or host-to-purchase options, floating or named seats.
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I don't know if it was intended as a joke, I'd like to think it was – there’s far too little humor in the CRM world as it is -- but LogicBright CRM, decrying "the obesity epidemic" raging on and costing "billions of dollars annually" is "fighting the software obesity war (SOW)," pitching a "faster, lighter contact and lead management system."
Most enterprise software is "too complex and expensive to be useful to a small business," explained Steve Schmidt, president of LogicBright. "We trimmed a little fat here and there, and what we have is simply a better product for small businesses."
Since LogicBright CRM is software as a service (SaaS) it doesn't require small businesses to fork over large amounts of money on computer hardware to run it, Schmidt said, adding that the product is "100 percent Web-based" and has "only the features small businesses have requested."
Still in Beta, LogicBright has attracted several partners that plan on offering it as a service to their customers, Schmidt says.
According to technology market analysts at Forrester, the CRM market is set to hit nearly $74 billion in sales in 2007.
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Industry observer Leo King, reporting from England, writes that lawyers for CRM vendor EDS said in court this week that a $90 million CRM project for BSkyB was "too poorly defined for the IT provider to have committed fraud when pitching for the contract."
BSkyB is suing the vendor for a ridiculous $1.5 billion, saying EDS misrepresented its abilities and resources when bidding for the contract. The vendor delivered late, and BSkyB figures it lost $1.5 billion in benefits and damages as a result.
EDS contends that okay, it "failed to deliver on several aspects of the deal, and was partly to blame for the project being poorly specified further down the line," as King says, but charges that BSkyB's project requirements "remained unclear until at least three years into the contract, by which point Sky had taken over the project management."
EDS says its failures were "not due to any intent not to perform."
King records Mark Barnes QC, giving EDS's opening statement, saying "Sky knew there was considerable uncertainty about the amount of work involved, and hence the cost, and so employed EDS on a time and materials basis."
"Barnes said that three years into the contract, during 2003, the project specifications remained so unclear that Sky had to set up a special team in order to define the exact requirements of the project," King writes.
The crux of the issue is EDS's contention that Sky was wrong to "construe as contractual obligations statements that EDS made during its sales pitch, owing to the standard Entire Agreement Clause [LINK] in the contract which exempted such statements," King reports.
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Optimal Solutions, a Dubai-based ICT vendor, has been awarded the implementation of eXensys ERP product for Oman United Insurance Company.
This project encompasses the implementation of a companywide ERP system that will "enable better decision making and faster response to market demands and changing customer needs," Optimal officials say.
OUIC officials say they will use eXensys ERP to integrate Financials, Inventory, Procurement and Sales & Distribution and Services modules to "streamline its processes and prepare the company to address the growing business challenges."
Mr. Debojit Das, General Manager at Optimal Solutions, said the deal "kick starts our initiatives to be a dominant ERP player in the Oman market."
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On-demand CRM vendor Salesforce.com announced that its chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, will speak at the Nikkei Global Management Forum this Tuesday, October 30, at 3:40 p.m. (JST) at the Tokyo Prince Park Tower Hotel.
It's a fairly big deal -- more than 500 senior executives are expected to attend what is the most highly rated business conference in Japan.
Benioff will be speaking alongside Paul Otellini, President and CEO, Intel; Glenn Tilton, CEO UAL and United Airlines; Jeffery Kindler, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer; Tsuneji Uchida, President and COO, Canon and Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO, Nokia, among others.
The theme of the NGMF 2007 is "Corporate Management Challenges New Targets." In addition to presenting how Software-as-a-Service enables innovation and business success for companies of all sizes, Benioff will take part in a "fireside chat" with senior staff writer Waichi Sekiguchi from The Nikkei in the final conference session titled "Innovation: The Key to New Markets."
Let's hope the FDR resonances don't go much beyond fireside chats.
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Noble Systems Corporation, a vendor of contact center technology, announced the addition of John Simpson to the position of Chief Technology Officer - Collections Solutions.
Simpson is expected to work with NSC's product development to "build new opportunities and to oversee the company's increasing presence within the collections marketplace," Noble officials say.
He has more than 12 years of experience in the collection industry, as both a technology vendor and as a technology user in collections environments. Prior to joining NSC, he served as Chief Technology Officer of Nationwide Credit, a global call center and receivables management firm.
Simpson also worked as a consultant for Melita International, helping clients implement dialer technology into their operations and stream their process by means of automation.
As CTO - Collections Simpson is tasked with focusing on technologies to "aid many of the challenges facing collections organizations," Noble officials say.