By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Beautiful South’s Blue Is The Colour.
Oracle officials announced that PNC Financial Services Group has upgraded to Oracle’s Siebel CRM to “support new customer service capabilities and increase scalability to manage continued growth.” PNC worked with IBM and Oracle to migrate to the upgraded Siebel CRM application infrastructure.
Siebel CRM apps support PNC’s nearly 1,100 branches across eight states, the Web site, and banking contact centers that provide sales and customer service.
PNC decided to upgrade its Siebel CRM applications concurrently with portions of its underlying IBM infrastructure. The infrastructure upgrade included adding a zIIP engine and 600 mips to System z, DB2 7 to DB2 V8 upgrade, DB2 Connect Upgrade, AIX and pSeries upgrade, and HACMP upgrade.
Kent Arkes, IBM Global Business Services Financial Services Partner, called the project “probably the most complex Siebel implementation in the banking industry.”
PNC’s upgraded Siebel CRM provides “a streamlined user interface that makes it easier for PNC staff with varying computer skill levels to process customer requests quickly and accurately,” according to PNC officials, who add that PNC is “implementing Oracle Business Intelligence to improve service to its corporate customers.”
“Retail banking is more than financial transactions, it is about building relationships with customers and supporting their dynamic requirements,” noted Ashwin Goyal, Vice President, Oracle Financial Services Global Business Unit.
. . . .
Microsoft announced that AccessVia, a vendor of in-store signage, labels and e-commerce applications, has selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 to integrate all its internal data and processes, replacing its previous system, based on GoldMine software for CRM.
AccessVia, based in Seattle, provides communications services to retailers.
The company had been using three separate internal IT systems for customer relations, time tracking and sales. Forecasting and planning were “suffering,” company officials say, since the company had outgrown its software.
Scott Hunter, systems administrator for AccessVia, said with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, “we were able to consolidate several internal processes and tools into a single offering that brought the whole company onto the same page.”
AccessVia officials say the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system allows better reporting, improving its filtering and reporting by tenfold, compared to its previous software. And with its integrated system, company officials say they have cut the time needed for support from its IT team by 75 percent.
The company also has retired its Microsoft Office Access database for licensing management, incorporating that function into Microsoft Dynamics CRM as well.
. . . .
Avidian Technologies, a vendor of contact management and CRM software for Microsoft Outlook, announced that it will be using advanced search engine optimization techniques to “enhance its search engine visibility,” according to company officials.
The company claims over 12,500 customers around the world using its Prophet CRM software and expects its share of the market to increase as a result of its new Internet marketing strategy.
“We recognize that a large percentage of Internet users, especially small businesses, rely heavily on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN to find products and services,” said James Wong, CEO and co-founder of Avidian. “These businesses are always looking for better ways to manage their sales force, increase sales and improve their profit margin using CRM software, and we want them to know about Prophet.”
Avidian officials say they recognize the importance of online business and “fully intend to become more then just a presence on the Internet.”
Avidian’s Prophet 4.0 software is designed to function within Microsoft Outlook. Company officials describe it as “easy to install and user-friendly,” and that it “allows companies to complete automate their sales tracking and reporting capabilities with very little employee training.”
. . . .
CRM and billing products vendor Amdocs reported results for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended September 30. Quarterly revenue of a record $726.7 million was an increase of 9.2 percent over the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
This was in line with of its previous guidance for the quarter of $725 million to $735 million, but lower than analysts’ consensus estimates. Shares in Amdocs closed at 34.40 on the New York Stock Exchange, reflecting a market cap of $7.2 billion, but fell 4.6 percent in after-hours trading.
Quarterly earnings per share rose 8 percent, as net profit on a non-GAAP basis rose to $120.7 million, or $0.54 per share, from $109.5 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. The earnings per share figures for the quarter were in line with the company’s guidance of $0.52 to $0.54 per share. Amdocs’ GAAP net profit rose to $96.2 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, compared with GAAP net profit of $76 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007, revenue increased by 14.4 percent to $2.84 billion. Fiscal 2007 net profit on a non-GAAP basis was $473.9 million, compared with non-GAAP net profit of $401.2 million, in fiscal 2006.
The firm’s GAAP net profit in fiscal 2007 was $364.9 million, $1.65 per diluted share, compared with GAAP net profit of $318.6 million, $1.48 per diluted share, in fiscal 2006.
Dov Baharav, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited, said he expects to “accelerate our growth rate during fiscal 2008 as the year progresses.”
Amdocs expects that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 will be approximately $735-$745 million. The firm expects earnings per share (on a GAAP basis) to be approximately $0.43-$0.46. For fiscal 2008 as a whole, Amdocs expects revenue of approximately $3.05-$3.15 billion and earnings per share (on a GAAP basis) are expected to be approximately $1.82-$1.95.
. . . .
Lexnet Consulting Group announced a customer relationship management (CRM) software implementation for Mighty Leaf Tea Company, a manufacturer and distributor of handcrafted tea and accessories. The product Lexnet Consulting Group designed is based on the SageCRM product from Sage Software.
Mighty Leaf Tea Company had been using contact management software, but “it was not sufficient to meet the company’s growing needs,” company officials say. Remote sales staff had no access to the software, so internal sales staff acted as data entry clerks, rekeying orders and confirming customer preferences for the remote team.
Additionally, the software did not interface with Sage MAS 500, the company’s ERP System, so customer data had to be maintained in two programs. Debra Nichols, manager of business operations for Mighty Leaf Tea Company, said SageCRM “has a very appealing and intuitive user interface that we felt our staff would embrace.”
The integration of SageCRM and the company’s ERP system means new customers are entered directly into SageCRM and the details flow into the ERP system, automatically creating a new customer there.