CDC’s CRM and Supply Chain for Shanghai General Motors, Kitsite’s PostCMS for Advent, Nuance Acquires Viecore, Cape Clear and Appian Ally, Firepond Growth

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CDC’s CRM and Supply Chain for Shanghai General Motors, Kitsite’s PostCMS for Advent, Nuance Acquires Viecore, Cape Clear and Appian Ally, Firepond Growth

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Slim Dusty’s Aussie country classic, Tonight the Woolshed Swings:
CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and vendor of CRM, has announced recently that its CDC Supply Chain Solutions were selected for a new parts distribution and packaging center of Shanghai General Motors, a 50-50 joint venture partnership between General Motors and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
Shanghai General Motors recently opened the first of four new model parts distribution and packaging centers in Guangzhou, China. This facility uses the CDC Supply Chain product suite, including Warehouse Management, Labor Management, Slotting Optimization, Yard Management, Event Management, and Enterprise Visibility.
These applications provide Shanghai General Motors with “an advanced supply chain execution software suite,” SGM officials say, adding that Shanghai General Motors “intends to implement CDC Supply Chain at the other three facilities as they are built.”
Formed more than 10 years ago, Shanghai General Motors is one of the largest and fastest growing car manufacturers in China. The joint venture assembles, distributes and services vehicles under the Buick, Saab, Chevrolet, and Cadillac brands through more than 400 dealers in China.
On December 1st, Kitsite will be launching a new hosted content management service called PostCMS. The launch will be based around a software Advent calendar, where a new feature will be released every day until Christmas.
“We’re hoping to do for CMS what Salesforce and Basecamp have done for CRM,” says Michael Kowalski, CEO of Kitsite. “We’ve focused on two key areas: usability for content authors, and flexibility for Web developers.”

PostCMS marks “a new step in the shift towards utility software,” company officials say, allowing “sophisticated content management services to be deployed without installing any software.” The product has an Ajax-based interface that simplifies the management of content-rich Web sites and includes WYSIWYG page editing and metadata tagging. It also offers customization opportunities for developers, via a Web-based IDE.

“The idea is that you can get a site up and running pretty quickly. But then if you need to, you can customize almost everything. You can code your own Web services to integrate with other applications, you can write new workflows, and you can even build entire new user interface screens,” Kowalski says.

Many other CMS products, especially the open source ones, force content authors to use essentially the same user interface as developers, despite their very different requirements, Kowalski says, adding “we’ve avoided that. To make the difference clear, the developer app and supporting site have a quite distinctive white-on-black appearance. We think of it as the ‘evil twin’ of the content authoring interface.”

From 1st December until Christmas, one new feature will be added to PostCMS every day. The planned feature list includes design pattern library, support tracking, UGC moderation and, hopefully, little chocolate Santas.
PostCMS is free for developers who are trying the service out or building very small sites. For larger sites, pricing starts from £50 per month, depending on total users, pages and storage.
Cape Clear Software has announced an alliance with Appian, a vendor of business process management technology. The combination is intended to “enable the design, development and deployment of end-to-end business processes spanning system-to-system integration and service orchestration with Cape Clear’s ESB platform, and advanced human-facing process management delivered by Appian’s comprehensive BPM suite, Appian Enterprise,” according to Cape Clear officials.
The partnership is supposed to give customers the benefits of an integrated BPM and ESB environment “that facilitates rapid time to product, process simplification and less complex integration to existing systems.”
By bridging the gap between human interactions and system interactions, Cape Clear officials say, “users of the combined product will significantly improve their ability to change and modify enterprise process applications” while using the benefits of service oriented architecture.

Cape Clear and Appian have already engaged in multiple opportunities across a variety of industries in North America. Future plans will focus on implementation and support best practices, embedded components, and other features.
“Clients are increasingly looking to bring together SOA and BPM in order to connect IT assets with the processes that ultimately consume them,” commented Ian Charlesworth, principal analyst at Ovum.
Firepond, a vendor of multi-tenant on-demand configure-price-quote applications, has announced what company officials call “record growth:” New customer wins for Firepond’s CPQ OnDemand multi-tenant application are up over 65 percent for 2007 to date, with “growth across a variety of verticals including software, security products, medical services, telecommunications and high tech manufacturing.”
Subscription-based recurring revenues and bookings to date in calendar 2007 have increased by 134 percent and 54 percent, respectively, versus the same period in 2006, with total bookings, defined as the unrealized revenue from existing contracts, currently in excess of $7 million.
Additionally, the total value of customer-generated quotes created using Firepond’s CPQ OnDemand has increased over 400 percent during the same period, as measured in U.S. dollars.
Firepond’s AppExchange partnership continues to drive growth, company officials say, pointing out that Firepond was one of the first AppExchange partners, “and continues to expand its relationship with by sponsoring four cities on their CRM Success OnDemand Tour as well as their UK Holiday Party held in London in December.”
A party to which First Coffee was, ah, not invited, he notes.
Nuance Communications, a vendor of speech products, has announced that it has closed the acquisition of Viecore, a consulting and systems integration firm specializing in the deployment of contact center products for large enterprises.
Viecore “expands Nuance’s professional services capabilities and complements its existing partnerships,” Nuance officials say, allowing the company to “deliver end-to-end speech products and system integration for speech-enabled customer care in key vertical markets including financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, utilities and government.”
In connection with the acquisition of Viecore and in accordance with NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350, Nuance will grant 613,363 shares of its common stock, in the form of stand-alone restricted stock units, as an inducement that is material to 334 individuals entering into employment arrangements with Nuance.
The restricted stock units will be granted upon the approval of the Compensation Committee of Nuance’s Board of Directors. 577,600 of the restricted stock units vest over a four year period, 11,921 of the restricted stock units vest over a 90-day period, 11,921 of the restricted stock units vest over a one year period and 11,921 of the restricted stock units vest over a two year period.
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