CRM Training from Biz IT Pro, Satuit CRM at Great Lakes, SAP and Nakisa, Talisma and Royal Bank of Canada, OSA and Open Source CRM

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM Training from Biz IT Pro, Satuit CRM at Great Lakes, SAP and Nakisa, Talisma and Royal Bank of Canada, OSA and Open Source CRM

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a greatly beefed-up iPod shuffle mix -- a couple days ago I found out how to further compress songs on my iPod without a noticeable loss of sound quality.

Since I had been importing off CD is AAC format to iTunes the songs were taking up 20, 50 90 megs. I switched to different settings, the songs sound just as good, and Elton John's "Funeral For A Friend," for instance, went from taking up 122 megs to taking up 14. The average Frank Sinatra song, of which I have close to two hundred, went from about 30 megs to about 5.

The upshot is, I had 1,800 songs on my iPod three days ago and 144 megs of free space. I currently have over 4,000 songs and over 7 gigabytes of free space -- and this is after putting on not only most all the pop songs I have, but as much jazz, classical and audiobook as I want. So hitting "Shuffle Songs" is a more adventurous option these days.

Satuit Technologies has announced that Great Lakes Advisors, an independent employee-owned investment management firm in Chicago, has deployed SatuitCRM to help streamline the company's relationship management processes and databases.

Great Lakes is using SatuitCRM, a CRM system designed specifically for the financial services industry, to merge customer information from five legacy databases into a single, centrally located system. Great Lakes currently manages over $3 billion.

Prior to selecting SatuitCRM, Great Lakes was using a variety of databases, including Microsoft Access, Outlook, Excel and ACT!, to manage its clients and prospective customer lists. The firm wanted a product to help keep client lists up-to-date, streamline a prospect and request-for-proposal list, simplify mass mailings, and manage sales opportunities. Over a period of six months, Great Lakes evaluated six CRM products.

Heather Ludlum, marketing officer for Great Lakes Advisors, said with the firm's previous system, "we were limited by an inability to track e-mail and mailing histories and to work off-line or remotely, as well as by the data entry space and number of users."

SAP AG has announced a global reseller agreement and SAP NetWeaver Fund investment in SAP partner Nakisa. Together, the two companies have extended the SAP ERP Human Capital Management application, according to the SAPpers.

Under the agreement, SAP will resell Nakisa's visual workforce management products. SAP also announced that the SAP NetWeaver Fund has made an investment in Nakisa to support scaling to meet expected SAP customer needs for product and support.

Available immediately and sold under the name SAP Talent Visualization by Nakisa, the application "complements and enhances the HCM and talent management functionality of SAP ERP with capabilities addressing succession planning and organizational management," SAP officials say.

Using real-time connectivity through pre-delivered integration with SAP ERP HCM, organizations can view, update and analyze their talent inventory and availability of potential successors based on one organizational structure maintained in SAP ERP and accessed through Nakisa. Users can also model "what-if" scenarios.

Talent management is a growing concern for today's companies. Building talent bench strength, identifying and managing successors for key positions, addressing needs arising from a maturing workforce and globalization are problems looking for tech answers.

In addition to the reseller agreement, the SAP NetWeaver Fund has made a strategic investment in Nakisa to support scaling and production to meet customer demand to "fuel the development of products built on the SAP NetWeaver technology platform." Terms of the investment were not released.

Talisma Corporation, a Customer Interaction Management software vendor, has announced that Royal Bank of Canada has selected Talisma to provide customer support to its online clients. With the selection of Talisma, RBC will be able to customize the use of Talisma Chat, E-Mail, and Knowledgebase to provide customer support.

"Canadians are using online services for financial needs more often: doing research, completing applications or transactions," said James McGuire, vice-president, RBC Online Strategy and Client Experience. "Talisma's product will enable real-time support for our customers, including chatting online with an RBC representative and allowing an RBC representative to co-browse onscreen information in order to provide help."

Talisma's comprehensive product and services capabilities were crucial to meeting the bank's stringent selection criteria and security requirements.  The Talisma CIM Suite presents a complete history of interactions across all communication channels so agents are presented with a 360 degree view of the customer relationship.

The Open Solutions Alliance, described by the Alliancers as "a nonprofit, vendor-neutral consortium" promoting interoperability and adoption of comprehensive open products, today announced the key findings uncovered during its 2007 Customer Forum Series.

The forum found the most widely used open-source applications included the application server Jboss, the commercial databases MySQL and Postgres and the Eclipse development platform. Software products such as Customer Relationship Management and Enterprise Content Management applications are also increasing in popularity.

After meeting with more than 100 customers in five cities throughout the United States and Europe, the OSA found that "interoperability between open products" tops the list of requirements among customers and channel partners who are deploying these products.

"These findings represent a clear opportunity for the OSA to out-Microsoft Microsoft by offering a fully interoperable suite of business tools," said Dominic Sartorio, OSA president. "If we can help our members' products work well together it makes it easier for our channel partners to sell open-source software and it will translate into more revenue for vendors and even more options for customers."

Key interoperability issues with small organizations include single sign-on and authorization, data integration and synchronization, UI and portal integration, and content management integration. Larger enterprises also raised business process integration, production management, and legacy/proprietary integration as key issues. Across the board, non-technical interoperability issues, such as how to support and manage integrated products being sourced from multiple vendors, were also raised.

Other findings from OSA's 2007 Customer Forum Series include customers saying they are embracing more open products because open standards offer more options for integration and functionality. "In a world of frequent corporate mergers, open source also offers an assurance that the product will outlive the company," OSA officials noted.

Concerns about the GPL were discussed, but open-source software users largely felt the GPL was a help to their business -- discouraging competitors and facilitating collaboration. A white paper detailing the findings is available on the OSA website,

Business IT Professionals, (Biz IT Pro), a vendor of Customer Relationship Management training and products, has announced the completion an intense, customized series of training sessions for SourceMedia, a New York-based B2B publishing company.

Steve Noe, president of Biz IT Pro, conducted CRM training to more than 70 of SourceMedia's sales staff. The sessions dealt with the benefits CRM provides to their sales success and productivity, an working understanding of Dynamics CRM and Source Media's customizations and clear and simple processes to make CRM easy to integrate into their day to day sales, according to the Bizians.

"We had implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but our sales people didn't understand how to use the new system." said Azam Abuzar, senior director of corporate systems for SourceMedia. "Steve literally saved the day by giving us the education we needed to use our CRM solution efficiently and productively."

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