Redknee Acquires Argent, CRM Webinars from AMC, CCID Predicts China 2008 Trends, NETadmin Picked for SSP

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David Sims
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Redknee Acquires Argent, CRM Webinars from AMC, CCID Predicts China 2008 Trends, NETadmin Picked for SSP

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is… you know, there were a lot of good albums released in 1966 that still hold up today, weren't there? Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde, The Beatles' Revolver, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, The Byrds' Fifth Dimension, The Medical Mission Sisters' Joy Is Like the Rain, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton, The Kinks' Face to -- huh? Hold on, go back a couple. The Medical Sister what?

The Medical Mission Sisters, a group of nuns singing songs composed by Sr. Theresa Winter which stand up today alongside anything else coming from that time. About on a par with Peter, Paul and Mary for rock chops, the record's packed with strong harmonies, interesting musicianship and arrangements, thoughtful and witty lyrics and the kind of passion in performance you get from people as sold out to something as nuns.

Joy Is Like The Rain fits on the First Coffee CD rack for 1966 comfortably between Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme and Sunshine Superman, and if you haven't heard you're welcome to keep your uselessly prejudiced opinion to yourself until you do.

Redknee Solutions has said it will acquire the assets of Kiwi billing company and CRM platform vendor Argent Networks for up to $8 million. Redknee will make an initial payment of $4 million and then up the total if certain revenue goals are met, the company said. The deal is expected to close Jan. 31.

Argent is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and has operations in Australia, Middle East and the United States. Following the acquisition, Argent will be integrated into Redknee's existing business.

Lucas Skoczkowski, CEO of Redknee, called the transaction "exciting for Redknee," as it "expands our operator footprint with 18 new operators in the emerging markets and five in North America, while increasing our product portfolio to include interconnect billing, and converged billing for IPTV and broadband operators."

You might know Argent for its ArgentEclipse Interconnect, a revenue assurance, interconnect and content settlement software product, and ArgentEclipse, a convergent billing and customer care CRM platform for fixed line, wireless and broadband operators.

AMC Technology, a contact center products vendor, has re-launched its free Webinar series, with topics centering on integrating contact centers with CRM applications.

"Many companies today are looking for ways to get the most out of their CRM application in order to work more effectively and deliver higher levels of customer service," AMC officials say -- you are, after all, right? Well okay then.

These Webinars are designed to provide real-world contact center experience and CRM integration information. They'll discuss how customer centric organizations can "improve the customer service experience, improve agent productivity and reduce the total cost of ownership associated with all contact center integration projects," the AMCians say.

Many of the shows focus on a particular CRM vendor or contact center vendor, the idea being, company officials say, to let the audience "stay focused on their particular situation." Within each of these kinds of Webinars, attendees will learn about the particular vagaries of pair-wise integration -- such as integrating a CRM from a specific vendor with a contact center product from another specific vendor, say -- which will provide "valuable down to earth information about their particular situation."

Some recently-added dates and topics include: January 2, 15, and 31 "Integrating SAP into the Contact Center," January 9 "Integrating Oracle PeopleSoft CRM into the Contact Center" and January 23 "Integrating Oracle Siebel CRM into the Contact Center."

"These Webinars will provide valuable information to contact center managers who want to learn how to get the most out of systems and applications they are currently using," said Larry Smothers, Global Partner Sales Manager at Richmond, Virginia-based AMC and a guy who never, ever has anybody ask him "So where are your two brothers?"

Salon Seudun Puhelin Oy has chosen NETadmin to provision and manage its network, SSP officials say.

The system will be delivered via Netadmin's partner K&K Active Oy. "Using NETadmin gives the network customers control over the services they want to use. This deal will enable Salon Seudun Puhelin to continue delivering open networks," says Kari Vuorinen, Business Manager of Network Development at SSP.

K&K Active Oy's sales manager Tapio Venäläinen says the deal will let SSP "improve its broadband services and increase sales of services to both new and old customers." NETadmin integrates with other systems, such as invoicing and CRM systems.

CCID Consulting, a Chinese research, consulting and IT outsourcing service provider, the first Chinese consulting firm listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, has issued some forecasts for trends it expects in China' ICT market in 2008.

As elsewhere in the world, hardware, software, consumer electronics and telecom are projected to be more service-oriented.

"SAAS will change the business model of the traditional software industry," company officials find:

"On one hand, SAAS will expand to total product on the basis of renting CRM. Functions such as OA, CRM, financial management, HR management, security management and mobile business are converged into a total product," the report says. "Because of its briefness, moderate price and flexibility, the product is popular among SMEs."

On the other hand, the report finds, the extension of SAAS servers "will expand. In addition to professional CRM servers and traditional software manufacturers, telecom operators and ISPs also join the competition."

CCID sees hardware becoming a service in the future in China. Volkswagen has begun to ask hardware providers to repurchase related products and offer services according to global readiness, the report finds adding "hardware is not only a kind of product, but also a tool of providing related services to users' production and management. The SAAS era is near."

The 2008 Olympic Games are expected to speed up developments in mobile communications, NGN, wireless access, digital TV, semiconductor lighting and RFID as well.

A "high-tech Olympic Games" will provide great opportunities for Mobile, NGN, wireless access, digital TV, semiconductor lighting and RFID, the CCID reports finds: "These opportunities would include the use of mobile communications based on 3.5G; NGN based on IPv6; WLAN/WiMAX that realizes seamless and wireless network; bidirectional wired digital TVs; LEDs with energy-saving, environmental protection and long service life characteristics; and RFID, which is widely applied in electronic ticketing, IDs, safety tracing systems, food safety monitoring and assets management."

Yet the report predicts it will be "difficult" for China's future IC market to present a growth rate over 30 percent, as less international electronics production is transferred to China. The report foresees "the output of China's units will become saturated after a rapid growth for years, even if they have a certain growth rate, and the fall of IC price will also influence the future IC market."

The IC industry is less mature than traditional industries in China, to be sure, but it isn't a new industry and market, so growth will be slow compared to the electronic industry.

CCID is directly affiliated with the China Center for Information Industry Development. Headquartered in Beijing, CCID Consulting has set up branch offices in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Harbin. The company's business covers over 200 large and medium-sized cities in China.

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1 Comment

Experts have talked about this before. How many times have you read about the importance of ‘adding value’ for your audience? How many times have you read about ‘building trust’ with your readers/prospects?
Many, many times. You know it well. Every marketing guru has spoken about this topic. I’m sick of hearing it. But it STILL bears repeating.

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