CRM and SMS Service Released, Dubai CRM Deal, OpenPro 5.4 Released, Your Weekend Picks Here, Naseba Results, Storis and Finger

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

CRM and SMS Service Released, Dubai CRM Deal, OpenPro 5.4 Released, Your Weekend Picks Here, Naseba Results, Storis and Finger

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is good ol' Reggie Dwight's Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player. Not a great album, but I define anybody born between 1960 and 1975 as "normal" if they know the words to "Crocodile Rock:"

Through a joint venture between Cast Release and Ad Authority, the latter firm has released a CRM service combining customer relationship management and SMS technology. "The idea behind this new CRM system is simple," the Ad Authoritarians say, to produce a means of contacting new and old consumers who have fallen out of the sales process, or welcome them to the process in real time."

The program is a collaborative effort between Randall Steinmeyer, Chairman of Cast Release, and Jake Vale, COO of Ad Authority.

Basically the product identifies the users in any database who are mobile phone users. A message is designed to either initiate or renew a relationship between company and consumer. Three separate responses occur upon receipt of the SMS message by the consumer -- an SMS response, incoming phone call or visit to a Web site.

"All those leads that have been called and put on the back burner can now be re-hashed for a fraction of the cost of generating them in the first place, and fewer will end up on the back burner," Ad Authority officials say.

Ad Authority is in student loan, debt consolidation, and pre-foreclosure lead generation, and runs lots of lead generation Web sites. Cast Release and its sister companies control "tens of thousands of domain names," company officials say, as well as "key Internet properties."

ERP vendor OpenPro, which does the open source LAMP technology, has announced the release of Version 5.4 of its products.

Claiming "over 100 enhancements" and "many benefits for small to enterprise size businesses," President and CEO Jim Clark says "the most impressive enhancements are to our connections system, which will allow XML SOAP interface to connect OpenPro to most any system in the world."

Other new features include enhancements with financial reporting, payables process, receivable management, inventory control and physical inventory process, RFID tracking, manufacturing and scheduling of work order, work centers and operations.

Clark said the 5.4 release has improved business intelligence reporting and graphics, as well as "connections to other systems like OS commerce e-commerce carts, and Ebay orders.

OpenPro uses offerings gleaned from the Open Source community, like LAMP technology, and version 5.4 has phone and fax integration using open source products as well -- there's even an interface to Asterisk FreePBX phone systems and Hylafax faxing software.

The company has announced a version 5.4 of its Easy ERP and Enterprise Software, which includes customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce tools, among others. It's a Web based ERP software product with such built-in features as document imaging and user customizable Work Flow.

Dubai-based Emirates National Oil Company subsidiary Leading Edge Technology Services has announced a partnership with Dubai-based Palm Utilities to provide CRM and billing implementation services for the company's planned projects.

Saeed Khoory, ENOC Group CEO, said the partnership "not only provides LETS with a strong foothold in a rapidly expanding services sector," but helps Palm Utilities implement air cooling for residential and commercial developments in the region.

According to the agreement, LETS will provide implementation services for Palm Utilities' Oracle Customer Care & Billing Systems as well as its two subsidiary companies, Palm Water and Palm District Cooling. The contract will cover implementation, training, documentation, integration, reports & printing solutions and cash point installations for CRM & Billing projects.

Keith Levers, Chief Operating Officer, Palm Utilities, said district cooling is "increasingly being accepted as the way forward with the mounting cost of energy and prevailing environmental concerns" in the United Arab Emirates.

We appreciate your loyal readership here at the Dublin headquarters of First Coffee, so we'll say "thank you" by giving you a chance to turn a serious buck on this weekend's NFL and upcoming New Hampshire action.

Take the Giants over the Buccaneers, who have lost three of their last four, with the one "win" coming against Atlanta, so essentially they've lost the last three actual games they've played. Jacksonville not only will beat Pittsburgh but are the only team capable of derailing the Patriot locomotive, the Redskins are playing out of their minds and will beat Seattle. If you can get the nine points Vegas is giving take the Titans over San Diego, straight up go with the Chargers. And it'll be Obama and McCain in a Granite State upset.

Naseba, a "global business information" vendor located in the United Arab Emirates, has approved a 1 million euro capital increase and appointed a new director.

The firm posted results for the first half of 2007 of sales of euro 2.7 million, but a net loss of euro 2.4 million, attributed in part by company officials to "building the ultimate sales force" and "the creation of the ultimate CRM platform and team." Such things are pricey.

"In 2007 we more than doubled revenue from 2006. We acquired 51 percent of the biggest Chinese owned conference company in China, we expanded our office in India and opened offices in emerging markets Cape Town and Prague," said Scott Ragsdale, Chairman & CEO, adding "Our focus for 2008 is on profitability."

To achieve that, Ragsdale said, the firm is "freezing all growth in our operationally expensive offices such as Monaco and London and concentrating on the development of our production, marketing and sales force teams in Dubai and Cape Town."

The Nasebians say they rolled out a CRM tool "that has immediately improved the productivity of the sales teams, as well as allowed the company to create and enhance our relationships with our global clients."

The closure of the London office meant beefing up the Dubai and Cape Town offices. First Coffee knows which one he'd pick there -- hello Table Mountain. "Not only is the salary level lower in Dubai, but also there are no taxes and social security costs for both the employee and the employer," company officials explained, adding that in early 2008, "all of the strategic activities -- research, sales and development -- will be consolidated in Dubai," with Ragsdale himself based there.

Storis Management Systems, a vendor of retail management products and services for home furnishing retailers, has announced that Finger Furniture Company has selected the Vision R8 Retail Solution platform for use at all six Finger retail locations, in addition to their Ashley Home Stores.

Larry Hogue, CFO for Finger Furniture Company, said the product is expected to help the furniture retailers improve their processing, analytics, and reporting and overall operations.

Finger Furniture Company will also deploy several Vision R8 Companion Products including Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence products, eSTORIS suite of eCommerce products, RF Barcode, iCALL: STORIS' Automated Consumer Contact System, Red Prairie WMS Interface, and more.

Vision R8 is real-time system integrating such retail operations as Order Management, Supply Chain Management, Business Intelligence Analytics, CRM, Financial Management and eCommerce.

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