Good NFL games yesterday, here in Istanbul we got the New York Giants - Dallas game on FOX Sports, were treated to passes whistling through T.O.'s hands, him jogging back to the huddle, smiling like it just didn't matter. He's T.O. and you're not, you don't tell him when to catch passes, T.O. decides when T.O. catches passes.
Good on the Giants for winning, especially after absorbing a soul-shredding 20-play, nine minute touchdown drive from the Cowboys in the second quarter, but if I'm Tom Coughlin I fire that offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride:
Couple minutes left in the game, Giants up by four, deep in their own territory. First down ices the game. Gilbride calls two easily-stuffed bangs into the line, a short third-down pass pattern whose only discernible purpose was to avoid an interception, punt back to the Cowboys with plenty of time left.
This is not playing to win, friends. This is called "playing not to lose," and the Giants were very, very lucky to get away with it -- they won't if they try it in Lambeau next week. Tony Romo had to throw a really stupid pick to finally give the Giants the game and hurry back to Cancun for some serious offseason. Second year in a row the guy's single-handedly ended his team's season. As a friend of mine said, right now Romo's just A-Rod with a hotter girlfriend -- rips up the regular season, falls apart in the postseason.
Doesn't really matter who wins between New York and Green Bay, I'd prefer the Giants, but either of those teams has approximately the same chance against New England as an Incan virgin sacrifice had against the volcano.
Infusion Software, a CRM vendor focusing on what it calls "True Small Businesses," has hired Adam Ross as Vice President of Business Development. In this role, Infusion officials say, Ross will oversee business development, "including channel partnerships and strategic alliances for Infusion Software."
The company wants to increase its visibility to "trusted advisors, Infusion Certified Consultants, third-party independent software vendors, embedded software partners and key strategic alliances," company officials say.
Prior to Infusion, Ross was the Vice President of Channel for NetSuite. Prior to that, he worked as National Sales Director for Best Software's CRM division.
Ross said Infusion has a Web-based product for "a market that everyone in software knows is deeply underserved," and cited its backing from venture firm Mohr Davidow.
Infusion CRM is built for marketers, entrepreneurs and small businesses, and comes with such modules as automated lead nurturing (a.k.a. "drip marketing") campaigns, e-commerce, e-mail marketing, click tracking, lead capture, billing and collections.
Endeavor Commerce has announced their participation as a National Sponsor for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Launch Tour. Endeavor's SmartCatalog Sales Edition and Portal Edition will be showcased during road show covering 21 cities across the US beginning in March and ending April 2008.
Endeavor Commerce has been a Microsoft Certified ISV Partner since 2000, and the SmartCatalog sales and product configuration product has been integrated and VeriTest certified for all previous releases of Dynamics CRM.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 uses multi-tenant architecture and a single code base to support on-premise deployments as well as software-as-a-service deployments. Endeavor Commerce's products basically configure and manage quotes and orders within CRM.
Here's a new face: Upswing CRM has announcd a "Spring Awakening '08" promotion for the forthcoming release of Upswing CRM for Wealth Management. The new release, "with its Web 2.0 orientation," will launch in the next few weeks, the Upswingers say.
The Spring Awakening promotion, "with its themes of bloom, growth, beauty, and the waking up to a new era of CRM" -- First Coffee's reading off the cue cards, folks -- reflects "the visual and functional design elegance along with a blossoming of new features in the new version of Upswing CRM."
Dan Ferranti, Vice President of Technology at Upswing CRM, said based on the responses from private demos of the beta version, the company is "confident that the new release of Upswing CRM will be well received by the financial advisor community."
The announcement was made recently at the kickoff of "Technology Tools for Today" in Orlando, a conference for technology for independent financial advisors. In addition to the Spring Awakening product announcement, Upswing CRM has launched a longer-term advertising campaign called "The End of CRM Complexity."
Hey hey, another new kid on First Coffee's block, bonjour: ERP vendor Openbravo's Web-based open source software has been localized and released in French. To complement this release, the company is attending Solutions Linux 2008 to discuss its new localization, meet potential French partners and to present Openbravo Network.
Paolo Juvara, Chief Products Officer for Openbravo, will be discussing open source adoption and the role of the development community at the conference as well, speaking on 29 January at 2 p.m. A European software company, Openbravo sells open source enterprise resource management and Point of Sale products for SMBs.
Available immediately, the localization provides a full version of Openbravo's open source ERP software to French SMEs. The software is already available in six European languages including Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, and Romanian. (They put it in Polish and Romanian before French? Ooooohkay, sure you didn't want to get the Gaelic or Icelandic versions out before the French as well?).
It's bascially designed to connect such back-office activities as inventory management to accounting, as well as CRM and business intelligence. The Openbravo ERP is integrated with Openbravo POS, a front-office product that integrates point-of-sale ordering, bar-code scanning, ticket printing and customer displays.
Middle East-based InfoVision Consultants (ICON) has appointed Media Pro Technology as its reseller partner for promoting RealPro and MaxPro, in response to "exploding demand for ERP and CRM software" in Middle East, company officials say.
ICON sells real estate property management software and services. In a contract signing ceremony held in Saudi Arabia, company officials said the reseller partnership allows Media Pro Technology to promote RealPro and MaxPro in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
ICON's Mobin Sheikh says each of ICON new reseller partner has experience in ERP and CRM and systems integration. He said the mission for this collaboration is "promoting the technology services in the Middle East to provide the state-of-the-art tech products in ERP, CRM," particularly for the Real Estate Property Management Sector.
Xactly Corporation, which sells on-demand sales performance management, has announced that its Xactly Rewards application, a noncash rewards offering integrated with its flagship Xactly Incent application, will be built natively on Salesforce.com's Force.com platform and delivered in Q1 2008.
Clarence So, CMO, Salesforce.com, said the product is designed to help customers increase sales performance through "the powerful synergy between CRM information and sales compensation data."
Xactly provides a number of modular applications for Xactly Incent for a company's sales performance management program. Market-leading companies are increasingly implementing noncash reward initiatives to augment their cash-based programs.
Using Xactly Rewards, companies have the ability to assign specific Xactly Rewards points for sales programs, special performance incentive funds (SPIF) contests and other initiatives. For example, companies can assign Xactly Reward points to sales reps who convert sales leads to opportunities or opportunities to deals within Salesforce CRM. Xactly Reward points can also correlate to up-sell and cross-sell campaigns, product add-on campaigns or limited-time promotions. Marketing can use Xactly Rewards to motivate lead qualification reps to register prospects to key events and call center agents can use Xactly Rewards to drive call center productivity.
Using Xactly Incent with Xactly Rewards, sales reps can view their compensation statements at any time, anywhere, and in real-time to see how many Xactly Rewards points they have accrued. The sales reps can then redeem their accrued points online and immediately access and choose from millions of products from the world's top brands; travel and leisure incentives; events and sports; and adventure packages-all via the Web.
"We're pleased to use the power and flexibility of the Force.com platform to deliver the first and most comprehensive rewards application that offers the greatest selection of tangible rewards on Force.com," said Karen Steele, Xactly vice president of marketing. "Cash and noncash rewards are a powerful combination for motivating sales reps and other employees to sell more and to align their behavior and performance to corporate objectives. Utilizing strategic sales compensation, combined with cash and noncash reward programs, is no longer the exclusive domain of the sales organization."