By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra’s 1957 classic Come Fly With Me, the First Coffee Favorite Work Album Of the Year for 2007:
Let’s start off with a few pearls cast by Seán Jackson of Kognito on CRM As Just A Very Expensive Address Book:
“To many businesses it makes perfect sense to implement CRM. However, once the database is in and operational the business should constantly review its usage and its yield,” he writes.
“What is its ROI? What is the solution being used for? Is it just a marketing database full of names and addresses? Does it actually record more insightful data such as products and services bought, how and as a result of which factors (marketing campaigns, seasonality, etc)? Does it give the business a 360-degree view of the customer and what their weak point is in terms of what they are more likely to buy in future? Or, alas, is the CRM just used as a very expensive address book?
“Unfortunately, the latter is often the case.”
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Active Modules has announced the release of Active Purchase, a customizable Web site module providing on-line communities and small businesses a way for customers to purchase products from their Web site.
The release includes CRM tools with the options for the checkout process, as well as statistical reports and product performance tracking. Functions available include Order History, Discounts and Coupons, Invoice Creation, Custom Wizard Steps and Dedicated Support.
Active Purchase requires DotNetNuke, a free Web application framework for creating and deploying commercial Web sites.
Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, Active Modules is a software development company offering custom products focused around DotNetNuke and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
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E.E.S. Companies, a vendor of business operations software, announced a new service allowing POS/OE 4 version 8 customers to run business operations on the Apple iPhone.
The service lets remote users access their POS/OE 4 system in real time and view CRM data using iPhone. Users can create or access customers and contacts, create or modify data for sales or service tracking. Employees can quote their customers an inventory price and availability while on the back nine — not that you’d ever be playing golf instead of working, of course — or enter their sales order while at the warehouse.
The service lets customers choose the functionality they find most useful since it’s an a la carte service for the iPhone platform and POS/OE 4 system.
E.E.S.’s flagship product, POS/OE 4 Mac, is generally aimed at small to medium-sized companies, organizations, colleges and universities. POS/OE 4 can support a single or dozens of users, and has functionality for ERP, CRM, Retail/POS, Mail Order, Credit Card Processing, Inventory Control, Accounting, eCommerce, and more.
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Salesforce.com announced “Tour de Force,” a worldwide road show designed to “inspire and educate customers, partners and developers” on the Force.com Platform-as-a-Service. The lollapalooza kicks off with a day-long event in San Francisco on January 17th that will feature salesforce.com chairman, CEO and lead guitarist Marc Benioff with Marc Andreessen, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Ning.
The tour has specific tracks and sessions designed for CIOs, IT managers, and developers. A live video Webcast of Benioff’s presentation from the January 17th Tour de Force event will be available on salesforce.com’s site, beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m. PST.
Clarence So, Chief Marketing Officer, salesforce.com, said the tour is geared to providing “practical examples and specific advice for customers, partners and developers who want to use Internet platforms and cloud computing with Force.com.”
The Tour de Force road show will hit Atlanta, Bangalore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Dublin, Hyderabad, London, Los Angeles/Orange County, Munich, New York City, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Melbourne, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington D.C. Attendance is free, space is limited and registration is open.
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Greenhill SAVP has announced its investment in ReachForce. Greenhill SAVP led this Series B financing of $5 million, with an investment of $3.5 million, and was joined by existing institutional investor G-51 Capital.
As a result of this financing, Steve Brotman, Managing Director of Greenhill SAVP, will join the ReachForce Board of Directors.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, lead generation expenditures are expected to reach almost $88 billion in 2008 and 54 percent of B2B marketers report that reaching the right decision makers is their biggest challenge. ReachForce sells data services and software-as-a-service products designed to target customers.
ReachForce’s on-demand software analyzes CRM data in real time by highlighting market segment sweet spots, and recommending certain businesses to target.
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CRM consulting firm Customer Connect Associates has been engaged by Profit Technologies to assist the earnings enhancement firm with CRM consulting and services, including redesigning Profit Tech’s sales process, helping the firm implement Salesforce.com, and the redesign and optimization of their Web site.
Founded in 2000, Customer Connect sells a proprietary LUCK process for enhancing client relationships. It’s a Microsoft Certified partner and a member of the 2007 Program Advisory Committee for the National Center For Database Marketing Conference.
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Southeastern Materials, a manufacturer of roof and floor truss systems and wall panels, has chosen the Deacom Integrated Accounting and ERP System.
Company officials say the new system is expected to “integrate its business processes” and “enhance service to its residential and commercial builder client base,” as well as coordinate purchasing, accounting, CRM and various other business functions.
Completion of DEACOM implementation is slated for April 1, 2008.
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Automated Business Solutions has announced that it’s been recognized as a Top 100 Technology Pacesetter for 2007 by Source Media, publishers of various accounting and technology magazines.
With its corporate office in Minnesota, Automated Business Solutions is a Sage Software “National Partner” specializing in various Sage products including Sage CRM.
Source Media selects its list of 100 Technology Pacesetters based on a variety of criteria including industry awards and recognition achieved throughout the year,” demonstration of technology leadership,” industry reputation amongst peers, sales per employee, and annual growth.
The list of 100 Technology Pacesetters is published in a special supplement to Accounting Technology magazine’s December 2007 issue. Based in Minnesota, Automated Business Solutions focuses on the small and medium-sized company market.