By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is “Honky Tonk Blues” from The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s great outlaw bluegrass album Will The Circle Be Unbroken:
CRM vendor Etelos has announced that the Etelos Application Server, Version 6, is now available as an on-demand service platform for Web developers. This version gives Web app developers an “open, agnostic platform with support for the most popular Web languages, tools and databases,” according to the Etelosians.
V6 includes support for MySQL, PostgreSQL and legacy LAMP-based apps as well as other frameworks. Features include cross application synching, integrated database management interfaces, sub-version control, and Web-based development environment.
Company officials say the new product lets developers sync multiple applications at the database level without coding, and to ensure application updates occur with better version control. There’s support for legacy LAMP Web apps so LAMP/ MySQL developers can bring their current applications to the Etelos platform with “little or no re-coding.”
Version 6 includes integrated licensing distribution, which manages provisioning, billing, user licensing, user management and support with the Etelos Marketplace.
“Sign up and get a developer account in minutes, copy over your app, push a few buttons and you are virtually done,” said Danny Kolke, Etelos Founder & CTO. “Instead of having to architect and code the framework from scratch, this is a configuration utility that the developer sets.”
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Chennai, India-based telecom firm Dhanus Technologies has reached an understanding with Borusan Holding for 100 percent acquisition of Borusan Telekom, the Turkish alternative telecom operator with an A type (broad) licence. Dhanus Technologies sells global call cards and GPS tracking devices.
The acquisition is part of Dhanus’s growth strategy for Europe, company officials say: “As we step into European markets, we have decided to start with Turkey. With a total of 34 point of presence stations, 32 within Turkey and two abroad, Borusan Telekom has one of the strongest alternative networks in Turkey.” Company officials said one of the first applications would be to provide products to Turks living in Germany.
Established in 1993, Dhanus, with market value of $150 million, sells CRM and other products combining IT and telecommunications technologies. The company, which has operations in California, plans to invest $200 million in Europe, Middle East and Canada.
An industrial and service conglomerate in Turkey, Borusan operates in four major business areas including steel, distributorship, logistics, and telecommunication.
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Overstock.com, has announced that it placed fourth in the 2007 NRF Foundation/American Express Customer Service Survey. Katherine Mance, vice president of the NRF Foundation, said “According to shoppers, Overstock.com is one of the brightest stars for customer service.”
When the NRF Foundation /American Express Customer Service Survey list debuted two years ago, Overstock.com did not appear among the top 50 companies. Last year, Overstock.com shot to number four on the list and repeated the feat again this year.
Stormy Simon, Overstock senior vice president, branding and customer care, attributes the rise to a careful restructuring of the company’s customer care department. Ms. Simon’s efforts began in 2005 when she assumed management of the department and set up certification and online education programs for customer care agents as well as installing CRM software by RightNow Technologies.
The NRF Foundation is the research and education arm of the National Retail Federation. The NRF Foundation/American Express Customer Service Survey polled 8,877 consumers and was conducted by consumer marketing intelligence firm BIGresearch from September 4-11, 2007. Consumers answered the open ended question, “Which retailer delivers the best customer service?”
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Cloud9 Analytics, which sells on-demand sales analytics applications, has added two executives to its management team.
Per Brondum Jakobsen, formerly vice president of product strategy at Salesforce.com, is the new senior vice president of product management, and Stephan DeRodeff, previously the CTO at Bridgeway Systems, is the new senior vice president of engineering.
Swayne Hill, chief executive officer, announced the hires, citing “enormous demand for our products since launching Cloud9 Analytics last year.”
Prior to joining Cloud9, Jakobsen led product management and development teams for enterprise vertical product offerings at Salesforce.com. He’s also worked for Sigaba, Ventaso, Onwire Technologies and Oracle.
DeRodeff was chief technology officer at Bridgeway Systems. Prior to Bridgeway, he was vice president of broadband technologies for Covad Communications.
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PacificNet, which sells gambling technology as well as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in China, has announced completion of the acquisition Octavian International, a worldwide supplier of gambling technology, products and systems.
Following the signing of an agreement with Octavian on December 7, due diligence was completed within four weeks and the acquisition was consummated January 15.
As part of the closing, PacificNet issued 2,330,000 restricted shares of PACT representing approximately 19.5 percent of PacificNet’s outstanding shares. According to Octavian’s financial reports as audited by Grant Thornton UK under UK GAAP, Octavian had revenue of approximately $64.6 million, gross profit of approximately $18.4 million, EBITDA of approximately $6.2 million, and pre-tax profit of approximately $5.5 million, for the fiscal year ending Dec 31, 2006.
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CRM and SFA vendor Dovarri has announced that NBA Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, former Houston Rockets star and pivotal member of the original 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team, has joined Dovarri’s marketing campaign as a spokesman. Dovarri specializes in the small and medium-sized business sectors.
According to the Dovarrians, Drexler brings “world-wide name recognition and exceptional visibility to the Dovarri team.” He was named one of the NBA’s 50 All-Time Greatest Players and was an NBA All-Star ten times. Since retiring from the NBA, Drexler has been involved in numerous business projects including real estate ventures, product endorsements, and airport concessionaire investments.
Drexler owns and operates “Drexler’s World Famous BBQ & Grill” and serves as a broadcaster, covering Rockets home games, for FSN Houston and KNWS Ch. 51.
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@utoRevenue, a multi-channel communications company and division of Dominion Enterprises, has announced that the company is adding a variety of enhancements and special features to @utoVoice, its voice messaging service for auto dealerships.
In addition @utoRevenue has named O. Keith Porter as the knowledge architect to oversee @utoVoice and continue to grow the service’s customer base. Porter, with over 30 years of automotive and financial experience, came to @utoRevenue from Call Command, a Cincinnati- based communications company.
The newly-enhanced @utoVoice integrates with the dealership’s database to offer focused and personalized messages to customers. The product automates calls, ensures all calls are “Do Not Call” compliant, and offers dealerships the choice of using a professional voice message or a message recorded by dealership personnel.