Microsoft CRM from CRM OnTarget, Clickatell and Dontgo, Omniture and Air Alaska, Cornerstone, Auto/Mate CRM, Real Magnet and Salesforce

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David Sims
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Microsoft CRM from CRM OnTarget, Clickatell and Dontgo, Omniture and Air Alaska, Cornerstone, Auto/Mate CRM, Real Magnet and Salesforce

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Reckless Kelly's great live album Reckless Kelly Was Here, featuring standout cuts "Sixgun," Baby's Gone Blues," the Alejandro Escovedo cover "Castanets" and, of course, "Wiggles & Ritalin:"

Happy Wellington Anniversary! I love day timers with New Zealand holidays.

CRM OnTarget, a supplier of hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM, has announced the deployment of multi-tenant Dynamics CRM 4.0 to new customers this month, and the process of upgrading existing customers has begun.

Sean Joseph, a Senior Engineer at CRM OnTarget, said the company's "deep experience" let them build out the infrastructure, test it, and put it into production "in less than one month of RTM from Microsoft."

Instead of putting clients in single tenant server environments, "we are able to load balance thousands of users across application servers, reporting servers, dashboard servers, workflow servers, and a clustered SQL farm." The change is "enormous," said Bill McVicker, Director of Engineering at the unit's parent company, TriVenture.

CRM OnTarget has pricing for the Dynamics CRM 4.0 (CRM OnTarget Current Pricing). The company also announced that it has now made available a demo server which features an out-of-the-box installation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

The server, which replaces the Dynamics CRM 3.0 demo server, has been available since January 10th and allows visitors to click through all modules of the Dynamics CRM 4.0 application. The general public may access the server free of charge from CRM OnTarget's Website (Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Demo Server).

So we get a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl. The Us vs. World Patriots, the only team in the four major American sports (football, baseball, basketball, candlepin bowling) in the past 100 years to start a season 18-0, are on a historic quest for unrivalled sporting perfection, but can't quite match the emotion the Giants have now that their 20-year veteran punter, Jeff Feagles, gets to play in his first Super Bowl.

And nothing against the fourth person of the Trinity, but don't Green Bay's playoff runs usually die in a hail of killer interceptions? Brett giveth, Brett taketh away.

Redwood City, California-based Clickatell, which sells mobile messaging and Cape Town, South Africa-based-Dontgo, an online consumer advocate service, have announced the launch of a mobile customer service notification system.

Using Clickatell's global mobile messaging services, Dontgo lets users send text messages directly from their cell phones at the time of service. This lets customers report bad service using their cell phone instantly.

Dontgo CEO Moshe Sohaba got the inspiration after a bad holiday experience involving his family, an hour's wait for the wrong breakfast and an unsympathetic salesperson.

Research cited by Clickatell officials says few customers complain to businesses directly about bad service, they just stop buying from the company and grouse about its lousy service to friends, family and coworkers. Along with Dontgo, friends, families and coworkers, Clickatell hopes customers will find satisfaction in witching directly to the company instead, sending them a SMS on the spot.

Using the system today, customers send the keyword, "dont" to a specific SMS short code "34040", followed by the name of the company and their comment. Dontgo then sends the information via e-mail to subscribers. Non-subscribers are called and provided with alerts at no cost on the first occasion.

Cornerstone Solutions has announced that they will offer business software products, dealing with financial and customer management, specifically to long term care facilities.

"The long term care industry is experiencing a major period of growth," said Anthony Giannino, Healthcare and Life Sciences Lead for Cornerstone. "Many facilities are experiencing growth in revenue, size and regulatory responsibility," and need "industry relevant business software products that will get them over these growth related hurdles."

Cornerstone Solutions is a Microsoft certified partner selling business software products using Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM.

Auto dealership CRM vendor Auto/Mate Dealership Systems has introduced Just In Time Training to help dealers use the company's Automotive Management Productivity Suite. It's described by company officials as "an interactive, self-study learning method integrated into the AMPS program" for giving users information.

"In the NADA 2007 Dealer Satisfaction Survey, dealers made it very clear that they were not happy with the level of training provided by the DMS vendors," said Mike Esposito, President and CEO of Auto/Mate. "Dealers are typically faced with two key training issues -- high staff turnover that requires constant training of new personnel and staff that don't have the time or motivation to learn all of a DMS' features and benefits. JITT was developed to address this point."

Users can access JITT by clicking a Question Mark icon to get "how to" information for the particular system feature they are using. JITT responds with the data required to complete the task. Training tutorials include short videos, PDFs, text and URL links.

The National Automobile Dealers Association 2007 Bi-Annual 'Survey of Dealership Satisfaction with Dealer System Providers Products and Services,' released in September 2007, showed that dealerships on the average felt that the technical training provided by DMS developers was only 37 percent effective.

Dealers also felt that the type of system training that would be most convenient and cost-effective was in-house training (79 percent), Web-based self-study training (73 percent) and Web-based interactive training (71 percent).

Real Magnet has announced the integration of Salesforce with MagnetMail, its Web-based e-mail, RSS and fax marketing application.

The integration, listed on Salesforce's AppExchange, allows MagnetMail clients to send e-mails and faxes to clients, prospects and members directly from the Salesforce interface, as well as transfer contact lists and tracking data between the applications.

Users can also view aggregate and recipient-level MagnetMail tracking data within Salesforce. Tom Pines, CEO of Real Magnet, said the deal would make it easier for users to "reach out to their audiences and manage the entire process within Salesforce."

The Alaska Air Group, the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, has hired Omniture, which sells online business optimization software, to help improve its site's efficiency and effectiveness.

"Having the suite of Omniture products will give us the ability to see when customers arrive at our site and what they do on our site," said Marston Gould, Director of CRM and online marketing for Alaska Air Group. Through Omniture's suite of Web analytics, the Alaska Air Group hopes to improve its ability to analyze customer online activities.

The Alaska Air Group was previously using the Coremetrics analytics tool, which will be replaced by Omniture's tool next month. The air group also will use Omniture's targeting and testing technology to determine the best offers and Web content for its audience.

"The benefit for us is that Omniture has a very deep knowledge of our industry. Travel is a fairly complicated business," Gould said. Unlike retail, airlines have thousands of prices for essentially the exact same product: "It's a much more complicated process."

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