Microsoft CRM Training from Unitek, ProTrak 2007 Results, AMC to Offer Oracle CRM Help, Agresso in Oregon, DataOne Auto CRM

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

Microsoft CRM Training from Unitek, ProTrak 2007 Results, AMC to Offer Oracle CRM Help, Agresso in Oregon, DataOne Auto CRM

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Appalachian Spring:

Great Super Bowl, First Coffee's still kind of stunned -- as well as kind of sleep deprived, it ended around five in the morning here in Istanbul. That pass from an Eli Manning with Patriots hanging on his jersey, caught by David Tyree against his helmet as he fell, was the greatest pitch and catch I've ever seen in a Super Bowl. Tremendously gutsy play.

Sure the Giants deserved to win, as one announcer said, they just wanted it more than the Patriots did. But the downside now is enduring those screechy, bitter 1972 Miami Dolphins cranks and the classless Don Shula waving their canes in the air over going undefeated through statistically the easiest NFL schedule in memory.

The '72 Dolphins played terrible teams that year and avoided all the good ones. It was the equivalent of beating up on the JV and about as impressive.

So now they hobble back to their cackle parties and their charming-as-an-oil-spill coach to gloat over another team's failure, eternally fixated on something that happened 36 years ago that nobody else really cares about. No wonder Jake Scott, the MVP of that 1972 Super Bowl and a man of uncommon intelligence for a football player, moved as far away from them as he could and doesn't have anything to do with that bunch anymore.

Unitek Education, an IT education and training organization, has announced the introduction of a personalized Microsoft CRM portal, an educational product.

It's described by company officials as "a major upgrade" to its training tools and will provide users with "an enhanced interface and online experience," a "virtual gold mine of information for both business and IT professionals and Microsoft CRM customers."

Unitek officials said the company has courses for new users and customers upgrading from CRM 3.0. The Unitek CRM blog has posted information and tips for this release.

The purpose of Unitek's new CRM 4.0 portal is to provide a resource for clients and those "interested in improving their skill level with Microsoft CRM," company officials say. The approach is designed to encourage comments and questions from users of the portal to elicit feedback.

Unitek, recently named the Microsoft Training Partner of the Year, said they had identified a "distinct lack of personalized, one-on-one Microsoft CRM training." While there is a large amount of general CRM information across the Internet, Unitek thought they could carve out a market niche selling systemic portal training, categorizing and detailing case studies of working CRM examples inside the newly-published portal.

ProTrak International, a vendor of client relationship management (CRM) products for traditional and alternative investment management firms, has announced that fiscal year 2007 was "the most successful year in the firm's 20 year history."

ProTrak experienced "record sales growth" over the previous fiscal year and added "more client relationships then in any year in the company's history," officials say. The firm's flagship product is ProTrak Advantage Enterprise CRM.

Simon Koziel, President of ProTrak, said the company added hedge fund and traditional clients, such as Highbridge Capital Management in New York and Earnest Partners in Atlanta, as well as private equity firms like Hamilton Lane as clients.

Company officials claim three of the top 10 hedge funds/funds-of-hedge funds among its clients, in addition to various global traditional investment managers. Koziel said the company's keeping their focus on the institutional and high net worth investment community, while tweaking the ProTrak system to offer a product for all firms that manage client/investor, consultant/intermediary, hedge fund manager and broker relationships.

Richmond, Virginia-based AMC Technology, a vendor of integration products for contact centers, will sponsor an educational luncheon at the Oracle CRM Community Spring Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 24-27.

During this session, and in subsequent booth presentations, AMC will describe best practices for the CRM or IT manager who wants to integrate with a call center.

As a Certified Member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork, AMC develops products for Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM and Siebel Business Applications. Companies using Oracle Siebel or PeopleSoft CRM in a contact center need integration with their contact systems. AMC sells pre-packaged, server-based integration with such telephony products as Avaya, Cisco, Aspect, and Nortel.

This integration enables CTI functions including softphone controls, caller identification, and screen population of Oracle Siebel and PeopleSoft CRM application pages.

Auto dealer tech vendor DataOne Software, a division of Dominion Enterprises, has announced the release of eCommerce Accessory Store, described by DataOne officials as "a turnkey online accessory store product for automotive retailers."

ECommerce Accessory Store gives auto dealers in-house control over their e-commerce store to help generate accessory sales online.

"ECommerce Accessory Store has virtually all of the functionality that can be found on major e-commerce sites such as eBay and," claims Jock Pereira, managing director, DataOne Software, describing the product as the first one "designed exclusively for auto dealers" to run their own accessory business.

It's a template-based store builder package that lets automotive retailers import and edit their accessory data, manage their online sales and track results.

The Customer Relations Management functions include account registration or express checkout options, customizable e-mail notifications and invoices, a "Send to Friend" section, a built-in newsletter engine, designated customer types/pricing, memberships, discount coupon codes, gift certificates and wish lists.

Other product features include capabilities for Design & Layout, with several pre-designed custom schemes and color sets, as well as a built-in template editor, configurable language, currency and measurement units and product category trees.

There's also a Parts & Accessories Catalog which supports an unlimited number of entries, input fields and photos/images, browsing by manufacturer or category, the ability to modify multiple entries at one time, automatically display best-sellers or show related accessories, including up-selling and cross-selling items.

ERP vendor Agresso has won a five-year software subscription license with the City of West Linn, Oregon, for a product suite. The agreement, valued at $690,000, provides the West Linn government with an on-demand software delivery model.

Steve Arndt, Chief Technology Officer for the City of West Linn, said with the expense the city was incurring to make ongoing changes to their former product, "we could never get ahead and the functionality was still lagging."

Asked if he any of the larger ERP providers, Arndt said he received an initial proposal from Microsoft Dynamics and another from an Oracle back-end support product.

"Microsoft's proposed product fell short both on functionally and from a web-deployment perspective," Arndt said. "And as for Oracle, I considered that thought for all of five minutes. I've been down that road with Oracle before and know that they are a massive undertaking that usually costs a lot more than you planned."

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