The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Mahalia Jackson’s “What A Friend We Have In Jesus,” one of her rare missteps. Greatest voice in the history of gospel music, oh yes, no doubt about that, but this is a majestic song when done straight as a flowing hymn. As Jackson’s proved elsewhere she owns that style, but here she chooses a 6/8 time and does it almost as a jazz vocal. Doesn’t work.
CDC Software, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has announced the general availability of Pivotal CRM for Home Building and Real Estate 5.9, described by company officials as a new product version for builders to “reduce the cost and effort of integration with common back-end systems.”
Pivotalians describe the product as an “industry-specific customer relationship management system (CRM) designed to help building and real estate firms.” It’s supposed to help manage front office functions, including marketing automation, lead management, sales automation, quoting and contracting, surveying, and customer care.
The product has library enhancements with support for units of measure, option rules and wildcarding, group calendaring including support for delegation, and C# conversation, which “helps with migration to newer Pivotal platforms,” company officials say.
Pivotal CRM is also designed to reduce the cost of integrating with Envision, a widely-used enterprise suite of applications among builders.
Concursive Corporation, formerly Centric CRM, a vendor of open source Customer Relationship Management (CRM), says that AlphaGraphics has implemented ConcourseSuite 5.0 in the company’s corporate headquarters, and is “recommending it as the preferred CRM program to its network” of franchises.
Part of the U.K.’s Pindar Group, AlphaGraphics operates a franchise network for printing, document management and visual and marketing communications products. The firm wanted a front-office product to improve customer management and communications throughout its extended enterprise, including employees, customers and franchisees.
ConcourseSuite 5.0 has multiple deployment options with the same software application. For example, the ConcourseSuite 5.0 used by corporate staff at AlphaGraphics’ corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City hosts a private, multi-tenant on-demand system for use by its network of franchisees. This lets AlphaGraphics franchisees collaborate, manage projects and share information with corporate headquarters and each other.
“A single instance of ConcourseSuite 5.0 gives each franchise operation its own dedicated CRM, sales and Web content management system,” the Concursivians say. System capabilities include managing leads and marketing activities and tracking customer service queries, a Web content management system that allows franchisees to create customer-facing Web portals and e-commerce sites and team collaboration tools with shared workspaces, project management, discussion forums, and more.
ConcourseSuite 5.0 was launched to coincide with Concursive’s corporate name change and providing front-office products beyond “simple CRM,” officials say.
StayinFront Group (Australia) officials say the company has been awarded the contract to develop a new CRM product for Sandoz, which picked “several StayinFront products” including StayinFront CRM, Analytics, Marketing Center and Knowledge Management. Sandoz, a Novartis company, markets off-patent medicines, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnological active ingredients.
The Sandozites say they wanted a product configured to fit the company’s existing needs while being flexible enough to change over time. The product will be integrated to Sandoz Pty Ltd’s SAP ERP systems, they note.
Infusion Software, a vendor of CRM software aimed at small businesses, says author of Duct Tape Marketing, John Jantsch, will keynote the Infusion Software 2008 User Conference March 5-7, 2008 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Jantsch runs Duct Tape Marketing, a daily blog with tips for small business marketing.
Jantsch will cover such topics as “How to create the best possible marketing strategy on a small business budget” and “How to use new social media tools to enhance your company’s image and bottom line’ “Jantsch will also share best practices on CRM in his own business.
Infusion User Conference 2008 is the annual gathering of the Infusion Software community. “We’ve been hosting this event for three years,” said Kelly Roy, Vice President of Customer Loyalty, Infusion Software. “It’s the place to exchange ideas and get feedback from customers.”
Infusion CRM is a Software-as-a-Service product automating small businesses’ marketing, sales, and customer management, with modules including e-commerce, lead capture, e-mail marketing, marketing automation and others.
Pat Sullivan, godfather of contact management and former CEO and founder of ACT!, will be a featured speaker at the conference. He will discuss what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Also speaking will be Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth and founder of The Dreaming Room.
Apatar, a vendor of open source software tools for the data integration market, has announced a technology and marketing alliance with EnterpriseDB, the Oracle-compatible database company. Apatar will support EnterpriseDB’s Postgres-based database products as both sources and targets of data integration initiatives.
Apatar sells open source tools for non-technical staff and customers to access application data. The products let users link information in EnterpriseDB databases with CRM products from Salesforce.com and SugarCRM, as well as information in other databases, such as MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle and Excel spreadsheets.
According to Gartner, corporate developers spend approximately 65 percent of their effort building bridges between applications. With Apatar’s visual toolset, the Apatarians maintain, “EnterpriseDB users can perform even a complex data integration job without having to write a single line of a code.”
Apatar will provide support, training, and consulting services to assist EnterpriseDB customers in achieving their data integration objectives. Apatar provides support, training, and consulting services for its integration products. Headquartered in Western Massachusetts, the firm operates a development center in Minsk, Belarus.
Happy birthday to YouTube, whose domain name was registered February 15, 2005.
Officials from Autonomy Zantaz, a vendor of archiving, eDiscovery and Proactive Information Risk Management products, say the company was named “leader” in the February 2008 Forrester Wave: Message Archiving Hosted Services, Q1 2008 report.
“In Forrester’s 71-criteria evaluation of message archiving hosted services vendors, [Forrester] found that Autonomy Zantaz leads the pack with strong search functionality and vision for its services,” the Zantazians say.
In this evaluation, Forrester reviewed the offering, strategy, and market presence of message archiving hosted service vendors, which included the Autonomy Zantaz Digital Safe offering. Autonomy Zantaz was the only leader named in this report.
Message archiving hosted services provide massive storage capacity and scalability, along with the management and maintenance, for huge volumes of information and records that organizations are required to archive by regulations.