CRM's SalesLogix for Fypon, Protech and MadCap, Orga and CeBIT, Graham and Eskom, Pika and Asterisk Fax Support

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David Sims
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CRM's SalesLogix for Fypon, Protech and MadCap, Orga and CeBIT, Graham and Eskom, Pika and Asterisk Fax Support

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music, according to the dictates of "Shuffle Songs," is Jimmy Buffett's Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes. First Coffee understands that critics think this is his best work, probably because it's the stiffest and driest album he's done. Critics like that kind of thing:

SyncSite, a Sage SalesLogix National Business Partner, has announced the implementation of CRM product Sage SalesLogix and the companion business intelligence tool QlikView for a Fypon, a home-products manufacturer based in Ohio.

Fypon had been using a popular contact management software package "that lacked integration with the company's ERP software, Friedman Frontier," according to SyncSite officials. As a result, data was held in the contact management system, the ERP software, in spreadsheets, and other applications: "Management did not have confidence in the business intelligence data since it was coming from so many sources."

SyncSite implemented Sage SalesLogix and QlikView to bring together data from different applications into a cohesive set of views and reports, producing views such as sales by customer, by product line, by item, by ship to address, by sales representative, by date, "or any combination of these factors," SyncSite officials said.

SyncSite configured the software so that the sales team's laptop computers synchronize to the main database each day, giving both in-house and traveling employees current data.

Fypon's business is closely tied to the construction and housing markets, currently experiencing a significant slowdown. However, the company's integrated information system has allowed it to mitigate the affect of the downturn, its officials say: "We have not seen anything approaching the drop off experienced by the majority of the building industry."

MadCap Software, a vendor of multi-channel content authoring and a Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft XPS showcase company, has announced that Protech has adopted MadCap Feedback Server.

Protech is using the Web 2.0 capabilities of the Feedback Server to "track use of its MadCap Flare-based documentation and get live customer feedback in real time," according to Protech officials. Additionally, Protech has directly integrated Feedback Server into its own software to bring customers and Protech developers together in a common community.

MadCap Feedback Server replaces an earlier product used by Protech, which only provided basic tracking functionality.

Protech sells CRM products for associations, products "tailored to optimize associations' internal processes and decision-making, as well as improve sales and member services," according to company officials.

"We have been one of the early adopters of MadCap Flare," said Chad Ohman, director of corporate strategic technologies for Protech Associates, adding that the Feedback Server "combines Web 2.0 community features with usage tracking."

The Feedback Server allows Protech to get live user feedback on its Flare-based documentation, whether Web-based or on the desktop. Customers comment blog-style directly in documentation, as well as rate different topics. Protech also can view and track all customer activity.

Protech uses the Feedback Server's native-XML architecture to integrate it with the company's CRM environment, so the administrator can read user comments, and respond in real time to resolve issues.

"The future of documentation is to move away from static information delivery to offering content enriched by interactive knowledge sharing," said Anthony Olivier, CEO of MadCap Software.

MadCap Software, headquartered in San Diego, is "just a new name for a group of familiar faces," company officials say, from the technical writing and documentation community, including many former core members of eHelp Corporation.

Paderborn, Germany-based Orga Systems, a vendor of billing products, has introduced new charging and billing mechanisms for "context-dependent mobile services" within the scope of the European research project Local Mobile Services, at CeBIT, held from March 4 to March 9.

At the booth of the German Ministry of Education and Research, two examples for context-dependent mobile services will be demonstrated. One is a mobile service for receiving latest news depending on the location of the user, called the Latest News Service, and the other is a mobile information and maintenance service to assist mechanics for repair works.

Research projects were selected for the Information and Communication Technology section at the BMBF's joint booth, including LOMS, in which Orga Systems is part of the German subproject.

The LOMS project presents methods and tools allowing local service providers to launch context-dependent mobile services through an open service platform, even without deep technological know-how in terms of telecommunication and value-added services. As part of this platform, Orga Systems offers charging and billing services for context-dependent online charging of mobile services.

Glasgow-based Graham Technology, a vendor of customer-oriented business software and services, has announced that its customer, South African energy giant Eskom, has won the Gold Award for the Middle East and Africa region at the International BPM Awards and Technology Showcase in Nashville.

Eskom, South Africa's state-owned electricity company is the seventh largest utility in the world in terms of generation capacity, and ninth in terms of sales.

The winning project, codenamed UBUSO, which, as you of course know, is the Zulu word for "face," created a Customer Service and Relationship Management product underpinned by Graham Technology's business process platform, which provided the means to control routing and monitoring of work over Eskom's vast operational arena and sharing workloads across their seven regional call centers.

Gabriel Kgabo, Divisional Customer Service Manager, Eskom, said the firm has "focused entirely on our people and processes over the last few years," and with Graham Technology's software platform "have been able to strip out waste and dramatically improve the customer experience."

Eskom, with revenues of over $5 billion, serves more than 3.7million customers throughout South Africa. The vertically integrated utility generates 95 percent of the electricity used in South Africa and generates over 50 percent of the total electricity produced in Africa, making Eskom by far the continent's largest utility company.

Pika Technologies, a vendor of media-processing hardware and software, has announced that it has expanded its product range to support fax applications built on the open-source platform Asterisk.

Pika Fax software is now extended to Asterisk, allowing developers on the platform to build fax capabilities into their applications.

Terry Atwood, vice president of sales, marketing and customer care at Pika, called the addition of fax support "the logical evolution of our product suite."

Until now, faxes could be sent and received in Asterisk-based applications only by using Span DSP, a software fax plug-in. Unlike Span DSP, Pika Fax works independently from zaptel. Its driver works at the kernel level, providing control of real-time applications. Pika Fax will work with any vendor's board that supports Asterisk and has been tested specifically with Digium, Sangoma and Pika hardware.

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