By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and we’ve had enough of musical experimentation around here for a while, we want something we just know we’re going to like, a good, solid album we can program on the iPod and forget. Ever have one of those mornings? It’s that kind of morning here at the sprawling campus headquarters of First Coffee, with Van Morrison’s It’s Too Late To Stop Now playing:
G&A Partners, a Houston-based Human Resource and administrative services company, has announced that it has launched a new Customer Care Center.
G&A’s “high touch” and “high tech” service center will allow the firm to improve its support to the nearly 250 small to mid-size Texas companies who contract such administrative functions as human resources, employee benefits, workers compensation, payroll, and financial reporting to the firm.
Now when clients call G&A’s Customer Care Center, the service rep will use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology to “document, categorize and track any pending issue,” from the time of the call through resolution, company officials say.
“At G&A Partners, we have made a significant investment in technology specifically designed for our business,” said John Allen, President and COO, G&A Partners. “But ‘high-tech’ alone cannot meet the needs of our clients.”
Allen claimed that with the addition of its Customer Care Center as well as other investments in resources and new technology, G&A’s practices “are meeting the highest industry standards set by and typically seen only in larger national HR service firms.”
At G&A every employee, including the CEO, “participates in bi-monthly training on service-oriented principles and practices,” Allen added. Without even having to close from 5:30 to 9:00.
Plexus Systems, which sells Plexus Online on-demand software for the manufacturing industry, has named Anil Khanna its Senior Account Manager of the Western United States, responsible for the firm’s Western region customers.
“Anil Khanna brings a long track record of selling and delivering large Enterprise Resource Planning software projects for manufacturing customers,” said Thomas Mackey, Executive Vice President for Plexus.
Khanna and Plexus Systems’ growing Sales and Service team will pursue new business and assist customers in a variety of industries including medical devices, aerospace, defense and automotive, Mackey said.
Most recently Khanna was Regional Business Development Manager for Strategic Information Group of San Diego, and before that he was Canada Territory Manager for QAD. Khanna also has been a consultant for CapGemini, IBM and American Express.
Plexus Online is an on-demand product, using the SaaS model pioneered by Salesforce.com and NetSuite. It offers over 350 functional modules, providing companies access to information and management functions using a Web browser.
The on-demand product features enterprise resource planning (ERP) functions such as accounting and finance modules, customer relationship management (CRM) features such as order entry and tracking, manufacturing execution systems (MES) functions such as production scheduling and machine integration, and supply chain management (SCM) functions.
Oslo, Norway-based Opera has made Google the default search engine in Opera’s mobile Web browsers, company officials have announced. Opera Mobile or Opera Mini users can access Google’s mobile search directly from the browser start page.
Because Opera Mini targets feature phones that have traditionally possessed limited browsing capabilities, company officials say, users choose to download and install Opera Mini to their phones. These consumers tend to use the mobile Web more frequently and actively than consumers with more static, less dynamic mobile Web browsers.
Every month, Opera Mini users browse more than 1.7 billion pages, with much of that traffic generated through the search function in the browser.
Google has been the default search option on Opera’s desktop browser for seven years. This new mobile collaboration covers all global territories except Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and includes all of Opera’s standard mobile Web browsers.
Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera, said 2008 is “poised to be the year the mobile Web goes mainstream.” He noted that Opera Mobile has shipped on more than 100 million mobile phones so far, and that in 2007, more than 55 new phone models were launched with Opera Mobile pre-installed as the default Web browser.
Opera Mini is available completely free from http://www.operamini.com/. Opera Mobile is also available from http://www.opera.com/ in a free trial on select platforms. Google will appear as the default search engine for new and current users of Opera Mini as of March 1, 2008.
Calling it a “tool for mastering CRM, acquisition and monetization from a single platform,” Datran Media, an inbox marketing and Web advertising products vendor, announced StormPost 4.0 at the Coremetrics Client Summit 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas.
This ESP platform offers a “Facebook social media marketing tool alongside other analytics, interface and ad inventory management enhancements,” company officials say.
Datran Media’s client base includes many of AdAge’s most recent top 100 media company list, including Lionsgate, an independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content.
StormPost 4.0’s Facebook tool makes it possible for marketers to send personalized communications to social media content subscribers through the StormPost system.
Other enhancements to StormPost 4.0 include analytics enhancements, upgrades to its user interface, trend-based reporting and Inventory Management features.
To date, the Datrainians say, ad-supported companies have been frustrated by standard ESP pricing policies largely designed for retailers and other organizations aiming to drive transactional activity.
Scribe Software, a vendor of configurable data integration and migration software technology for leading business applications, has announced its release of the Scribe Adapter 4.0 for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
The product “supports a customer’s ability to choose the deployment that best fits his organization by offering migration and integration capabilities for both on-premise and SaaS deployments of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0,” according to the Scribes.
Implemented by thousands of Dynamics CRM customers, by hundreds of Scribe Certified Resellers, Scribe’s integration tool, Scribe Insight, is used for migrating and integrating customer data within a company’s CRM environment.
The Scribe Adapter for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, built on the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM API, supports the multi-organization capabilities now available to customers with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.
Bob Peskin, MSCRM Practice Director at Infinity Info Systems, an Elite Reseller for Scribe Insight, said Dynamics CRM 4.0, with its multi-tenant architecture and availability as a true SAAS application with CRM Live, “represents significant innovation.”