By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Rod Stewart’s, “Every Picture Tells a Story,” one of the ten best albums in rock history by any reasonable standard.
The TAS Group, the world leader in on-demand sales effectiveness products, has announced TAS Select Live! for Account Management, described by company officials as an “approach to enhancing the sales effectiveness of sales organizations.”
TSL! AM is a Sales 2.0 product for account managers, billed as a product for those in sales to “build account plans, share the information in real time with other team members and sales management, and use the data in corporations’ CRM systems.”
Using the “built-in intelligence” in the software, TSL! AM “shows how to find more opportunities in existing accounts,” company officials say.
The product is designed for account teams to understand customers’ businesses. Using it, account teams can develop “customer specific” value propositions based on each customer’s business drivers. TSL! AM allows for different methodologies, depending on the customer scenario, and provides approaches for a large enterprise as well as a portfolio of accounts.
“As economic growth slows, sales organizations will be increasingly challenged to hit their numbers,” said Don Daly, CEO of The TAS Group. “Many are missing out on the most effective way to recession-proof their revenue growth — that is delivering more value and products to their existing customers.”
TSL!/AM can be integrated with Salesforce.com, Oracle/Siebel CRM, Microsoft CRM or any other SOA-compliant CRM systems or can be used as a standalone application.
A sad farewell to William F. Buckley, Jr., one of the smartest, clearest-thinking, most irascible, and funniest commentators on American life and politics of the past century.
SPS Commerce, a vendor of SaaService EDI products, has announced a new industry-specific application for manufacturers who need supply chain management visibility. Built using the NetSuite Business Operating System from NetSuite, this Supply Chain add-on for NetSuite uses SPS Commerce’s multi-tenant trading partner network to build an application targeting companies in need of EDI services.
It “allows for end-to-end visibility and automation in one system when working with trading partners,” according to the SPSers.
The new product uses the NS-BOS platform, including the SaaS infrastructure, SuiteFlex, and the core NetSuite application. End-to-end visibility within the supply chain is particularly important for manufacturers, who tend not to like delayed shipments from trading partners, late orders for customers or costly production flow management.
The combined SPS and NetSuite product provides a B2B business exchange with EDI capabilities layered on top of the CRM, Accounting/ERP, and E-commerce core of NetSuite.
NetSuite has also announced the hiring of Michael Ni as Vice President, Industry Solutions and Ecosystem. In this role, Ni “will direct NetSuite’s industry vertical initiatives, software developer programs, and oversee the continuation of the development of NetSuite as a vertical app platform,” according to NetSuite officials.
“Third-party vertical application developers are struggling to move their client/server applications to the SaaS model, and NS-BOS provides the technology they need to do that quickly,” said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, adding that Ni “has the experience and the skill to take our platform initiatives to the next level and to help our partners transition their business to the Software as a Service model.”
Ni — a guy who’s never heard any Monty Python and the Holy Grail jokes — brings to NetSuite more than 16 years of experience in enterprise applications in business product and platform management. Prior to joining NetSuite, Ni served as Vice President, Product Management at Oracle Corporation for PeopleTools, JD Edwards Tools and “Fusion Architecture” for Oracle Applications Platforms.
At Oracle, he directed the applications technology platforms, providing applications development and management tools to Oracle’s customers, partners, and developers. Before that, he held multiple leadership positions at CRM / ERP vendors, technology startups, and in strategy consulting. These roles include VP of Product Management / Strategy at PeopleSoft, VP of Product and Operations at OnePage (now Sybase), as well as Marketing Strategy Consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Ni holds an MBA from Harvard University, an MS from Stanford University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sydney-based CRM Works, in collaboration with Web site development company iCatchIT, has announced SMaps, described by company officials as “a mapping tool that connects customer relationship management systems to Google Maps in real time.”
SMaps automatically links addresses and locations of individuals or companies to their location in Google Maps. Viewing full contact information from their CRM database with Google’s mapping functionality makes scenes from recent movies like Minority Report “a reality for companies,” according to the CRM Workers.
The product lets users use Google’s mapping capability with their CRM information, such as contact details, price, and order history to zoom in and make decisions.
SMaps is billed as a product to “boost efficiency of mobile workers, helping them save time and cost.” The Target List functionality provides “access to geographic information to sales managers and personnel who can then use that information to focus marketing and sales efforts,” explains CRM Principal Consultant for Asia Pacific David Gill.
“We built an interface between Google Mapping API and CRM Databases using Microsoft ASP. Initially, we are supporting Sage CRM and Microsoft CRM, and we plan to release a PHP-based version for Sugar CRM by Q2 2008,” says iCatchIT CEO and Web site development officer Jonathan Corners.
“Using popular server-side scripting technologies as an interface between the API and address databases allows us to quickly adapt the product to a wide range of mapping/address applications,” Corners added.
Blink Logic has announced it has been selected by CRMG, a CRM vendor for small and medium businesses, to provide reporting and analytics tools.
Using Blink Logic’s Software-as-a-Service business intelligence product, CRMG provides its customers with “a way to take control over their own data, analyze information as required, generate complex ad-hoc reports, and make strategic decisions based on customized reports that provide in-depth visibility into business processes,” according to company officials.
“The reason most CRM implementations fail is because enterprises cannot halt business activities to select, implement, and adapt to software,” said Mir Ali, CEO and Founder, CRMG. “People need tools that easily integrate into their existing workflow.”
Using their proprietary Strategic Evaluation and Planning methodology, CRMG establishes immediate, short-term needs and long-term goals for each implementation. A dedicated account manager for each client guides the phases of the CRM deployment.
As part of the STEP process, CRMG establishes the main objectives and end results expected at the desktop level and at the management level. In most cases, not all initiatives can be met at once, as each level of success in the CRM implementation is inherently dependant on the effectiveness of the previous phase.