CRM Alliance ACT! Giveaway, Clarity 6.2 Release, AccuWeather and Opera, Customer Service Survey, InsideSales, InsideView, SugarCRM

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David Sims
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CRM Alliance ACT! Giveaway, Clarity 6.2 Release, AccuWeather and Opera, Customer Service Survey, InsideSales, InsideView, SugarCRM

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Duke Ellington's Blues In Orbit album:

Clarity Systems, a vendor of corporate performance management (CPM) products, has announced the availability of its latest release, Clarity 6.2.

"Clarity 6.2 makes it easier for our customers to manage their company performance," says Mark Nashman, President and CTO, Clarity Systems. "This latest release improves the modeling tools at their disposal. We've made numerous enhancements across all functional areas of the product."

Some new features in Clarity 6.2 include interactive What-if Modeling -- Users can now perform interactive what-if modeling to examine multiple scenarios. They simply define data targets and any required constraints, and "watch as the new Clarity 6.2 algorithm, within the existing business logic, adjusts the available variables to deliver targets that satisfy all of the constraints," the Claritians say.

Clarity 6.2 supports any number of "drill paths" from a single data point into any number of other data sources including other OLAP data, source ERP data, and data warehouses. This means different users can follow their own desired drill path from any data point.

Today in 1962 the greatest postwar American songwriter, Bob Dylan, released his debut album -- which contained only two original songs. The entire album cost less than $500 to make, and didn't go gold until 1973. has announced a partnership with Opera Software to offer a direct link from the Opera Mini start page to's mobile Web site.

Opera Mini is available completely free from and downloads over the air to your mobile phone.

Jim Candor, Senior Vice President of New Media for AccuWeather, said the company has had success with the Opera traditional Web audience through its Web site and through an widget "that has had over 400,000 downloads."

The Opera Mini browser works on almost every mobile phone today, even ordinary feature phones. Opera officials claim the browser has "more than 35 million cumulative users and is available on phones by Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung."

The Opera Mini home page offers a link directly to The mobile Web site offers free, ad-supported content such as radar and satellite images and worldwide local 10-day forecasts and current conditions.

Ninety-five percent of those surveyed in a recent Harris Interactive study commissioned by Chordiant Software said a "personalized" customer experience is at least somewhat important to them.

Sixty-five percent said it is important, and 27 percent said very important. The study surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults who regularly interact with high-volume service providers such as credit card companies, mobile providers, insurance carriers or banks.

Personalized is defined as the service provider "knows who I am, my buying history, past problems or complaints, preferences, and billing record." Asked what they would do if they have a negative experience, 62 percent said they would be likely to cancel their service agreement.

In fact the survey revealed 60 percent of these adults have already switched providers as a result of negative experiences. Eighty two percent defined a positive customer experience as "having their needs anticipated or met."

Seventy percent of adults who communicate with any service provider on a regular basis had a negative customer experience with a telecommunications, credit card, and insurance or financial service provider. Of the 28 percent of these adults who have never switched service providers, a full 78 percent said they would switch if they experienced poor customer service.

A recent Forrester Research "Customer Service Best Practice Adoption" report (January 10, 2008) found that consumers are "increasingly expecting their customer service experience to be seamless, and want the option to be able to transition from self-service to live-service in a single session with no loss of context or information."

The CRM Alliance has announced its ACT! Software Sweepstakes with a prize for one sales organization of a $6,325 ACT! Software database system installed with training.

"Sales managers and their sales teams are being asked to produce more sales results in less time than ever before," said John Kaufman, president of The CRM Alliance. "We created a fun way to reward them."

"Every business has a customer list. The key is to code your customers and prospects so you can keep in touch with your current clients and show them you appreciate their business," Kaufman said. "But you must also have an easy way to follow up with prospects over time -- even when they're not ready to buy from you." This, he said, requires "customer relationship management software."

The ACT! Software sweepstakes has five prize levels. The grand prize is a "fully loaded" ACT! Software System installed with training valued at $6,325. Second prize is a five-user ACT! 2008 Premium EX Corporate License valued at $1,750. Third prize is $975 worth of ACT! add-on software, including CompanionLink PDA Synchronization software; Durkin Computing's Contact List Plus, Opportunity List Plus and Calendar List Plus; Patricia Egen Consulting's CompanyMaker; and Mondo Media's ACT! 2008 Unlimited User Single-Site Training CD.

The sweepstakes ends April 30, 2008, and is open to business owners, sales managers and sales representatives in United States who are 21 years of age or older.

InsideView has announced the availability of its SalesView application for SugarCRM customers. SalesView is an on-demand Business Search and Intelligence application, designed to glean information from subscription-based and user-generated sources.

SalesView presents customer data aggregated and distilled from social groups and social media in the context of the SugarCRM customer relationship management (CRM) application. InsideView is offering a free version of the application as a mash-up with SugarCRM to let anyone tap into SalesView's information. PRO and TEAM versions of SalesView come with deeper feature sets.

"The SalesView mash-up provides SugarCRM users with sights about prospects," said John Roberts, co-founder and CEO of SugarCRM, adding that the combination of these two open products "reduces risk while offering a sales intelligence product."

SalesView is built on InsideView's Business Search and Intelligence platform, and uses meta-aggregation technology. has announced its first product to be released under the Genesis Platform, and is in testing with a joint customer.

Omniture, an online business optimization vendor, announced expansion of the Genesis network of partners to include on December 3rd, 2007. Genesis is a plug and play product for integrating marketing applications. sells Lead Response Management technology, which includes offline analytics tools that help companies respond to leads. is a hosted lead management CRM product with built-in dialer and voice messaging technologies for companies who respond to Web leads over the phone.

"We are excited about our relationship with Omniture, combining our technologies and making them available on the Genesis Platform," said David Elkington, CEO of, saying the integration "allows Omniture SiteCatalyst users to link Web analytics with inbound calls generated from toll free numbers on a Web site." recently added marketing automation products like ResponseVoice after research done with the Kellogg School of Management and MIT "challenged traditional assumptions on lead management and marketing automation," said Ken Krogue, President of

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