CRM from Really Simple, Parallels and Microsoft CRM, Qurius Global Alliance, Open Solutions and Conseco, Saudi Conference, EDS

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

CRM from Really Simple, Parallels and Microsoft CRM, Qurius Global Alliance, Open Solutions and Conseco, Saudi Conference, EDS

The news as of the first coffee this Good Friday morning, and the music is Willie Nelson’s wonderfully appropriate "There Is A Fountain:"

"In line with the rebranding across Europe of all country organizations," according to company officials, "Qurius has realigned its existing business alliances and has founded the Qurius Global Alliance."

The Quriusians say they're following the strategy of being the leading player in the European market of business products based on Microsoft technology.

The Qurius Global Alliance is open to the Microsoft Dynamics product providers and is covering Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas to support customers with international deployments of Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV and CRM projects.

Qurius officials say the "differentiator of the alliance" is "the uniformity in contractual agreements and consistency in working practices for our international customers."

Holland-based Qurius N.V. sells systems management of Microsoft technology-based business and IT products, including infrastructures. It was the 2007 global Microsoft Dynamics Partner of the Year.

Conseco Services, a vendor of supplemental health insurance, life insurance and annuities, has extended its long-term 15-year agreement with Open Solutions for another five years.

Conseco uses Open Solutions' Customer Access Accounts program, a turnkey asset retention product using its traditional banking platform to provide the back-office processing and customer service required to support account holder relationships. Open Solutions sells integrated enabling technologies for financial service providers across the United States, Canada and internationally.

Based in suburban Indianapolis, Conseco has more than $36 billion in assets. Conseco's insurance subsidiaries have more than 4 million customers. Hank Wong, Senior Director of Conseco, cited Open Solutions' expertise in the CAA market as the primary reason for extending the contract.

Open Solutions' Customer Access Accounts reduces the outflow of cash, retains investment income and disburses benefits to account holders. The program "fosters ongoing customer relationships with beneficiaries and claimants and earns investment income on funds that otherwise would have been lost to another financial services firm," Open Solutions officials say.

The Saudi e-Government Conference and Exhibition concluded at Riyadh Four Season Hotel on 18 March 2008 with "great sponsorship support" organizers said.

The Saudi e-Government Conference and Exhibition addressed the issue of improving CRM through customer-centric mobile services and "tracking the performance of e-government in the Middle East," among others.

Conference organizers say the get-together also addressed examining the latest trends in the global e-Government and its impact on Middle East, synchronizing a seamless next generation public service to increase government's efficiency, exploring difficulties and challenges hindering the application of e- government concept, boosting citizen confidence in online service through intelligent authentication and security and benchmarking e-government practice for greater governance.

As an Internet Service Provider in Saudi Arabia, AwalNet participated in the four-day event as bronze sponsor. Its participation comes in tandem with its strategy to support what AwalNet officials called "all effective events that play an important role in enhancing the local economy."

AwalNet offers connectivity, Internet services and IT products to businesses and households. A privately-owned company, it was established in 1998 and in April 2002 merged with two other ISPs in the Kingdom, Naseej and Al-Alamiah.

Really Simple Systems, a British hosted CRM vendor, has announced general availability of their white label product, Really Simple OEM. Company officials say it allows marketing, sales organizations and traditional CRM resellers to offer a "hosted CRM system with their own branding."

Really Simple OEM allows resellers to offer a hosted customer relationship management (CRM) system under their own brand, with their own contact and support details, personalized domain and at their own commercial terms.

As well as addressing the technical and legal aspects of reselling hosted CRM, Really Simple Systems has "solved the commercial issues around reselling subscription services by billing the reseller monthly in arrears for usage," company officials say, "leaving the reseller free to set their own end user commercial terms, which are normally a year's subscription in advance."

John Paterson, CEO Really Simple Systems, said the company sees "two distinct marketplaces for Really Simple OEM, both the traditional specialist CRM reseller and the newer market of outsourced IT providers, marketing service companies and sales consultancy companies."

Parallels has announced that its Parallels Automation data center product now supports Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0.

Parallels Automation provides what company officials call "a complete back-office infrastructure, so service providers can go to market and incorporate CRM into their service offerings."

The product is billed as having "both operational and business support systems" to help service providers use server resources. Using a single login, service providers can deliver integrated offerings that include multiple services such as hosted Microsoft Exchange, hosted Windows SharePoint Services and hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Service providers that already sell hosted Microsoft Exchange can use Parallels Automation to up-sell customers to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

"Parallels Automation for Dynamics CRM allows service providers to offer businesses an alternative to in-house CRM products," claims Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels. "This delivers the benefits of the Parallels Open Platform architecture combined with Dynamics CRM to help service providers tap into the hosted CRM opportunity and the broader software-as-a-service market."

“With more and more customers adopting on-demand CRM products, there’s no question this is among the fastest-growing market segments,” said John Zanni, director of Worldwide Hosting at Microsoft.

EDS has announced it has been selected by the U.S. General Services Administration to provide call center services for all federal government agencies under the newly awarded USA Contact contract. EDS is one of nine companies that may compete for task orders under the $2.5 billion Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract.

USA Contact will provide a vehicle for any federal government agency to purchase a range of automated and manual customer support services to respond to inquiries about federal government programs and policies from the general public, congressional offices, the media and other government offices.

EDS officials say its scope encompasses any type of contact center services from order fulfillment to customer relationship management (CRM) and can be tailored to the individual needs of client agencies.

First Coffee would like a $2.5 billion contract with indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity parameters too.

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