By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is R.E.M.’s best album, 1986’s Life’s Rich Pageant
. Saw a good piece in the Wall Street Journal
this morning about them, how the band’s trying to reverse its Chinese water-torture death with a new album, Accelerate
, to be released on April Fool’s Day.
Get this progression: Their 1991 album Out of Time sold 4.5 million copies in America. 1992’s Automatic for the People sold 3.5 million. Great. One of the world’s top bands.
1994’s Monster moved a respectable 2.9 million units, then the bottom fell out. 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi sold 996,000; 1998’s bitter joke of a title Up sold 645,000; 2001’s Reveal moved 416,000 copies and not even the band’s family members bought 2004’s Around the Sun, which totaled a pathetic 234,000 in sales, less than one-twentieth of Out of Time. Such a stately, consistent decline in sales is truly remarkable
That’s some accomplishment, to chase off 19 out of every 20 fans. There’s a grisly CRM case study in there somewhere.
Intelestream, a vendor of SugarCRM Professional Services, has announced the company has developed Goals and Metrics for SugarCRM, what Intelestream officials describe as “a revolutionary tool that greatly enhances sales management.”
The tool, which is available as an add-on module to all editions of SugarCRM, allows sales managers and team members to set goals and track progress together in real time.
Features include a module located on the user homepage to display goals and progress related to the number of calls made, quotes, lead conversions, opportunities won, and instance-specific custom data. Sales representatives are constantly reminded of their progress by a thermometer that measures where they stand in reaching their goals
There’s also an administrator tool to allow managers to set goals for teams and users.
Intelestream Sales Director Ray Stoeckicht said, “Teams need goals to win. It’s true in sports, it’s true in business. In sports, you can always look up at the scoreboard to see how you’re doing; we decided there should be a scoreboard in business too.”
The tool is available for immediate purchase directly through Intelestream.
Sage Software has announced that Scottsdale, Arizona-based Capital Processing Network, a vendor of electronic payment processing products and services, has selected the Sage SalesLogix CRM suite.
Sage officials say CPN will use the product to manage its sales, customer service, and technical support departments. Customer Systems, a local Sage CRM Solutions business partner, implemented the product.
Capital Processing began operations in November 2006 and generated $4 million in revenue during 2007.
“Servicing merchant bank accounts requires us to manage sensitive data,” said Jeff Stephan, President of Capital Processing Network. “The smallest of errors could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.”
Capital Processing’s Sage SalesLogix system automates all aspects of client contact and account maintenance, including monitoring of clients’ point-of-sale systems. It’s also used to keep track of sales opportunities and client interactions, process data search queries, manage the customer service department’s client maintenance records and return material authorization tickets.
Company employees can restrict user access to specified data fields within Sage SalesLogix to maintain confidentiality of sensitive data. Employees can also view one another’s calendars.
Sage SalesLogix is a full-featured, multi-client CRM product with sales force automation, customer service and support, and marketing capabilities, as well as interactive dashboard and reporting functionality.
CRM for nonprofits vendor Kintera has announced that Marla Davidson, chief information officer and executive vice president of strategy management for the Arthritis Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at Kintera’s annual user conference scheduled for April 30 - May 1 in Washington, D.C.
Davidson will address attendees comprising of Kintera clients and partners. As CIO for the national office of the Arthritis Foundation, she’s responsible for the deployment of system-wide hardware, data networking, personal productivity and office automation systems, the financial system and the Constituent Relationship Management system to the national office, nearly 50 chapter offices, and numerous branch locations.
Kintera’s User Conference 2008 provides a forum for the company’s clients to learn the latest in Kintera technology, upcoming product releases, and industry best practices. The conference includes specially focused tracks on CRM/donor management, engagement, and accounting and offers sessions featuring clients, partners, case studies, and best practices.
This year’s conference theme is “Raising the Bar.”
China-based CRM and gambling technology — and First Coffee isn’t saying those two are synonymous, mind you — vendor PacificNet has announced that three holders of PacificNet’s Convertible Subordinated Debentures filed an involuntary petition for Chapter 11 relief in federal bankruptcy court late Saturday, March 22nd in Wilmington, Delaware.
“The company has retained counsel to oppose the filing because the petition fails to meet the standard for invoking an involuntary bankruptcy and fails to take into consideration other binding agreements between the company and the petitioning creditors that control
the relationships between them,” PacificNet officials said in a prepared statement. “The company intends to vigorously oppose the petition and move for dismissal of the filing, and, if successful, will seek damages and attorneys fees.”
The vendor “intends to take all appropriate actions and remedies regarding the involuntary petition,” said CEO Tony Tong. “We are working very hard with the advice of counsel to resolve this issue as soon as possible. We regret the action taken by these bondholders, however, we must be sure that any settlement reached is fair to all parties involved, including our shareholders. In the meantime, we will continue to operate as
usual with no changes to our day-to-day operations.”
Computer Generated Solutions has announced Ariela-Alpha International has selected BlueCherry Enterprise Suite by CGS, described by CGS officials as an “enterprise application designed for the apparel industry,” to “continue the process of fully automating their global operations.”
Ariela-Alpha International, a privately-held global manufacturer of branded and private label intimate apparel, required improved visibility to critical data across its supply chain in order to “streamline efficiencies across planning, design, merchandising, sales, manufacturing, distribution and production,” company officials said.
“We evaluated a number of competitive offerings in the marketplace and chose BlueCherry Enterprise Suite,” said Barry Graff, Vice President, Global Supply Chain & Technology. “With our continued growth and expansion, the ability to manage real-time information will allow us to increase value to our business partners.”
By allowing clients to control their business in a management-by-exception manner, BlueCherry presents itself as a flexible product “optimized for leading fashion, apparel, accessory, and footwear brands to meet globalization requirements and sourcing demands,” company officials say.