By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Willie Nelson’s The Troublemaker. This is a morning when I need to hear it to calm me down after the security guards “lost” the key to the tennis court.
Cegedim Dendrite, a vendor of CRM and other pharmaceutical industry products, has announced what company officials are calling “an expanded strategic relationship” with Microsoft, to “help ensure brand messages reach prescribers and patients with the greatest impact.”
By incorporating functionality from Microsoft SQL Reporting Services, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007, Cegedim Dendrite’s CRM will offer analytical capabilities for pharmaceutical firms’ sales and marketing.
Subhash Vaid, Vice President, CRM Solutions and Analytics, Cegedim Dendrite, said the alliance with Microsoft “will help those companies turn massive amounts of data into useful information.”
Cegedim Dendrite’s CRM products are marketed to life sciences companies as sales and marketing tools, helping them “target prescribers with brand messages by using various e-marketing techniques and providing sales reps with Sales Force Effectiveness tools,” Cegedim officials say.
Cegedim Dendrite currently uses Microsoft technology in most of its products. Its flagship SFE product, Mobile Intelligence, is based on the Microsoft .NET Framework.
“Pharmaceutical companies struggle with turning large amounts of customer data into actionable information for their sales and marketing departments,” said Charles Johnson, general manager of Microsoft’s Worldwide Manufacturing Group.
Cegedim Dendrite was created in May 2007, when the France-based Cegedim S.A. Group acquired Dendrite International, which sells sales, marketing and regulatory compliance products in more than 80 countries. Cegedim was founded in 1969.
Dovarri has announced that, over the next six months, members of its management team, led by its president, CEO, and its Chief Financial Officer, will purchase up to one million shares of Dovarri Common Stock at prevailing market prices at the time of purchase.
Company officials say confidence in the stock is partly the result of the recent endorsement of Dovarri’s CRM software, Orizon, received from Errin O’Connor, Founder and CEO of EPC Group and Microsoft’s leading SharePoint expert. O’Connor is the author of SharePoint 3.0 Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2008).
Many Fortune 500 companies are moving their information management systems onto MS SharePoint, “including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Ford, Lockheed Martin, Merk, and UBS.
Dovarri officials claim that this foundation “positions Orizon as the sole CRM software that completely integrates with MS Office and all other Microsoft business management systems.”
Mindshift Technologies, which sells managed IT and VoIP services, has acquired
Burlington, Massachusetts-based Collaboration Online, a privately owned vendor of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products to SMBs.
Collaboration Online does business under multiple brands, such as groupSPARK and AgileWave CRM, selling hosted Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
“Collaboration Online dramatically expands our market reach,” said Mindshift Chairman and CEO Paul Chisholm, in explaining the reason for the deal. “We are now able to provide SMBs with additional messaging and collaboration tools. It also enables us to expand our geographic reach.”
Ravi Agarwal, CEO of Collaboration Online, pronounced himself “delighted to join forces with Mindshift.”
Founded in 2002, Collaboration Online sells hosted Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Services, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to partners and SMBs under multiple brands. The company also markets its hosted SaaS offering as a private label service through a reseller channel. These resellers are able to market the company’s hosted services under their own brands using the company’s Private Label Application Delivery platform.
ESolutions Force has announced a partnership with Salesforce.com covering the Middle East region at their recent CRM Essentials Workshop.
ESolutions officials say the company can now sell “end-to-end products to the Middle East.” The tie-up makes eSolutions Force, part of MDS Group, the strategic partner of Salesforce.com in the region, providing Middle East regional sales and marketing as well as providing implementation, training, coaching and support to Salesforce.com’s on-demand CRM applications.
The move comes as CRM becomes increasingly accepted and implemented in the Middle East. A recent IDC study noted that the CRM on demand market in the Middle East and North Africa region was worth an estimated $52 million and was experiencing 47 percent growth rate year-on-year. One of the reasons for the growth of CRM is increased investments by the banking, government, and retail sectors in the MENA region.
“ESolutions Force is part of the MDS Group, an IT group in the Middle East and Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader, so the synergy for both makes sense,” said Gaby Matar, Group Managing Partner, eSolutions FZ. Matar added that “being on the ground,” eSolutions Force will support the Salesforce.com products.
Projections for the increased adoption of on-demand CRM products in the Middle East are “positive,” eSolutions officials said, “when evaluated against markets such as Western Europe and the U.S. The size of the market in Western Europe alone is expected to reach $473 million in 2011.”
ESolutions Force officials say they expect to see new customers in the region to be won over to “this new way of doing business” based on the fact that “this is such a huge phenomenon in Europe and the U.S.”
Hospitality Marketing Concepts officials say they’re expanding their ClubHotel program, “escalating the worldwide network of over 450 four and five-star hotels to additional key cities in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The creation of ClubHotel by HMC in 1997 has seen good results, HMC officials say, citing one partner hotel in 2007 “realizing over 100,000 room nights, $15 million in room revenue, and $5.5 million in food and beverage revenue solely from ClubHotel members.”
Company officials claim similar benefits “in major hubs throughout the Asia Pacific, in China, Taiwan, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.”
The announced expansion is directed towards Hong Kong, Shenzen, and Macau, with confirmed hotel participation prior to May 1, 2008 receiving high priority. The services of ClubHotel are offered at no cost to hotels, but offer affiliates unlimited access to the global database of HMC for promotional purposes.
In spite of a global economic slowdown plaguing the travel industry, Stuart McAusland, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Asia Pacific, called ClubHotel a “recession-proof marketing program.”
“Our proprietary CRM technology allows hotels to reach thousands of qualified customers and target periods of low occupancy with specific and tailored promotional offers,” said McAusland, calling ClubHotel “a powerful marketing tool, regardless if we are in a recession or not.”