By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, which I suspect will be the music more than once in upcoming workdays, is the Rolling Stones’ Shine A Light, which ranks as the second-best live Stones set First Coffee’s heard, second only to the untouchable Get Yer Ya-Yas Out:
Inova Solutions has received the 2008 CRM Excellence Award bestowed by Customer Interaction Solutions magazine. The winning case study features Inova Solutions’ OnTrack displays and LightLink integrating software and the resulting impact on call center productivity, quality and morale.
Inova’s OnTrack displays use 70 percent less power than other displays “without sacrificing brightness,” company officials say. Significant power savings, easy installation, simple operation and fast trouble-shooting translate into a low total cost-of-ownership, while displaying key information that motivates action. The displays are connected with LightLink, Inova’s software for delivering consolidated data across multiple ACDs and sites.
Inova Solutions President and CEO Hubbard said that raising awareness of call queue data points “enables agents and managers to act more quickly” when serving customers.
“Often, companies don’t collect, deliver and display key data points in real-time,” he said. “A lack of access to real-time information often results in well-intentioned mismanagement, as well as lower levels of morale, productivity and customer service.”
AMC Technology has announced that Sloan Valve Company has selected a software subscription from AMC Technology to integrate their CRM and Call Center. Sloan Valve Company sells water-efficient plumbing systems.
Sloan Valve chose the AMC Multi-Channel Integration Suite to integrate its SAP CRM Web client with a Cisco IPCC Enterprise contact center. The subscription order is for an enterprise deployment to be used in their 25-agent contact center.
AMC’s subscription for MCIS software has provided Sloan Valve with integration between SAP CRM and the Cisco IPCC Contact Center. This helps collect interaction details in SAP and provide screen pops to agents for incoming calls.
“The integration of these two applications is exactly what we needed to improve our response times,” said Dan Arlt, IT Program Manager, of Sloan Valve.
“We are pleased that Sloan Valve has chosen a turnkey AMC Technology software product,” said Anthony X. Uliano, President and CTO of AMC.
Headquartered in Franklin Park, Illinois, the family-owned Sloan Valve Company has been in operation since 1906.
CRM for nonprofits vendor Kintera has announced that on April 2 it received a notice from the Nasdaq Stock Market indicating that it has failed to comply with Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4450(a)(5), which requires a minimum $1.00 per share bid price for the company’s common stock, for 30 consecutive business days.
Under Nasdaq Marketplace Rule 4450(e)(2), the company has an initial period of 180 calendar days to regain compliance with this requirement. If at any time before September 29, the minimum bid price of the company’s common stock closes at $1.00 per share or more for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days, Nasdaq will provide the company with written notification that it has achieved compliance with this rule.
Much more of this and we just might add Starbucks to the pantheon of CRM immortals: The company appears to be taking seriously its Web site asking customers to pitch changes the company should make to revive its struggling U.S. business, according to the Associated Press.
You’ll have to forgive First Coffee, who thought it was simply a PR gimmick when introduced last month. Some of the ideas the AP reports: “Create a punch-card system with a free drink after so many purchases. Give people a free cup of birthday joe or discounts for using their own mugs. Let customers forgo long lines by ordering their usual with the swipe of a card when they walk in the door.”
First Coffee’s favorite is establishing corporate accounts so employers can offer Starbucks as a perk.
“Most brands do not put out a welcome mat for feedback,” Pete Blackshaw, executive vice president of strategic services for the market research firm Nielsen Online told the AP. “Generally feedback is viewed as a cost of doing business rather than an opportunity. Starbucks is saying this is an opportunity.”
Part corporate blog, the AP says, “MyStarbucksIdea also has the feel of an online social network. Though users can’t link up over e-mail or post profiles of themselves, the comments they post often read like friendly conversations — with people complimenting one another on their ideas or elaborating when comments about their posts make them feel misunderstood.”
The site is powered by Salesforce.com, which also handles a similar venture, IdeaStorm.com, for Dell, in far more dire straits as far as customer service goes.
The AP said other ideas which have “caught Starbucks’ attention: offering coffee classes, giving drip coffee drinkers a quicker way to buy their fix, automating orders of customized drinks to speed up service and making seating more comfortable.”
“The ultimate form of dignity to the consumer is to ask for their opinion,” Blackshaw said.
Well, here’s First Coffee’s idea: have an Express Line just for us drip coffee drinkers who don’t want to wait behind a gaggle of seven high school girls all ordering different permutations of Triple Grande Zebra Caramel Mocha Espresso Half Caffuccinnos or whatever just to get a cup of coffee.
EnterpriseDB, an enterprise open source database vendor, and Compiere, an open source business products vendor, have announced that Compiere will offer EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus Advanced Server as a database option for its open source enterprise resource planning product.
The server is an enterprise-class relational database management system that runs applications written for Oracle databases with little or no modification
. It’s built on PostgreSQL, an open source database, and enables Compiere to “offer its customers a product having the same functionality, performance, and security as Compiere’s Oracle-based offering at a price that is significantly lower,” Compiere officials say.
Previously, Compiere ran only on Oracle.
EnterpriseDB and Compiere also announced that a joint partner, Savoir-faire Linux, has deployed Postgres Plus Advanced Server with Compiere at Enzyme Testing Labs, a mobile and video game testing company headquartered in Quebec.
“As a result of our partnership, customers gain the benefits of best-of-breed open source technology across their ERP and CRM applications and database infrastructure,” said Andy Astor, chief executive officer, EnterpriseDB.
Compiere officials claim over 1.3 million software downloads for its open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) automation products.
TGO Consulting has announced that it is the first Canadian company to receive the Performance Management specialization designation from Microsoft, a sub-set of the Microsoft Information Worker Competency.
By achieving this Specialization, Microsoft technology partners demonstrate that they can implement and support Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 for customers.
Microsoft Office Performance Point Server 2007 is an end-to-end business intelligence and performance management product allowing organizations of all sizes to monitor, analyze, and plan (budget/forecast) their business.
“TGO Consulting has been doing great work with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP products in the not-for-profit and distribution industries,” said Ryan Dochuk, Product Manager, Business Intelligence, Microsoft Canada.
Soffront announced today that Technology Marketing Corporation (TMC)’s Customer Interaction Solutions magazine has named Soffront CRM as a recipient of a 2008 CRM Excellence Award. Customer Interaction Solutions has been the premier publication in the CRM, and call center industries since 1982.
“We are pleased to receive this prestigious award for the third year in a row,” said Manu Das, Soffront president and founder. “As the leader of mid-market CRM software, we offer a comprehensive product that helps our customers throughout their entire organization--improving productivity, enhancing customer satisfaction, and increasing profitability. When compared with other mid-market CRM products, we continue to lead the competition in configuration, price, and functionality.”
A CRM pioneer since 1992, Soffront offers a complete CRM product that spans the enterprise with integrated CRM capabilities. Soffront CRM helps mid-sized companies or departments of larger companies be more competitive by better facilitating information with customers, employees, partners, and suppliers. Soffront offers a variety of implementation options including on-demand, on-site, host-to-purchase, and concurrent or named seats.
“Soffront has demonstrated to the editors of Customer Interaction Solutions that their products and services have substantially improved the processes of their clients’ businesses by streamlining and facilitating the flow of information needed for companies to retain their most precious asset...their customers,” said Nadji Tehrani, founder and chairman of TMC, publishers of Customer Interaction Solutions.
The Ninth Annual CRM Excellence Award winners have been chosen on the basis of their product or service’s ability to help extend and expand the customer relationship to become all encompassing, covering the entire enterprise and the entire lifetime of the customer. The CRM Excellence Award is based on hard data: facts and numbers demonstrating the improvements that the winner’s product has made in a client’s business.
The CRM Excellence Award winners for 2008 can be found in the May and June issues of Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.