CRM and Obama, CRM in the Gulf, LS2 and Microsoft ERP, OSA Elections, Nexendi’s ERP, NetSuite’s Virginity

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM and Obama, CRM in the Gulf, LS2 and Microsoft ERP, OSA Elections, Nexendi’s ERP, NetSuite’s Virginity

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Nick Cave’s Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! Thanks to the Little Green Footballs blog for the heads-up. The video for this is rather eerie, in that Cave these days is a dead ringer for G. Gordon Liddy or a pre-hair transplant Dean Koontz.
Dubai-based LS2, an end-to-end information products provider and a Microsoft Dynamics Gold Partner for ERP Offerings, has announced its partnership with CodeTheatre from Bangalore, under which it will sell the MS Dynamics NAV products in the Gulf region.
CodeTheatre will be their “offshore development arm,” according to LS2 officials, adding that the practice launch has received support from the market, with customers signing up with LS2 to implement Dynamic NAV products “based on this global delivery model.”

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) product helping businesses adapt industry specific functionalities relevant to the local needs of the operation. LS2 has added this business management product to its current portfolio of Microsoft Dynamics products, which include GP, RMS and CRM.

Commenting on the developments, Arvind Agrawal, Managing Director, LS2 Corp, said the “new model in partnership with CodeTheatre” would bring “the best of both worlds to the market.”
The Open Solutions Alliance, a nonprofit, vendor-neutral consortium described by its officials as “dedicated to driving interoperability and adoption of comprehensive open products,” has held its first annual board of director elections.
The OSA, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in February, filled three vacant board positions by electing Deb Woods, vice president of product marketing at Ingres; Josep Mitjà, chief operating officer at Openbravo; and Anthony Gold, vice president and general manager for the Open Source Business at Unisys.  
They join existing board members Michael Harvey, EVP and CMO at Concursive, and Dominic Sartorio, OSA President and Senior Director of Product Management at SpikeSource.
Sartorio said the OSA “will continue to capitalize on its strength of being a diverse, multilateral organization with a shared goal of better interoperability of open source point products and further adoption of open source in the enterprise.”
The board’s initial focus will be setting marketing priorities for the organization, specifically around new-member recruitment and best practices through the OSA’s flagship project, the Common Customer View, or CCV, which works across back-office and front-office applications to show customer interactions.
Prior to her time at Ingres Woods was Vice President of Product Management at Red Hat.
Mitjà was reelected to the board for a second term and was active last year in establishing a European chapter of the OSA. Gold is a 20-year veteran at Unisys where he leads the open source business.
Nexedi, a vendor of open source ERP software, has announced the ERP5 Express Free service, described by company officials as “a completely free and unlimited hosted ERP product designed for small companies.”
ERP5 Express integrates in a single hosted product Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), CRM (Customer Relation Management) and Knowledge Management (KM), company officials say.
The ERP5 Express service is open for subscription to all companies in the world. As part of the beta launch campaign, the first 50 companies to subscribe to ERP5 Express Free will be provided extended online support “during one month.”
Jean-Paul Smets, CEO of Nexedi, said the ERP5 systems “have been already implemented for applications in central banking, aerospace industry and government.”
Yoshinori Okuji, CTO of Nexedi, said ERP5 Wizard technology is at the technical foundation of the ERP5 Express Free Hosting service. “Configuring an ERP is now a question of minutes rather than days or months,” Okuji said, adding that “this includes configuration of accounting plan, users, roles, and base data.”
Smets says Nexedi has “created ERP5 Express in a true open source spirit. It is free to use during an unlimited period of time and for unlimited number of users. User documentation available online is also free.”
Microsoft Gulf is set to launch the new version of Dynamics CRM 4.0 in the Middle East during the first edition of the Dynamics CRM conference scheduled to be held in Dubai on April 23rd at the Emirates Towers.
The event will be attended by “an audience of regional business and technology professionals,” according to Tamer Elhamy, Business Solutions Manager, Microsoft Gulf. The event will feature executive speakers from Microsoft as well as partners who will share best practices on building and deploying industry specific products on Microsoft CRM platform for local clients.

The event is “an excellent opportunity for customers in the region to get an in-depth look at the power and flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” Elhamy said.

Mr. Ghanem Dhaheri, head of IT at the Abu Dhabi Securities Market, said adopting “a state of the art contact center based on Microsoft CRM integrated with interactive intelligence” has increased efficiency in answering investor queries.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM currently has 14,000 customers and 625,000 users globally. CRM 4.0 is available in 25 languages including Arabic.
According to company officials, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign is using RightNow Technologies’ CRM.

The Illinois senator’s campaign is using a RightNow e-mail response system for people with questions about the campaign, said Colin Jones, account executive at RightNow.

The Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle says the e-mail system helps the campaign respond to questions about how to volunteer and where Obama stands on issues, among other things, citing information provided by Jones.

“The system, developed in February 2007, just before Obama officially announced his run for the White House, also allows the campaign to ‘monitor trends in requests, such as location, requesting organizations, outcomes, etc.,’“ the Daily Chronicle reported, citing blogger Bill Ives.

Obama is the only candidate using any sort of CRM technology, according to industry magazine CRMBuyer. “There are other (CRM) products being used by other candidates,” Colin told the Daily Chronicle, but “those candidates have dropped out.”
First Coffee is not implying there’s a connection between candidates using CRM and watching their campaigns crater. First Coffee is saying, however, that Rudy Giuliani sure could’ve tried a lot harder than he did.
NetSuite has announced that Virgin Money Australia, the financial services arm of Virgin Group, has switched from an outsourced product to NetSuite OneWorld.
NetSuite OneWorld provides Virgin Money with “one system to run its business operations more efficiently,” according to NetSuite officials.

Since May 2003, Virgin Money has been, in its own inimitable Bransonesque tones, “fighting to keep the big banks honest with home loans, superannuation and credit cards.”
By early 2007, the company was looking to shake off its outsourced business accounting software and bring the task in-house, Virgin Money officials say, and on a platform that could handle more of Virgin Money’s needs, plus its rapid growth: “The challenge was that if the company chose to manage the previous business accounting software in house, instead of having it outsourced, it would have required extra capital expenses for servers, storage, climate control and security measures.”

NetSuite “can be tailored to suit every role in our company, giving staff the information they need and the access rights we want them to have” said Andy Sampson, Financial Controller at Virgin Money.
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