The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of those happy albums that gets the mix of traditional British and rock right -- The Crofters' Hold My Beer While I Kiss Your Girlfriend. After that we'll have the most perfect pop album ever recorded by people not named John, Paul, George and Ringo, The Kinks' Something Else:
SAP Public Services, a subsidiary of SAP AG, has announced that Miami-Dade County Public Schools has selected SAP ERP.
The district-wide business transformation project, called BOSS: Business Operating Solutions for Schools, "aims to improve administrative processes and to enable the district to reallocate resources to schools and students," according to school officials.
With this selection, SAP officials say, Miami-Dade becomes the fifth school district in Florida to run SAP products. The announcement was made at the co-located events Sapphire 2008 Orlando, SAP's international customer conference and the America's SAP Users' Group Annual Conference.
As the fourth-largest school district in the United States, M-DCPS has 342,000 students, more than 50,000 employees across 850 work locations, and maintains an annual budget of over $6 billion. The system needed "a current, integrated financial and human resource system in order to improve decision-making and provide data about student academic progress," SAP officials say.
School system officials say the M-DCPS legacy systems were labor intensive, difficult to navigate, costly to maintain and risk-abundant due to their age, growing obsolescence and the diminishing knowledge-base of IT staff able to work with the old code.
Another concern of the school system was to eliminate isolated pockets of information, to improve collaboration among principals, teachers and administrators.
The SAP software will be used to integrate financial, procurement, human resource and payroll business processes, and provide greater employee access to personal information and self-service options for benefits and payroll. Processes like time and attendance recording or the management of travel expenses, formerly paper-based, will be replaced by electronic workflow and approval processes.
In the last nine months, company officials say, fifteen life sciences companies have signed with Verticals onDemand, a vendor of SaaS CRM products for the pharmaceutical industry. Verticals onDemand's latest customer, UK-based ProStrakan Group, selected VBioPharma shortly after establishing their U.S. division earlier this year.
Verticals onDemand's client roster also includes biotechnology companies.
ProStrakan has been recruiting both specialty and managed markets sales representatives to commercialize ProStrakan's products in the U.S. The sales force will promote the company's new oncology supportive care product, currently under FDA review. Verticals onDemand's professional services team is now implementing VBioPharma to the managed markets account team at ProStrakan.
"I already knew the pluses and minuses of most of the major pharma CRM vendors from previous experience," said Paul Bidawid, Vice President of Managed Markets & Supply Chain at ProStrakan. "SaaS is definitely where we're heading."
One industry analyst, Datamonitor, predicted just such a major industry shift in a Pharma CRM report published last year, titled "Decision Matrix: Selecting a CRM Vendor in the Pharmaceutical Industry."
VBioPharma is a CRM product to come pre-validated for PDMA and CFR Part 11 compliance. Built on the Force.com platform from Salesforce.com, VBioPharma physician and account profiling, visual affiliations tracking, call scheduling and route management, call reporting and mobile call reporting with electronic signature capture and full samples management.
Matt Wallach, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Verticals onDemand, said SaaS technology is "much more flexible and cost-effective than client/server systems of ten years ago, making it attractive to pharma and biotech companies." VBioPharma runs in a disconnected mode on smart phones, laptops, and tablet PCs.
"In the not so distant past, companies built their entire organization around their old bricks and mortar systems. Pharma companies today simply cannot invest financial resources in these types of infrastructure," said Bidawid.
Creative Manager Pro, a software program for ad agencies and other creative and design firms, has launched a new brand. "Throughout the next twelve months, Creative Manager Pro's almost 17,000 users from across the globe will upgrade to the new brand, simply called Workamajig," company officials say.
The software, which was established in 2001, helps manage advertising agencies' projects and billings. Creative Manager Pro officials say it was just time to enhance both its product and its design.
Ron Ause, vice president for Workamajig, said the old brand -- Creative Manager Pro -- "did not properly reflect the product and organization. It wasn't very creative at all. Our old brand was too straitlaced and did not properly convey what we are all about."
It was time to "actually look like a brand that was meant for the industry it serves," said Push official Michael Alberici. The new brand was created by Push, the company's agency of record for the past two and a half years..
"Simply stated, Creative Manager Pro was not a brand that looked like it was meant for creative agencies," said Mark Unger, Push's media creative director. "We wanted to create a brand and name that was quirky enough to attract businesses, especially since those businesses appreciate creativity."
Workamajig offers many upgrades as well, especially through its functionality and design, including an avatar which embodies the "spirit" of the software, performs many different tasks within the program as it is used as an interactive guide to help and inform users, Workamajig officials say.
Along with the avatar, all of Workamajig's program navigations and desktops have moved from .net to Flash, while the overall look and feel of the program is now configurable by each user.
Workamajig was established in 2001 with the merger of two consulting and technology firms, A La Carte Systems and Streamline Technologies.
Recommind, a vendor of software systems for enterprises and law firms, has announced that Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a global law firm, has deployed Recommind's MindServer Legal platform for knowledge management.
One reason for the move is to let Orrick's network of over 2,400 lawyers, paralegals and staff locate knowledge and expertise across their 18 offices worldwide. Peter Krakaur, Chief Knowledge Officer, Orrick, said the product results in "a significantly more productive billable hour for our clients."
To date, Orrick has implemented MindServer Legal's Enterprise Search, which connects attorneys and staff with relevant information located in the firm's document management system, contact database, and portal systems, plus myriad other applications and databases. It can also connect with the Practical Law Company database of legal know-how resources.
The firm has also implemented the Matters & Expertise component, which provides a firm-wide view of matters, deals, cases, and experience across a firm by tapping into a variety of information sources, such as CRM applications, portals, internal firm matter and case databases, and other information repositories.