By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Ignace Paderewski’s brilliant Symphony in B Minor, Polonia.
Richardson, Texas-based Lucidity Consulting Group, an Oracle Certified Advantage Partner and integrator of Oracle applications, has announced it has named Rich Woll as Principal for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practice.
Woll joins Lucidity from his role as Executive Vice President at eVerge Group, where he led the company’s CRM and Business Intelligence practice areas. The CRM practice there is an independent Siebel consultancy.
Prior to eVerge Group, he led consulting operations for Siebel Systems, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories and Scopus Technologies.
“Rich will be a tremendous asset to Lucidity,” said Bret Hatfield, Managing Partner of Lucidity, calling Woll “widely respected as an executive with solid CRM credentials.”
Computer Generated Solutions has announced the Rapid Project Methodology for BlueCherry Enterprise suite, what CGC officials describe as the company’s “first accelerated implementation offering.”
By pre-configuring much of the industry-specific functionality within the product, BlueCherry RPM is designed to “help customers reduce implementation time,” CGS officials say.
When apparel leaders need to implement an enterprise software product, CGS officials say, a “rapid implementation lets fashion, apparel, footwear and accessories companies track and manage production workflows” while staying in touch with supply chains and trading partners.
BlueCherry RPM combines industry-specific content with built-in business best practices and BlueCherry’s implementation methodology, and can preconfigure business processes required by apparel-specific industries.
Paul Magel, Senior Vice President, Application Solutions, said that by “simplifying the software implementation process,” CGS has allowed customers to “achieve business results and ROI even faster.”
Total Commerce Management has announced the launch of Intoscape, described by TCM officials as an “integrated e-commerce platform.”
The product has been constructed as an integrated suite of component applications “combining best practices from multiple disciplines,” and putting them together in a single environment, TCM officials say.
It addresses business functions needed by e-commerce retailers, including supply chain management, competitor monitoring, automated pricing and content, procurement optimization and data exchange and integration with existing or new ERP environments.
Intoscape can synchronies data on available inventory from multiple distribution supply sources across vertical markets and consolidate information into a single database. This allows distributors with lower cost products but smaller ranges to be compared side-by-side with broad line distributors offering wider choice — but often smaller margins.
The product can also search the public domain of the Internet and gather comparative information from competitors. The software then consolidates the data in to a single database scheme. It can build and present content to any determined point of sale, including the Web site and any direct sales CRM interface used by sales and customer service personnel.
Avalara, a vendor of sales, use and VAT tax automation products for small and mid-sized businesses, has announced that Exact Software is the 75th product provider to join the Avalara Alliance program.
Company officials say the program, for integrated offerings within the transactional (sales, use and value-added tax) tax management application market space, has partners representing e-commerce, retail point-of-sale and customer relationship management (CRM) products in addition to traditional enterprise resource management (ERP) and financial application providers.
Exact Software, along with previously announced program participants such as Epicor, NetSuite and Sage, offer “Powered by AvaTax” products, using Avalara’s Web service-based sales tax product. With Avalara’s recent acquisition of Independent Systems Programming, the company also partners with Syspro, VAI, Datatel, Everest Software, TDCI and Solarsoft to sell sales and use tax calculation and compliance products.
Avalara pitches its sales and use tax management product primarily to what company officials say are “the 85 million small and mid-sized businesses worldwide.” They refer to what they describe as “the silent convergence of pressures including increased interstate commerce, the need for real-time tax calculation and collection during e-business transactions, governmental pressures to increase audits during times of widespread budget shortfalls, and emerging technology advancements now accessible to SMBs” for SMBs’ need for sales and tax management products.
They have a point — there are over 12,500 taxing regions in North America alone, many with constantly changing rates, boundaries, sourcing and taxing requirements.
“Transactional tax calculation and compliance is certain to be automated,” with products designed to “streamline the once manual, error- and risk-prone sales tax compliance process from end to end,” said Scott McFarlane, CEO of Avalara. He added that SMBs expect essential functionality to include calculation, collection, reporting and remitting transactional taxes from their ERP, e-commerce, retail point of sale or CRM vendor.
Bisnode has agreed to acquire 100 percent of the shares in Antwerp-based Arvato services, Bisnode officials have announced.
Arvato services Belgium in the areas of B2B Data and Customer Services. The acquisition is intended to strengthen market position in Belgium for Bisnode, a publisher of digital business information with subsidiaries in 19 European countries.
The firm already has a presence in the B2C Data market in Belgium, through the acquisition of WDM Belgium last year. Through this new acquisition, Bisnode officials say they’re entering the B2B Data market in Belgium, next to its existing company ABC.
Arvato service Belgium, which has approximately 65 employees, will change its name within the next few weeks. The B2B Data and Customer Services activities will stay in Antwerp, and Arvato services Benelux will concentrate its remaining services for Belgium in Venlo (The Netherlands) and remain active through its subsidiary in Zaventem in Belgium.
“We expect to continue growth with Arvato services Belgium, which will become part of our pan-European network,” said Geir Feltstykket, Business Unit Director of CRM and Direct Marketing.
First Coffee’s a big fan of municipal CRM, and applauds the city of Covington, Virginia for being the first in the commonwealth — yes, we Virginians call it a “commonwealth,” not a “state,” just because we’re better than you — to offer the QAlert service to its citizens through its recently redesigned Web site http://www.covington.va.us/
The QAlert Municipal CRM System, is a Web-based tool that lets citizens place non-emergency service requests from anywhere with Internet access, 24 hours a day. Claire Collins, City Manager for the City of Covington and somebody who’s obviously doing her job, says the city “welcomes all comments and input regarding this new service.”
With QAlert, service requests or complaints are entered online by citizens and tracked by city staff. Each entry is assigned a ticket number and routed via e-mail to the department responsible for handling the request. Citizens can be notified by e-mail or telephone each time an action is taken, or just when the service request has been addressed and is closed.
The City of Covington collaborated with http://www.Virginia.gov
to create the Web site design. Virginia.gov has formed a partnership with QScend Technologies, a vendor of Web-based software for municipalities and the developer of the QAlert system.