By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane's magnificent A Love Supreme. First Coffee is quite superficial and ignorant about jazz, but even I can tell how good this album is.
Ryma Technology Solutions, an implementer of product management technology and best practices, and Satuit Technologies, a vendor of client relationship management (CRM) for the professional investment market, announced the release of a software interface joining CRM with product management.
During the product marketing and planning activities of product management, this interface lets users coordinate and synchronize information from client relationships.
"We are happy about the Satuit relationship. The professional investment market is key to our success, and Satuit understands those market needs," said René Bellei, president and CEO at Ryma.
"Prospects and clients are constantly communicating their desires to your sales and service teams. It only makes sense to allow the valuable information collected by those front office teams to translate directly into the product management suite," said Njal Larson, Satuit's SVP Product Manager.
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StrongMail Systems, a vendor of on-premise products for marketing and transactional e-mail, has announced that it is has expanded its channel program with four value-added reseller (VAR) partners. New IBM Premier Business Partners include Direct Systems Support, PCPC Direct and Yorel Integrated Solutions, while CRM VAR and system integrator Lexnet Consulting Group has also signed an agreement to resell StrongMail's e-mail marketing platform.
These latest IBM reseller partnerships are seen by company officials as "strengthening" StrongMail's reach in regional markets. Based in Southern California, DSS is an IBM Premier Business Partner of more than ten years. As part of the partnership, DSS is launching an IBM Mobile Data Center that uses StrongMail's e-mail marketing technology.
An IBM Premier Business Partner based in Houston, PCPC Direct sells products and service to Fortune 1000 companies headquartered in the US and Europe and SMBs located throughout Texas. Founded in 1993 and based in Charlotte, Yorel sells customized information technology products "that focus on business problems first," Yorel officials say.
Lexnet Consulting Group is a system integrator and reseller of CRM business products based in San Francisco, with an additional office in Southern California. "We've seen a lot of demand from our CRM customers for an e-mail marketing product we can integrate with their internal systems," said Steve Chipman, CEO of Lexnet Consulting Group.
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Noetica, which sells customer interaction management (CIM) software, announced that HCL BPO Services of Northern Ireland has expanded its use of the Noetica Synthesys software framework for the contact center.
HCL has implemented an additional 50 licenses for Noetica's technology, including the Script-Aware Predictive Dialler, at its Armagh contact center. The company reported an increase in outbound business, prompting an expansion of the contact center and bringing the total number of inbound and outbound agents using Noetica's technology to 346.
HCL has used the Noetica Synthesys software framework for three years in Armagh. Center Head at HCL BPO Services, Pat McIlveen, says Noetica Synthesys software's Business Process Management engine "can be amended in real-time and administered by non-technical staff."
The BPM engine lets HCL centrally create and release client campaigns to agents. The framework's unified front end integrates all of HCL's back-office applications into a single desktop interface for agents to use while handling calls.
Danny Singer, Managing Director at Noetica, said using Noetica's predictive dialer for outbound calls "minimizes" the risk of silent calls "typically associated with predictive dialers." McIlveen says the dialer helps "ensure we stay compliant with regulation."
In the near future, HCL plans to upgrade all 346 agent seats in Armagh to the latest version of the Synthesys software framework, version 3.2. The new version's do-not-call functionality uses data provided by clients and associations, including the Telephone Preference Service, to cleanse outbound lists.
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Aptilon Corporation, a vendor of physician access through its alternative sales and marketing channel, and Skura Corporation, which sells closed-loop marketing (CLM), announced that they have joined forces to offer biopharmaceutical sales organizations a streamlined approach to creating the "Sales Force of the Future."
The deal offers biopharm companies "the ability to integrate Skura's technology- enabled, in-office sales calls with Aptilon's AxcelRx Live and self-directed internet-based channel," officials of both companies say, adding that it also lets sales reps in the field who use Tablet PCs to "engage physicians effectively live online" and "showcase self-directed assets as a way to extend the multi-channel education process through AxcelRx."
And if you know what a "self-directed asset" is, you're ahead of this humble scribe.
The companies call the combined product "Designer Plus," which they describe as a content authoring tool with the ability to publish multimedia content for PCs, the Web and AxcelRx Live channels. And the joint adoption of an open standards approach to multi-channel promotion is intended to help marketers avoid proprietary systems.
In addition, content viewed by or presented to health care professionals can be tracked to allow for real-time promotional ROI measurement across all touch points.
Mark Benthin, COO of Aptilon, called partnering with a Closed-Loop Marketing vendor "the logical next step in our growth, expanding the number of representatives using our tools and increasing the number of online interactions with physicians."
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For those into dateology, today's a good day for you -- it's the 60th anniversary of the proclamation of the state of Israel in Tel Aviv, the 204th anniversary of the launch of the Lewis & Clark expedition, the 212th anniversary of Edward Jenner successfully inoculating someone against smallpox and the 401st anniversary of the first English settlement in the New World at Jamestown, Virginia.
Jenner, just a country doctor, developed a vaccine from cowpox — he had noticed that milkmaids in his area rarely caught smallpox and figured correctly that they acquired immunity from exposure to cowpox.
It was the first safe vaccine ever developed, according to The Writer's Almanac
, and it was the first time anyone had successfully prevented the infection of any contagious disease. By 1840, TWA says, after Jenner self-published his findings at his own expense, the British government provided the first free medical service in its history — all infants were given smallpox vaccinations.
Anybody seeking to understand Britain's domination of the rest of the 19th century and early 20th, bear in mind that seemingly unrelated things — like nobody dying of smallpox while Germans, French and Russians were — add up.
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There's a new book for call center leaders out now, titled Call Center Leadership: Mastering the Big 5, written by call center veterans Tom Calvert and Dawn Willging.
"We wrote these books for the supervisors, managers, and site directors of the nearly 200,000 call centers worldwide," says Calvert. "Mastering the big 5 goes beyond books written on the subject of customer relationship management (CRM) to concentrate on the role that each of these leadership positions play in a call center operation."
Calvert says "strong leadership and a simple, yet dynamic, system of success" can "transform teams and call centers into an energizing asset that engages customers, increases sales, and lifts quality performance, all while reducing absenteeism and attrition."
One book is specifically designed for call center supervisors and retails for $17.99, and the second book includes the supervisor book plus two additional sections specifically for managers and site directors, and retails for $27.99. Both books are available at www.mtb5.com
. Corporate discounts are automatic for orders of 50 or more.