By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Motown's best album -- Marvin Gaye's What's Going On:
Bungee Labs has announced that companies can now use Bungee Connect platform-as-a-service to extend the user experience around SugarCRM implementations, as well as integrate with other on-premise and on-demand SaaS applications and CRMs, including those from NetSuite, Oracle and Salesforce.
Web applications and user experience enhancements built with Bungee Connect can "improve productivity and adoption without traditional software development, licensing and delivery approaches," Bungee officials say. Bungee Connect sample reference applications and source code for extending SugarCRM, NetSuite, Oracle CRM and Salesforce are available at www.bungeeconnect.com/crm
"Productivity is diminished by gaps in functionality, missing interconnectivity and weak user experiences as employees work within existing CRM implementations and between multiple applications," said Lyle Ball, vice president of marketing, Bungee Labs. "The Bungee Connect platform can be used to spackle these cracks by creating Web apps without investments in development projects, software licenses and infrastructure."
Companies use Bungee Connect to build Web-based applications with desktop-like user experiences, then deploy them on the Bungee Grid multi-tenant grid infrastructure or on Bungee Application Servers running on self-managed infrastructure.
With Bungee Connect federated hosting, SugarCRM and Oracle CRM users "can comply with infrastructure operating requirements by hosting Bungee-powered applications in the same manner they host SugarCRM or Oracle CRM," Bungee officials say.
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SAP AG has announced that Bayer MaterialScience, a division of Bayer AG and a producer of plastics, has selected the latest version of the SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) application, SAP CRM 2007.
The "simplicity of the user interface" and general value of an integrated business process platform were factors that led to the selection, Bayer MaterialScience officials say. The announcement was made at Sapphire 2008, SAP's customer conference in Berlin.
As part of an initiative to "modernize its technology landscape," Bayer officials say, Bayer MaterialScience is currently replacing outdated legacy systems with standardized software. The company will integrate the SAP CRM application into its existing SAP Business Suite family of business applications.
Currently, the software is being piloted in a three-month project, and will be rolled out to employees worldwide.
Kurt De Ruwe, CIO, Bayer MaterialScience, said after a roll out to approximately 2,500 users throughout the company "800 will access SAP CRM directly from their mobile devices."
The latest version of SAP CRM was launched in December 2007. Approximately 250 customers are currently using it, SAP officials say.
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BigMachines, a vendor of on-demand sales configuration and proposal software, has announced that it has successfully completed the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) Type II audit, which assesses the operational effectiveness of internal controls within service organizations.
SAS 70 is a widely-recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which sets standards for auditors to use in order to fairly and objectively assess the internal controls of service organizations.
BigMachines recently completed its SAS 70 Type II audit, which assessed the suitability of design and operational effectiveness of the company's controls that had been placed in operation for the stated period. The vendor apparently demonstrated that its control objectives were well-designed and that the company has the right processes in place to meet those control objectives.
Mei-lin Cheng, VP of Customer Services at BigMachines, said completing the SAS 70 Type II audit "provides further validation and assurance to our customers."
"Being a public company with an expanding customer base, it's very important that the companies we work with have safeguards in place to protect the security, privacy and sensitivity of our customer data," said Rick Parkinson, Chief Information Officer, ShoreTel.
BigMachines sells products for sales for direct and indirect channels. Its Lean Front-End suite includes sales configuration, guided selling, pricing, quoting, proposal generation, contract and order management capabilities. The product automates sales processes from opportunity to order and integrates with CRM and ERP systems.
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VinStickers, a vendor of automotive CRM, ILM, and inventory control services, has sold its on-the-lot services to CDM Dealer Services, a Kelley Blue Book company.
VinStickers selected CDM, an automotive data collection and online marketing service, because of "their reputation for excellence," said Doug Kinney, CEO of VinStickers, LLC, adding "we're confident CDM will provide that."
VinStickers and CDM jointly notified the dealer body affected by the sale in mid-April. The two companies worked in tandem throughout the remainder of the transition period, and on May 9 CDM completed the transition of services.
Mike Romano, chief operating officer for CDM and senior vice president of dealer sales and strategy for Kelley Blue Book, in describing the reasons for the deal, said simply "we are committed to providing class-leading services that help dealers sell more cars online, faster."
VinStickers entered the automotive market several years ago as an on-the- lot service company, but early in 2007 its primary focus shifted to Internet software development. Doing business as VinSolutions.com, the company's focus is now centered on its Internet-based MotoSnap CRM, ILM and inventory control products.
CDMdata sells proprietary hardware and software products for inspection, valuation, distribution, marketing and Internet sales processes. CDM's flagship product is the DigitalLot, which provides automotive dealers with the hardware and software they need to manage the collection and distribution of automotive information over the Internet.
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Parallels and Smart Online have announced that Solar VTG, a Parallels partner, will add the Onebiz suite of SaaS applications to its product platform.
The small business software tools from Smart Online's Onebiz application "aligned with our enterprise class hosting products" let Solar VTG offer better turnkey business management products, said Ross Brouse, CEO of Solar VTG.
Onebiz applications, powered by Smart Online and offered through the Parallels Automation systems, are designed for the small business end user and include CRM, as well as such apps as Accounting, Human Resources and Sales Force Automation.
The Onebiz suite of SaaS applications is "a natural fit" for hosting providers looking for "additional revenue or added customer value" without having to purchase or develop it themselves, said David Colburn, CEO, Smart Online.
Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels encouraged "all hosting providers to follow Solar VTG's lead and explore the benefits of SaaS."