The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers:
CRM vendor Sedona, which sells primarily to the small and mid-size financial services market, today announced that Mid-Illini Credit Union has selected Sedona's technology and services to implement and deploy its member relationship management system.
Established in 1940 and based in Bloomington, Illinois, Mid-Illini Credit Union is a non-profit, member owned credit union serving over 7,000 members.
Tom Stewart, President of Mid-Illini, said that using an MRM product would help the company "gain a better understanding" of their members' objectives and needs, allowing the company to "provide the right product and service, at the right time, to each of our members."
Sedona's CRM/MRM product, Intarsia, is designed and priced for "the multiple lines of business of small to mid-size banks and credit unions," company officials say.
"The jury may still be out on whether the UK really is heading into a recession, but there is no doubt that the economy is slowing down across EMEA and that spending on IT will be hit,." So says officials of Maximizer Software, referencing a recent AMI-Partners Research study.
One segment that is predicted to grow is Customer Relationship Management (CRM), with AMI-Partners Research estimating that the global CRM market will increase at an average annual rate of 13 percent from 2007 to 2012, to reach $3.7 billion in 2012 -- and that's despite the current financial downturn.
Vivek Thomas, Managing Director, Maximizer Software, believes that CRM is increasingly being seen as a valuable tool not just in helping organizations to win new customers and keeping them satisfied, but also delivering on business goals when times are tough.
"Even during boom times, CRM should be at the heart of an organization's business development and growth strategy, and is vital in an uncertain economy," says Thomas. "Gaining new customers is imperative but must not result in neglect of the existing business base. CRM's ability to focus on best practice and optimize customer relationship processes is invaluable."
CDC Corporation, a CRM vendor and new media company, has announced its intent to implement a new 10b5-1 trading plan to repurchase additional CDC shares after the company's trading window opens.
Additionally, China.com, a majority-owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has recommended that its minority shareholders approve a plan to acquire up to $10 million of CDC shares. The shareholder vote is expected to take place on Tuesday, May 27.
Also during 2008, China.com has repurchased approximately 19.6 million of its own shares, which trade on the Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Shares of CDC Corporation that are purchased by its subsidiaries are not included as part of the company's authorized repurchase program.
Since January 1 2008, CDC Corporation management has purchased a net amount of approximately 319,112 shares of the company.
"As we have said before, we believe our shares are undervalued by the investment community," said Peter Yip, CEO of CDC Corporation.
Research published in London has found that the analytics sector, "originally hyped to provide complete transparency, measurability and accountability for online business is failing to deliver," say study officials.
In a joint study of over 700 UK businesses by E-consultancy and Lynchpin, results have shown that over 80 percent of businesses do not tie online analytics to business strategy. 55 percent say they tie in CRM / customer profiling information with Web analytics.
Analytics is a multi-million pound industry with the price tag for analytics software in a large corporation starting at £50,000. As the free tools market place hots up with Yahoo!'s recent acquisition of IndexTools in response to the launch of Google Analytics, this report could be taken as a wake up call for the analytics industry.
Andrew Hood, managing director of Lynchpin, charged that "analytics' reputation is in tatters. Millions have been invested by large corporations around the world in analytics software that does not give business the answers it promised."
Saying there is "a massive disconnect" between the analytics market and what business needs," Hood challenged the analytics sector to "address this issue" and "provide the business consultancy and online strategy needed."
The report, produced in partnership by E-consultancy and Lynchpin, is billed by its authors as "the first study into the UK analytics sector," and will be produced annually. It is intended that this will benchmark the development of the embryonic analytics sector "which did not exist four years ago," they say.
82 percent of companies have not have a finalized internal strategy that ties data collection and analysis to business objectives, the study found, adding that "56 percent say they are 'working on this', while a further 22 percent say that they don't have such a strategy."
Only 25 percent say their Web analytics 'definitely' provide actionable insights, and fully 58 percent say that "half or less" of their Web analytics data is useful for driving decision-making.
The real headscratcher is how much money's going out the door on this non-ROI stuff: "Spending on technology accounts for 45 percent of company spending on Web analytics compared to 18 percent for consulting and services and a further 36 percent on internal staff," the study found.
Of course, 66 percent use the free Google Analytics tool, making it the most widely used Web analytics tool.
Tealium, a vendor of Web analytics consulting, has announced the availability of WebToCRM, a product designed to integrate Web behavior data into CRM platforms.
WebToCRM provides online marketers with a tool to capture their online marketing information such as campaign names, keywords, banners, messages, and others into their CRM platform. It's designed to work independently of such analytics tools such as Google Analytics, IndexTools, Omniture, Coremetrics, WebTrends and others.
It can integrate this information into CRM platforms, company officials say, including Salesforce CRM, SugarCRM, NetSuite or internal databases, for "a real-time tool that can integrate marketing campaign parameters from any Web analytics to any CRM upon Web lead capture."
Ali Behnam, co-founder of Tealium, says "once an expensive proposition only available to companies with deep IT investments, WebToCRM provides a real-time integration that is completely independent of Web analytics or CRM platforms."
The product is available in three different editions. The Free edition lets companies integrate their online marketing parameters into CRM products. The Plus edition, priced at $2,500, lets customers integrate their online campaign metrics and Web behavior data points such as engagement metrics into their CRM or customer databases, which can in turn be used for lead scoring.
A Custom Edition lets clients choose additional data points specific to their business needs.
WebToCRM is available immediately. Visitors can configure and download the Free edition of WebToCRM from the Tealium web site at the WebToCRM Page