By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the “Texas” playlist on the iPod. Lots of great stuff — Slobberbone, Todd Snider and Robert Earl Keen, Hayes Carll and Adam Carroll, Reckless Kelly and Charlie Robison, Lyle Lovett and Nancy Griffith, Jerry Jeff Walker and Willie Nelson, Steve Earle, Darden Smith and, of course, George Jones.
Appirio has announced Appirio Contact Sync for Salesforce and Google Apps, described by Appirio officials as “a tool to select and sync contacts between Google Apps and Salesforce address books.”
This, the fifth product offering from Appirio for users of Salesforce for Google Apps, lets users sync contacts from these two products, “bringing together the business context of Salesforce with the ‘add-as-you-e-mail’ convenience of Gmail,” company officials say.
The deal eliminates the need to enter and maintain duplicate data in different systems, and users can access their contacts, no matter which application they’re in. The product is available today on www.appirio.com/products
, Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, and the Google Solutions Marketplace.
The other four Appirio offerings, featured last month during the Salesforce for Google Apps announcement, let Salesforce and Google Apps users synchronize calendars, collaborate on marketing campaigns, find and embed documents, and create and share customized CRM dashboards.
Using the Force.com platform and Google’s open APIs, Appirio officials say, the company will “enhance the product by adding more valuable features based on user feedback and suggestions.”
According to British industry journal NMA.co.uk
, digital agency Inbox has been appointed as e-CRM partner for Mothercare and Early Learning Center.
The appointment is part of a new strategic initiative for Mothercare, Inbox officials say, adding that Mothercare “aims to establish a comprehensive e-mail program for the ELC business, following its acquisition last year.”
Inbox, part of the Digital Marketing Group, won the account after a pitch against three unnamed agencies.
Inbox will be responsible for the development of a co-branded e-newsletter program targeting parents in the key stages of their children’s development with what Inbox officials say will be “relevant and engaging content.” It will also work on acquisition campaigns and the migration of customers signed up to special offers to other e-mail communications.
The campaign aims to build brand engagement and drive response rates and increase users’ propensity to buy.
StayinFront, a vendor of enterprise-wide CRM applications, has announced that it has signed an agreement with AMAG Pharmaceuticals to deliver its industry-centric CRM product, StayinFront Pharma.
AMAG will deploy StayinFront’s flagship product, StayinFront Pharma 10, for its U.S. field sales representatives. AMAG is a biopharmaceutical company that uses its proprietary nanoparticle technology — you've got one too, right? — for the development and commercialization of therapeutic iron compounds to treat anemia and novel imaging agents to aid in the diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular disease. (Draw deep breath.)
“We are looking forward to a long term relationship with AMAG,” said Ken Arbadji, vice president of Sales, StayinFront.
StayinFront has contracts with other life sciences, consumer goods, financial services, and business-to-business companies, with products implemented in over 20 countries in 12 languages.
Headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, StayinFront has offices in Illinois, the United Kingdom, Ireland, India, Australia, Singapore and — the office First Coffee would volunteer to work out of — New Zealand.
Beijing-based software service provider Digital China BB Corporation recently announced that it will team with CRM Salesforce.com to “provide on-demand SaaS for their corporate clients in the Chinese market,” according to Ma Guang, chairman for Digital China BB.
In the meantime, with the help of its partner, the Beijing company will be able to offer more localized software services such as consultation, training and software implementation service to its customers.
Salesforce.com officials say they plan to take the cooperation as “a chance to tap into the growing Chinese market” and sell customer relationship management (CRM) services to “businesses of all sizes and sectors in the nation.”
Blackbaud, a vendor of software and related services designed specifically for non-profit organizations, has announced that it is acquiring Kintera, a vendor of Software-as-a-Service products to the non-profit and government sectors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Blackbaud will pay an all-cash purchase price of approximately $46 million. Blackbaud expects to finance the deal with cash and borrowings from its credit facility.
Blackbaud's acquisition of Kintera is structured as an all-cash tender offer for all of the shares of Kintera at a price of $1.12 per share. The company is expected to formally launch the tender sometime next week and close on or around July 2.
Kintera’s principal offering is its online Sphere technology platform, which is used by such nonprofit organizations as American Lung Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Lance Armstrong Foundation and Sesame Workshop to manage online fundraising events and in 2007 processed over $400 million in online gifts.
The company also offers wealth profiling and screening services as well as an accounting software product, both similar to offerings of Blackbaud. With approximately 4,000 customers, Kintera reported $44.9 million in total revenue for 2007.
Marc Chardon, Blackbaud’s President and CEO, said the acquisition of Kintera is “expanding Blackbaud’s online offering… and further establishes Blackbaud as a partner for non-profit organizations.”
Chardon said the two compaines’ core capabilities are “complementary, and we expect to continue to offer a full range of products integrated with our suite of CRM products, including The Raiser’s Edge.”
Kintera’s “Friends Asking Friends” team fundraising and advocacy products are “well suited for organizations that use these programs to grow their base of supporters,” Chardon said, adding that Blackbaud’s NetCommunity offering is “suited for enriching the online experience of current donors enhancing the value of data that already exists in the CRM system.”
Kintera will continue to be led by its current President and CEO, Richard LaBarbera, a high tech industry veteran with more than 30 years experience with such vendors as Sybase, Siemens/Nixdorf, Storage Technology and IBM. Kintera operations will continue to be directed from their existing offices in San Diego.
Tim Williams, Blackbaud’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, said the acquisition is attractive from a financial perspective as well: “Subscription revenue was already the fastest growing source of revenue at Blackbaud and it was expected to become larger than license revenue at some point in the second half of 2008.”
With the acquisition of Kintera, Williams said, Blackbaud will “add another significant source of subscription-based revenue from an on-demand service offering.”