The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. Bowie rarely writes great or bad songs, and so much attention is paid to his wardrobe and offstage recreation that it's commonly overlooked what a good ear the man had for sidemen -- his band here with Mick Ronson, et al, is one of the finest that's ever been assembled, and you can't show me a solo artist, Bob Dylan aside, who's sustained success without crack sidemen. And even Bob himself had top-shelf talent like Mike Bloomfield and Kenny Buttrey for his best work:
Commerce Planet has announced today that its Board of Directors has formed an independent committee to investigate and examine certain audit procedures and transactions of the company from public inception in 2004 through 2007.
As previously announced, the Company issued a non-reliance statement regarding the prior audit firm Jasper's & Hall and engaged Marcum & Kleigman in January 2008.
Tony Roth, CEO of Commerce Planet, said "we are striving to improve transparency. The purpose of the special committee is to review the transactional history of the company's capitalization, compensation and financial reporting from 2004 through 2007, all in an effort to complete public filings."
The company has taken steps to lower operational expenses and expects to continue reducing operational budgets, its officials say. Management anticipates scheduling an investor conference call in the next couple months upon the completion of its public financial filings.
First Coffee is pulling for this company for pretty much one reason: According to recent announcements, they've started working with www.FrankSinatra.com.
Information services vendor Experian has announced that Jayne Robinson has been appointed Principal Marketing Consultant within its Integrated Marketing division.
Robinson's role will see her advising multi-national financial services organizations on large-scale integrated marketing projects, Experian officials say.
Prior to joining Experian, she was Head of Marketing at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank where she was responsible for multi-channel marketing to UK businesses across a range of products.
Robinson has held Marketing Director and Head of Marketing roles at a variety of major financial services organizations, including: Admiral Insurance, Lloyds TSB and AXA.
Company officials say Robinson will work with Experian's portfolio of analysis, data management and CRM propositions.
Eureka Solutions has won a contract with Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, a destination marketing agency for Metropolitan Glasgow.
The deal will see Eureka, a Sage business partner, install Sage CRM software for GCMB's customer relationship management requirements.
The contract was "complex and unusual," Eureka officials say, in that GCMB is not involved in production or manufacturing, where such software is more normally employed.
"There is no doubt that our understanding of GCMB's business processes and our technical expertise within the Sage suite of products were among the deciding factors for Glasgow City Marketing Bureau," said Alistair Livingstone, Managing Director of Eureka.
The new contract arose out of work on replacement of financial systems which Eureka had undertaken for GCMB, which attracts conventions to Glasgow, and had also previously installed Sage systems for the SECC, the country's main conferencing venue.
"CRM is more usually associated with the process of identifying sales leads, logging through sales pipeline management, making the sale and involving the back office in order fulfillment," said Livingstone. "GCMB is more of a middle-tier influencer."
We seem to have quite the unintentional British-Irish theme this afternoon. The next piece of news, datelined "London and Dublin," is that Finantix, a front-office products vendor, has announced that Allied Irish Banks, a banking and financial services group in Ireland, has selected Finantix to support its Wealth Management Program.
The deal follows the implementation of Finantix's "advice-led" sales components in the bank's retail branch network in Ireland. The technology includes functionality for advice-led selling, CRM and lending and wealth management, bank officials say.
AIB operates principally in Ireland, the UK, Poland and US, is committed to a business strategy "focusing on customer relationships," bank officials say.
Steve Lynott, presumably no relation to Irish rock god Phil, Technology Stream Lead, Wealth Management Program, says Finantix's technology will be paired with AIB's "product range and our specialist professional wealth team" for "our high-net worth clients."
AIB signed the deal with Finantix in April 2008. Finantix will install its component-based J2EE technology in AIB's Dublin headquarters and the system will be used nationwide by AIB's wealth relationship managers for such wealth management functionalities as "a holistic client view, portfolio monitoring and enhanced personalized wealth strategy services," company officials say.
The wealth management deal follows the three-month implementation of Finantix's advice-led sales components supporting AIB's retail operations. In this division, Finantix serves 2,500 users in the bank's branch network and its contact center.
Over 40 percent of businesses in the high technology, aerospace and retail sectors across the US and Europe have invested in CRM software, as well as two thirds of telecom operators and over half of financial services, pharmaceuticals and transport, according to a study by DMC Software Solutions -- yes, another British concern. Might as well break out the Guinness and fish 'n' chips right now. Always a good idea in and of itself, actually.
The recent survey highlighted some of the main problems with CRM software, which company officials found "mainly stemmed from choosing the right CRM software, dealing with the right software supplier to help them get the most out of their software and issues with integrating their CRM data with their other software systems."
In fact, 67 percent said "finding time to chose and evaluate their CRM software" was a major issue, 51 percent said "synchronizing data" was a major issue and 43 percent said they were using "less than half" of their CRM systems functionality.
DMC Software Solutions works with Sage CRM business products and Sage integrated accountancy software.
Hey we're out of Britain for this next one -- but in a country which still has Good Queen Bess II on their money, New Zealand, a.k.a. A More Mellow Britain With Nicer Scenery.
Callidus Software has announced that Vodafone New Zealand, a subsidiary of Vodafone Group, has selected the Callidus TrueComp suite of software products to manage sales performance and incentive compensation programs for its 2,000 sales personnel, dealers and agents in New Zealand.
Standardizing on Callidus' TrueComp Manager, TrueInformation, Callidus TrueAnalytics and TrueResolution software modules, the agreement was signed in the first quarter of 2008.
Callidus Software is already being used by mobile operators of Vodafone in other markets, noted Vodafone New Zealand spokesperson Alison Sykora.
TrueComp software's ability to "expedite the alignment of sales with corporate objectives" was cited by VNZ officials as a reason for the deal.
The Callidus Software product is designed to provide audit capabilities and controls for compliance requirements, with new products and compensation changes, as well as the ability to model and forecast "while providing increased flexibility for the implementation of incentives."