The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Hayes Carll's album Trouble In Mind:
The Sales Lead Management Association, a trade association for marketing and sales people, has adopted two online training and certification programs from the Business Marketing Institute.
The training is to "help train and certify its members in the essential principles, skills and practices of effective lead generation," SLMA officials say, "as well as ongoing lead development in business-to-business markets, for companies utilizing major on-demand CRM systems, such as those provided by Oracle (Siebel), SAP, Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and others."
These training and certification programs include the BMI CRM Field Marketing system and the BMI Marketing Skills Assessment/Skill-Building/Certification system.
The BMI CRM-FM is an online training and certification system for those using on-demand CRM systems provided by major CRM vendors. It focuses on "developing the skills required to re-engineer company marketing programs to integrate them more effectively with on-demand CRM systems," program officials say.
The BMI Marketing Skills Assessment/Skill-Building/Certification system to help marketing and product managers master marketing execution.
Tripology, an online travel lead generation vendor, has announced a partnership to provide travel leads for Travel Science's OpenTravel CRM clients. OpenTravel CRM is an online free customer relationship management, marketing and back-office product for travel agents.
Joseph Mazzarella, president and CEO of Travel Sciences, cited "the depth and breadth of Tripology's reach" in explaining the move, saying his company wants to "expand its portfolio of products."
Once OpenTravel CRM agents receive the leads, the OTC product will help with building and managing customer relationships, and "enabling more sales through effective marketing tools" said Brett Krasnove, VP Product Development for Tripology.
Soffront Software has announced that Mediware Information System has selected Soffront CRM to "consolidate and manage data."
Mediware sells blood and medication management software systems to hospitals, clinics, correctional institutions, and blood centers. Mediware officials say Soffront CRM is "the main component" of its ClosedLoop Customer Care program.
"We chose Soffront CRM because of its versatility of the product and its robust customer facing features," said Gary Karaszewski, Director of Customer Service, adding that Soffront had a tool to consolidate customer information into a single application to "support Mediware's ClosedLoop Customer Care Program to improve customer satisfaction."
Data includes marketplace intelligence, customer complaint logging/tracking, contracts management, support agreements, and prospect management are part of the product.
CDC Software has announced today that Evangelical Christian Credit Union has implemented the Pivotal CRM for Financial Services.
"Our success is dependent upon our ability to strengthen and retain relationships with our existing customers," says Alan Weisenberger, ECCU's vice president of technology services, adding that the Pivotal CRM "helps us understand important factors like share-of-wallet and network relationships."
ECCU is a banking resource for churches, Christian schools and other evangelical ministries throughout the U.S. Although ECCU primarily serves organizations rather than individuals, many of its individual members are also part of one or more of these organizations, and many of the organizations have ties to each other.
ECCU tasked the Pivotal CRM product with supporting the commercial orientation of the credit union and managing the complex member relationships "without significant customization," Weisenberger said: "The out-of-the-box functionality for commercial banking significantly reduced the need for customization."
The product has helped improve collaboration and communication in and among its front-line sales force, as well as a variety of sales support users, ECCU officials say, "making it easy for any user to go into the system and see the status of a transaction… [without] e-mailing an in-house support person and waiting for a response, which might not arrive until the next morning."
SplendidCRM Software, a vendor of Microsoft-centric Customer Relationship Management products for open-source use, has announced the launch of Version 2.1 of its flagship platform SplendidCRM.
The new Silverlight graphs provide SplendidCRM developers with the ability to create and customize graphs. Extended AJAX support provides the CRM user with what SplendidCRM officials characterize as "a more natural experience."
"Integration of the latest Microsoft technologies into SplendidCRM," said Paul Rony, President of SplendidCRM, is a result of "our decision to standardize on the Microsoft Report Definition Language." He explained that this "allowed us to create an Invoice using Microsoft's Report Designer and import it into SplendidCRM. The end result is the ability to generate PDF invoices at the click of a button."
In addition to the technology enhancements, the SplendidCRM query system has improved its ability to focus on retrieving active fields, company officials say: "This optimization increases the performance of SplendidCRM when managing tables with more than 100,000 records."
Credit Card management and processing using the .netCHARGE component (licensed separately) allows SplendidCRM to become a primary order-management system.
PayPal Instant Payment Notification is now supported, allowing sales to be tracked by the CRM.
Oh, and if you speak English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Greek, Finnish, Hindi, Croatian, Korean, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese, you're in luck, as you can get it in your language.
Istanbul resident First Coffee notes sternly that Turkish is yet to be supported.
ReachForce, a vendor of OnDemand software and data services for targeted lead generation, has announced surpassing of the 200 customer mark.
With the addition of 31 new customers in the first quarter of 2008, ReachForce has reached "a new high," company officials say, when another 13 current customers renewed their commitment to ReachForce. New customers include GBH Communications, Quova, Innography, and Ping Identity.
Suaad Sait, CEO, ReachForce, said the company sells real-time predictive analytics software "to target the right companies and data services to find the right role-based contacts within those companies."
ReachForce is targeting its marketing towards what company officials call "the age-old data problems in lead generation that are responsible for over 90 percent of waste in business-to-business marketing."
ReachForce currently offers products for lead generation, including ReachForce Insight, a Software-as-a-Service CRM real-time predictive analytics application which "analyzes customer win data and sales pipeline flow to provide a marketing-centric view of market segments and automatically recommends ones that are ripe for lead generation campaigns."
Blackbaud's $46 million acquisition of Kintera, announced May 29th, continues Blackbaud's efforts to eliminate competition and monopolize the nonprofit software market. The purchase, which is likely to be good for both Blackbaud and Kintera shareholders, is likely to lead to diminished software options for the nonprofit community.
Douglas Schoenberg, CEO of SofterWare (parent company of DonorPerfect Fundraising Software
) notes "It seems unlikely that Blackbaud will be interested in much of Kintera's constituent management technology, which mostly overlaps with products they already have. It's more likely that Blackbaud will follow its past methods of fairly quickly discontinuing most of Kintera's current products and aggressively trying to convert Kintera clients to Blackbaud offerings." Schoenberg also observed, "These kinds of hardball tactics do cause many nonprofits to look for new software instead of the "upgrade" path being forced upon them. However, Blackbaud's huge profit margins mean they can make the acquisition pay off for the shareholders, even if they lose a significant number of Kintera clients."
Jon Biedermann, Vice President of SofterWare, Inc., notes "Kintera has struggled to develop a comprehensive Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) System to complement their sponsored event system. So it would seem to make sense for Blackbaud to try integrating Kintera's fundraising event tool with their existing product, Raiser's Edge. However, integrating two separate products that were not designed to work with each other is always challenging, time consuming, and inevitably ends up sacrificing functionality or ease of use or both."
Mr. Biedermann also noted, "The good news for nonprofits seeking a fully integrated fundraising and sponsored event/social networking product is that DonorPerfect recently released an alternative social network fundraising product at the AFP International Conference in San Diego. Our DonorPages
was designed from the ground up to integrate with our industry leading DonorPerfect and DonorPerfect Online fundraising systems. DonorPages enables a nonprofit's supporters to easily create individualized Web pages under their control, invite everyone they know to visit via e-mail or social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook. Page visitors can learn about their mission and then donate online, or take other actions such as registering for an event, signing a petition, and more. "
Mr. Biedermann further observes, "Nonprofits are looking for full-featured products that are easy to use, well supported, and do not come with the enormous fees that eat into needed funds for their mission. That's why we're in business, and why we remain committed to being an independent provider of technology for nonprofits of all sizes."
About SofterWare, Inc.
SofterWare, Inc., based in Horsham, Pennsylvania is a leading provider of software to nonprofit organizations, with over 14,000 clients throughout the world. In addition to the company's DonorPerfect fundraising software, SofterWare also offers software for managing childcare centers, public and private schools, and camps and conference centers. For more information on SofterWare, please visit www.softerware.com
. For more information on DonorPerfect Fundraising Software, please visit www.donorperfect.com
Apatar, Inc., the leading provider of open source software tools for the data integration market, today announced a technology and marketing alliance with ColourBlack, Ltd., a Microsoft Partner that provides enterprise products for data migration, integration, and enhancement for unstructured data sources. Under the alliance, the companies will support unstructured and semi-structured data from Microsoft SharePoint and other electronic document management systems as both sources and targets of data integration initiatives, all without custom coding. With this new agreement, Apatar and ColourBlack enable both developers and business users not only to link information between SharePoint Server, various document repositories, and third-party applications or databases, but also conduct searches and perform MS Office document type conversion and text restructuring.
Enriching corporate data flow with unstructured information from knowledge management systems
According to the Gartner Group, as much as 80 percent of actual or potentially mission-critical enterprise information takes the form of unstructured or semi-structured data. The Apatar–ColourBlack partnership will enable corporate users, DBAs, and developers to integrate, migrate, and consolidate data between knowledge management systems (such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Documentum, Meridio, and FileNet) with other enterprise information stored in corporate applications (CRM/ERP systems), databases, files, and top Web 2.0 destinations.
Beyond that, Apatar users will now be able to conduct searches, detect duplicated or similar documents in user file systems, generate document summaries, extract keywords, and perform content-based categorization. As a result, documents and digital content (including e-mails, PDF and text files, Excel spreadsheets, and diagrams) may be extracted from various knowledge repositories and included in the company's existing information flow, creating a unified company perspective.
"By helping Apatar to tap into such sources of unstructured data as electronic document and knowledge management systems, we hope to empower corporate users and developers to analyze and extract the most of the value from these information sources," said Andrew Denby, Director of ColourBlack, Ltd. "Over time, we hope to work with the Apatar Community to offer a range of language-specific analytical tools, and cover such functionality as entity/keyword extraction, automatic document summary generation, document categorization, and document type conversion."
"The corporate sector has treated structured and unstructured data sources as completely separate for a very long time," said Renat Khasanshyn, founder and CEO of Apatar, Inc. "By partnering with ColourBlack and providing both-way data synchronization between document management systems and structured corporate applications and databases, we not only strive to tie them all together, but we hope to give business users the possibility to unify and enrich their intellectual assets and ensure better decision making."
Apatar Open Source Data Integration features and benefits:
- No coding. Visual job designer and mapping enable non-developers to design and perform transformations, shortening implementation time.
- Distributed under an open source model, reducing integration and maintenance costs
- Connectivity to SalesForce.com, SugarCRM, MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, GoldMine, DB2, Sybase, PostgreSQL, dBase, EnterpriseDB, vTiger, InnoDB, Compiere ERP, .CSV, XML, RSS, ATOM, HTTP queries, POP3, LDAP, FTP, WebDav, Autodesk Buzzsaw, any JDBC data sources, Amazon S3, Flickr, StrikeIron and CDYNE Web services, and more
- Job scheduler and synchronization automate the data integration process.
- Improves data quality with a variety of verification, filtration, and validation features
- Users have the ability to create, share, and re-use pre-built data transformations and publish data integration output as a custom RSS feed to ApatarForge, the online Apatar community.
- Platform-independent, runs from Windows and Linux