By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is my Top One Percent playlist. There are 5,700 songs on my iPod, so my ten-year old son and I spent an evening -- quality time, I believe they call it -- putting together a playlist of the 57 best songs. There were some heated debates, but we settled on a pretty good lineup: Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll, Veggie Tales' The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, Elvis Presley's Long Black Limousines, Reckless Kelly's Wiggles & Ritalin, Tom Lehrer's Vatican Rag,and more. It's designed to be "The Playlist Where You Never Have To Skip A Song":
Lithium Technologies, a vendor of on-demand products for enterprise communities, has announced that it has raised $12 million in a Series B equity funding round led by Benchmark Capital.
The funds will be used to "drive business expansion and accelerate development of Lithium's social media offerings for the enterprise," Lithium officials say.
Benchmark joins Emergence Capital and Shasta Ventures, which co-led a $9 million Series A financing round in April 2007.
Peter Fenton, partner, Benchmark Capital, said "we are seeing a radical transformation in the ways organizations interact with customers. While Benchmark evaluated several competitors, Lithium is positioned to reap the benefits of this market opportunity."
Companies across industries, including AT&T, Dell, Sony, Univision, and PayPal, partner with Lithium to power online communities. The company markets its ability "to build communities for its customers through its ability to cater to the 'super-users' and by building the community using online gaming mechanics," company officials say.
Lyle Fong, founder and CEO, Lithium Technologies, said enterprises are now seeing quantifiable top- and bottom-line business benefits from social media technologies. The vendor's flagship product, Lithium InterActive, is a suite of on-demand enterprise social media products, including forums, blogs, and social networking. It can scale to hundreds of millions of page views per month.
Redtail Technology, a vendor of Web-based Client Relationship Management, imaging and e-mail archiving products for the financial services industry, has announced a new partnership and the completion of an integration with Advisor Exchange.
The integration allows client account population from Advisor Exchange to Redtail CRM, company officials say, adding that Redtail CRM users "will now be able to have their client accounts updated on a daily basis, providing advisors with up-to-date client portfolio information."
Brian McLaughlin, CEO/CTO of Redtail, said his firm's users "see the CRM as the most efficient hub, through which all of their client information should flow."
In order to provide wealth management, "financial advisors must have on demand access into their client's entire financial profile," said John Luciano, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, Advisor Exchange, adding that Redtail "understands" this.
According to Redtail officials, this integration was made possible by Your Silver Bullet, a membership organization of over 25 independent technology firms committed to making separate software programs "play well" together. Both Redtail Technology and Advisor Exchange are members of the organization.
Founded in March of 2003, Redtail's clients include independent financial professionals and over 45 independent broker dealers. Redtail sells Web-based Client Relationship Management (CRM), paperless office imaging products, and e-mail archiving and retention services.
Convergys Corporation, a vendor of relationship management products, has announced the appointment of Max Tennant as senior account executive for Convergys' business in Australia and New Zealand.
Tennant will focus on "enhancing support for the telecommunications, financial services, travel and tourism and other vertical sectors through Convergys' outsourcing, consulting, and billing & CRM products.
"Customer service management is high on the agenda for businesses across all industries and maximizing customer lifetime value is a key driver for growth," said Tennant. "Following our recent announcement of the Convergys Multichannel Automation Solutions, a new version of the Convergys Customer Service Management product will roll out in the next few months."
According to Tennant, offshore contact center services will remain the company's key business focus in Australia and New Zealand. "Contact centers will always play a major role in services based organizations. The need will increase as services such as telephone banking and home shopping become further adopted in Australia," he said.
A recent study by Everest Research found that the offshore contact center market was shown to be in "a rapid growth phase," with key delivery regions, such as India and the Philippines, experiencing growth rates as high as 25-60 percent.
Prior to joining Convergys, Tennant was managing director of Acquire Asia Pacific, a consulting firm he founded in 2005 to assist the migration of contact center and back office functions from Australia to the Philippines.
Sand Technology, a vendor of enterprise information management products, has reported results for the nine-month period ended April 30, 2008 with a net income for the
third quarter of fiscal year 2008 of $8,441 on revenues of $1,905,984,
compared with a net loss of $753,440 on revenues of $1,559,407 for the
third quarter of fiscal year 2007.
"The improvement in our net results in comparison to the same period last year reflects the changes we have made to the company to position it for growth in the years ahead," said Arthur Ritchie, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sand, adding that the company is "anticipating increased market interest" in their Sand/DNA products, including the new Sand/DNA for SAP BI offering.
Ritchie pointed to the signing of Procter and Gamble for the Sand/DNA for SAP BI product as recent hopeful signs. "We are optimistic that the continued growth of our global partner ecosystem, along with more aggressive marketing efforts, will help us realize our potential," he said.