By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jim White's (The Story of How I Shouted) Wrong-Eyed Jesus:
If you're interested in an article explaing CRM's "evolution" to CEM, Customer Experience Management, well, then I guess this is your lucky day.
CEM is "the process by which a company strategically manages a customer's entire experience with its product, service or company," the article says, adding that "through CEM initiatives, a company actively listens to its customers through a variety of listening posts, analyzes what they are saying to make more savvy business decisions and monitors the impact of those decisions to improve operational performance and customer loyalty."
How exactly is that different from the garden-variety CRM you've been practicing and we've been writing about for years? Read it and see, I guess.
"Where CRM focuses on structured data that assesses past transactions, CEM goes further to also use unstructured, textual information," the article argues, adding that "with CRM systems for sales automation, telephone and e-mail support and campaign management already in place across the enterprise, companies already capture raw, soft data about customer experiences. CEM enables a company to efficiently use this information, plus new Web 2.0 and other non-CRM sources of insight."
Again, exactly why you can't do this with CRM remains to be seen.
"The secret sauce behind effective CEM is text analytics," the article states. In CRM, of course, it's called simply "analytics."
Many companies have some manual capability for broadly categorizing the products, sales, and support issues that CRM systems capture, the article concedes, saying, "however, they have no real means by which to effectively quantify and analyze this textual information in real time to generate actionable insight."
Well, good CRM does, my friend.
Legends Business Group has announced the completion of its fully integrated marketing services platform.
The core development work and beta testing was completed in conjunction with three billing clearing houses in the country, under the direction of Legends.
The platform was designed to be a multi-service platform that can be modified to suit the specific needs of a customer and their products. The platform encompasses the hardware architecture and software framework to support the integration of marketing with service functions for conversion optimizations and real-time sales.
Using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM), the platform "allows for two-way communication between the company and customer and using the information exchanged for the purposes of better understanding the needs of current and potential customers," company officials say.
"What we've done here is created an automated real-time billing platform for multiple payment types. Our platform checks and accepts threshold customer responses then routes billing through to the appropriate billing house," says Larry Powalisz, CEO and President of Legends.
Company officials say the platform is capable of handling up to 50,000 clients with up to a million customer transactions per month.
Laramie, Wyoming-based Technology Alignment has announced that an agreement with Direct Telecom of Florida to provide the VoIPTelCaster PBX to its partner network has been completed.
Direct Telcom, a distributor of telecommunications products, will distribute VoIPTelCaster. The PBX platform helps those using VoIP communications to reduce communications costs and PBX costs to companies implementing PBX systems as an alternative to proprietary PBX systems.
VoIPTelCaster uses the open SIP protocol, "reducing the licensing requirements of other PBX systems while leaving a choice for telephones up to the company without limiting the selection," according to Technology Alignment officials.
Dianne Ursini, CEO of Technology Alignment, said her company "and Direct Telcom will help penetrate the Florida markets, providing the PBX platform for system installers with the ability to implement high-value enterprise PBX applications."
The fact that VoIPTelCaster is open SIP standards based and doesn't tie customers into any one vendor or technology allows companies to integrate existing PSTN lines with new SIP phones and VoIP products, she added.
India's Proteans Software, a vendor of Outsourced Product Development services, has set up its fourth software development center in Bangalore.
Prashant Singh, COO, Proteans Software Solutions, said to meet their growth needs, "we set up our fourth center, which can take care of the growth needs of the current financial year. We are looking to add over 200 people in India by 2009."
Currently Proteans has four development centers in Bangalore and sales offices in the US, UK and Norway.
Currently the company is engaged with around 35 active customers in the U.S. and Europe. Proteans does a lot of work in the Microsoft ISV space as an OPD provider, and the Microsoft Dynamics CRM space as an OPD and products provider.
In a bid to widen its market coverage in the SME and mid-market manufacturing segments, apps vendor Sage has signed a Partner agreement with Niyuj Enterprise Software Solutions to offer Sage Accpac ERP in the Pune market.
Niyuj has implemented Sage Accpac ERP at Bright Engineering Works, a manufacturing company located in Hadapsar, Pune. Mr. Satish Suttatti of BEW said his is "a relatively small company, and were skeptical about investing in an ERP, as we thought such luxuries were only for larger companies."
Sage India Managing Director Thomas Abraham said Sage is "looking at accelerating our penetration in the Pune market, which is predominantly in the discrete manufacturing domain."
Mr. Avinash Shenoi, Director, Niyuj Enterprise Software Solutions, said Niyuj is "focused on empowering the SME sector in India to compete in a global environment."
QuickArrow, an SaaS Services Automation vendor, has announced that it's extending its support hours to 24 hour coverage, 5 days a week. The company is also enhancing its Client Support Team to "address its growing global client base," company officials say.
QuickArrow's extended support hours are designed to help clients with round-the-clock access to services and support, as 15 percent of the company's Professional Services Automation users are outside of the U.S.
"With the SaaS delivery model, expectations around client support, uptime guarantees, and service level agreements are higher than with an on-premise model," said QuickArrow Chief Operating Officer Kevin Bury.
In February QuickArrow announced its selection of Akamai to help improve worldwide delivery of its product. Using the Akamai platform, QuickArrow officials say they have improved the level of performance for its end users, decreasing transaction times by 4X in Asia and Europe, and 3X in the Americas.