By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an R.E.M. iPod shuffle. I must say the new album, Accelerate, is growing on me:
Atos Worldline, an Atos Origin Company working with the processing of high-volume electronic transactions, has been selected by Feu Vert, a French car centers' network, to support the implementation of its new Customer Relation Management (CRM) strategy.
Atos Worldline provided services "including consulting services and the development and operation of the recommended CRM products: loyalty card, marketing databases and data mining, e-mail and SMS campaigns management," Atos officials said.
Feu Vert Group is a car maintenance and equipment firm, with around 380 centers in Europe, claiming about seven million customers. This strategy is supported by a Quality Plan, through a program called 4P, which stands for Pristine conditions, efficient Performance, Pain-free service, and clear Prices.
Atos Worldline is an integrator of multi-channel customer relationship technologies. Feu Vert chose Atos Worldline for its experience in multi-channel CRM and customer loyalty products, Atos officials said, as well as for its personalized offering.
"Atos Worldline encouraged us to include these new projects under a 5th P, for customer Proximity, with the development of a new recognition and interactive marketing," said Pascal Fraumont, marketing and communication director at Feu Vert.
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Mondo, Denmark's self-proclaimed "largest provider of Microsoft-based products and services," has announced the availability of its new Mondo Solution Selling Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, an integrated CRM plug-in designed to improve sales management methodologies.
The Solution Selling Suite of planning, management, execution methodologies and skills, developed by Sales Performance International, is now available directly within Microsoft Dynamics CRM exclusively via the new Mondo Solution Selling Accelerator.
The new Accelerator also provides Microsoft Business Partners with a foundation to extend the Mondo Solution Selling Accelerator with industry specific knowledge about buying and selling processes, key player roles, pains and capability visions, "resulting in improved CRM relevance and adoption by sales professionals and managers," Mondo officials said.
Within the new Mondo Solution Selling Accelerator, Mondo is also providing integrated access to its sales community Web site, for a "Focused Social CRM" environment within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Mondo's sales community Web site, with a specific focus on Solution Selling, lets sales people share experiences and advice with each other, "deepening their knowledge base and broadening their contact network," Mondo officials said.
The integrated sales community also provides access to specific knowledge from external sources, like news, podcasts and blogs directly fed from SPI's Web site. Users can also extend the community space in future releases to integrate with SPI's SalesWiki and Solution Selling University for online training in the methodology.
"Mondo's new Solution Selling Accelerator uses all of the new technologies and features within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0," said Lars Munch Johansen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Mondo. "Adding Social CRM to Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a milestone for this platform."
The Mondo Solution Selling Accelerator comes with pre-configured sales workflows designed to help organizations with their sales process. They can be adapted and modified, and each step in the sales process can be measured and assessed. The Accelerator uses Microsoft's Silverlight technology.
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Apisphere, a vendor of location-awareness services for mobile business applications, has announced that it has partnered with interactive advertising network BuzzHub to create a location based media delivery platform for mobile devices.
BuzzHub will integrate Apisphere's location-awareness intelligence with its electronic kiosk-based ad serving technologies to create "a platform that will deliver targeted advertising to mobile devices," Apisphere officials say, adding that BuzzHub subscribers can currently access promotional offers and advertisements at kiosks set up in malls, movie theaters and festivals.
With this partnership BuzzHub will extend its relationships with retailers and consumers beyond touch screens to create a more user-friendly environment where targeted coupons, sale flyers and the like will be sent to consumers' mobile devices based on their location.
Sean Brown, CEO of BuzzHub, explained that as subscribers travel through different areas, "promotional offers from various retailers will be automatically pushed to their mobile devices."
The partnership will use Apisphere's Geo-Enabled Mobility platform which delivers mobile content, including applications and messaging triggered to launch when users enter specified locations.
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Boomi has partnered with Innotas to enable Software-as-a-Service integration for Innotas' on-demand project portfolio management products. The Boomi On Demand offering provides Innotas' PPM users with the ability to integrate the Innotas product with any other SaaS or on-premise applications.
Integrations are built and deployed directly from the Web "without installing and maintaining software packages or hardware appliances," the Boomians said. Innotas is using Boomi On Demand to integrate its own PPM application with Salesforce.com.
Using Boomi On Demand, Innotas' customers can integrate the PPM product with applications for human resources, help desk, finance, time management and customer relationship management, to name a few. Customers can build, deploy and manage integrations directly from the Web using only a browser.
"One of the biggest challenges we've faced as a SaaS vendor is the perception that integrating a SaaS offering with other applications is complex and costly. Ironically, the companies most attracted to the benefits of the SaaS model -- small and mid-size businesses -- were exactly the companies most impacted by this problem," said Chad Haftorson, vice president of products at Innotas.
Companies can pay by connection, not for an entire integration suite or appliance, and can employ the capabilities and functionality of enterprise integration service "at a fraction of the cost of conventional integration offerings," Boomi officials said.
Boomi's patent-pending technology lets any combination of SaaS and on-premise integration be accomplished directly from the Web.
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SpeechCycle and Tellme, a Microsoft subsidiary and vendor of voice services, have announced a partnership where SpeechCycle will be able to deliver its Rich Phone Applications on Tellme's voice platform to "improve automated customer self-service for enterprise customers," SpeechCycle officials say.
This partnership is intended to make it easier for SpeechCycle to build and deploy
voice-driven phone self-service applications to let callers simply say what they need to get the information or access to services.
"By opening Tellme's platform to SpeechCycle customers, we can deliver an end-to-end self-service product with self-service design, Web data integration and speech technologies," said Jamie Bertasi, Senior Director of Business Solutions for Microsoft's Tellme subsidiary, adding that Tellme's new partner strategy "includes the intent to offer Tellme's platform for Microsoft contact center and customer care partners."
SpeechCycle's RPAs provide native support of the Tellme voice platform. Built on the
Microsoft .NET Framework, SpeechCycle RPAs let businesses connect their back-end systems with natural-language-based speech interfaces.