CRM from RightNow for SmartSpeak, SalesLogix, Kineo Open Source, Homeserve Results, The Travel Zone, Whither The SBMs?

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CRM from RightNow for SmartSpeak, SalesLogix, Kineo Open Source, Homeserve Results, The Travel Zone, Whither The SBMs?

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the greatest female vocalists of the rock era, Brit folk singer Sandy Denny. You've heard her duet with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore," and she remains the only guest vocalist ever on a Led Zeppelin recording, but her 1967 recordings -- "3:10 To Yuma," "You Never Wanted Me," "Pretty Polly," "Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor," et al, released in 1970 as It's Sandy Denny and subsequently under various names, are some of the most powerfully haunting female singing recorded:
Customer FX Corporation has announced the release of Power2Survey for Sage SalesLogix. The product enables codeless creation of surveys for use in CRM suite Sage SalesLogix.
Features and benefits include the fact that account representatives can have a scripted set of questions. The product can be used to collect detailed and planned information about campaigns, account needs & assessment, and customer satisfaction surveys. The product allows for market research and capturing demographic data.
It lets an administrator create surveys without programming, and has a survey screen built at runtime based on data provided by administrator. Users can be "up and running with a new survey in less than an hour," says Brianna Tinjum, Channel Partner Manager for Customer FX.
Back in 2005, an ATOS survey found that 60 percent of businesses were planning to use some form of open source software in their business. Since that survey, open source software products have been widely adopted. Open source Web site development tools such as Joomla are common, and BT recently announced that it will be offering all of its clients the open source CRM system SugarCRM rather than Siebel.

Kineo Open Source will offer open source products for Web site development, customer relationship management, and learning, including SugarCRM, Moodle, and Joomla. Kineo partner Steve Rayson said they have appointed Mark Aberdour as Chief Executive of Kineo Open Source, citing Aberdour's "experience in open source software."

Aberdour said Kineo Open Source will offer "a range of services that allow organizations to adopt products such as SugarCRM at low cost and low risk," with professional support from Kineo, adding that "organizations can try all of our products at no cost for a trial period by going to our Web site."

In the coming months Kineo Open Source will issue "a wide range of free resources and guides for those considering open source products," company officials say.
When oh when is iTunes ever going to get the Screaming Blue Messiahs?
SmartSpeak Solutions, a vendor of interactive speech managed services, which operates the Network Speech Operation Center hosting speech applications for Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore organizations, has selected CRM products from RightNow Technologies, citing "pressure from SmartSpeak's customer base" on the help desk.
SmartSpeak General Manager Michael Bishop said the firm resisted the move, but "we were getting calls from customers and weren't able to follow the incidents from open to closed. We needed a CRM system that would allow us to track support requests and enquiries through to conclusion."
RightNow's rules-based management routes the call to an available agent operating in the appropriate time zone. Customer data and detailed contact history remain accessible to the agent no matter where they are located.  
"Team leaders have a variety of reports at their fingertips to help them operate more effectively.  They can tell if someone is putting in more requests this week compared to last week and they can then investigate why the customer may be having problems.  They can take proactive measures to keep them happy," Bishop notes.
In addition to the core incident management software, SmartSpeak implemented RightNow's Web self-service technology to create a knowledge foundation of frequently asked questions and their answers.  
The multi-channel nature of the incident management software has allowed SmartSpeak to manage requests no matter how they are received -- e-mail, Internet, phone, or chat.
Toronto-based Homeserve Technologies has reported net income of $2.9 million ($0.27 per common share) on revenues of $5.8 million for the first quarter ended May 31, 2008, as compared to net income of $2.7 million ($0.24 per common share) on revenues of $5.6 million for the same period of the last fiscal year.
Homeserve is a technology and marketing services company in the home and move sector. In addition to Aeromove, company officials say, "we will look at using the move services platform by developing partnerships with other loyalty programs which seek to reach the Canadian moving population with a one-stop move services program."
While markets for software remain "uncertain," company officials say, "we are optimistic that the sustainable stable cash flows from the ICON acquisition combined with licensing opportunities from the company's CRM software and move services program model, will position the company well for the future growth."
Last month, Homeserve's Secretary, Plinio Cardoni, resigned to pursue other opportunities with a related party. Effective immediately, Joseph Freedman, the Chair of Homeserve, assumed additional responsibilities as Secretary for Homeserve.
Homeserve is a Canada-based software development and services company selling home-related services for the real estate, relocation, and banking industries. It sells real estate related products and services throughout the customer's purchasing and selling cycle, coordinated by a proprietary CRM software system and contact center.
The Travel Zone, which sells agency technology products, has announced the integration of a Web-based office suite into its technology platform.

The new offerings, created via a partnership with application vendor, include online creation and editing of Microsoft Word and Excel documents, to be followed shortly by PowerPoint, company officials say.
"Our goal in the coming months is to enhance the value and functionality our technology platform offers travel agencies," said William Almonte, The Travel Zone president and CEO, adding that Zoho lets his company sell "a mix of productivity tools."
The Travel Zone designed its package to help agencies and staff create, edit, and manage their business documents online. Upcoming enhancements will provide more collaboration and integration with the CRM.
The package is included free of charge to Agent RC subscribers, which company officials say represents a "potential savings" of several hundred dollars.
Almonte says Travel Zone and Zoho are working together to integrate additional Zoho apps in the coming months, including Zoho Invoice, Zoho Meeting, Zoho Show, Zoho Chat and Zoho Creator.
This Web-based, hosted product offers travel agencies a turnkey system to manage host/fulfillment operations which the agency can then resell. Company officials say the platform is "specifically designed to work with agencies that already have their own ARC, IATA or CLIA number."
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