by David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Johnny Cash's Love, God, Murder anthology:
Zilliant, a price optimization and management software for B2B vendor, has announced what company officials call "record results" for the first half of 2008.
Annualized sales for the period increased by more than 70 percent for the third year in a row, which the Zilliantines attribute to "overall market momentum" as well as Zilliant's products and services.
"Price optimization is becoming the go-to product for profitable growth, particularly in discrete manufacturing and industrial distribution," said Greg Peters, Zilliant CEO. "Many of our customers in these industries are reporting double-digit margin growth despite rising material costs and a slowing economy."
Zilliant customers' performance is consistent with industry analysts' predictions that price optimization technology will increasingly become an investment priority. In their recently released Hype Cycle for CRM Sales, 2008, Gartner designated price optimization and management software for B2B as "the only CRM application that provides 'transformational' benefits," Zilliant officials say.
"The potential for this market is significant, because defining and defending optimal prices is a fundamental imperative for enterprises responsible for producing returns for stakeholders," states Michael Dunne, Research VP for Gartner in the report. Moreover, "The price optimization and management market differs from most other applications because it offers strategic benefits and operational efficiencies."
In addition to its financial performance, Zilliant first half highlights include the hiring of Rafe VanDenBerg as Director of Pricing Excellence, and Anand Medepalli as Director of Professional Services for EMEA.
Also the first half saw Zilliant launch ProfitShare, a user conference.
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CMP Information, a publisher owned by United Business Media, has signed a £1.5 million, five-year deal with Savvis to outsource IT resources and "support international business growth."
CMPi publishes more than 40 magazines including Music Week and Property Week and provides targeted media such as exhibitions, conferences and Web sites. The company has customers in over 120 countries across 20 vertical markets.
The deal with Savvis, a vendor of IT infrastructure services for business and government applications, is intended to improve the "reliability, scalability and redundancy of CMPi's infrastructure and enable CMPi to channel its IT resources into more strategic IT projects to support business growth," CMP officials say.
Projects include expanding its virtual conference and exhibition offering, CMP officials say, as well as "developing a digital strategy."
Savvis will host CMPi's "critical" IT infrastructure, including its e-mail, financial services, business intelligence and CRM systems and will provide managed hosting for several of CMPi's websites on Savvis' managed utility blade platform.
Savvis will also manage network connections between a number of CMPi's global offices.
"For CMPi, IT is critical in supporting business growth, particularly as more of our business activity is focused online," said Paul Way, Digital Development Director at CMPi. "Effectively, the deal will enable our IT department to be more dedicated to mission critical projects."
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Professional Provident Society Investments has implemented Softline Enterprise's CRM product SalesLogix, using iSquared to implement the product.
Ashley Ellington, Managing Director, Softline Enterprise, says SalesLogix's customization and configuration capability allow it to be "easily tailored to meet the needs of a business more rapidly than any other CRM product."
James Beaumont, CEO, iSquared, characterized PPSI as "clear and focused in its business objectives, from the start."
PPSI caters for the investment requirements of 185,000 members of the Professional Provident Society of South Africa by providing investment, savings and retirement products.
CEO of PPSI Nick Battersby says that what prompted the implementation of SalesLogix was his previous experience with this product. "I was tasked with implementing SalesLogix at the organization I worked at previously," he explained.
As PPSI's products are largely intermediated, they needed to implement CRM that could cater for the supply chain, starting with the investor and ending with the PPSI servicing point, Battersby said.
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Global management consultancy Arthur D. Little has announced that its Middle East office is integrating with the staff of Affinitiv, a telecommunications and CRM consultancy currently in the region.
Affinitiv's founder and CEO, Zoran Vasiljev, his leadership team and employees will join Arthur D. Little's Middle East practice, with Vasiljev serving as a company Director.
Affinitiv has operated since 2004, with concentration in telecommunications and technology consultancy in emerging markets. ADL officials anticipate that all Affinitiv staff will have joined Arthur D. Little Middle East by September 1.
Michael Tram, Global CEO of Arthur D. Little, said Affinitiv's consultants "share with ADL the capabilities, expertise and drive" for the Middle East marketplace.
Thomas Kuruvilla, Managing Director of Arthur D. Little Middle East, said "access to a global network, combined with local expertise, is what has made ADL Middle East the company's fastest-growing business unit."
Speaking in Dubai, Vasiljev said joining forces with ADL Middle East will provide "a whole host of new opportunities for our clients and consultants."
Arthur D. Little, founded in 1886, works with many Fortune 100 companies.
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Autonomy Corporation's eTalk Qfiniti interaction recording is "compliant with key contact center products from Avaya," Autonomy officials have announced.
Qfiniti is a platform for customer interaction recording for compliance, risk management, or quality monitoring. The application is now compliance-tested by Avaya for compatibility with Avaya Communication Manager 5.0 with Avaya Application Enablement Services 4.1.
The Avaya certification program "delivers a level of confidence to our clients in the compatibility of our products," said Scot Shute, Autonomy etalk's CEO, referring to the certification of Qfiniti with Device and Media Call Control Streaming in AES 4.1.
Autonomy eTalk is a member of the Avaya DevConnect program, which seeks to develop, market and sell third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology and extend the value of a company's investment in its network.
As a Platinum member of the program, Autonomy eTalk is eligible to submit products for compatibility testing by the Avaya Solution Interoperability and Test Lab.