The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bob Dylan's underrated album of folk and traditional songs, World Gone Wrong. Superior versions of "Jack-A-Roe," "The Lone Pilgrim" and others show that Bob never lost his mastery of folk music:
CDC Software has announced the general availability of Pivotal CRM 6.0, described by company officials as "a newly-designed customer relationship management platform based on Microsoft.NET technology."
Pivotal CRM 6.0 has a redesigned platform giving users out-of-the box, task-based navigation, forms and portals with "the look and feel of Microsoft applications," and "which have the ability to model complex workflow."
Pivotal 6.0 is integrated with Microsoft Outlook (including calendaring, task and e-mail capabilities) within the platform.
Mark Williams, CRM architect and team leader at CareerBuilder.com, noted that using the system he was able to "configure the new 'Links' feature to see my Pivotal contacts in Outlook, and I got 'Activities' to show up in both places with bi-directional synching."
Pivotal 6.0 also embeds SharePoint, which lets users deploy SharePoint Server 2007 with SharePoint Designer 2007, and lets them implement a new feature in Pivotal 6.0 called SmartPortal, a Pivotal portal which allows IT professionals to set-up pre-defined portals by functional area.
For example, a portal can be designed for sales people, customer support representative and others specific to groups within an organization. End users, including mobile users, can then personalize their own home page by adding new Web parts and modifying existing Web parts.
Sales Simplicity Software, a vendor of sales automation, CRM, marketing and reporting tools for home builders, has announced what company officials call "widening acceptance" of its products among Canadian homebuilders.
Since the beginning of the year, SSS officials say, "a growing number of Canadian homebuilders have selected Sales Simplicity Software's applications," joining over 200 Canadian and U.S. builders who use Sales Simplicity Software products.
"We are pleased with our success in Canada," says Barry Forbes, president of Sales Simplicity Software. "There are similarities among homebuilders in Canada, Australia and the U.K., and we were able to provide functionality that works in all three of those target markets."
Many North American builders are taking the time now to retool and position for what company officials see as "the coming upturn in the housing market." Most of the company's recent clients on both sides of the border are replacing older sales and CRM systems that either haven't met expectations, or aren't prepared for software-based process management.
The company also recently announced its Property Management Software, which includes a single-family residential home sales-and-CRM system, and a suite of software products for multi-family and condominium sales.
Sales Simplicity Software is based in Chandler, Arizona.
Software vendor Cincom has announced the availability of its Quotation and Proposal Management product, described by company officials as "the latest component in Cincom's new enterprise sales portal software, called Cincom Acquire."
The product is designed for companies that sell complex products and services, and "seeks to fill the gaps in traditional CRM- and ERP-based systems such as guided selling, channel and distributor collaboration, sales and product configuration" and other functions, Cincom officials say.
The component can be integrated with a product configurator, business rules engine, workflow management, or other components.
Specifically, the Cincom Acquire Quotation and Proposal Management product provides a centralized quotation database, customer and contact information, knowledge-based document configuration and automated generation of complex proposals based on document templates, among other functions.
Cincom Acquire is being marketed to manufacturers selling industrial engineer-to-order or configure-to-order products as a way of streamlining their sales, design, and proposal processes by "delivering product and sales knowledge to the point of sale."
It's built on the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server architecture, and uses Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Project. It claims "out-of-the-box" integration with SAP, salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and other systems.
Britain-based sales-i, which describes itself as a "real-time sales acceleration service for front line sales people," has launched its sales intelligence service into the US market.
Since January this year, sales-i has acquired 70 new customers and has signed a deal with Integra, an office supplies and IT dealer group in the UK and Ireland, company officials say. Integra has white labeled the sales-i service, rebranded it as Sales Alert and offers it to Integra members. "Close to 25 Integra dealers have signed up to the service since its launch three months ago," sales-i officials say.
Sales-i officials say they're confident they can mirror their British success in the USA, "and if early signs are anything to go by, it looks like USA business supplies companies will be as enthusiastic about the service as their UK counterparts," company officials say.
Kevin McGirl, co-founder of sales-i, said the US office supplies market is "six times larger than the UK, a huge market for sales-i to tap into. We expect sales-i mobile to be a big winner in the US, making information available to front-line sales people on their cell phones and Blackberries."
Sales-i launched sales-i mobile in February this year. The product gives sales professionals visibility of sales information and customer buying alerts delivered to their cell phones.
Sales-i already integrates into CRM systems including Salesforce, Netsuite, Microsoft, ACT and Goldmine.
Infogain, a vendor of open source products and services, and commercial Linux and middleware provider Red Hat have announced an enterprise reseller agreement.
The agreement is described by Infogain officials as "a strategic step to accelerate adoption of Linux and JBoss into the enterprise market." As a certified Red Hat Advanced Partner, Infogain will offer the Red Hat Applications Stack, including enterprise versions of Linux, JBOSS, and Hibernate as well as customized services.
Infogain will use this partnership to "help its customers build products with reduction in total cost of ownership," the Infoganians say. Infogain's clients will be able to integrate JBoss Enterprise Middleware into their software product.
"The open source initiative is gaining tremendous momentum in the market enterprise, this alliance is a logical step," said Glenn Gramling, Infogain's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, adding that "Red Hat will integrate with Infogain's open source best practices and methodologies."
As it appears First Coffee is the only publication online not to offer an opinion on the Brett Favre situation, let's rectify that -- as soon as he asked to come back the Packers should have welcomed him with open arms, of course, and said sorry Aaron, but that's life in the NFL, we'd rather have a Hall of Fame-bound, Super Bowl-winning MVP quarterback under center. He gives them the best chance to win in 2008, and they came pretty close last year. Granted, their season ended on yet another boneheaded Brett Favre play, but without him they're a 7-9 team at best. Now of course, with all the bad blood, they should just trade him and if he doesn't like it, tough beans, he can "retire" again.