CRM+ Consulting Optimizes, Epicor Results, Egenera and NYFIX, RightNow's Board, Akken, Open and Andera, CRM to Newcastle

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CRM+ Consulting Optimizes, Epicor Results, Egenera and NYFIX, RightNow's Board, Akken, Open and Andera, CRM to Newcastle

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Ramones' End Of The Century:
CRM and other software vendor Epicor Software has reported preliminary financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2008.
Epicor President and CEO Thomas Kelly said total non-GAAP revenue was "in line with our guidance," with cash flow from operations in excess of $35 million and free cash flow of approximately $13 million.
Kelly said Epicor "addressed the three issues that negatively impacted our 2008 first quarter, correcting the events that led to shortfalls in our consulting and international business and making some progress on improving our retail performance," noting that the vendor "fell short due to lower than expected retail license revenues."
The vendor is adjusting their second half outlook "to reflect a more cautious approach to our retail business," Kelly said, "as well as to reflect additional investment ahead of the launch of Epicor 9."
GAAP revenue for the 2008 second quarter was $127.9 million, with net income of $1.3 million, or $0.02 per diluted share. This compares to 2007 second quarter GAAP revenue of $105.7 million, and GAAP net income of $6.3 million, or $0.11 per diluted share.
Non-GAAP  revenue for the 2008 second quarter was $130.6 million, with non-GAAP net income of $9.9 million, or $0.17 per diluted share. 2008 second quarter non-GAAP net income excludes approximately $8.9 million of expenses related to amortization of intangibles and $1.9 million in stock-based compensation, and includes the benefit of $2.6 million of revenue that would have been recorded if NSB's deferred revenue would not have been adjusted to fair value as a result of purchase accounting.
Egenera has announced that electronic trading systems vendor NYFIX has standardized on infrastructure virtualization products from Egenera.
"We needed a platform with high availability and management capabilities to optimize our operations," said Don Henderson, CTO at NYFIX. "With Egenera systems, we're able to provision servers and bring applications to market faster, and with less infrastructure."
Egenera systems are platforms that "eliminate the need to rigidly dedicate servers to applications," according to the Egenerians: "Instead, Egenera's Processing Area Network replaces server infrastructure with software, and repurposes and reallocates virtual and physical servers on demand."
NYFIX currently uses Egenera BladeFrame EX systems, which include 168 Processing Blade modules based on both Intel and AMD processors.
RightNow Technologies has announced that Allen E. Snyder joined its board of directors this week. Snyder was appointed to fill a Class II vacancy on the Board of Directors, to serve until RightNow's 2011 annual meeting of stockholders.
He also has been appointed to serve on the compensation committee of RightNow's board of directors. Snyder is currently the CEO of Aepona, a leading supplier of telecom service layer products and products to telcos globally.
Prior to joining Aepona, Snyder served as CEO of Carrier Access and COO of Openwave Systems. He also held senior executive positions at Oracle Corporation and Digital Equipment Corporation, with responsibilities for product development, sales, customer service, software support, and professional services.
CRM+ Consulting, a Tampa -based CRM software consulting company and authorized reseller of Sage CRM, has announced the launch of an optimized Web site developed by Hall Web Services of Scarborough, Maine.

The site "keeps the look and feel of the previous design," consultancy officials say, while "implementing Hall's guidelines for organic search engine friendliness and local search optimization."
The new site offers resources on Sage CRM Solutions, including Sage Software-produced white papers, demos, and articles geared towards current and prospective customers alike.

CRM+ Consulting officials say they hope the new site "will serve as a resource for prospective customers of their customer relationship management products.
Open Solutions, a vendor of data processing technologies for banks and credit unions, has partnered with Andera to offer online account opening and funding technologies to Open Solutions' client base. Andera sells such products to the financial services industry.
As consumer behavior trends move toward the online channel, Open Solutions officials believe, "the ability to instantly open and fund new accounts electronically is increasingly becoming a top priority for U.S. financial institutions, and Celent analysts forecast a dramatic acceleration in the pace of industry adoption over the next three years."
Online account opening is "of great interest to many of our clients," said Mike Nicastro, SVP and CMO from Open Solutions.
Andera's product features an 8-10 minute process in which consumers can apply for, be approved for, open and fund multiple banking products in a single session. The product includes such features as electronic signatures, real-time core integration, integration with a variety of third-party risk and data providers, intelligent cross-selling and funding via ACH, credit card or debit card.
More than 200 financial institutions have selected the Andera platform, including eight mutual clients with Open Solutions.
Akken, which describes itself as an "All-in-One on-demand staffing software and recruiting software provider," has released an upgraded invoice design editor.
Billing it as "one of the most automated, flexible invoicing tools available on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform," the upgrade is included for all Akken Staffing users at no additional charge.

With the upgraded version "staffing and recruiting companies can accommodate a client's specific billing requirements and create customized, professional invoices with just a few clicks of the mouse," the Akkenites say.

"This upgrade makes it simple for Akken Staffing users to create invoice templates to exact requirements," says Akken's vice president of engineering, Prakash Akkineni. "The biggest impact is the time our users save in the invoicing process, reducing the amount of time to generate invoices from hours to seconds."

Akken's invoice design editor lets Akken Staffing users design a template once, as it "pulls the information from the system to create hundreds of invoices simultaneously with one click," company officials say. Users are able to make changes to these invoice templates in real time. For companies using multi-million dollar systems, a change of this type would take days, if not weeks, to implement.

Akken's flagship offering, Akken Staffing, combines e-mail, applicant tracking, CRM, job management, accounting, human resource management, and reporting.
After implementing a CRM system and other IT products, officials of the city of Newcastle in England says it has been named "among the top three cities in Europe in terms of resident satisfaction on a range of issues, including employment, schools, housing and health services as compared with other major European cities."
Continual improvement of service levels from the City Council has a role to play in maintaining the quality of life, council officials say, "as does its IT systems.

In 2000 Newcastle City Council pledged to deliver services in a new, customer-oriented way, giving citizens a one-stop access to key council services, regardless of what systems were involved.
To address its commitment, the Council planned to establish six walk-in customer service centers able to provide information and deal with requests across all council services. Five centers have now been delivered and the sixth will follow this fall. At the heart of these centers is a CRM application provided by Lagan.

Following a review of IT and related services, the Council put in place a major transformation program to replace the in-house built mainframe applications for Council Tax, housing and benefits with off-the-shelf, best of breed packages.

As Ron Hillaby, application services manager at Newcastle City Council, says "we got to know more about integration, and realized that as we changed to the new packaged systems, substantial work would be required to get the integration in place."
Hillaby said the point-to-point products they had previously employed with the CRM system "were not the best way forward. We also became aware that the IT industry was starting to move to SOA and we were made aware of products like Sonic by the Integration Workstream leader on the National CRM project."

They laid its SOA foundation with Progress Sonic ESB (enterprise service bus), providing loosely-coupled integration between Council Tax and CRM services.
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