CRM from ProTrak, Amdocs Results, Open Source Survey, Sage Accpac in India, Bestoutcome Gets ISA, TopSchool and Regent

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CRM from ProTrak, Amdocs Results, Open Source Survey, Sage Accpac in India, Bestoutcome Gets ISA, TopSchool and Regent

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is David Bowie's Young Americans album. Emotionless emotion -- how Bowie, but weirdly it works. When it's over we'll cue up Dolly Parton's The Grass Is Blue for some down-home goodness:
ProTrak International has announced an upgrade to their CRM platform, ProTrak Advantage CRM Enterprise 5.0, available now.
With the new version, clients may customize the look and feel of their ProTrak screens. The ProTrak client Administrator can add new user defined data fields, including look-up lists, numeric, text and memo fields. In addition, fields may be removed and the entire screen layout re-arranged, company officials say.
The Fund Detail option lets users capture data on the funds they are tracking, including fund structure, fees, redemption parameters and risk measures. It also includes the Mail Distribution, Relationship Associations and Activity / Follow-up tracking features.
The Sales Opportunity Pipeline has been extended to allow automatic creation or updating of multiple opportunities from a single Activity Note.
A number of new formatted reports and graphs have been added in ProTrak Advantage 5.0. Examples include asset-related reports (assets by product, region and investor type), account holdings (ERISA holdings and account / share class holdings by fund) and pipeline opportunity reports (opportunities by product / fund, region and salesrep).
Calling Advantage 5.0 a "major release," Simon Koziel, ProTrak's President, said a major emphasis of the company's effort for this release "has been the addition of new tools that give end users more control over their ProTrak desktop without requiring IT support."
The product is marketed as CRM for investment managers, hedge funds, fund-of-hedge funds and private equity firms.
Amdocs Limited has reported that for its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, 2008, revenue was $820.3 million, an increase of 15.2 percent from last year's third quarter.
Net income on a non-GAAP basis was $132.5 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, excluding acquisition-related costs, equity-based compensation expense and net of related tax effects of $31.8 million. This compares to non-GAAP net income of $120.6 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2007 -- excluding costs and taxes of $32.4 million.
The company's GAAP net income was $100.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $88.2 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, in the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Free cash flow for the quarter was $83.2 million, comprised of cash flow from operations of $115.1 million less $31.9 million in net capital expenditures and other.
Dov Baharav, CEO of Amdocs Management Limited, said he continues to see "strong demand" at this time, citing "macro-economic uncertainties which may have an impact on our results in the future."
Sage Software India has announced its new Sage Accpac Integrated Suite with the availability of version 5.5 of its Sage Accpac ERP  business management system.
The new suite configuration integrates out-of-box ERP with Sage CRM, company officials say, adding that the new Sage Accpac Integrated Suite "also provides analytical dashboards in Sage Accpac ERP 5.5 and offers a free bundled pack of Insight Business Intelligence tool."
"Sage Accpac will enhance the end user experience by introducing 'easy to use' business analytics which can transform business efficiencies," said Thomas Abraham, Managing  Director, Sage Software India.
Sage officials say the suite "combines the benefits of ERP and CRM" for integrated front and back office business processes, giving users "insight into what is happening within the business and enhancing collaboration between customer-facing and back office workers."
Version 5.5's new dashboard feature provides snapshots of the business designed to help managers "analyze, predict, and manage business performance," company officials say.
In addition to dashboards, version 5.5 provides such enhancements as a new Account Rollup feature that supports account consolidation in the general ledger, multicurrency revaluation options, and streamlined processes for managing job tracking.
In what's described as "the first annual survey of its membership and other open source software and services companies," Open Solutions Alliance officials say they found "much optimism despite a murky economy," with 83 percent of participants saying they would see "a year-over-year increase in revenue in 2008 of open source related software and services."
78 percent of survey participants said "the affordable price of open source software" is motivating their customers.
The survey also revealed that open source companies are serious about collaboration. Nearly all of the survey respondents -- 97 percent -- reported that they have "active partnerships" with other open source software and services companies.
The average survey participant had 10 such partnerships.
"We knew that collaboration was important to open source companies, but this statistic was surprising," said Dominic Sartorio, senior director of product management for SpikeSource and president of the Open Solutions Alliance.
The survey also shows that 85 percent of participants sell open source products or services that run on Microsoft Windows or otherwise interoperate with Microsoft products.
In all 46 companies responded to the survey, both OSA members and non-members.
The Open Solutions Alliance is a nonprofit, vendor neutral consortium dedicated to driving the interoperability and adoption of comprehensive open products.
Bestoutcome Limited, a UK-based consultancy specializing in IT project and program management, has acquired the whole of the issued share capital of ISA Limited, a supplier of business applications built on Microsoft technology platforms.
ISA's customer relationship management products are based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its software development capability is to Microsoft Gold Certified Partner standards, ISA officials say.

With a forecast this year of annual revenue in excess of £5 million, "a combined IT services enterprise has been created" from the agreement signed on July 18th, according to Bestoutcome officials.
Barry Jackson and David Walton, respectively chairman and managing director of Bestoutcome, will join the ISA board, and Thomas Payne, managing director of ISA, will join the consultancy's board.

The acquisition will pool both companies' resources, including "strategic consultancy, execution, and ongoing support," officials of both firms say: "Marketing and sales will be aimed at the retail, finance, media, healthcare, distribution, and construction industries, and other vertical markets."
Regent Education, a vendor of financial aid management SaaS products for higher education, has announced that it has formed a partnership with TopSchool, a vendor of administrative products for small to mid-size higher education institutions.
TopSchool sells a student lifecycle management product consisting of a student information system at its core, integrated with a customer relationship management system (CRM), student and faculty portal, reporting suite, and support services.
Through the partnership, Regent Enterprise will be integrated into TopSchool's SLM as the financial aid module.
Matthew Schnittman, TopSchool's President & CEO, said with complementary delivery models, "our partnership with Regent supports our goal to provide institutions with products to serve their students and manage their operations."

TopSchool's SLM system provides an information management product, described by company officials as "a CRM to aggregate and manage leads, a customizable student and faculty portal, a student information system, an ad-hoc reporting suite and a customer service model."
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