By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paul Simon's Graceland. First Coffee remembers seeing the Graceland tour in Chicago and was disappointed that he didn't use that great band to play more of his songs. Instead we had to endure exhibitions of South African music nobody but the pretentious snobs in the audience wanted to hear after shelling out a lot of money to see Paul Simon:
CRM vendor CDC Software has announced that in the first half of 2008 sales revenue for licenses of its CDC Respond product series rose by 62 percent over the same period the year before.
CDC Respond is designed to help manage complaints and customer feedback. In the first half of 2008, company officials say, 54 percent of the revenue from licensed users involved new customers, while 46 percent came from established users.
Company officials say they saw "significant cost savings and improved efficiencies" in its R&D operations as a result of moving its product development operations to a hybrid offshore/onshore model that uses emerging markets like China and India, as well as through the adoption of an Agile development process.
CDC Software's offshore development centers in Nanjing and Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India now represent more than 70 percent of the company's research and development resources, with future plans to increase that to 76 percent, company officials say. The Bangalore facility primarily focuses on R&D for the company's CRM products while Nanjing and Shanghai are primarily responsible for Process Manufacturing and HRM products.
Recently CDC Software announced Pivotal 6.0, a newly designed CRM platform based on Microsoft.NET technology, major enhancements to CDC Respond, CDC Supply Chain, Platinum HRM and upcoming major releases of CDC Factory and Ross Enterprise.
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BearingPoint has announced it has completed Phase I of the implementation of Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM for Higher Education for the Admissions Office at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York.
HWS now has a customer relationship management system allowing its Admissions Office to work with students, applicants and prospects. Over 4,000 new applications are received annually by HWS for an entering class of roughly 565 students.
The new admissions system, implemented and customized by BearingPoint using Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions, "enables better data collection and management throughout the admissions process" than the previous system, BearingPoint officials say. The product helps with managing Student Prospecting and Recruitment, the Student Application Process, the Student-Parent Involvement Recruiter and Counselor Activity Management functions.
With the new system, HWS officials say, they can "capture more information critical to its recruiting process, including student participation data, and maintain detailed contact histories with schools and counselors."
The system is also able to allow the direct upload of information from the Common Application for College Admissions, as well as the College Board and ACT exams. Student prospects can check the status of their application online, and the Admissions Office can access data at certain decision-making moments.
Using PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management in conjunction with CRM allows HWS to produce a variety of reports throughout the recruiting and admissions cycle, allowing staff to track status, as well as use admission trend data for planning and process improvements.
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Internet Payment Exchange (IPayX), a Toledo, Ohio-based provider of electronic bill payment and customer service products to healthcare providers, utility companies, municipal governments and other organizations, has launched to "simplify the billing and payment processes," company officials say.
"Many organizations, like hospitals and healthcare systems for example, rely on statements as an important method of communication with customers," IPayX officials say, adding that "if done correctly, statement billing can be transformed into a successful customer relationship management (CRM) initiative."
IPayX offerings "extend the statement billing communication channel into the electronic world with little to no disruption to the content including how it is formatted and presented," company officials say.
Product offerings from IPayX for the healthcare industry include eCareview Patient Portal Service, an HIPAA-compliant product described as simplifying "the self-pay process by providing consumers with the ability to make payments and access real-time billing information online."
There's also the ePayPoint Cash Receipts Service which provides a virtual cash register product for healthcare systems. Payments may be accepted using cash, checks or credit cards and automatically applied against patient accounts or non-patient purchases such as classes or medical supplies.
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ClickFox has announced that Anna Convery has joined as Chief Marketing Officer.
At Nexidia, Convery was responsible for developing the product and marketing strategy for the audio mining and speech analytics products firm.
Marco Pacelli, CEO of ClickFox, cited Convery's track record as "a market-maker" and her "expertise in analytics" for the customer experience analytics market firm's hire.
Prior to Nexidia, Convery held various marketing and business development roles in IBM Corporation, Jacada Ltd. and Unibol throughout EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Asia) and North America.
"The ClickFox vision of holistically understanding customer experience answers a compelling need in the industry," Convery said. "In working with many companies over the past few years, I have seen this need grow exponentially. Truly understanding customer experience has become the competitive differentiator for many of these organizations."
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Etelos has announced improvements to the Etelos Marketplace, including "enhanced usability for developers, distributors and consumers of Web-based business products."
This update is intended to make it easier for businesses to develop, distribute, sample and buy Web-based business applications, products and services, company officials say. The enhancements are described as "refining" the user experience by defining categories, as well as bringing more applications into the spotlight.
Furthermore, the Etelos Marketplace has enhanced drill-down capability, user sorting and filtering of results, clearer navigation and information about specific applications, such as which are most viewed. The new "My Favorites" feature, for instance, makes it easier for shoppers to create a short list of applications. "Even if they leave the site, their short list will still be there when they return," company officials said.
The Etelos Marketplace provides businesses best-of-breed open standards-based applications from diverse providers that address the different needs a business may have.
"The updated Etelos Marketplace improves the customer experience for selecting the products and services," Etelos President & CEO Jeffrey L. Garon said.
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Harris Technology has announced certified status in Microsoft's Partner Program. Partners receive such benefits as improved access, training and support.
In addition to earning certified status, Harris Technology has declared a Microsoft Competency. Microsoft Competencies are designed to help differentiate a partner's capabilities.
The Microsoft Partner Program was launched in October 2003, offering a single, integrated partnering framework recognizing partner expertise, the total impact that partners have in the technology marketplace and the value of partners' businesses.
The Microsoft Business Solutions Competency is designed for partners with proven expertise in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities using Microsoft's financial, CRM and supply chain management products.