By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is the Scot-rock of The Crofters' wonderfully-named album Hold My Beer While I Kiss Your Girlfriend:
Roanoke College has chosen Talisma's Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) product to "personalize communications" in an effort to "increase enrollment and forge stronger relations with current students," according to Talisma officials.
James Dalton, VP of IT and public relations, said the college's existing system "did not offer us the advanced capabilities we need." With the Talisma system, he said, "we can send messages that are relevant and timely to the receiver and have all the stored transaction data accessible to everyone who needs it."
The CRM suite lets users work with data from multiple sources, including ERP and legacy systems, and perform communications with current and prospective students through multiple channels, including e-mail, chat, Web forms, Web self-service, phone, SMS text, direct mail, and fax.
Talisma's higher education products are also used at the University of Alabama, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Abilene Christian University.
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Amdocs and Telindus, part of the Belgacom Group, a vendor of network-based products, has announced that Telindus has deployed the Amdocs Smart Agent Desktop to provide services to its customers across eight countries in Europe and Asia.
Globally, Amdocs products support more than 1,500 Telindus users with approximately 400 concurrent users. This new deployment is part of an existing five-year contract to standardize Telindus' global customer helpdesk on Amdocs Customer Management software, Amdocs officials say.
The Amdocs product is a unified agent portal delivering a 360-degree view of the customer. Telindus agents can use it to manage purchasing and information requests and service and support queries.
Telindus officials say the adaptability of Smart Agent Desktop will let the company comply with customer requirements, meet IT Infrastructure Library objectives, and accelerate its time to market for new services.
"Previously, Telindus had to devote more time and resources to maintaining our CRM system in order to ensure compliance with customer requirements," said Daniel Cauwenberghs, application manager, Telindus, adding that the Amdocs CRM system "can handle network issues or sudden spikes in volume."
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Voltaire, a vendor of grid backbone products for data centers, has announced that its InfiniBand products have achieved Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g and Oracle Enterprise Linux certifications using OpenFabrics Reliable Datagram Sockets over InfiniBand.
Voltaire products are designed to improve performance and scalability to Oracle Database clusters, and the company is one of the first to announce full InfiniBand support for Oracle Real Application Clusters 11g.
Oracle's Linux development group has developed RDS as an open source project. RDS is a high bandwidth, low latency communication protocol that is billed as being able to improve the performance of cluster interconnect intensive applications.
The availability of RDS along with InfiniBand fabric supporting software, from the OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution, is considered a "major milestone" for Oracle Real Application Clusters and Linux users.
Oracle Enterprise Linux is a component of the Oracle Unbreakable Linux support program, which provides enterprise-class support for Linux. Available as open source, Oracle Enterprise Linux is compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
IDC predicts the market for InfiniBand switch ports will increase at a 47.2 percent compound annual growth rate over the next five years, from $95.1 million in 2006 to $656.3 million by 2011. The CAGR for InfiniBand host channel adapter revenue is forecasted at 35 percent, with revenue reaching $279.7 million in 2011.
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SAS's Curriculum Pathways, the Web-based educational product, is offering new features emphasizing fundamentals in core curricula.
Used by customers in more than 30 states, SAS Curriculum Pathways is described by company officials as "an online resource for students and teachers in any learning environment, including traditional classrooms, virtual schools, home education and one-to-one learning."
New InterActivities target struggling or reluctant readers with narratives that focus on the story of history as a way to improve retention. New tools are included for graphing transformations in introductory algebra and geometry.
InterActivities are online simulations, multimedia resources, and innovative tools that engage learners and target critical thinking skills.
New features in the product called "audio inquiries" are brief tutorials to help students acquire essential background knowledge. Visual and textual information support the audio; students finish by taking an online quiz.
"The enhancements to the new edition of SAS Curriculum Pathways focus on skills vital to success in core classes. All new materials are designed to engage learners who sometimes struggle with these fundamentals," said Bruce Friend, Director of SAS Curriculum Pathways.
Formerly known as SAS inSchool Curriculum Pathways, the product is primarily for students in grades 8-12, and provides content in the core disciplines of English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish.
In 2008, SAS Curriculum Pathways was named Best K-12 Instructional Solution by the Software & Information Industry Association.
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Information technology channel companies say their customers are "showing more interest in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology," according to results of a new survey conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association.
The worldwide survey of 155 IT companies found that 46 percent of their customers have implemented one or more RFID solutions, either as pilot projects or production deployments. This is an increase from a 2007 survey, when IT companies reported 34 percent of their customers had initiated RFID projects.
The most popular RFID deployments now used by customers are asset tracking, cited by 32 percent of IT companies surveyed; personal identification (28 percent); supply chain (25 percent); retail marketing (15 percent); and closed-loop manufacturing (9 percent), according to the CompTIA survey.
Customers come from a cross section of industries, including services, government, finance, healthcare, retail, communications, and manufacturing.
"RFID offers adopters of the technology a number of benefits, from improvements in manufacturing, inventory and distribution processes, to reduced costs for product theft, spoilage or obsolescence," said Todd Thibodeaux, president and chief executive officer, CompTIA.
Thibodeaux said it is "incumbent on our industry," with help from organizations such as CompTIA, to "help customers overcome any obstacles to RFID usage."
The Web-based survey, conducted during the second quarter of 2008, questioned IT channel companies on their current and future intentions for addressing RFID.