By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is a strange little bit from Warren Zevon, "Interlude, No. 2" form Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School:
The Times of Oman
is reporting that Muscat Municipality has succeeded in implementing an Oracle e-services customer management system (CRM), thus becoming the first government service authority in the Middle East to implement this system.
The announcement came following the launching of the system by Muscat Municipality during its participation in the government e-service exhibition at Comex 2008.
Khaled Dawood Al Zidjali, DG of the Information System at Muscat Municipality, said the implementation is "part of the government's efforts in improving its service standards... we are proud of this e-step."
Oracle officials estimate the implementation of the system, consisting of package of services, including building permits, leases, municipality licenses, health and technical inspection, parking permits and meter-parking and violations, will reduce the time required to complete certain services by 60 per cent.
The system allows users an overview through connecting to the comprehensive service system, to limit repetition and ensure correct and accurate data and reduce by 60 per cent the time required for searching and entering the violations into the paid parking and the health inspection system.
The system regulates the internal process within the municipality, and is expected to help limit manual errors. The system also enables the health inspectors to follow up on the field visits and update their results on site, using the 3G/EDGE technology through their handheld devices.
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The Al Futtaim Group has acquired Dubai-based Futech Software Solutions, an integrated Information Technology focused business service provider.
The value of the deal was not revealed.
The group will use Futech's expertise in the business IT advisory space to sell "a range of business products," according to Al Futtaim officials: "The acquisition is seen as a catalyst in the acceleration of Al Futtaim's position in enterprise IT."
Futech will operate independently under the Group structure as a strategic business unit under the Dubai-based Al Futtaim Technologies umbrella.
Prior to the acquisition, Al Futtaim partnered with Futech on some work, including a recent Dubai Bank CRM project where Futech acted as the system integrator. Futech operates in verticals such as banking and finance including Islamic banking. The firm has several horizontal business offerings covering areas such as data warehousing, data cleansing and IT modernization.
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Porthus, an on-demand IT products vendor, has announced that NetSourcing selected Porthus (Netherlands) to implement Microsoft Connected Services Framework.
The move is intended to allow NetSourcing to respond to "a trend towards delivering Software as a Service," and to extend NetSourcing's offerings with value-added services, according to Porthus officials.
NetSourcing needed the ability to deliver their services, based on multiple applications, to many ISVs and telecom providers and to many internal operational systems. With Microsoft Connected Services Framework, NetSourcing officials expect to be able to create composite XML services and then provide and manage those services for its customers across multiple networks.
It also supports the management of different applications that work together to create, manipulate, share, and distribute digital content. NetSourcing provides more than 100 applications to Healthcare organizations, varying from Hosted Exchange and Microsoft Office to applications for planning, budgeting and Human Resources.
Porthus recently launched its Porthus.net Telecommunications Framework using Microsoft Connected Services Framework. The product provides the foundation for delivering a variety of services and applications, including Microsoft's own value-added services such as Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration and Hosted CRM as well as third-party applications from SaaS and ISV providers.
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Apisphere, a vendor of location-awareness services for mobile business applications and devices, has announced a partnership with Nissho Electronics USA Corporation.
With expertise in customer and partner relationships, Nissho focuses on providing clients with practical IT products in a range of fields, combining information, telecommunications, and electronics.
Through this partnership, Apisphere will also be working with Nissho's manufacturing partner Advantage Century Telecommunications Corporations, a vendor of Internet Protocol telephony, to produce location-aware mobile communication hardware products for businesses and consumers.
Working with Nissho and ACT, Apisphere officials say, their company will have access to manufacturing services to improve product quality for customers. "There is an increasing demand for location-aware mobile services in Japan," said Toshi Kibe, President and CEO of Nissho Electronics USA Corporation.
The partnership is intended to use Apisphere's GEM platform, which delivers mobile content, including applications and messaging which are triggered to launch when users enter specified locations. Apisphere's GEM platform provides independent software vendors, mobile network operators, system integrators and enterprises with the ability to integrate location-aware features into customized devices and applications.
"Asia-Pacific countries, specifically Japan, are leading the global adoption of mobile devices and use of mobile data," said Craig Harper, CEO of Apisphere.
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Boomi, an on-demand integration vendor, and Centive, which sells on-demand products for sales compensation and sales performance management, have announced a partnership to provide Software-as-a-Service data transformation and integration for Centive's Compel.
The Boomi On Demand service is replacing a prior partnership with a legacy on-premise integration product to provide Centive and their customers with what Centive officials describe as "affordable, enterprise-grade integration services without the need for conventional integration software, appliances or coding."
Centive Compel helps companies calculate sales commissions and bonuses for their sales force while also providing visibility into attainment, ranking and commission earnings data. Compel features integration with Salesforce.com and other customer relationship management systems.
In partnering with Boomi, Centive officials say they will be able to offer customers an on-demand product for data transformation. In addition, by using Boomi's pre-existing connectors, Centive's customers can choose direct integration at the application programming interface level between their source transaction systems and Compel if desired.
Bob Conlin, chief marketing officer for Centive, said Boomi "proved they could meet our demands for performance and ease of use... the SaaS industry is challenging traditional thinking about technology."
"Most companies face a difficult choice when implementing a SaaS application into an enterprise environment -- namely, having to choose between conventional integration products and appliances or creating custom code to tie the application into other data sources," said Bob Moul, Boomi's president and CEO.