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 guilty pleasure: Van Halen II. Quite guilty and quite pleasurable:
Knoa, a vendor of performance management software, has announced that Shred-it, an on-site document destruction company, has selected Knoa Experience and Performance Manager to improve end-user performance related to its use of the SAP Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM) application.
Shred-it is implementing SAP CRM to manage all customer-facing interactions, including contract administration, service orders, invoicing and customer support services.
Dan Snider, vice president, Business Solutions, Shred-it, says he "had concerns" that the IT team would not have sufficient visibility into the real end-user experience with the SAP CRM application and the issues individual employees were encountering. "The 'go-live' implementation of products such as SAP CRM can require a very intensive, hands-on end-user support practice," said Snider. "In those early critical weeks, everyone using SAP CRM should be in the line-of-sight of a support person."
Shred-it chose to deploy Knoa EPM to help with the adoption and use of SAP CRM by the end-user population. Knoa EPM monitors application execution from the perspective of the end user, and provides metrics about the user experience as well as measurements on how people interact with software applications.
The software delivers metrics on the performance of the application, and what the Knoans describe as "visibility into the actual performance of the end users."
Shred-it recently completed its initial implementation and is currently using Knoa to capture a wide variety of metrics about the SAP CRM application. "In a CRM implementation, silence can be hard to interpret. With Knoa, we know if that silence masks adoption issues, if users are struggling with problems they aren't reporting, or if, in fact, things are going as well as they seem."
Selectica, a vendor of enterprise contract lifecycle management products, has announced that it has upgraded the Selectica Contract Performance Management (CPM) platform with new features that further shorten time-to-contract.
"Many of our customers tell us that speeding time-to-contract is an important part of their contract lifecycle strategy," said Anthony Roth, Senior Director of Product and Strategy for Selectica, adding that "our objective is to simplify document handling and speed time-to-approval for new contracts."
With CPM 3.2.2, documents can now be accessed from within e-mail, including wireless e-mail, such as on a Blackberry, company officials say. The new release also can convert PDF documents to Word documents using OCR software to make it easier to convert third-party documents for review and editing. Faxes can be converted from PDF format to Word for editing.
The latest release also tries to improve access to customer records and other data sources outside the contract management system when creating a contract, for integration into CRM and ERP systems.
Selectica sells software products that "automate the complexities of enterprise contract management and sales configuration lifecycles," according to company officials. The company's products are used in such business functions as sourcing, procurement, governance, sales and revenue recognition.
Experian QAS, a vendor of customer data quality software and services, has announced it will host a Webinar with the U.S. Naval Institute, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support sea services, to discuss how it has used QAS matchIT to improve its entire customer service operation, including the Web site ordering system and member service operation.
Since deploying QAS matchIT in 2007, the U.S. Naval Institute has reported a 93 percent decrease in the number of duplicate customer records entered into its database system.
During this complimentary Webinar on Thursday, August 21, 2008, Michelle Johnson, customer service manager at the U.S. Naval Institute, will discuss how the company was able to achieve this.
QAS matchIT gives users the ability to search for and eliminate duplicates in any database or list. Matches can be based on a customizable set of data fields such as name, address, phone number, date of birth or any other field.
Since deploying QAS matchIT, the U.S. Naval Institute has reduced the number of duplicate records entered each week from 140 to ten.
"We considered a number of data cleansing and de-duplication software options," said Rick Woodcock, chief technology officer, US Naval Institute. During the Webinar, the U.S. Naval Institute will discuss the effects duplicate records in its database and the product it put in place to help elevate them.
The broadcast is tomorrow, Thursday, August 21, at 2:00 p.m. ET, 11:00 a.m. PT. Register at http://www.qas.com/USNI
Fun Fact You Didn't Know: The U.S. Naval Institute was founded in 1873 by a group of 15 naval officers who began meeting to discuss the serious implications of a smaller, post-Civil War Navy and other matters of professional interest. The U.S. Naval Institute focuses on Magazines and Conferences, the Naval Institute Press, and the history and preservation of naval and maritime heritage.
And in 1984 The Naval Institute Press, which rarely publishes fiction, decided to publish a novel written by an insurance agent who had never published a novel before, and whose book, The Hunt For Red October, had been rejected by every publisher the author, Tom Clancy, had shown it to.
MicroStrategy Incorporated, a vendor of business intelligence software, has announced that Sand Technology, which sells intelligent data management software and best practices, has entered into an OEM agreement with MicroStrategy.
The Sandmen say the company plans to include MicroStrategy software in its data management products to provide reporting capabilities to its customers.
Sand Technology's products are geared to helping users "store and retrieve large amounts of granular or historical data in a small footprint" by compressing the data into a searchable data repository. By including MicroStrategy's business intelligence software, Sand officials believe they can offer a broader product to customers with reporting functionality. Sand customers will have the ability to access MicroStrategy reports.
"Our customers rely on Sand Technology for cost-effective data management products for their data," said Richard Grondin, Vice President R&D and Product Deployment at Sand Technology. "MicroStrategy is well-suited for our technology and our customers' reporting requirements."
StrongMail Systems, which sells on-premise products for marketing and transactional e-mail, has announced the StrongMail Message Studio Express Bundle as a new addition to its product line marketed to small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs).
Offered exclusively from StrongMail's value-added reseller partners, this package is designed for businesses that send less than one million messages per month.
The bundle is a turnkey package that combines all the hardware, software and services required for SMBs to work with their e-mail programs. StrongMail officials call it an option for managing their email on-premise while also taking advantage of a predictable cost model that eliminates the costly CPM fees associated with ESPs. By expanding its product line for lower-volume senders, StrongMail now makes it possible for any size organization to own its email infrastructure.
By offering this new package via StrongMail's fast-growing network of value-added resellers, StrongMail will be leveraging the sales resources of its strategic partners with extensive sales coverage throughout the United States. Lexnet Consulting Group, a StrongMail partner and CRM product reseller, recently sold the StrongMail Message Studio Express Bundle to Lussori, an established retailer of fine jewelry and timepieces.
"At Lussori, we represent some of the world's most prestigious jewelry companies, and our email communications must reflect the same level of excellence that is associated with these luxury brands," says Lawrence Kosick, CEO of Lussori. "Lussori chose StrongMail because of the depth and breadth of its tool set, technology and analytics, which will enable us to create highly personalized messages that get delivered."