By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Belle & Sebastian's The Life Pursuit (think The Smiths meet The Kinks in a studio with a policy against lead guitars, or The Beautiful South on a summer's day). Ungraciously dubbed "twee-rock" in some quarters, it's admittedly no Black Sabbath or Metallica, you'd sooner expect a harpsichord fugue than a guitar solo, but well-crafted pop music with corrosively bitter lyrics swimming in the sweet syrupy arrangements:
Equisys, a developer of software products for document production and delivery and a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has announced the launch of Zetadocs for NAV 1.2, the latest version of Zetadocs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
By adding electronic document delivery and storage to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Zetadocs for NAV is designed to let users "limit their reliance on paper in their finance processes," as well as improve credit control, and comply with industry regulations on data storage and access, company officials say.
The production of financial documents is usually both labor and paper intensive. Delivering documents electronically with Zetadocs is pitched as reducing the amount of time spent producing the documents, cutting down on the amount of paper used, and eliminating postage costs.
Chris Oswald, CEO of Equisys, calls the release of Zetadocs for NAV 1.2 "the next step in our vision to provide the complete document management and delivery product for Microsoft Dynamics NAV."
Zetadocs for NAV is integrated with Microsoft SharePoint Server and Windows SharePoint Services so companies can store and retrieve financial documents associated with a particular customer or supplier.
The latest version supports purchase invoice processing in addition to the sales order processing already available, Oswald says, adding that "this makes it simple to store copies of both inbound sales orders and purchase invoices electronically, whether they are received on paper, by fax or by e-mail."
DataArt, a software outsourcing company with development centers in Russia and the Ukraine, was selected by InsWorld.com to "improve data import and data mapping processes for its patented publishing software," DataArt officials say.
InsWorld.com sells e-mail publications that allow banking, accounting, and insurance organizations to send personalized newsletters to their clients. DataArt integrated InsWorld's existing subscription management system with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 and created a framework that helped to facilitate the integration.
Enhancements in the data import processes made the system more "manageable and robust," DataArt officials say, while "improved data mapping usability enriched the overall end-user experience."
Eugene Goland, President of DataArt, said CRM customization "has become a strong offering in the roster of DataArt's services, and we'll continue to build on our experience in the sector."
Edward Roemke, CEO of InsWorld.com, said the CRM integration tool "has eliminated slower data exchanges, reduced data-entry errors and greatly improved our operational efficiency."
Cranfield University has announced a new full and part time MSc course in enterprise system implementation. Course director Dr. Ip Shing Fan says it's aimed at "developing individuals' understanding of business operations, how IT can help in industrial business and the necessity of people buy-in for IT to support change."
Coverage ranges from enterprise systems such as ERP and CRM to supply chain management and Product Lifecycle Management.
It also considers "integration tools aimed at increasing productivity by automating work processes, maintaining a single picture of corporate data and satisfying regulatory compliance requirements," course officials say, adding that the enterprise system implementation program "also specifically focuses on implementation challenges."
Cranfield is running an open day on 3 September. The course is open to UK residents and candidates with a good first degree, even some years ago, could receive funding support.
Integration Technologies, which sells on-demand product integration, has announced the availability of Ascent in IT's integrated supply chain products for InterWeave customers.
ISC products are designed to integrate best of breed vendors, companies like Salesforce.com, Nexternal and Merkatis Order Management System, Ascent's Online Inventory and Warehouse System and Intuit's Quickbooks. These core applications are supported by Contactual's on-demand contact center and HelpStreams's customer service application.
Customers choose only the applications they need to build their supply chain product, Integration officials say, adding that "this is not a legacy application where customers have no control over function or cost, and it's all configurable with the InterWeave Customer Portal."
"The ICP offers an on-demand platform for InterWeave customers to expand their existing applications with integration capabilities," Bruce Magown, Chairman of Integration Technologies said: "Ascent provides customers with inventory and warehouse functionality in a SaaS form -- the first on the force.com platform."
"This partnership aims to close the loop by creating a complete SaaS ERP application on the force.com platform," said VP of Sales and Marketing Shaun McInerney. "The Ascent Inventory and Warehouse Solution is the first On-demand inventory control product designed specifically for the force.com platform."
First Coffee remembers much of the stated reason for awarding Beijing the 2008 Olympics ten years ago was as a reward for pledges from the Chinese to "open up," loosen of the state's iron fist of control, and use the games to celebrate China's emergence as a tolerant society. So how's that working out, cheating with underage gymnasts aside?
As Simon Jary
reports, "Chinese authorities have blocked Apple's iTunes Music Store, apparently because 'more than 40' athletes have listened to protest songs by bands such as Rush and Alanis Morissette.
"The US Tibetan activist group The Art of Peace Foundation invited Olympic athletes to download the album 'Songs for Tibet' free of charge.
"On Monday iTunes stopped working in China -- apparently another example of the so-called 'Great Firewall of China.' The size of the Chinese Internet police is estimated at more than 30,000."
Incidentally, the other country with a billion people, India, won its first-ever individual Olympic gold medal at this Olympics. Think about it, that's a staggering statistic. As one commentator said, look what happens when you emphasize schooling over sports.
Ahmedabad-based GlobalTech is "all set" to acquire a majority stake in Belgium-based Perfectview Belgie, a CRM vendor, at a deal price of nearly €2 million, GlobalTech officials say.
With this deal, GlobalTech expects to get "wide reach in the European market and access to the 1,600 client-base of Perfectview," a company executive said, adding that the due diligence of the all-cash deal is over and the deal will be closed shortly.
The company has raised the money through its internal accruals and reserves. "We'll acquire a majority stake in Perfectview that will give us a major footprint in the European market," said GlobalTech director Paresh Vasani. The company will retain the manpower and infrastructure facilities of Perfectview at Belgium, while designing and manufacturing will be done at Ahmedabad.
The other procedures "will be over within next month," company officials say.
Perfectview, a client of GlobalTech for the last 4-5 years, has a strong focus on CRM products in Europe. "Our aim is to become a product-selling company besides being a designing company, and to cater to the emerging nations of Europe," Vasani said.
The company is aiming to develop CRM based products "so as to directly compete with Microsoft's version in Europe at nearly half the cost," GlobalTech officials say, explaining that "for a long time, the company has been finding it difficult to deal with different language and software applications that are being used in Europe. This acquisition will give a straight entry with local effect."
With this deal, the company will also be able to launch CRM based products in India under GlobalTech brand, catering to small and medium range of companies in India across sectors- pharma, engineering, consumer electronics. For the manufacturing of various CRM products, the company will set up a unit in Ahmedabad.