By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Jim Wallace and Sons doing that great traditional Scots standard "Wild Mountain Thyme:"
Sword ciboodle, a vendor of customer-oriented business software and services, has announced it has established its North American headquarters in Chicago.
The office will initially be staffed by key U.S. sales and operations personnel, with further expansion via a major recruitment drive over the next 12 months as the company seeks, in its officials' words, to become "the fastest-growing CRM provider in North America."
Additional Sword ciboodle consultants will be based in Sword Group locations in North America, including New York and San Francisco.
Sword has appointed Howard Koenig to head up North American operations for the group, while Rick Rowley has been appointed as Sword ciboodle's U.S operations director. Rowley will be based out of Chicago, while Koenig will operate out of Sword's New York office.
Koenig will "drive Sword Group's North American strategy," company officials say, with responsibility for business development and operations across all the group's U.S. business units. Rowley's role will include management of several enterprise customers from Sword ciboodle's North American client base, as well as managing field operations, development of staff and recruitment.
The company expects that a significant percentage of its global growth will come from the U.S. over the next few years.
Koenig was previously a Partner at Accenture, a senior executive at Oracle, and has been the CEO of two venture-funded Software as a Service companies. Rowley comes to Sword ciboodle from The Revere Group, where as Principal he worked at client executive levels. Prior to Revere, he was also a contributor to Fujitsu's Global Advisory Services and Enterprise organizations.
Sword ciboodle will be demonstrating ciboodle at the upcoming Gartner CRM Summit in Washington DC, September 8 - 10.
Apisphere, a vendor of location-awareness services for mobile business applications and devices, has announced a partnership with Fieldpoint Service Applications to integrate its real-time geo-location data capabilities into FieldPoint's mobile help desk, field service, contracts and project management applications.
Fieldpoint's Alert software offers Web-based professional services applications. Apisphere's Geo-Enabled Mobility platform will be integrated with Alert to enhance the application with location-awareness capabilities.
Apisphere will work with Fieldpoint to provide geographical information designed to "improve efficiency and reduce costs," company officials say, ranging from delivering location-specific traffic updates to service vehicles on route, to assigning a support call to service technicians in the field based on their current location.
"By providing our customers with up-to-the-minute geographic data, we will be able to help them manage and deploy their resources," said Rich Smart, CEO, Fieldpoint. "With Apisphere's real-time location-awareness capabilities integrated into our Alert software, we can further differentiate our professional services by providing customers access to meaningful and relevant geographic information at their fingertips."
"With the enormous growth in professional services market worldwide, businesses are looking for products that can help them respond more rapidly and accurately in any situation as well as make quick decisions on how to most effectively allocate resources," said Craig Harper, CEO, Apisphere.
AKoTel Telekommunikations GmbH has released IVAN, described by company officials as "an enterprise carrier grade call center management product that combines the call distribution capabilities of an automatic call distribution system with the data collection capabilities of IVR technology, all in one easy-to-use web interface for x800 numbers, international DID's and premium rate numbers."
Interactive Voice Application Network is an enterprise carrier grade platform to handle IVR, call center and call distribution services for x800 numbers, international DID's and premium rate numbers.
IVAN makes use of the freely available Asterisk Open Source and will be delivered inside AsterLive. It can be run straight from the CD without installation. AsterLive uses Debian Etch 4.0 as its operating system and includes Apache, MySQL and PHP. The product supports "all major ISDN HFC-S, Digium and Junghans phone cards," company officials say, as well as -- direct quote -- "their plagiarisms which are available on the market."
"With IVAN you do not get a standalone call center product, you get a complete IVR, routing and interactive telephony platform on which you can combine all features on a modular basis," says Alfred Kohl, CEO of ZaKoTel GmbH.
A comprehensive description, free download and a forum for the AsterTools Suite is available at: http://www.astertools.com
Wainhouse Research has found in its latest WebMetrics Survey that energy and gas prices are "greatly impacting" how business is being conducted, specifically leading to "expanded use of existing and addition of new collaboration technologies."
The WebMetrics Survey explores attitudes towards telework and environmental initiatives, brand perceptions, usage habits and feature preferences as they relate to Web conferencing for the first half of the year 2008.
The study found that almost 2 out of 5 reported that their organizations have launched some type of "green" initiative. One-third of respondent organizations have expanded or have plans to expand their existing conferencing and collaboration technologies, and 22 percent have "added" or "plan to add" new conferencing and collaboration technologies.
26 percent of those who responded say their organizations have expanded their telework programs, enabling employees to work from home more frequently.
"Rising energy prices have resulted in a surge in use of conferencing and collaboration technologies, and telework is one of several silver bullets that are helping enterprises programmatically add collaboration technologies," said Alan Greenberg, senior analyst & partner, Wainhouse Research.
The findings show what Wainhouse officials characterize as "a shift from brick-and-mortar to online meetings through the increased use of Instant Messaging, applications integrated with Web conferencing, and directory services to launch ad hoc meetings."
Andy Nilssen, senior analyst & partner Wainhouse Research, said while we expected "some growth, we're seeing a total of 41 percent of the panel -- an increase of 10 percent over this time last year -- taking advantage of enterprise-grade IM technologies."
This WebMetrics report was compiled using data collected from 149 end user panelists qualified as individuals in enterprises, small to medium business, education or government and military.
Neil Young will be present at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce -08. Exactly what he'll be doing there is a bit hazy, but he will be in the building. At some point.
Malcolm Gladwell, Dr. Larry Brilliant and Michael Dell will join Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff to speak at 6th annual Salesforce.com user and developer conference.
Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point. Brilliant is Google.org executive director. Young will evidently be there in his capacity as team member of Linc Volt, and Dell will be Dell.
Linc Volt is evidently an organization wanting to make cleaner, greener cars. Given the dozens of old gas-guzzlers Young owns and runs it's dry humor at best.