By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, one of the very, very few jazz albums to be every bit as good as the hype:
Infusionsoft, a vendor of marketing automation software for small businesses, has been ranked 226th on the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. The vendor debuted last year at 258th.
Infusionsoft was ranked the 10th fastest growing among software companies on the Inc 500, as well the only marketing automation software provider to make the list. For companies hailing from Arizona, Infusionsoft ranked third highest in growth.
"Making the list the first time was a thrill, but getting on the Inc 500 again and beating our debut ranking is even sweeter and cause for some celebration," said Clate Mask, president and CEO of Infusionsoft.
Two of the vendor's customers appearing on this year's Inc. 500 are ForeclosuresDaily.com based in Largo, Florida ranking 35th, and Options University based in Boca Raton, Florida, at no. 276.
The 2008 Inc. 500 list measures revenue growth from 2004 through 2007. To qualify, companies must be U.S.-based and privately held, independent as of December 31, 2007, and have had at least $200,000 in revenue in 2004, and $2 million in 2007.
Chordiant and IBM officials say the two firms have expanded their alliance for an additional five years, "with particular focus on global healthcare, communications, and insurance markets." Chordiant and IBM have completed implementations in North America and Europe.
Under the agreement, Chordiant can access the network of nearly 40 IBM Innovation Centers in new and emerging markets, such as Asia and Eastern Europe. The Chordiantes will be able to "work side by side with IBM sales, marketing, technical experts and engineers," company officials say.
"Businesses globally are spending considerable time and resources on new customer experience initiatives," said Mark Hanny, vice president of global ISV alliances, IBM. "IBM's strength in hardware, software, and services combines with Chordiant's expertise in decision-based front-office products for our chosen verticals."
Chordiant and IBM's SOA products are based on Chordiant's decision management products and multi-channel SOA platform, IBM WebSphere, DB2, Rational, and Lotus software, IBM hardware including System x and Power Systems servers, and systems integration expertise from IBM Global Business Services.
These software offerings are billed as providing clients with "a single, comprehensive view of their customer interactions across any number of call center agents or channels." The combined products also provide case management, along with "improved control over customer retention."
IT services and products seller Datacentrix is in the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for South Africa's Rand Water's Customer Service and Corporate Communications departments, replacing its legacy system.
The initial phase of the project has seen the CRM product rolled out to Rand Water's Customer Service Center as a tool to log calls and assign actions to the relevant people across the organization.
According to Phokeng Mohatlane, Account Director at Datacentrix, Rand Water wanted to manage the turnaround time on the calls received to its call center and also the volume of calls processed per agent. "Essentially, Rand Water needed a product that would provide the Customer Service department with the ability to deliver consistent customer experiences," he said, adding that "in terms of the Corporate Communications department, the company's objective was to deliver 'impactful' marketing campaigns, as well as consistent communication and professional events management."
Steven Moodley, Manager IT Applications at Rand Water's IT & KM Division, said the product has "affordable license fees and fewer customizations to be made to the system to fulfill our specific requirements, resulting in future cost savings and effectiveness through replacing the legacy CRM system with MS CRM."
Tokyo's Oki Electric Industry has announced that the company's Board of Directors has approved the spin-off of its telecommunications business through an incorporation-type company split and the establishment of Oki Networks Co., Ltd., effective October 1.
By splitting off its telecom division, excluding legacy-type business, Oki officials say they want to expand the company's telecom business by "enhancing product development to compete in the rapidly changing global network market."
Oki generally sells telecom products to Japan's major telecom carriers and to the enterprise network market. However, in recent years, as networks migrate to IP and the use of NGN-based ubiquitous networks accelerates, Oki has seen fit to alter their approach to accommodate the competition.
"We understand that it is essential to further increase flexibility in management and establish a business structure that can respond to the changing market in a more agile and timely manner. Thus, we decided to establish Oki Networks," said Masayoshi Matsushita, Senior Vice President at Oki.
Oki Networks will offer services connecting telecom networks with enterprise networks based on NGN, and will continue to expand its telecom business by creating products "with an eye on the global market." This will be done, company officials say, by using its strengths in network technology and network integration technology.
Oki Electric Industry was founded in 1881 as Japan's first telecommunications manufacturer, with its headquarters in Tokyo. Gotta admire a company that's been around for over 120 years and survived World War II.
Infra-Strategy, a vendor of managed services for small and mid-sized professional service firms, has announced that the company has been named to Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 5000" list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
In addition to placing 169th overall in the U.S., Infra-Strategy ranked eighth in the Top 100 Businesses in the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet-Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin region, and 23rd among the Top 100 Business Services companies.
Revenues for the company have at least doubled every year since its founding, and increased 1,400 percent between 2004 and 2007 alone, according to Edmund Scanlan, founder and CEO of Infra-Strategy.
Infra-Strategy sells a suite of services, from marketing to management, to "lighten their load of running a business." Among the services they provide are search engine marketing, professional call centers, CRM products (offered as Software as a Service), IT management and risk prevention, advanced answering services, and legal process outsourcing.
Infra-Strategy currently counts more than 1,100 small law firms nationwide as clients. The company's Web-based businesses -- such as TotalAttorneys.com, TotalBankruptcy.com, TotalImmigrationLaw.com, TotalDivorce.com, and TotalInjury.com -- give small, local law firms the legal research resources they need for help in such areas as bankruptcy and settling DUI claims.
"There is a huge demand for these types of support services among small and mid-sized firms," said Kevin Chern, Infra-Strategy President and formerly the head of the largest bankruptcy law firm in the U.S."