CRM, Other Microsoft Licensing Updates, Bosque for Open, CDC's New ERP, Eskadenia CRM in Sudan

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CRM, Other Microsoft Licensing Updates, Bosque for Open, CDC's New ERP, Eskadenia CRM in Sudan

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Van Morrison's live album It's Too Late To Stop Now being piped out to all office buildings, the equestrian annex, branch offices in Dublin, Auckland and Cape Town and to all First Coffee corporate aircraft and yachts:
According to Microsoft officials, beginning September 1 customers will be able to move any of 41 Microsoft server applications between servers within a server farm as often as necessary without paying additional licensing fees, and can get expanded specialized technical support as well.
"Businesses are taking steps to make their IT operations more dynamic and are delving into virtualization as a cornerstone strategy," said Zane Adam, senior director of integrated virtualization in the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft.
Microsoft also will begin a worldwide series of "Get Virtual Now" events this month that will showcase Microsoft virtualization products and partner products, reaching more than 250,000 IT workers, the company said.
Microsoft said it is updating its software licensing terms for 41 server applications, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise edition, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 Standard and Enterprise editions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Enterprise and Professional editions, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and Microsoft System Center products.
With the new terms, the company is waiving its previous 90-day reassignment rule, allowing customers to reassign licenses from one server to another within a server farm as frequently as needed. For many customers, the change will reduce the number of licenses they need to support their IT systems and simplify the tracking of application instances or processors because customers now can count licenses by server farm instead of by server.
"IDC research is finding that the use of server virtualization is moving past the early adopter stage and is quickly becoming a mainstream product," said Al Gillen, research vice president for system software at IDC.
Microsoft has updated its technical support policy for 31 server applications so that customers can receive technical support when deploying those applications on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V Server or any other third-party validated virtualization platform.
This month, according to the company, Microsoft begins a worldwide series of events designed to educate people on Microsoft virtualization products, deployment tools and partner products. The series of more than 100 events started Aug. 3 in South Africa, continues Sept. 8 with a U.S. kickoff event and eventually will cover more than 50 other countries.
CDC Software, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and vendor of enterprise software and services, has announced the introduction of Ross Enterprise v6.3, which company officials describe as a new version release of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) product.
Ross ERP now offers CDC Software's Smart Client technology with a thin client graphical user interface.
The product, according to company officials, offers "improved access and integration to the Microsoft desktop," so users can extract data from Ross ERP with familiar Microsoft Office products. The product is being pitched "from an IT support perspective," claiming "a lower total cost of ownership through centralized system administration, minimized deployment costs and reduced maintenance requirements when installing system upgrades."

Ross Enterprise v6.3 provides new application features for enhanced visibility into a company's production and supply chain. Inventory visibility with a projected inventory inquiry is now available for a "net change" picture of the actual time-phase availability of finished goods and related intermediate products and ingredients, without having to perform a complete analysis.
A new process and production flow user inquiry has also been added. The project accounting module included in Ross Enterprise v6.3 puts financial reporting requirements against individual projects over time. A landed cost feature lets manufacturers include additional related costs of material such as freight, insurance, handling and duty as part of valuing inventory at time of receipt.
First National Bank of Bosque County has selected Open Solutions's The Complete Banking Solution: DNA, described by company officials as "the latest release of its relational core data processing platform."
Open Solutions sells technologies for financial service providers throughout the United States, Canada and internationally.
Based in Valley Mills, Texas, FNB Bosque holds approximately $93 million in assets, and serves 6,700 accounts through four branches. Established in 1908, the bank recently announced its 60th consecutive "Five-Star Safety Rating" from Bauer Financial.
FNB Bosque will implement the product in an outsourced processing environment.
Brent Rickles, senior vice president for FNB Bosque County, says they're making the move for better commercial lending capabilities, integration with the bank's Internet banking application and payments processing and improved Check 21 and branch capture capabilities.
"It is clear that changes in the financial industry will be shifting the way banks function in the near future," said Rickles. "We decided it was best to address these changes now, as opposed to reacting when they happen."
The Complete Banking Solution is built on an Oracle relational database designed to be an open architecture application, and available as an in-house or outsourced product.
In addition to The Complete Banking Solution, FNB Bosque is also implementing Open Solutions' digital document product (electronic document management), cView (CRM/business intelligence), e-Commerce Banker (Internet banking and cash management), loan origination systems, the financial accounting suite, item processing with branch capture, as well as Open Solutions' telephony ASP and ATM services.
Jordan-based Eskadenia Software has signed with NOW for the license and deployment of its Billing and Customer Relationship Management system (Eskadenia BCRM) at the telco's operations in Southern Sudan.
NOW is building the first Southern Sudanese GSM network planned to go live in Q4, 2008 under the brand name Vivacell. The billing system will let NOW handle all billing services, customer care aspects, interconnect and roaming agreements, and customer self-care Internet access for post-paid subscribers connected to its GSM and GPRS networks, according to the Eskadenians.

The bilingual Eskadenia BCRM allows real-time billing in telecommunication networks. The modular software product includes modules for Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, Service Provisioning, Product & Pricing Management, Rate Plan Management and Revenue Sharing, among others, in addition to a Point of Sale system.
Eskadenia will also deploy its Web-enabled GSM Mediation Gateway, connected to the switching network. The Mediation Gateway at the New Mobile Network will be interfaced to Ericsson Mobile Switch Center and Ericsson Intelligent Network.

Eskadenia BCRM and Eskadenia Mediation Gateway have been designed and developed at Eskadenia in accordance with both the GSM and CCITT recommendations for billing and number plan standards. The Billing & Customer Relationship Management System supports billing for landline telephony services and Intelligent Network services.

The agreement was signed with PMF Telecommunications Holding Ltd., the entity assigned by NOW to handle its network and services procurement from various suppliers.

"The annual telecommunications investment is rising substantially in Sudan and already represents one of the fastest growing telecom markets in Africa," said Nael Salah, Managing Director of Eskadenia Software. "Our new project with NOW is hopefully the start of other successful projects."

Network of the World (NOW) is a Sudanese telecom operator. Eskadenia Software is based in Jordan and has sales activities in Europe, the Middle East, America and Africa; more than 80 percent of its sales are exported to the Global ICT market.

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