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September 2008

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CRM Microsoft Training, FrontRange's Centennial, Marketbright's Event Manager, NEC's VoIP, Allegiance Study

September 23, 2008

The news as of the crucial third cup of coffee this morning, and the music is quite simply the greatest rock album ever, The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main Street:   Training Camp, a developer and provider of IT training programs, has announced that the company is offering two new courses on the subject of Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Applications and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installations and Deployment.   "Customer Relationship Management has become key to a company's success in the long run," said Steve Gaudino, Chief Operating Officer of Training Camp.   Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Applications is intended to provide instruction including knowledge of the configuration, management and customization of the application, as well as instruction on new features, installation and networking with Windows Vista.    Students completing the course and exams will have the Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist and Professional Application certifications.   Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Installations and Deployment will provide an overview of the components of Dynamics CRM, installation, deployment and redeployment, upgrades and repairs, as well as instruction on the installation, configuration and troubleshooting of servers, Training Camp officials say.   Students completing the course and exams will acquire the Microsoft Certified Business Management Solutions Specialist, Professional Installation and Deployment, MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring and MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring certifications.

  Training Camp, founded in 1999, is a privately held company headquartered in Philadelphia. ...   FrontRange Solutions has announced the latest version of its IT audit product, Centennial Discovery 8.0, which company officials say "introduces an integrated approach to populating Service Management and Client Lifecycle Management products with information about all IT assets on the network."   Centennial Discovery 8.0 is the first new version of the product since FrontRange acquired Centennial Software in April 2008. This version, the FrontRangers say, was developed to provide "a direct feed from its asset repository into existing FrontRange software modules: FrontRange IT Service Management, FrontRange Client Lifecycle (formerly Enteo, which FrontRange acquired in 2007) and FrontRange's flagship Help Desk software, called HEAT products."   Centennial Discovery 8.0 also provides software installation and usage information to the Centennial License Manager product.   "One of the main criticisms leveled at framework products is that they lack integration between components and are expensive to customize," says Andy Burton, the newly appointed vice president for the Infrastructure Management Group at FrontRange.   Steve Dryer, CEO of SMA Management Systems, a FrontRange reseller in North America, sees a great market opportunity for the integrated products. "The Centennial IT asset discovery and license management products are popular with customers," he noted, adding that the integration will "add value to the FrontRange IT infrastructure and service management products."   The company is offering a free 30-day trial available at www.frontrange.com/discovery. ...   Marketbright, an on-demand marketing automation platform, has launched Event Manager, an event management product designed to help marketing organizations manage event execution and lead generation.   Event Manager is an automated product billed by company officials as one that "simplifies campaign execution, the process of event campaign development, prospect and customer follow up, event promotions and response analysis."

In conjunction with the release of Event Manager, Marketbright will also be hosting a free Webinar with Serena Software on September 25th, 2008 at 11:00 AM PDT to share best practices for successful event management.   The product offers Web site integration designed to let marketers "add new campaigns and remove expired campaigns from the Web site while not compromising existing color and brand elements."   It "optimizes event content for search engines," company officials say, "transforming e-mail lists into customized invitations and automating follow up e-mails to customers and prospects."  

"As companies realize the need to improve their sales and marketing programs, they are increasingly looking for the latest automation products that will simplify and make the most out of marketing events," said Dom Lindars, CEO of Marketbright. ...   Charging that marketers "often ignore a critical measurement -- customer attitudes and emotions -- when examining customer behavior," Allegiance, a vendor of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) products, is offering "Do You Know Why Customers Really Buy," described as a white paper explaining "how new feedback technology can provide essential attitudinal data to help determine how to present the right message to the right customer at the right time."

Most businesses focus on geographic, demographic or psychographic data to analyze customer behavior, the study finds adding that "many use systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to track customer transactions. However, an attitudinal approach to modeling behavior uncovers the reasons why people do what they do."   The purpose of the paper, its authors say, is to understand the "spark" of the relationship and what role emotion plays in customer decision making.

CRM From Big Contacts, TAS and Oracle, Promero, IBolt and Magic, Mellon in Athens, CRM and Health

September 23, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama's There Will Be A Light album:   Big Contacts, a Web-based contact management (CRM) and Sales Force Automation platform allowing companies to coordinate calendars and pipelines online, has announced the redesign of its Web site, www.BigContacts.com, to provide what company officials say will be "better access to tools and features.   "The updates made to BigContacts.com enable customers to better understand the CRM services that we provide," says Bob Walton, founder and managing member.   One major change to the service is an enhanced Web support system, Walton says, which will "ensure more timely response to client questions."   The Big Contacts products page has been revamped to include multiple screencasts that explain product features in an easy to follow video format. The screencasts provide both an overview of the Big Contacts platform, as well as explanations of the various tools and functions inherent in the platform.   With the updated Web site, Big Contacts customers now have real time access to information while out of the office, allowing for quick retrieval of online calendars, contacts, tasks and more. ...   The TAS Group, a vendor of sales effectiveness products, announced on Monday that two of its products, the TAS Select Live! for Opportunity Management and TAS Select Live! for Account Management, have been upgraded to support enterprise software company Oracle's CRM On Demand.   According to the company, the new capability, building on the existing support of Oracle's Siebel CRM, means that the Oracle CRM Platform and The TAS Group's sales methodology, process and technology are available in an integrated on-demand package.   The company is a Certified Advantage Partner in the Oracle PartnerNetwork.   The integrated product, TAS officials say, offers "increased sales effectiveness and quota achievement, more revenue through increased deal close rates and improved account penetration, improved forecast accuracy and reinforcement of best practices through daily use of the software."   No pricing details were disclosed. ...   Magic Software Enterprises, a vendor of application platforms, and business and process integration products, has announced that Magic Software Israel and Blat Lapidot have completed an application integration project for AeroScout, a vendor of Unified Asset Visibility products.   The project was accomplished using Magic Software's iBOLT business integration suite -- "specially adapted for integrating Salesforce.com," company officials say.   The product is designed to facilitate the bi-directional flow of mission-critical information between the company's subscription-based Salesforce.com CRM system and their various on-premise IT systems, including the Priority ERP system and others.   According to Ran Shalev, chief financial officer of AeroScout, one advantage of iBOLT was "the ability to connect the business services that we receive from Salesforce.com to the operational systems that we operate on the premises of the company."   Magic Software's iBOLT business integration suite is described by company officials as "straightforward, code-free and can integrate on-demand CRM applications such as Salesforce.com with other enterprise business applications." ...   Promero, a member of the Oracle Partner Network, announced that the popular contact center Anywhere On Demand hosted service will be enhanced with the new features included in Oracle's Contact Center Anywhere v8.   Since 2003, Promero has used Contact Center Anywhere v6.5 for its hosted on-demand service offering.

CRM from Satuit, Blueroads and Oracle, TreeHouse PRM, Etelos and Blink Logic, FTS in Indonesia, Tierlinear CRM

September 23, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's state-of-the-art gospel bluegrass a cappella album There's A Light Guiding Me. This is simply as good as the genre gets these days -- which is very, very good:   Satuit Technologies, vendor of Client Relationship Management (CRM) products, has said that Evercore Asset Management has adopted the vendor's products for the professional investment market.   Satuit's SatuitCRM is designed specifically for the financial services industry, company officials say, adding that the product provides EAM with a product to capture, manage and access information about clients and prospects.   EAM is using SatuitCRM as a repository for all client and prospect contact information, as well as a way to track e-mails, meetings, call notes, direct mail and marketing campaigns.   From SatuitCRM's Web-based interface, EAM's staff generates lists based upon open activities, open RFPs and current opportunities, EAM officials say, adding that they also have the capability to develop home pages to "organize and focus" sales efforts.   "Our contact management database is essential to our sales and relationship management efforts, and therefore, SatuitCRM is essential to our overall business," said Gail Landis, a managing partner and head of EAM's business development group.   The integration with Microsoft Outlook lets EAM send e-mails through Outlook to SatuitCRM for tracking and to schedule meetings through SatuitCRM that can be synced with Outlook's calendars. ...   Blueroads, a vendor of Partner Opportunity Management products for medium and large enterprises, has announced that it has been selected as a charter member of Oracle's new CRM On Demand Inner Circle Partner Initiative.   The initiative "showcases a select group of best-of-breed partners that have demonstrated significant value and customer traction with Oracle's sales organization," Blueroads officials say.   "Our product management team has thoroughly reviewed the partner ecosystem for the most synergistic products from our partners," says Julie Adams, vice president Oracle CRM On Demand Products. "Blueroads, as part of the Oracle CRM On Demand Inner Circle Partner Initiative, will provide our customers and prospects complementary value-added functionality in the Partner Opportunity Management arena."   Blueroads' product offers data exchange with Oracle's CRM products. Its latest Blueroads Connect enhancement "helps to simplify and speed the integration of these enterprise products, resulting in advanced CRM/PRM capability for medium and large enterprises" that rely on their indirect selling channels, company officials say.   "Our focus is on mid to large enterprises and this partnership allows us to provide a robust product with the CRM system of record for a majority of those clients," said Charles Watson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Blueroads.   Oracle will be demonstrating the combined Blueroads / Oracle CRM product in the Moscone South Hall, Booth 1032 on September 24th from 1-2 p.m. ...   TreeHouse Interactive, a vendor on demand partner relationship management, channel sales force automation and marketing automation products, has announced the integration of its Reseller View PRM product with Oracle CRM On Demand.   This new integration will allow Oracle CRM On Demand customers to deliver partner portals to their partner networks.

SugarCRM and Agilent, Epicor and LightBlocks, TreeHouse, Affinity and Siebel CRM

September 18, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Robert Earl Keen's Live from Austin, Texas:   Epicor Software, which sells business software products for the midmarket, has announced that LightBlocks has selected Epicor Manufacturing software to "support the company's continued growth and increase efficiency across its manufacturing process."   In addition to core functionality, LightBlocks plans to take advantage of Epicor's customer relationship management (CRM) module. "CRM is a large focus here," explained Michael Samborn, vice president of sales with LightBlocks.   LightBlocks's implementation of Epicor, the Epicorians say, marks "the first enterprise resource planning product used to create the company's distinct, light transmitting acrylic for architectural design finishes."   Created in 1999 by "public artist" and design studio owner Mary Boone Wellington, LightBlocks are patented, durable and adaptable light transmitting panels. "From partitions to ceilings, furniture, doors, lighting fixtures, flooring, sculpture and public art, LightBlocks support many architectural uses," Epicor officials say.   Today, LightBlocks designs, manufactures and distributes their custom product to clients spanning all types of industry including Bank of America, Saks Fifth Avenue, Random House, NASDAQ, NBA, IBM and Warner Brothers Studio. "Our company roots are in public art -- we create a different, custom product nearly every time," said Ken Bush, chief financial officer at LightBlocks. "It was important that we find an ERP system that allows us to break out of the mold of widgets and standard, repeat processes."   Rod Winger, senior director of product marketing for Epicor's manufacturing and supply chain management products, said Epicor Manufacturing will let LightBlocks "drive lean business practices in their continued transcendence of art and architecture." ...   Salt Lake City-based TreeHouse Interactive, which sells on-demand partner relationship management, channel sales force automation and marketing automation products, has announced what company officials say are "significant advances" in its product suite which includes TreeHouse ResellerView, Sales View and MarketingView.   As a result, according to the TreeHousers, organizations "are able to improve efficiencies and process integration between partners and manufacturers and benefit from the combination of sales force automation with channel management."

The channel is described by company officials as "one of the core components for driving revenue and achieving greater market penetration in less time." While partners have become key to scaling sales operations, management of the channel has historically suffered from inefficiencies, they believe.   "Information systems have been focused on discrete aspects, not the entire process of tracking customers, conducting effective marketing and lead generation campaigns and competing for customers and efficiently managing the channel sales lifecycle," company officials charge, adding that in order to optimize channel sales management, "organizations need to improve visibility and process integration."

To compete in today's marketplace, "brand owners and their partners must have tools and processes that assist in driving revenues efficiently as well as facilitate coordination and communication," according to Pete Marston, research analyst, customer relationship management, Forrester Research.

TreeHouse Interactive sells an enterprise-class suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM products that include partner relationship management, channel sales force automation, and multi-channel marketing automation.

CRM, ERP from Compiere, Etelos Partners, BSG and ARIA, Open Text and Compassion Intl., Oracle and Eloqua

September 17, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Dexter Gordon's Doin' Allright. Sure be nice if iTunes hadn't completely mangled his masterwork, the Go album. Honestly, what's so hard about offering a complete album for download?:   Compiere, a vendor of open source business products, has announced the addition of manufacturing-specific functionality for its open source ERP and CRM products.   The company is delivering manufacturing capabilities in phases, the first of which, available in their 3.1 product, is "targeted at manufacturers with assembly operations," company officials say.   Capabilities include support for multi-level bills of material, work-in-process tracking, completion of final assemblies to shipping, work order costing, the ability to create work orders and select customer specific options at order entry time and integration with Compiere's existing materials management, purchasing, sales order management and financial systems.   It's currently available in three editions -- professional, standard and community. Additional manufacturing capabilities will be announced in future offerings.   "Manufacturers today face new business pressures that are causing them to rethink their ERP strategies," said Don Klaiss, president and CEO, Compiere.

Siebel CRM for UniOne, IBM and iEnterprises, Landslide and CustomerCentric, Oracle and InQuira, RFID Growing

September 17, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Little Feat's Dixie Chicken. Probably the biggest difference between me and my good friends in high school was that I didn't think this band was as great as they did. Still don't.   NewMarket Technology has announced signing a contract with AndesCargo for NewMarket's Chilean subsidiary, UniOne, to implement Siebel's CRM On Demand and supply licenses for AndesCargo.   AndesCargo, founded in 1989, is an international Chilean-based freight services provider.   NewMarket's operations in Latin America, including Microsoft and Oracle partnerships, have seen what company officials say is "substantial growth" over the past year. For the first half of 2008, NewMarket's Latin American operations have accounted for approximately $12.6 million in revenue so far this year, with $528,600 in net income.   In 2007, NewMarket reported $93.1 million in revenue with $7.3 million in net income across all its operations.   UniOne is an Oracle partner in Latin America with over fourteen years in the information technology business and has recently announced several Oracle projects, to include an Oracle Siebel implementation for L'Oreal Brazil. ...   IBM and iEnterprises have announced the integration of iEnterprises' customer relationship management (CRM) software, iExtensions CRM, with IBM's social networking platform, Lotus Connections.   The idea behind integrating social networking with CRM is to let businesses build communities and relationships around contacts, and of course help increase sales, improve response rates and even offer better customer service.   "Blending social networking with CRM is an example of Tomorrow at Work, an IBM initiative that examines a changing work world and anticipates trends in technology, business, society and culture," IBM officials say.   The integration uses Web services to bring a new social networking for CRM module to iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections customers, "allowing both groups to link and synchronize information between the two systems," company officials say.   By doing so, companies hope to use business-grade social networking behind the firewall to improve their customer relationship and sales prospecting activities.   "It's like the virtual coffee machine chat -- where a massive information pool can be readily called upon, but here it's more targeted and therefore more purposeful," said James Mead, Royal Caribbean's Project Manager for International IT, and an iExtensions CRM customer, adding that the integration "could help us tap collective experiences and get answers faster."   The integration between the iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections is based on a service oriented architecture approach.

Salesforce.com and Siemens, EGain Results, Javien and CyberSports, Ascentium and Christian Aid, Pyxis and AIC

September 16, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Townes Van Zandt's Rear View Mirror. Everybody thinks this guy's one of the greatest songwriters of the past however many years, First Coffee finds him moderately enjoyable, but outside of a couple songs -- notably "Pancho and Lefty" nothing all that special:   Salesforce.com has announced that Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division selling product lifecycle management software and services, has adopted Salesforce Partners.   In addition to rolling out Salesforce Partners to more than 1,200 partner sales representatives, Siemens PLM Software has also deployed Salesforce SFA for more than 1,000 internal sales staff.   "Making it easy for our partners to do business with us increases their productivity and profitability," said Kerry Grimes, vice president, Mid-market and Global Channel Sales, Siemens PLM Software. "With Salesforce, we were able to create a single global product that provides both our direct and indirect sales representatives with access to information."   Working with Salesforce.com professional services, Siemens PLM Software deployed Salesforce SFA and Salesforce Partners to more than 2,000 users in 60 countries around the world in less than 100 days. The company used the Force.com Platform-as-a-Service to further customize its Salesforce product for its particular business needs.   The portal lets partners access sales and marketing information and materials directly from the opportunity or account record, a function intended to improve account and opportunity collaboration and "further support deal registration," company officials say.   There is also custom import/export functionality for partners to work off-line with leads and opportunities when integrating with their own contact management or CRM systems. ...   EGain Communications Corporation has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2008.   Total revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 was $6.7 million, an increase of 24 percent from the comparable year-ago quarter.

CRM for HSN, SAP CRM at IDGC, CIR and SalesPage, MindTouch and SnapLogic, Intridea's Present.ly

September 16, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Clash's Sandinista!, the sounds of a hypertalented band's mind shattering into a billion shimmering slivers:   Cambridge Investment Research has partnered with SalesPage Technologies "for all of its Advisor Relationship Management needs," Cambridge officials say.   SalesPage Broker/Dealer will initially be rolled out within Cambridge Partner Support Center, a new initiative launched in early September of 2008.   Designed as a one-stop, high-level support center, Cambridge officials say in addition to providing "a single point of contact and timely response," the Partner Support Center is "focused on achieving first time call resolution and direct, personalized communication with advisors."   The 11-member team is available 11 hours each business day to personally research and respond to advisor questions.   "We believe SalesPage will provide the tools we need to deliver the service our advisors deserve, especially for our new partner support center," said Marcia Martin, Senior Vice President, Operations & Partner Support for Cambridge, adding that the service to advisors in areas such as operations, commissions, compliance, and CIR statements was specifically targeted for improvement.   SalesPage Broker/Dealer sells a range of functionality tailored to the B/D community. SalesPage's CRM platform has been named one of ISM's "Top 15 CRM Solutions" for 6 consecutive years in The Guide to CRM Automation and Top 15 CRM and Real Time CRM software reviews. ...   MindTouch, creator of an open-source social enterprise collaboration platform, and SnapLogic have announced Deki for CRM, described by company officials as a product to help customers get more value from their existing CRM systems, such as SugarCRM and Salesforce.com, "through augmented intelligence and team collaboration."   The product is built on MindTouch Deki Enterprise Server and the SnapLogic open source data integration framework and SnapLogic Solution Packs for SugarCRM and Salesforce.com. It's designed to provide sales and marketers a dashboard of reports within their CRM application by pulling data from a variety of backend applications and Web services, company officials say.    Users can create and collaborate on reports and mashups, accessing customer information in Salesforce.com and SugarCRM without the need for advanced SOAP Web services programming, MindTouch officials say.   CRM systems often require data from other applications and data sources in order to handle leads, manage accounts, and "coordinate strategy to win new business," SnapLogic officials say, adding that Deki for CRM allows employees to share expertise across the silos of the company "as independent systems are mashed up in a centralized space."   The product allows collaboration using SnapLogic data pipelines from CRM applications such as SugarCRM and Salesforce.com, and other enterprise data sources such as external financial systems, product databases, and order processing systems.    A free, 15-day trial of Deki for CRM in a functional VMware appliance is available now from both www.mindtouch.com and www.snaplogic.com. Deki for CRM starts at $15,000 and is available for purchase from MindTouch at www.mindtouch.com. ...   Intridea has announced the debut of Present.ly, a Twitter-like short-form communication tool for the enterprise. The product "combines the universal premise of Twitter with collaboration, security and privacy, an API for enterprise integration and a software-as-a-service model," company officials say.   According to company officials, Present.ly "promises to revolutionize the way company employees let others know what they are working on, tap the collective knowledge of colleagues, and track relevant information in real time via the Web, mobile devices, instant messaging and more." You know, all in a day's work.
"Short-form communications and microblogs provide a way for consumers to reach out to each other, which is redefining interactions on the Web," notes Dave Naffis, president, products at Intridea.

CRM from StayinFront, Pipeline Deals, Sage Accpac ERP Rated, CCRevisited, Softtrends Mobile

September 15, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Creedence Clearwater Revisited. That's right, "Revisited," not Creedence Clearwater Revival, but a band with CCR's original drummer and bassist, Stu Clifford and Doug Cook (that might be Doug Clifford and Stu Cook) and a couple other guys standing in for the Fogertys on CCR material. Evidently they're a full-time touring act, coming to an Indian casino near you.   I know what you're saying -- "Heresy! Sacrilege!

Inquisite Customer Study, BrightSide and Clienteq, NTG Clarity, Intuit's Enterprise Suite, Intaact and QuickArrow

September 12, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Alan Jackson's gospel album, Precious Memories. Recorded originally as a favor to his mother, who had been nagging him for years to do a gospel album, it was passed around to friends who urged him to release it commercially. Consequently there's a nice, easy, relaxed feel to the music, like Jackson chanced across a piano in an empty church, opened the hymnal and played some songs and somebody happened to tape it:   Inquisite, a vendor of Web-based software for collecting, understanding and managing feedback from customers and employees, has announced best practices for increasing customer retention through the use of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) software.   EFM, company officials say, is "a class of software that secures and simplifies the collection and analysis of survey data," delivering an understanding of an organization's customers.

Inquisite's EFM software platform lets users distribute customer surveys, and deliver the findings to appropriate individuals in the organization.

CRM Help from Oracle, Microsoft and ETI, Verimatrix and Video Ezy, Sage and Lexnet, Frost & Sullivan Customer Study

September 12, 2008

  By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Dexman -- Dexter Gordon's early '60s Blue Note jazz recordings, albums such as Dexter Calling, Our Man In Paris and A Swingin' Affair:   "To provide a complete, integrated trade promotions management and advanced planning product," company officials say, Oracle has announced the availability of an Oracle Application Integration Architecture product connecting the Oracle Siebel Trade Promotion Management with Oracle's Demantra Predictive Trade Planning and Promotion Optimization.

  This "supports both new and existing CRM customers who wish to extend their trade promotion management systems with simulation, planning and optimization capabilities," Oracle officials say.  
The product combines the promotion simulation and optimization capabilities in Oracle's Demantra with Siebel's trade promotion management execution and settlement applications.   Developed in a collaboration between Oracle and Deloitte in conjunction with their alliance relationship, the new integration between Siebel Trade Promotion Management and Demantra is delivered as part of Oracle Application Integration Architecture, which integrates business processes across Oracle, third party and custom applications.

  "Optimization and simulation offer significant competitive advantage for consumer goods companies that can use them in conjunction with their go-to-customer activities" said Gartner's Research Vice President, Industry Advisory Services - Manufacturing, Dale Hagemeyer. "The industry is so rich in data that it will take predictive capabilities to truly understand and influence future outcomes.

CRM Update from Microsoft, Thunderhead's NOW, WAP Transactions Up, Element and Maximus, IQMS

September 10, 2008

 By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin duets, current selection "Well Did You Evah?:"   Enterprise communications vendor Thunderhead has announced the NOW Context Engine, described by company officials as "a new core component of Thunderhead NOW 4.0 platform."   The NOW Context Engine is a scalable XML repository designed to archive document and correspondence content as it is processed by the NOW platform to produce multi-channel customer communications.   Thunderhead's Context Engine is a new component designed to "improve both the context and relevancy of customer communications generated by the NOW platform," according to the Thunderheads. The XML data captured by the Context Engine represents a complete history of the Thunderhead-generated customer communications, including embedded promotions, offers and other marketing-related content.   With the NOW Context Engine, this historical information can be used to shape the content of future customer communications. The new module will also integrate with existing customer information systems, giving users a view of customer data and optimize their investments in existing CRM technologies.   The NOW Context Engine will also form the core of Thunderhead's new analytic and management information functionality, company officials say: "Communication data stored in the Context Engine will be available to various analytical tools, including Thunderhead's Analyze NOW components."   Thunderhead officials call the product "a strategic departure" from other document generation technologies.   "Traditionally, document generation vendors have focused on speed and scalability in attempting to meet the needs of larger enterprise organizations," said Thunderhead CEO Glen Manchester. "However, today's enterprises have moved beyond simple output management and are seeking broader, products that enable contextual, multi-channel customer engagement."   Thunderhead also announced that it has entered into an OEM agreement with IBM to embed its DB2 pureXML product in the NOW Context Engine.

MyCRMcareer.com, FrontRange's Device Wall 5.0, Data Pros Salaries, CA's Clarity, Lexnet and StrongMail

September 10, 2008

 By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Van Morrison's live album A Night In San Francisco, otherwise known as Now Listen To These Backup Singers While I Get A Drink And Put My Feet Up:   One year ago at Gartner's 2007 CRM Summit, Bruce Culbert and Paul Greenberg launched myCRMcareer.com, a social networking site designed as a destination community for CRM professionals.    The pair will unveil the latest edition of myCRMcareer.com during Gartner's 2008 CRM Summit, with what they describe as "an integrated online community" built by myCRM's partner, Neighborhood America.   "CRM practitioners worldwide will be able to get up-to-date, real-time insights from our perspective on the Gartner CRM Summit when they register for the community and tune-in September 8-10," said Bruce Culbert, co-founder of myCRMcareer.com.   Social technologies such as blogs, forums and rich video can be used to provide an interactive network for CRM professionals to "share experiences, thoughts and ideas on an ongoing basis," myCRMcareer.com officials believe:   "From videos capturing the most significant events and insights within the CRM industry, to job opportunities, myCRMcareer.com was created with the intent to empower a global network of practitioners in the CRM community with the tools they need to collaborate."   "These advancements to myCRMcareer.com bring the latest social networking tools to our community of CRM professionals," says Culbert. ...   FYI: Salesforce.com will be added to the S&P 500 Global Industry Classification Standard Application Software Sub-Industry index. ...   FrontRange Solutions has announced the availability of DeviceWall 5.0, the latest version of its endpoint security product. It extends the product's USB control and data encryption capabilities to PCs running the Windows Vista operating system, giving security managers a single product to manage security across heterogeneous environments.    Kevin J. Smith, vice president of products at FrontRange, said more companies are introducing Windows Vista onto their corporate networks, "so it is important that they are able to apply the same security policies created for the rest of the IT infrastructure to any new PCs that are purchased."   DeviceWall provides single-screen administration of security policies that manage computer users' access to all types of portable storage devices across the corporate network, "giving the administrators the granularity to manage individual device types as well as management reports to monitor device usage," company officials say.   DeviceWall 5.0 is the first product release since FrontRange Solutions acquired Centennial Software in April 2008. It's available immediately. ...   CA has enhanced its CA Clarity Project and Portfolio Manager product by integrating cost and schedule measurement functionality to help U.S. Federal government agencies and contractors conform to the ANSI/EIA-748 standard for Earned Value Management Systems, company officials say.   CA's Earned Value Management functionality "addresses the need for a project tracking and reporting product at a time when EVM is the number one factor driving public-sector growth in the adoption of PPM products," CA officials say, citing a recent report from industry analyst firm Gartner.   By including EVM in its Federal PPM product, CA is trying to extend its existing capabilities around Capital Planning and Investment Control, which the company believes "improves the quality and speed of Exhibit 300 and 53 business case submissions."   Built atop the project and financial management capabilities of CA Clarity PPM, the EVM functionality provides federal agencies a single unified view of project planning and execution in order to manage budget forecasts, accrued cost and earned value data while satisfying the mandate to comply with ANSI/EIA-748.   Web-based for deployment and use across an organization, the EVM functionality is marketed as "reducing complexity and increasing efficiency by eliminating the excess time spent gathering EVM data."   Users can now track EVM data through to ensure compliance and provide visibility for multiple stakeholders.

Forrester's IT Report, QuickMobile's 2.0 Platform, Avaya in Iowa, FTS in South Africa, New SAS Analytics Release

September 9, 2008

 By David Sims   The news as of the third cup of coffee this morning, and the music is frankly a bad song with an unprintable name, but hey, it's the one on the iPod rotation as I was typing this, so what can you do? Pretend you were listening to Abba instead?   QuickMobile has released Version 2.0 of its Contextual Mobile Marketing Platform, described by company officials as allowing brand managers and marketers to create permission-based campaigns for mobile device.    Version 2.0 includes new permission-based features, the ability for customers to create multi-layered campaigns and two new applications -- Mobile Polling and Mobile Results.   The product also includes enhancements such as double opt-in, permission based services, enhanced security, end-user defined preferences and automatic start and end functionality.   Version 2.0 lets companies "deliver information customers actually want on their cell phones in a  relevant, personalized, valuable and timely way," said CEO Patrick Payne. "The potential for improved end-user experience and interaction is tremendous."      Mobile Polling is a self-managed audience response system with a Web-based dashboard letting presenters "interact and engage with their audience like never before." Mobile Results is a reporting and analytics tool ...   Officials of Iowa Valley Community College District, which operates two community colleges and a satellite campus, say they have adopted unified communications from Avaya and a network infrastructure from Extreme Networks to link faculty, staff and students across 15 buildings located within a 90-mile radius.   "Iowa Valley wanted to consolidate seven disparate phone systems and five different voice mail systems" into an IP system, said Jim Wilson, director of technology, Iowa Valley Community College District.   The district also wanted to give its staff and faculty four-digit dialing across locations, an online telephone directory, "and mobility features so they could be reached wherever they're working," Wilson added.   The Avaya system gives the district the ability to troubleshoot and monitor its own network and handle similar tasks for all switches simultaneously.   Iowa Valley chose a communications system and software from Avaya, and a network foundation from Extreme Networks. Avaya provided an IP communications product, including an Avaya S8720 Media Server at the main site and over 400 Avaya IP phones. ...   FTS, a vendor of Billing, CRM and Business Control products for communication and content service providers, has announced that iBurst, a South African broadband provider, has selected FTS' Leap Billing as its real-time billing product.   IBurst sells wireless services to a large customer base in South Africa.

ERP From XeBusiness, Ping's Sign On, CDC ERP After Five, Pyxis and Eaton Vance

September 9, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Cross Canadian Ragweed's Live at Billy Bob's Texas. It's pretty gutsy to appropriate the CCR acronym, but this is a tough, tight road warrior bar band keeping a roomful of people entertained for a couple hours, a la Reckless Kelly, and that's all right with me, even if "Bang My Head" does rather unoriginally steal the riff from "All Along the Watchtower:"   New online women's fashion retailer Capture has chosen IT vendor XeBusiness to provide the Web fulfillment, inventory management and global sourcing systems to power their soon-to-be-launched B2C online sales venture.   XeBusiness will supply these modules from its industry specialist ERP system, Xe-ERP2 "together with a range of implementation services to get the new venture off the ground," company officials say.   Samesh Kumar, CEO of Capture, said his firm "liked the XeBusiness approach to what we wanted. They proposed in a simple and cost effective way exactly what we required without trying to blind us with bells and whistles functionality that we will not require in the initial stages of this venture, while convincing us that their product had the scalability to grow as the venture took off."   Selling off the Web continues to be an attractive proposition for new brand fashion retailers like Capture.   London-based Capture will provide multiple categories of women's fashion, including dresses, tops, knitwear, trousers, shorts and skirts including denim, a Jeans and Denim Web shop, jackets and coats.   The Web site, Capture officials say, will provide "an exciting online shopping experience that will include a new in and just arrived section, a hottest trends section, a stars and celebrity section featuring celebrities modeling the Capture ranges" and others.   XeBusiness sells supply chain products for quick response and cost reduction. Xe-ERP2 is a specialist management information and business management system for garment, footwear, soft goods and household textile suppliers. ...   Sometimes to get an idea of the value of CRM, ERP and such products it's useful to revisit an installation more than six weeks after installation, and see if, long-term, the benefits are there:   Five years ago CDC Software, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and a provider of CRM and other enterprise software applications and business services, implemented for Hong Kong Maxim's Group, a beverage and catering company in Hong Kong the CDC Software's Ross Enterprise Applications at its entire plant network.   Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Maxim's Group employs more than 14,000 people and serves more than 540,000 customers per day in more than 640 restaurants, outlets and catering operations, three factories and a printing plant.   Hong Kong Maxim's Group has also established joint venture companies with Starbucks Coffee International, and has Starbucks stores in Hong Kong, Macau, South and South West China.   Lacking an enterprise software infrastructure, the firm tracked and analyzed data manually which made product costing, recipe management and regulatory compliance inefficient, company officials say.

Talisma's 8.1, Infor's Biz Ed, Unifi in Kosovo, Sage SalesLogix 7.5

September 9, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a surprisingly durable old album, The Marshall Tucker Band. Far more than simply a Southern boogie rock workout, there's a lot of jazz and gospel mixed in the brew here:   Talisma Corporation, selling what it calls Customer Interaction Management software, has announced availability of version 8.1 of their multi channel products.  This release adds capabilities to Talisma Chat, Talisma E-mail and reporting, company officials say.   "With 8.1, Talisma provides functionality to help businesses cross sell and upsell to their customer base," with the additional reporting in 8.1 giving businesses "an in-depth look at how they can deliver the best customer experience," said Dan Vetras, President and CEO, Talisma Corporation.    Talisma Chat 8.1 enables Payment Card Industry compliance for companies that accept online payments: "Agents can see customer credit card information and other personal data in the chat window, however, any data matching pre-configured patterns will be removed from the transcript and CIM database," company officials say.   Agents are also notified which proactive rule triggered the chat invitation, and invitations can now be page specific and support additional functionality for displaying invitations, such as location.   Using rules, Talisma Chat can now set customer status to Hot, Warm or Cold, letting the agent see if a sales prospect is hot, warm or cold. The product also displays the number of customers that would have been presented a proactive invitation if an agent was available.   Talisma E-mail 8.1 lets agents split an e-mail into multiple threads "useful for e-mails with multiple questions that need to be handled by different mail queues," company officials say.   The product requires input from agents when they are completing an e-mail response, and placeholders show agents where they need to insert responses in their message back to customers. ...   Unifi Communications, a vendor of telecommunication services, has announced that Dardafone, which is granted license by the TRA to provide MVNO services in Kosovo, and PTK J.S.C., a vendor of telecommunication services in Kosovo, have signed Heads of Agreement for a business alliance.   Unifi Holdings Inc owns 48 percent of shares of Dardafone via Unitel World, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unifi Holdings Company, which makes Unifi is the largest shareholder of Dardafone.     The agreement was signed at the PTK headquarters. Adnan Merovci, Chief Executive Officer of the PTK, said further details to the agreement "will be incorporated, following discussions to take place in the near future."   Merovci added that this heads of agreement "is a result of the process that was initiated earlier and supported by the current Board of Directors and the definitive agreement to be drafted hereafter will be submitted to the PTK J.S.C.

CRM Pro Konrad at EVerge, Kuzel at Star, Verticent ERP, Appirio's Offering, Siperian and Evaxyx

September 6, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is what one reviewer called David Bowie's first draft of a suicide note album Station To Station. Stylish, cool nihilism has never sounded so heartfelt or good:   EVerge Group has announced the addition of Michael Konrad as Sales Manager - Business Development. The addition of Konrad is the result of eVerge Group's "expansion of its CRM, ERP, Master Data Management, and Business Intelligence consulting practices," company officials say.   Konrad's efforts will be focused on expanding Oracle applications and eVerge Group implementation services to our joint customers. "We're seeing companies make strategic decisions using Oracle products," according to eVerge Group president, Esteban Neely.   Konrad "has an extensive background with Oracle products," Neely said.   Konrad joined Siebel Systems in 1999.

CRM Book from RightNow, Salesforce.com and Haagen-Dazs, Digital Media Study, Marketing Maps for Turkey, iPhone 123 Integration

September 5, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Abattoir Blues for a cheery pick-me-up this morning:   Salesforce.com has announced that The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company has chosen Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform.   By providing "a centralized source for all real estate, franchisor, staff and prospect information," Salesforce.com officials say, Haagen-Dazs can "identify opportunities and open franchises, as well as track staff training and ensure store quality."   "We have been in an aggressive growth mode in the last couple years and needed a way to more effectively market our franchises to entrepreneurs," said Julie Michelutti, marketing manager at The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company. Using Salesforce.com, "everyone in our organization has everything they need to quickly match location opportunities with potential franchisors. As a result, we've significantly shortened the time it takes to open stores."   After being purchased by Dreyer's in 2004, Haagen-Dazs was tasked with marketing not only to consumers but to entrepreneurs interested in opening a franchise. Previously, Haagen-Dazs officials said, franchise leads were maintained in an Excel document that "gave no insight into the lead process, including being able to calculate ROI."   The ice cream vendor used Salesforce CRM to create a completely custom application -- FranchiseForce.

CRM Book from RightNow, Salesforce.com and Haagen-Dazs, Digital Media Study, Marketing Maps for Turkey, iPhone 123 Integration

September 5, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Abattoir Blues for a cheery pick-me-up this morning:   Salesforce.com has announced that The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company has chosen Salesforce CRM and the Force.com platform.   By providing "a centralized source for all real estate, franchisor, staff and prospect information," Salesforce.com officials say, Haagen-Dazs can "identify opportunities and open franchises, as well as track staff training and ensure store quality."   "We have been in an aggressive growth mode in the last couple years and needed a way to more effectively market our franchises to entrepreneurs," said Julie Michelutti, marketing manager at The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company. Using Salesforce.com, "everyone in our organization has everything they need to quickly match location opportunities with potential franchisors. As a result, we've significantly shortened the time it takes to open stores."   After being purchased by Dreyer's in 2004, Haagen-Dazs was tasked with marketing not only to consumers but to entrepreneurs interested in opening a franchise. Previously, Haagen-Dazs officials said, franchise leads were maintained in an Excel document that "gave no insight into the lead process, including being able to calculate ROI."   The ice cream vendor used Salesforce CRM to create a completely custom application -- FranchiseForce.

CRM in Finotec Platform, Salesforce.com, Xeligence at Forum, Fonality, Convergys to Spin Off?

September 5, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's There's A Light Guiding Me, one of the finest vocal bluegrass gospel harmony albums currently available:   Toronto-based ETP will showcase its Xeligence Analytical Platform for business performance and efficiency to enterprises and organizations at the 2008 Financial Services Technology Forum scheduled on October 28 and 29 at the Design Exchange in Toronto.   Established in the United Kingdom in 1994, ETP has worked with Fortune 500 enterprises and organizations doing analytical CRM, data warehousing, business intelligence, and business optimization-oriented projects.   ETP's methodology is based on finding "the right balance and integration of people, process, information and technology," company officials say. The firm offers the Xeligence Analytical Platform in industry-specific versions for Financial Services, Insurance, Telecom/Media, Retail, Manufacturing and Health-Care.   Xeligence automates generation and integration of predictive analytical algorithms within enterprise business processes and systems. Users can "configure and trigger the production and deployment of predictive models within areas such as Enterprise CRM (cross-selling/up-selling/customer retention), credit scoring, pricing and charge-off and default prediction," company officials say. ...   Finotec Group, an on-line foreign exchange company, has released its White Label On-Line Trading Platform software product for financial institutions.   It's a turn-key product adaptable to the specific needs of the end-user, with a full back-end including CRM, back-office, marketing applications, SMS alerts module, statistics and accounting module with real-time P&L reporting.   The product is being offered to financial institutions looking to enhance their trading business via technology offered under their own brand name. Finotec's proprietary Finotec Trading Platform delivers real time pricing and executions, plus integrated charts, news, position management tools, and more.   The interface is currently available in several languages, and can be adapted to additional local markets.

CRM Study Names Ciboodle, Intelestream, Sales-i, Five9 and TMC, Lithium Tech

September 4, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is X's More Fun In The New World. You kind of knew it was the end for this band when the most fun performances on this 1984 album, their best, were covers:   CRM's Sword ciboodle has been named as a "strong performer" in enterprise CRM suites by independent analyst firm, Forrester Research.   Sword ciboodle was among the companies invited by Forrester Research to participate in its August 29 report, "The Forrester Wave: Enterprise CRM Suites, Q3 2008."   The report says ciboodle (formerly Graham Technology) "has pushed into the CRM market with focus on the intersection of business process modeling, customer service, and customer interaction management."   As enterprises "begin to understand the importance of truly integrating end-to-end customer-facing processes from front office to back office," the report says, "they are turning to products with native BPM capabilities that can support highly unique -- and flexible -- process flows."   The Forrester report called ciboodle "a good fit for buyers who are looking for a vendor that can bring business process acumen," giving ciboodle the highest score in the report for time-to-value.   Targeted primarily to large companies in sectors such as banking, insurance, utilities, telecommunications and retail, ciboodle is a BPM-based CRM product that enables all service channels natively from a single platform. ...   Intelestream has announced the company has released version 2.0 of its Web-based HR sourcing application Perpetual Sourcing.   Intelestream officials say "industry veterans Todd Davis and Shally Steckerl" worked with the vendor to design the application "according to talent acquisition methods proven to enhance sourcing results at Fortune 100 companies."   The application is based around a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) workflow that allows HR recruiters to manage talent acquisition similarly to how a sales force manages its leads.
New features added to Perpetual Sourcing 2.0 include automated Internet sourcing tactics integrating with social and business network sites including Linked-in, Spoke, Hoovers, Jigsaw and Zoom Info.   The product automatically ensures compliance with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs regulations by documenting sourcing data and search strings, and its global keyword search is designed to simplify record searching by trolling through all modules and archives including Resumes stored as Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, and Excel Spreadsheets.   It also has on demand reporting metrics to show return on investment, recruiter productivity, recruitment conference results, and breakdown of talent pipeline that includes companies, regions, areas of expertise, and more.

  The product is being marketed to organizations "requiring a passive candidate pipeline that assists in finding the best talent in the marketplace," company officials say. ...   Sales-i, a sales intelligence service, has announced that Midwest Office Supply, an independent office supply and furniture dealers in America, has implemented the product to track customer buying behavior data and intelligence provided by the sales-i sales intelligence service.

Midwest Office Supply is identified by sales-i officials as "the first US dealer to implement SAP's enterprise resource planning software."

"I was introduced to sales-i by Jeff Gardner of Maximum Performance Group," Managing Partner, Steve DeMarco said. "Midway through the online sales-i demonstration, I knew this would transform how our sales team operates by delivering actionable customer alerts straight to their laptops or smartphones."

Midwest officials said accessing customer knowledge and data "often took until month-end when account summaries were completed, frequently too late to change buying patterns with current customers." Sales-i is expected to provide customer buying alerts by e-mail every Monday morning and direct to smartphones for the front line sales people."   A job that used to take a very long time and typically involved two or three people "is now automatically done by sales-i and the data instantly made available to the sales team at the push of a button," DeMarco said, adding that "if data is accessible from a laptop or a mobile device salespeople already use, the tool is much more effective."   Midwest officials say they plan to further extend their sales-i use by implementing its integrated contact management software, CRM Light. ...   Lithium Technologies, which sells on-demand enterprise social media platform, has announced the growth of its client services group focusing on social media sites.   To that end Iain Grant, a 20-year industry veteran who most recently led Salesforce.com's social media delivery efforts, has been hired as Vice President of Client Services to scale and lead Lithium's team.   The Client Services group will now include strategy & planning services to help clients incorporate lifecycle planning into their social media initiatives, as well as education services to "propagate best practices among all social media stakeholders within an organization," company officials say.   There are also optimization services to measure and achieve long-term community growth with in-depth evaluation, benchmarking, reporting, and detailed community assessments.   Company officials say these programs are designed complement Lithium's existing services for launch and configuration, application engineering, and management and moderation.   All of Lithium's services are tuned for social media delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) environment,   Prior to his tenure at Salesforce.com, Grant served as the Global Practice Director for Unisys, where he built and managed the Microsoft Dynamics practice, including CRM offerings.

CRM for Banks Study, Communispace and InterContinental, Zuora's Board Gets Thompson, Informatica and Oi, Agilent and TEC

September 4, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday, the sounds of a band transitioning out of fun, enjoyable music they like to play and people like to hear into a band anxious to secure the "serious" label from critics:   Increased competition and the need to improve brand image are pushing more than half of the banks in Europe and the Middle East to view customer-centric activities as a strategic differentiator, and thus plan to invest in customer relationship management (CRM) technology, according to a new report commissioned by SAP AG and conducted by the European Financial Management and Marketing Association.   Nearly 50 percent of banks either have invested or are currently investing in CRM.   The report, titled "Achieving Customer-Centricity Throughout the Enterprise," from an online survey of 108 banks in Europe and the Middle East, found that banks recognize the strategic importance of CRM "but face many challenges including price competition, pressure to lower operating costs, fragmentation of customer segments and channel proliferation."

  It also found that banks are moving towards a customer-centric approach -- "but it is a very slow process," and that generally today CRM at a bank is driven by individual departments and is primarily a front-end process, rather than extended across the enterprise.   The study also found that banks still have limited information to measure their use of CRM.

  "In the current economic climate, it is more important than ever for banks to have as much insight as possible into the financial needs and behaviors of their customers and prospects," said Martha Bennett, research director, Financial Services Technology, Datamonitor. "Providing a level of service that makes the client feel well looked after and valued is as critical as the ability to offer the most optimal product at the right time."

  The survey found that while the majority of bank respondents said they have not yet been able to adequately address their fragmented customer segments, they see CRM as a key strategic driver and require a more enterprise-wide approach to managing the entire customer experience.

  Survey respondents said their customer relationship management strategies are primarily front-end focused and situated on old legacy systems. ...   Communispace, a vendor of "online customer insight communities" for more than 100 brands, has announced that it has expanded its relationship with InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG has more than 590,000 rooms in nearly 100 countries.   IHG's first private online community, launched in 2007, is made up of 300 members of its 25-year old Priority Club Rewards' loyalty program, and was designed to integrate the voice of their most valuable customers into their organization. The response from this primarily US-based community prompted IHG to launch a second community with a more global focus for the company's Ambassador Members.   The company is now in the process of launching a third community devoted specifically to the European region.   "Our online community initiative is one of those investments in our commitment to listening to our customers," said Ken Bott, director of global consumer marketing and CRM, IHG.   Leslie Forde, VP of Strategic Alliances, said "for us, expanding our business relationship with a client and industry leader such as IHG is especially important."   Communispace Corporation has created more than 300 customer communities for firms such as Kraft, Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, Hallmark, Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and Hilton Hotels. ...   Zuora, formed by software-as-a-service industry veterans from Salesforce.com and WebEx to work the subscription billing industry, has announced that Scott Thompson, president of PayPal, has been appointed to the company's board of directors.   Thompson joins existing board member Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital.   Tien Tzuo, CEO of Zuora, called Thompson "an accomplished global industry executive, having developed and deployed online payment products." Tzuo said Thompson's expertise was needed "as we build out our company and online billing products."   Zuora launched the company's flagship application, Z-Billing, in May 2008.   "With the rise of on-demand and subscription services, there is also a growing demand for online billing products.

CRM's Satuit gets Overgard, Google Chrome, Joblogs, Izmocars, GoLeads' Relay Connect, Sage and Sandler

September 3, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a general Arlo Guthrie iPod mix. It's always tricky using Arlo for work music, I get so caught up in the stories and sheer fun of it all I generally have to switch over to something else to get work done:   SFA and CRM vendor Satuit Technologies, selling to the professional investment markets, has announced that Eric Overgard has joined the company as senior consultant of the development services group.   Satuit officials say Overgard will be responsible for building and delivering custom products and last-mile integration for Satuit clients. Prior to joining Satuit, Overgard served as senior business analyst and developer for Rothschild Asset Management, where he was responsible for the company's CRM system re-engineering, improving the reliability of the company's CRM data and reporting capabilities and developing CRM training materials.   Karen Maguire, CEO of Satuit, said Overgard had "completed several custom integration and development projects with SatuitCRM and has worked to integrate Satuit's products while at his former posts with U.S. Trust and Newgate Asset Management."   Prior to Rothschild, Overgard served as consultant and senior business analyst and developer for Newgate Capital Management, where he was responsible for developing and deploying custom applications for new accounts and account updates to a hosted CRM application.    He has also served as vice president and senior business analyst of institutional asset management for U.S.

CRM's Maximizer in Turkey, Consumer Online Spending Report, WorldHotels and Micros, Market Intelligence Study, RFID from Reva

September 2, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Uncle Tupelo's No Depression. Jay Farrar's later band Son Volt had one great album, Trace, but outside of that, this is pretty much all the Jeff Tweedy or Farrar one really needs:   Maximizer Software, a vendor of CRM products, has announced the appointment of a new certified business partner in Turkey -- E&M Computer and Engineering.   Established in 1991, E&M Computer and Engineering provides IT consulting, service and support to over 60 small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). E&M works with application implementation, hardware and software sales and networking systems.   Mithat Altac, CEO at E&M Computer and Engineering, said Maximizer's expertise in the SME market "and their 20 plus years of experience in the CRM field, coupled with our knowledge of Turkey's SME marketplace, gives us a detailed understanding of the business requirements and opportunity for growth in this sector."   The first customer of the partnership is Alarko Real Estate Development Company, a subsidiary of Alarko Holding Group, which has over 6,000 employees.   Built on a Web-based architecture, Maximizer CRM offers sales, marketing, and customer service users and managers access to customer information via desktop, Web, or mobile device. ...   Consumers plan to spend an average of $100-$250 online over the next 90 days, according to eBillme's "Online Spending Index," a quarterly survey examining consumer online spending.   The eBOS Index, conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, and to be released quarterly by eBillme, polled 1,600 consumers to measure projected online spending for the quarter and the influencing factors including the economy, available payment options, security, and financial control.   This quarter, the Index also polled consumers about their online spending for back-to-school shopping, finding that 48 percent of consumers are delaying purchases due to uncertainty in the economy, and 32 percent of consumers are willing to spend more if they could purchase online with cash revealing a general shift towards cash preferences.   Female consumers indicated a five percent decrease in credit card sentiment further indicating a shift towards cash. "Consumer spending online is an indicator for consumer preferences, attitudes, and offline trends in society," said Marwan Forzley, President and CEO of eBillme.   Forzley said the Index results show "a significant shift" in consumer behavior, especially among female consumers.

CRM for Silver Cup, Intuit's PER, Opera and Archos, Aussie Contact Center Study, Microsoft and Alisoft

September 2, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and we might run out of the music halfway through, the battery on the iPod is awfully low due to my wife's husband's screw-up in not recharging it last night, but currently we have Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong's duet on "Summertime:"   NexTec Group has announced that Silver Cup Coffee, a boutique coffee roaster headquartered in the Seattle area -- now there's a unique business setup -- has selected Microsoft Dynamics GP as its new business management product and NexTec Group's Seattle office to implement the product.   Silver Cup Coffee has been using Everest, an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that does not support its manufacturing or point-of-sale operations.   "We sought a single-source product," said Scott Martin, director of operations and information technology for Silver Cup Coffee. "We wanted one software system for accounting, manufacturing, point-of-sale, and distribution functions. It's difficult to find a single software system that broad."   As a food product manufacturer, Silver Cup Coffee must comply with governmental regulations including the Bioterrorism Act of 2002. Microsoft Dynamics GP is expected to help the company meet its compliance requirements with lot tracking capabilities and chain-of-custody support.   Founded in 1995, Silver Cup Coffee won seven awards at the McCormick & Schmick's coffee competition, including Best Cup (Overall Winner). ...   Intuit Consulting has announced the availability of its specialist skills routing product, PER, as a software-as-a-service model.
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