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

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

By David Sims
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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. Companies that cannot do so will remain trapped in the past."
Verimatrix, which deals in content security technologies for pay-TV networks, has announced that Australian-based Video Ezy will be integrating VideoMark in the commercial rollout of its Electronic Video Rental service.
Video Ezy officials say the move will complement the company's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementation.
Video Ezy's Electronic Video Rental service enables customers to download HD and standard definition movies from an in-store kiosk to a portable storage device for later viewing at home. The Verimatrix Video Content Authority System for IPTV was selected for its "flexibility and ease of integration to protect premium content," Verimatrix officials say.
VideoEzy has integrated the extra layer of watermarking to trace back pirated content to the last authorized user, thus expanding the security perimeter.
"Verimatrix and its VCAS content protection products have been instrumental partners in our development of the Electronic Video Rental service," said Andrew Gardiner, general manager of Video Ezy.
VideoMark allows forensic, user-specific marking of video at each STB or PC client in a pay-TV system. The end-to-end VideoMark service includes recovery of the unique client identification from all unauthorized analog and digital distribution formats.
Established in 1983, Video Ezy is an Australian home video channel and franchise operator with over 510 stores operating in Australia today, with over 7,000,000 customers registered.
Enhanced Telecommunications' (d/b/a) ETI Software Solutions has announced that MTS Allstream will use ETI's Triad OSS to integrate Microsoft's Mediaroom IP video technology to their CRM and billing infrastructure.
Triad automates the provisioning of IPTV services to MTS Allstream's subscriber base.
MTS Allstream is a Canadian national communication products provider. Operating under the MTS brand in the province of Manitoba, the division offers consumers wireless, high-speed Internet and data, digital television and wireline voice services, as well as home security services.
"Years ago, we made the decision to integrate Triad's single host interface to our CRM product," said Paul Frizado, Chief Technology and Information Officer, MTS Allstream, because the application provides video packaging, promotional and rating capabilities as well as "complete flow-through provisioning across a host of technology platforms."
In delivering the product for MTS Allstream, ETI has developed a custom interface to MTS Allstream's existing middleware. An integrated Triad application provides a suite of pricing, promotion and bulk-purchase packaging calculations for MTS Allstream.
Lexnet Consulting Group has announced the second in a series of integrations between StrongMail and CRM products -- this time for Sage SalesLogix from Sage Software.
StrongMail is an on-premises e-mail marketing and transactional e-mail product.
"As with SageCRM customers, we found that Sage SalesLogix customers were looking for real-time integration between their CRM system and an e-mail marketing product," said Steve Chipman, president of Lexnet, a StrongMail partner. "Historically, Sage SalesLogix has been mainly implemented as an on-premises CRM product, which makes it a good match for StrongMail's e-mail marketing appliance."
"We are thrilled that Lexnet is continuing to roll out CRM integrations with StrongMail," said Steve Murphy, North American Channel Manager for StrongMail Systems. "By integrating StrongMail with multiple CRM platforms, Lexnet is addressing the needs of a large number of companies."
StrongMail is headquartered in Redwood City, California, and is funded by Sequoia Capital, Evercore Partners, Globespan Capital Partners and DAG Ventures.
Portable shopping devices and cart-mounted devices are the new store automation technologies transforming the global retail scenario, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan, "World Customer Shopping Devices Markets."
The market is currently in the growth phase and portable shopping devices have seen widespread adoption in Europe and North America, the study found, while the pace is picking up in the Asia Pacific region and Latin America.
"Faced with increasing competition and diminishing margins, retailers are going the extra mile to overhaul their business models to provide innovative and viable shopping products for techno-savvy customers," the study's authors said.
Frost & Sullivan's research found that the portable shopping devices market earned revenues of over $59.2 million in 2007. The analyst firm "intends to offer two perspectives on the future of this technology -- at a global level having arrived at two potential scenarios based on the analysis done during the research phase," officials say.
"The primary driver behind the implementation of portable shopping devices or mobile self-scanners is the significant improvement in the customer's shopping efficiency and labor productivity," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Prasanna Prakash. "Using these systems, customers can eliminate waiting time in queues, leading to faster checkouts while retailers can streamline operations and redeploy staff to other functions within the retail environment."
As 25 percent of personnel are deployed at point-of-sale activities, portable shopping devices enable labor reduction at checkout points and increase labor productivity as well as usage.
Though the advantages have become apparent, some factors impede the uptake of these systems. The high cost of installation and the availability of cheap labor, especially in the Asia Pacific region and Latin America, deter widespread deployment, the study found.
"In the Asia Pacific region and Latin America, labor rates are low, curbing product penetration," observes Prakash. "Further, there is always a trade off between investing the money in IT and spending the same on other short-term benefits such as price reductions and promotions."
Delivering enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) is "a surefire strategy" for advancing business, the study concludes: "These strategies will help promote long-term customer loyalty and maximize customer lifetime value and engender customer retention."
"World Customer Shopping Devices Markets" is part of the Kiosks and Retail Systems Growth Partnership Service program, which also includes research in EFT terminals, digital signage, ATMS, self-checkouts, kiosks, and point of sale systems.
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