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! CCR without John Fogerty is like... like... Queen without Freddie Mercury!" My thoughts at first, too, and I bow to nobody in haughty snobbery when it comes to classic rock. But the music is as good as you'd reasonably expect an original CCR show to be, and more than one song is improved upon in the execution --brave Tom Fogerty wasn't this good of a guitarist, for one thing.
Because friends, CCR isn't exactly Pink Floyd. Their music isn't rocket science, any bar band can do a set of passable CCR covers, and we're talking the original rhythm section here, working with solid pros who know their job.
Put it this way -- it's as good or better than the CCR song performances John Fogerty did with some faceless backup band on his 1998 live CD, but neither is as good as Fogerty playing with Clifford and Cook again would be:
Sage Software has announced that the latest versions of its Sage Accpac ERP and Sage MAS ERP enterprise resource planning and accounting systems have won top rankings in The CPA Technology Advisor's annual Review of Mid-Range Accounting Systems.
Reviewer Mary Girsch-Bock awarded 5-Star overall ratings for Sage Accpac 200 ERP 5.5 and Sage MAS 90 and 200 ERP 4.3. Both products are components of the company's new Extended Enterprise Suites launched earlier this year.
"These performances demonstrate how our products continue to address the needs of our business customers," said Himanshu Palsule, Sage Software executive vice president and general manager, Strategic Products, Business Management Division.
PipelineDeals, which calls itself "the simple CRM software company," has launched the iPhone Edition.
"PipelineDeals saw an opportunity to bring together our existing hosted sales product and the growing usage of the iPhone for business," says company co-founder Nick Bertolino.
The product lets sales people "keep track of their daily agenda, business contacts, business prospects, to dos and action items," company officials say, adding that "sales people can review deal notes and history from the road eliminating the need to lug around their laptop, or even worse, paper."
The iPhone Edition is the first of several mobile CRM products for PipelineDeals, the next being the Blackberry.
StayinFront, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) and other business apps, has announced the unveiling of the newest version of its flagship product, StayinFront CRM 11.
The product builds on the capabilities of CRM 10, used by customers in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, healthcare, consumer goods and financial services industries, according to company officials.
StayinFront CRM 11 "combines CRM and analytics into one tool" making business intelligence data accessible "without the high cost of configuration usually associated with business intelligence projects," company officials say.
"Organizations accumulate large and complex customer profiles, but they often struggle to use these valuable assets," said StayinFront Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Michael Hart.
The analytics application integrated into StayinFront CRM 11 is also available as a standalone application. StayinFront Analytics is designed specifically for non-technical users with drag, drop and drill technology for analyzing sales, marketing and financial information from any database.
StayinFront CRM 11 uses a multi-layered architecture coupled with object-oriented data modeling, "providing flexibility and configuration capabilities while preserving the ability to upgrade," company officials say.
A .NET application, StayinFront CRM 11 uses smart client technology to "provide the benefits of a Web application while maintaining the look and feel of a desktop application," company officials say. The product can be deployed across a WAN or the Internet using the 'ClickOnce' deployment, a Microsoft technology.
Softtrends has announced Mobile CRM+, described by company officials as a product that "enables users access to CRM server applications using Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, and Blackberry platform based smart phones."
Mobile CRM+ doesn't "duplicate CRM functionality on a smaller device," company officials say, but "provides appropriate information entry and retrieval facility and uses the audio and video capabilities of today's smart phone device to improve information capture."
Based on smart client design, Mobile CRM+ makes online, offline and semi-connected transactions possible, it also comes with features to extend CRM server transactions, information and interactivity, interfacing with audio, video/camera, e-mail, phone and other local smart phone applications to provide a set of rich functionality to the user.
The functions of the product include capturing leads and contacts using a device's voice and camera, recording incoming and outgoing phone calls to leads and contacts, creating activities with voice instructions and picture illustrations, browsing leads, contacts and activities as a user would do on a desktop interface and searching for information directly on CRM server.
"When recording a meeting," company officials say, the Rolling Audio Recording Buffer (DVR) in Mobile CRM+ "makes it possible to snapshot previous comments into sound bites, not just record the entire meeting."
Atlanta-based Softtrends and its Bangalore-based subsidiary develop mobile software products and custom software products for Windows Mobile, Symbian OS, RIM Blackberry, and iPhone platforms.
Alauras Software has announced the release of Alauras YP CRM+. The new yellow page product, company officials say, offers "wide-ranging CRM functionality and adds sales force automation tools designed for yellow page publishers."
YP CRM+ offers an application that can be integrated into "virtually any yellow page publishing environment," company officials say: "CRM+ supports both print and electronic media."
Company President Richard Sloop said "we have created a product to meet wide ranging needs in automating standard business practices within the industry, principally targeting sales needs and customer service functions. Beyond these enhancements, CRM+ can integrate or accept a variety of custom modules."
The customizable Internet based product requires no software installation and is accessible from Internet-enabled PC's or handheld devices. CRM+ offers "a real time picture of sales or canvass progress," company officials say, as well as "a single reference point for customer service activity."
Sales proposals "can now be customized by client and include multiple scenarios and appropriate sales collateral," they add: "New mapping and DSR functionality provides additional efficiencies in managing sales efforts and monitoring territory management."
VinSolutions, a Web-based automotive software provider, has announced it has completed an integration with the RouteOne CAMS to give VinSolutions' clientele access to a point-and-click connection with RouteOne and their affiliated finance sources.
"Having RouteOne integrated with VinSolutions makes for a much more efficient system. We don't have to waste time duplicating customer data or re-entering multiple car deal scenarios for F&I," said Todd Crossley, owner of Gary Crossley Ford, adding the zinger line "it makes the managers' lives so much easier that they actually use it."
This ease of use is "not accidental,". RouteOne officials say, adding that they're "committed to providing their dealers with the ability to efficiently submit customer applications to a variety of lenders."
Mike Jurecki, RouteOne CEO, said the integration between RouteOne and VinSolutions offers dealers "the products they need to streamline their sales processes."
Users enter the customer information and deal specifics at the desk, and then click the "Push to RouteOne" tab in VinSolutions' MotoSnap CRM desking module. The dealer is then connected to the RouteOne platform via a secured HTTP interface free of charge.
RouteOne was formed in 2002 by Chrysler Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, GMAC, and Toyota Financial Services to create a more streamlined credit application for automobile dealers and their customers.