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. Using Web services, the data from either system can be reused with other programs across an enterprise. "The flexibility of Web services means that the data can be extended to mobile devices," IBM officials say, "making it possible for businesses to take the combination of social networking and CRM with them on the road."
Sales representatives can log into their iExtensions CRM system and instantly pull and store contact and other information needed for a project from Lotus Connections in one click. If a critical situation arises with a customer, for instance, the sales representative can use Lotus Connections to quickly identify people that can help.
Landslide Technologies, vendor of Sales Workstyle Management products, has announced that CustomerCentric Systems has named Landslide as the standard technology platform to complement its subscription-based CustomerCentric Selling training and consulting service.
Under terms of the agreement, CustomerCentric Systems becomes a referring partner for Landslide's CCS Edition, described by company officials as "a market-ready sales workforce management product that deploys immediately for CCS customers."
The edition "integrates the CCS approach of enabling salespeople to collaborate more effectively with their buying audience," company officials say, adding that the software lets organizations "codify the CCS selling process, present appropriate selling aids at the proper stage in the sales cycle, identify buyers' goals and transform sales ready messaging into selling activities."
Tim Young, CEO, CustomerCentric Systems, said the technology "deploys quickly for our customers, in turn-key fashion."
Landslide officials cited to "studies by firms like ES Research Group" which they say show that "more than 50 percent of the knowledge presented during a sales training event erodes within one month," so firms generally find themselves challenged to reinforce the training from these workshops and ultimately make methodologies stick over time.
The Landslide CCS product is therefore designed to provide an ongoing training mechanism to help sales teams "internalize the unique sales process quickly and consistently."
Oracle has announced a partnership with InQuira, which sells software applications for Web self-service and agent-assisted support.
The sales and product partnership is intended for a product "across phone, Web and community-based channels," officials of both firms say, "combining collaboration and Web self-service with Oracle's applications," bringing Enterprise 2.0 features into one product.
"InQuira's software complements and extends Oracle's software applications," said Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM at Oracle, adding that "on occasion," Oracle deems it necessary to "integrate our product with other software providers. The integrated product allows us to provide exciting new functionality that I expect will generate quite a bit of enthusiasm in the marketplace."
"A great customer experience is one that combines unstructured content with transactional content in a consistent fashion across channels," said Mike Murphy, InQuira CEO, adding that the firm already has "several customers" who have integrated InQuira into their Oracle call center applications.
An online end-user survey recently completed by ABI Research has found that RFID is being used or evaluated for a growing number of applications across a wide range of vertical industry sectors.
According to ABI Research Director Michael Liard, "virtually every economic sector and industry where data needs to be collected or objects need to be tracked holds the potential for RFID applications."
End-user respondents cite "the use and evaluation of RFID technology across multiple application segments," ranging from security-based applications to supply chain management to multiple flavors of asset tracking and more, the study says:
"Organizations of all kinds are increasingly using and evaluating RFID systems to improve the tracking of objects, assets, goods, and materials within the four walls, in yards and campuses, open loop environments, and beyond."
Liard says end-users are "looking for a total product. This requirement is leading large percentages of users to secure their systems direct from RFID manufacturers as well as from systems integrators that can provide all product components via a partner network."
The study found that respondents feel "these vendors and integrators have a deeper understanding of RFID technology, as well as vertical and/or application market specialization."