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. With v8, features include Multi-Channel ACD Built-In Softswitch (SIP IP PBX) and TDM Switching Provides skills-based routing and a universal queue for phone calls, e-mails, faxes, voicemails, voice-over-Web calls, callbacks to route customers in virtual queue, chat and Web-collaboration sessions.
Contact Center Anywhere "replaces or co-exists with existing PBX Inbound and outbound cross-media blending, integrated outbound predictive and preview dialing IVR," company officials say. Chat includes Web collaboration and form sharing, push technology and suggested response.
E-mail Management includes automated e-mail management and e-mail routing with suggested responses. Other features include built-in recording, supervision and agent-coaching capabilities, voicemail, fax, and unified messaging.
The New Culture Collections Web site from the Health Protection Agency has gone live on www.hpacultures.org.uk. The new e-commerce site, according to agency officials, "brings together four, previously separate, culture collections into one domain and has been developed by specialist public sector Web services company, System Associates."
System Associates has provided design, content management, digital asset management, data integration, search, hosting, training and 24-hour support for the site.
The project involved the integration of four separate databases, as well as the integration of a customer database for online ordering. "More than 40,000 cell lines, bacteria, viruses or fungi can now be accessed via the site," company officials say, and are -- typically -- purchased by hospitals, universities and laboratories to further medical research.
Registered users of the system can order cultures directly from the site and at present, the order is then passed to operations for dispatch. Phase II of the site will see the CRM, logistics and financial systems also integrated.
Users of the site are able to browse by several different search criteria, including A-Z browsing, via reference number, name, type of culture, or culture associated with a specific part of the body, or ailment. A search will retrieve the most relevant information about a culture, as well as useful papers and resources associated with that culture.
David Macken, managing director of System Associates, says "by far" the most sophisticated aspect of this project was to provide "a meaningful retrieval on a complex subject-matter. There are 11 different search criteria, each of which relates to the indexing of more than 40,000 items."
Contact center services providers Mellon Collection Services, Fintrust and BlueSphere, members of Mellon Group of Companies, have announced the completion of their relocation to new model premises in Athens.
The leased area covers 4,500 square meters, of which 2,800 square meters are used exclusively for the operation of the call centers, securing more than 800 work positions. The companies also created an ancillary café-restaurant area, infirmary, as well as a specially designed area for smokers.
Underlining what company officials call "the anthropocentric orientation of the companies," emphasis was placed on "the creation of the apposite specifications and infrastructures to maintain a friendly and healthy work environment."
The companies have also "provisioned for the overall ambience of the premises" in order to create a pleasant work environment that "motivates employees," officials say.
The new center created an IP-based environment emphasizing security, streamlined operations and a combination of technological tools, such as the CRM software application Conceptus and Altitude's Unified Customer Interaction platform.