By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Smiths' Louder Than Bombs:
Enterprise marketing software vendor Neolane has launched a marketing automation product described by company officials as "designed for cross-channel, not just multi-channel, marketing."
Called Cross-Channel Marketing Optimization, it gives marketers "the ability to create, manage and execute campaigns across both traditional and emerging channels such as mobile from one platform," company officials say.
The product "is built on the new Neolane v5 platform -- a single, Web-services based platform that centrally manages direct marketing campaigns, leads, resources, customer data and analytics," company officials say, the idea being to have campaigns "coordinated and consistent across channels, rather than just executed in silos."
Neolane also offers the option of adding Marketing Resource Management capabilities, providing one interface for marketers to handle planning, budgeting, physical and digital asset management, process automation and program measurement, in addition to cross-channel campaign management.
"Marketers are under increased pressure to be more accountable when it comes to defending, measuring and protecting marketing spend," says Stephan Dietrich, president, Neolane.
Traditionally, the Neolanians say, legacy marketing software "has not supported all marketing channels, or been able to provide one single, one code-based interface for campaign management, analytics and MRM. Therefore, over time, many marketing organizations have created a patchwork of technology -- a Frankenstein monster. The Frankenstein lurches along clumsily until it becomes overwhelmed and collapses."
The Neolane v5 platform, however, was "created from the ground up" to allow companies to "design and orchestrate targeted, relevant, personalized and event-triggered campaigns."
Sabre Travel Network, a Sabre Holdings company, has announced the sixth anniversary of its relationship with Agresso, a vendor of e-business products. Together the firms developed Sabre Central Command, an integrated end-to-end business information system to help travel agencies, including consolidators, general agents and corporate travel agencies, "reconcile travel financial information, reduce cost per transaction and improve business performance."
Sabre Central Command provides financial applications that give travel management companies the ability to measure, understand, monitor and manage business. Available on-site or as an application service provider product, Sabre Central Command is adaptable to a variety of applications, from small to large implementations.
Chris Kroeger, senior vice president, Sabre Travel Network, North America, said his organization is "finding over and over again that agencies appreciate a back-office product that helps their businesses run smoothly while they attend to the needs of their customers."
Agresso sells business information and management systems for finance, project accounting, purchasing, human resources and payroll, plus Web, e-commerce and mobile capabilities.
On Wednesday, October 22, SugarCRM, a vendor of commercial open source customer relationship management software, will host an interactive Webinar panel discussion titled "From Pipeline Management to Total Customer Management," featuring SugarCRM customers Bright House Networks and Levementum, a professional services firm.
Attendees will hear about drivers for CRM evaluation and selection, how to adapt CRM to enhance existing business processes, how to use commercial open source SugarCRM as a platform, how to create a Total Customer Management product, why tracking customer data alone does not drive customer satisfaction and how to lower the cost of ownership, SugarCRM officials say.
It starts at 10:00 a.m. PDT, 1:00 p.m. EDT and lasts one hour, including Q&A time. Register at www.sellingpower.com/Webinars2/october/sugar_crm/sugar/index.asp.
The moderator will be Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and publisher of Selling Power magazine, which today has a circulation of 138,000 subscribers in 67 countries. He also founded Personal Selling Power, Inc.
Panelists include Geoff Mobisson, CEO and founder of Leventum, who has led e-business and data warehouse efforts at ON Semiconductor; and Lee Vinton, manager of Business Engineering Services with Bright House Networks.
IDOX plc, a vendor of information and knowledge management, has chosen Increase CRM to implement and host a Microsoft Dynamics CRM product, Increase officials say.
In the first phase of the project Increase will provide IDOX with Microsoft SureStep implementation services and a Hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 platform to streamline sales order processing and improve sales forecasting accuracy.
"We needed a central CRM system to help improve our reporting capabilities over our four regional sales teams," said John Bell, Project Manager at IDOX, adding that his company currently relies on a Saleslogix system to provide sales forecast data.
Bell says the Microsoft system "will also help us speed up the integration of our recent acquisitions: CAPS and Plantech, as well as providing us with a platform for our commercial data."
George Bliss, Marketing Director at Increase CRM, said a CRM strategy "is all too often thought of as a means for boosting monthly sales revenue, but often the advantages of CRM for account management can be overlooked. This approach can increase the value of existing accounts which is key in the current economic climate, when budgets are being constantly squeezed and new spend is often deferred."
Webalo has announced that users of the Microsoft Business Intelligence platform can now "access business reports on any mobile device," making available business information "without the need to program custom products or reports."
This capability is made possible, company officials say, by the Webalo Mobile Dashboard for the Microsoft BI suite. The dashboard is billed by the Webalonians as being able to "transform, without complex reprogramming, SQL Server, PerformancePoint, SharePoint, or Excel content into mobile displays that conform to whatever brand or model of handheld device being used."
According to Gartner's research the 2007 market for business intelligence was just over $5.1 billion, with Microsoft BI steadily gaining market share over the past few years.
"Our goal is to make it possible for anybody to have access to the information they need on any kind of device," said Peter Price, president and CEO of Webalo.
Nils Rasmussen, founder and president of Solver, a performance management and business intelligence products provider, noted that "until now, providing access to critical business information on different mobile devices has required unique programming for each device, and for each underlying BI platform."
The Webalo Mobile Dashboard for Microsoft BI works on RIM operating system 4.0 or above, Windows Mobile 2003 (PPC Edition), Windows Mobile 5 (both PPC and Smartphone Editions) or Windows Mobile 6 (all versions), and Java-enabled MIDP 2.0 smartphones. It's available as a hosted service or an inside-the-firewall appliance.