By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Van Morrison's enduring masterwork, St. Dominic's Preview. You can have your Astral Weeks, Moondance and latter-day bursts of glory, your Wavelength or Hymns To the Silence or whatever: track for track and note for note this is his best work:
Workscape Inc., a vendor of SaaS-based outsourced benefits and talent management products, has unveiled the latest version of its Talent Management Suite. According to company officials Version 6.6 of the Workscape TMS has "tools and integrated talent data" for performance management, compensation, and succession planning.
The latest version of the Workscape Talent Management Suite includes an upgraded version of Workscape Performance Manager, company officials say, adding that the integrated capabilities of Workscape TMS 6.6 "enable companies to identify top performers and qualified successors and maintain business continuity in the competitive war for talent."
By sharing data -- such as employee flight risk and corresponding loss impact -- across Workscape's performance and compensation applications, Workscape's newest version helps organizations proactively prepare for -- and prevent -- talent gaps.
Tim Clifford, Workscape's CEO, said that with average tenure becoming shorter in most industries, "retaining and maximizing the value of the people you have now is becoming more and more important." The company's latest product suite, he added, includes "support for year-round performance-driven compensation and begins to extend succession planning beyond the C-suite."
With Workscape Performance Manager, goal setting, sharing and performance evaluations are automated and streamlined, according to the Workscapers, "driving goal alignment and enabling management to identify top performers and target high potential employees."
On a single integrated platform, TMS 6.6 brings together data and activities that have historically been separate in other products, company officials say, enabling access to information across business processes -- performance planning and evaluations, compensation planning, and succession planning. Users can reference data from one set of processes while performing activities for another -- "for example, referencing performance evaluation information while executing succession planning activities," company officials say.
As colleges feel increasing pressure to build relationships with prospective students, TargetX officials say, the company, a vendor of recruitment technology, has created a customer relationship management system providing "a one-stop online tool for managing the entire recruitment process."
TargetX officials say they have created a CRM for colleges that provides an expandable and reportable suite of recruitment management tools, called Student Recruitment Manager (SRM).
"We've combined a way to manage student information, a consumer-friendly student portal for applying online and scheduling campus visits, and the electronic communication tools for which we're known," said CEO Brian Wm. Niles.
The new system lets admissions offices manage and automate the recruitment process, from the first point of contact with a student to the point of enrollment. "No more moving data around, no more waiting for the IT department to deliver reports, no more struggling to figure out who in the inquiry database received what communications," Niles says.
TargetX chose to build the SRM on the proven Force.com platform of Salesforce.com. "Rather than reinvent the wheel, we decided to take the Force.com platform that powers the Salesforce CRM tool and mold it into an integrated recruitment management tool," he added.
Using the Salesforce framework also makes the SRM easy to expand. Users can add to the capabilities of their TargetX system through hundreds of add-on products that address the specific needs of their office or staff.
The TargetXians feel that another strength of the SRM is its automatic integration with TargetX's e-mail broadcasting and online chat tools -- "in addition, colleges have the option of using TargetX's blogging and social networking tools to further their communications efforts with today's Web-savvy students."
Teleperformance officials say they and First Call have signed a Purchase Agreement where Teleperformance Group acquires a majority shareholding in First Call, "as soon as the Ukrainian anti monopoly authorities give their approval."
First Call is currently operating under the Teleperformance brand.
The Ukrainian market is a strategic market for Teleperformance, company officials say, as Ukraine is one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe with an average of more than seven percent growth per year since 2000 and a current domestic demand growth around 14 percent.
Companies in such verticals as banking and finance, insurance, telco and retail constitute "the historical and main verticals of Teleperformance Group portfolio," officials say.
First Call, a start-up based in Kiev, is expected to operate approximately 300 workstations in 2009 in compliance with international standards. The target, Teleperformance officials say, is for First Call to become an outsourced CC provider in Ukraine, offering a wide range of outsourced CRM and contact center services, such as customer acquisition, customer service and technical assistance.
Jacques Berrebi, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of Teleperformance, said because of geographic, language and cultural similarities, "Teleperformance will be able to optimize synergies between Russia and Ukraine to serve its local clients. We are already in talks with some of our Russian clients who are expanding their business in Ukraine."
Teleperformance is a provider of outsourced CRM and contact center services with $2.182 billion in 2007 revenues.
CompletexRM has announced that it has received a second round of funding from initial investors as well as FranklinCovey, company officials say, adding that "the B round of funding will enable CompletexRM to continue its marketing and sales plans as well as build a channel program."
Last September, CompletexRM and FranklinCovey launched PlanPlus Online by FranklinCovey, an online planner, organizer and contact manager and Enterprise 2.0 CRM product for SMB built on its xRM Foundation and PlanPlusOnline Sales, which also includes CRM functionality and process management.
"We are pleased FranklinCovey has contributed as a strategic investment partner," said Donald L. Lucas, Chairman of the Board at CompletexRM. "Our CRM technology has found an ideal partner in FranklinCovey's planning and productivity methodology and installed customer base."
The PlanPlus Online product offerings allow SMBs to extend traditional Customer Relationship Management functionality through an Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) foundation to a variety of business transactions.
Studies cited by CompletexRM officials show that only one in five people begin the day with a plan, of which only 37 percent prioritize these tasks. These same studies show that those that do apply a planning process and prioritize tasks on average get better business results based on execution and priorities.
"We continue to see tremendous growth and demand for CRM products that enable companies to not only manage their dynamic transactions but to adjust to the new business needs of dynamic relationships," said Bob Neeser, president & CEO of CompletexRM.
SplendidCRM Software, a vendor of Microsoft-centric Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products for open-source use, has announced the launch of Version 2.1 of its flagship platform SplendidCRM on the Mono/Linux platform.
By providing support for both PostgreSQL and Mono, SplendidCRM officials say the product provides the benefits of Rapid Application Development to the CRM platform in an all open-source environment.
"We were surprised how easily and quickly we were able to port SplendidCRM to the PostgreSQL database platform," said Paul Rony, President of SplendidCRM.
Fred Holahan, VP of Marketing for EnterpriseDB Corporation, a vendor of Postgres products and services, said by supporting PostgreSQL, "SplendidCRM now offers its customers a CRM experience based on the world's most advanced open source database product."
This release takes advantage of a number of advances in Mono, including support for Master Pages and AJAX. "We are grateful to Novell and the Mono team as they make it incredibly easy to create a cross-platform application using Microsoft .NET and C#," said Rony.
To see this new functionality, please visit http://postgresqlmono.splendidcrm.com.
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