By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the most overexposed yet underrated acts in rock history, The Supremes. More American #1 singles in the '60s than anyone -- more than The Beatles -- their music has serious legs, their melodies are as sturdy as oak and they sound as wonderful today as they did forty years ago:
NII Holdings and Research In Motion have announced that Nextel Argentina, Nextel Brazil, Nextel Mexico and Nextel Peru will launch the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone during the first quarter of 2009.
The BlackBerry Curve 8350i is described by NII officials as "the first smartphone in Latin America to offer the Push-to-Talk service, International Direct Connect and WiFi capability."
The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone and Push-to-Talk service "will provide one-touch, instant communication between NII subscribers in their home markets and with over 10 million iDEN subscribers in North and South America," NII officials say, adding that the BlackBerry 8350i will also come with built-in Wi-Fi, a 2-megapixel camera, an internal antenna and "a host of other features."
Greg Santoro, chief marketing and strategy officer, NII Holdings, said the smartphone "combines the power of Push-To-Talk with the BlackBerry platform's features."
The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is designed to combine BlackBerry data services such as e-mail, messaging, organizer and Internet access with the connectivity of Push-to-Talk. The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is designed to integrate into the IT networks of organizations that use the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.
It has 128-MB of onboard memory, and the smartphone will accept microSD/SDHC cards for up to 16 GB of storage. Users will be able to store spreadsheets, images or pictures, and with the DataViz Documents to Go software users will be able to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents directly on the smartphone. Plus it's got GPS).
Sword ciboodle, which sells business software and services, has announced that it is working with UK baby food giant Nutricia to help the company "enhance its customer service capabilities."
By deploying Sword ciboodle's CRM platform, Sword officials say, Nutricia aims to boost its contact center's performance. Part of Groupe Danone's Baby Nutrition division, Nutricia sells baby food brands Cow & Gate and Aptamil.
Nutricia runs customer relationship programs both in the consumer and healthcare professional marketplace, supported by a Careline staffed by dieticians, nutritionists, midwives and mothers. The programs, Nutricia officials say, are designed to provide information, support and advice to their respective audiences, via a wide range of contact channels, including phone, postal mailings, Web site, e-mail, SMS, live Web chat and a desktop character.
Sword ciboodle is providing Nutricia with a CRM platform that links the various contact channels, and provides a consolidated view of each customer's interactions with the company. The system is also designed to accommodate an expected growth in the number of contacts over time and handle increasing volumes without the need to increase staff numbers.
"Sword ciboodle provides us with a much clearer view of the interactions mothers have with our CRM channels and our Careline," says Nic Yates, Head of CRM, Nutricia. "We believe that this project will set a CRM best practice standard for our group."
The product will underpin Nutricia's contact center operation, Nutricia officials say, providing its teams of advisors with "a vastly simplified single desktop view of each customer's contact history, allowing them to access previous contact records to determine what questions have previously been asked and what advice has been provided."
All contact center channels will be integrated into the new platform, ensuring a complete, auditable record of all interactions, Nutricia officials say. The system is also designed to eliminate the data quality issues that resulted through previous duplication of customer information.
Telrex, sellers of the CallRex IP call recording and call center products, has announced that Keany Produce has adopted the CallRex call recording software for "improved customer service processes" and to "streamline dispute resolution."
The call center optimization product is being used to help Keany "stretch their current infrastructure... using CallRex Professional software on their Mitel 3300 ICP system," Telrex officials say.
Dawn Eastwood, director of IT for Keany Produce, said the CallRex call recording product is intended to help with quality monitoring, employee coaching, dispute resolution, and to identify customer and process trends. "CallRex has allowed us to identify trends and correct issues or train agents," said Eastwood. "Using call recordings, we discovered issues that we hadn't even thought of."
Reviewing calls, managers discovered that agents were not necessarily answering the underlying or unasked questions. "We heard customer exchanges where agents were continually answering the customer question 'how much does that include' with 'five pounds,' when the real question may have been 'how many servings are included?'" Eastwood says.
Interactive Intelligence has reported results for the quarter and nine-month period ended Sept. 30, 2008.
2008 third quarter revenues were $30.1 million, a three percent increase from $29.2 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income for the 2008 third quarter was $1.4 million, compared to $2.5 million in the 2007 third quarter.
Non-GAAP operating income was $1.8 million, compared to $3.3 million in the third quarter of 2007. Non-GAAP operating income excludes charges for stock-based compensation of $439,000 and $812,000 in the third quarters of 2008 and 2007, respectively.
Net income in the 2008 third quarter was $924,000, with diluted earnings per share of $0.05, compared to $3.0 million and $0.15, respectively, in the 2007 third quarter. Net income includes fully taxed earnings in 2008. Non-GAAP net income in the third quarter of 2008 was $2.0 million with EPS of $0.11, compared to $3.8 million and $0.19, respectively, in the 2007 third quarter.
"As in the previous quarter, demand was strong from new customers while current customers limited expansion of their existing implementations," said Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Donald E. Brown. "Both trends were primarily driven by the difficult economic environment."
For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008, revenues were a record $90.1 million, a 12 percent increase from $80.6 million in the same period in 2007.
Net income for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2008 was $2.9 million, with EPS of $0.15, compared to $7.1 million and $0.37, respectively, in the same period in 2007. Net income includes fully taxed earnings in 2008. Non-GAAP net income was $7.3 million with EPS of $0.38, compared to $9.4 million and $0.49, respectively, in the first nine months of 2007.
During the third quarter of 2008, the company repurchased 353,000 shares of its common stock for $3.4 million under a plan that was approved by the board of directors in July 2008.
Boomi, a vendor on-demand integration, has announced that the company has added over 100 new customers since the introduction of its on-demand integration service, "adding to its existing client base of over 300 customers in 11 countries around the world," company officials say.
"Boomi was the clear choice for TacitLogic to synchronize Salesforce.com with our business networking platform, MyReferNet," said Drew Massie, COO & Co-Founder of TacitLogic. "I was able to build and deploy my integration processes within just a few hours."
With its "connect once, integrate everywhere" approach, Boomi officials believe the company's popularity is driven by its fully cloud-based delivery model, its visual approach to integration that does not require coding, its product for behind-the-firewall integration and its pay-per-connection pricing model.
Bob Moul, CEO of Boomi, says the integration challenge is not caused by SaaS technology itself "but in the attempt to integrate SaaS applications with conventional integration products."