CRM from Oasis, AccuWeather on BlackBerry, Kana and Barclays, TimeDriver and, Jitterbit and Infowelders

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David Sims
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CRM from Oasis, AccuWeather on BlackBerry, Kana and Barclays, TimeDriver and, Jitterbit and Infowelders

The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is one of Van Morrison's unjustly overlooked albums, Veedon Fleece -- in all frankness Van's done albums justly overlooked, but this isn't one of them. It might be a stretch to say this 1974 album of introspection after an emotional loss inspired Bob Dylan's masterpiece album on the same theme, Blood On the Tracks in 1975, but assuming Bob heard the record it's plausible to conjecture that it sparked something: has announced the launch of a service that will make deeper information more easily accessible on BlackBerry smart phones from Research In Motion.

Users can subscribe to this new free service directly from their BlackBerry smart phone and an icon will appear on their home screen that displays high-level weather conditions based on weather data regularly "pushed" to the smart phone; users can also click on the weather icon to instantly access the most updated and more detailed weather information including hourly forecasts, 10-day forecasts, severe weather alerts, and radar images.

Honestly, is it just me, or is there a rash of "deeper" BlackBerry news here recently? Just earlier today I wrote up a piece on Rave Wireless also announcing "deeper product integration" between Rave's safety applications and the BlackBerry.

"Recent studies have shown that weather is one of the most requested forms of content from mobile users accessing the Web," said Jim Candor, Senior Vice President of New Media for AccuWeather, adding that "BlackBerry smart phone owners are frequent users of the Web."

Candor speaks candidly: A recent Nielsen Mobile report showed that weather was the second most popular category of mobile content, surpassed only by e-mail. In late 2007, was rated one of the top fifteen mobile brands, also by Nielsen Mobile.

TimeTrade Systems, a vendor of customer self-service appointment scheduling products, has announced that TimeDriver, the company's personal appointment scheduler, will be available on the AppExchange.

Sales professionals "will be able to use Salesforce to invite and confirm appointments with customers," according to the TimeTraders, who add that the integration with Salesforce is being co-developed with Appirio.

TimeTrade will be unveiling TimeDriver for Salesforce at the upcoming Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco in a couple weeks. The product will be available on the AppExchange by the end of the year.

TimeDriver lets users invite customers and prospects to schedule sales demos, account reviews, phone consultations and other sales interactions. By including a "Click to Schedule" link in e-mail messages and on Web pages, customers can schedule time with them for phone and face-to-face meetings, "without playing phone tag or e-mail tag," TimeTrade officials say. 

TimeDriver for Salesforce will be available to the SaaS community through the AppExchange marketplace.

Ed Mallen, CEO of TimeTrade Systems, said his company will "look forward to continuing our relationship with Appirio on this project and future opportunities."

The product lets users control availability of time for appointments based on the user's free/busy status in their Salesforce, Google or Outlook calendar, view and manage TimeDriver data via Salesforce or TimeDriver and "automatically add or update appropriate data records in Salesforce through schedule links, e-mail invitations and appointments created in TimeDriver," company officials say.

"We welcomed the opportunity to help TimeTrade bring its appointment scheduling product to the platform and are looking forward to using the product ourselves," said Mike Epner, VP of Sales for Appirio. "It made sense for TimeTrade to extend their reach into the ecosystem."

"This economic environment provides a perfect opportunity for innovative technology to help businesses do more with less such as maintaining consistent contact with customers and prospects," said Denis Pombriant, Founder and Managing Principal, Beagle Research.

Kana Software has been selected by Barclays to provide its Secure Messaging technology in the UK, according to the Kanians.

The vendor is providing Barclays with the technology to support its customers to use its online channel in "a secure environment and secure communication," Kana officials say. With accompanying personalized services and marketing campaigns, the initiative is called "a keystone of Barclays multi-channel customer communication strategy to improve customer satisfaction, reduce customer attrition and increase online sales."

Secure Messaging will be used by Barclays Personal, Premier and Local Business customers in the UK. Over four million customers are expected to have access to the system by 2010.

Kana Secure Messaging combines e-mail management with secure Web portals and provides customer communication through Web channels without the need for encryption applications.

The integration of Kana software with Barclays' current systems is also expected to provide Barclays customer-facing teams with full visibility of customer communication across all channels through secure messaging.

As the bank's customers currently use the branch and telephony channels for secure communication, Barclays officials expect Kana Secure Messaging to give customers "an additional choice of channel to communicate with the bank securely through an online session."

KnowTia Corporation has announced that the Oasis CRM product line will now be enhanced with a new interface to QuickBooks Pro, Premier & Enterprise.

New features include integrated automated contract billing interface as well as detailed inventory and order management. These features will be coupled with their integration with both Intuit QuickBooks product lines.
Oasis CRM for Intuit QuickBooks incorporates Sales Force and Customer Service Automation with comprehensive inventory control features, automating "the entire customer life cycle and eliminating duplicate data entry for clients," company officials say.
KnowTia officials say many companies rely on disconnected software systems to handle SFA (Sales Force Automation), Customer Service, Fulfillment and accounting. These "disconnected products" in turn caused process bottlenecks and further prohibited growth, they contend:
"Additionally, the increased chance for errors and overall increases in operation costs limited the businesses future success. As such, Oasis CRM was designed to eliminate these bottlenecks and provide a structured, easy to use system where information is entered once and flows automatically through the various stages of the company, including accounting."
Founded in 2001, KnowTia Corporation is currently headquartered in Tampa. Oasis CRM is the fourth product that KnowTia has presented to the small business market and is a QuickBooks Gold Certified Solution.
Jitterbit, a vendor of open source integration software, has announced its relationship with Infowelders, a certified implementation partner. Both companies will be showcasing successful data integrations at Dreamforce,'s annual user and developer conference November 2-5 in San Francisco.
The partnership between Jitterbit and Infowelders is designed to provide implementation resources for integrations between and other enterprise applications and database technologies, the Jitterbitters say: "As part of this program, customers are able to use Jitterbit's open source platform to solve integration" problems.
"Our relationship with Infowelders... is a partnership that provides support to customers integrating with," said Sharam Sasson, Jitterbit chairman and CEO.
Infowelders officials say it's "important to integrate customers' broad range of systems and technologies while standardizing on a single, dependable platform for every integration project." In fact, "we always recommend supported middleware as opposed to hand-coded integration products," said Nick Hamm, director of technology at Infowelders. "As consultants, we have seen and used many different integration products over the years."
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