CRM Part of MTS-Vodafone Deal, Atos and LCL, Magic's iBolt, Transzap and Oracle, Telefonica and IBM, Avaya and Merrill, Transzap

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CRM Part of MTS-Vodafone Deal, Atos and LCL, Magic's iBolt, Transzap and Oracle, Telefonica and IBM, Avaya and Merrill, Transzap

The news as of that all-important third cup of coffee, and the music is a posthumous release by the most self-effacing genius in jazz history, pianist Bill Evans, You Must Believe in Spring. If you're into understated, highly accomplished jazz playing, "restrained brilliance," as one reviewer put it, get the Bill Evans Trio's 1961 Village Vanguard sessions recorded live at club shows. For such a talented player the guy was so unassuming he actually had them include the club noise -- glasses tinkling, laughter -- on the records:

Atos Worldline, an Atos Origin Company, has been selected by French bank LCL to develop, build, run and host a secure banking Web 2.0 messaging service dedicated to client-advisor interaction.

Through the development of this channel, LCL officials say they hope to strengthen and widen the bank's existing client communication channels. The service targets a specific group of clients who have subscribed to the secure, on-line banking site LCL Interactif.

E-mail has become "an unavoidable means of communication," LCL officials say (probably in translation), and for banking it "must meet strict security and confidentiality requirements. Only a dedicated messaging system developed specifically for private communication channels can meet these requirements."

LCL chose Atos Worldline to develop a global WebMail messaging system in Web 2.0 based on a secure platform to guarantee information confidentiality for clients and advisors: "This tool meets standard messaging system requirements so that it can connect with the bank's existing routing and response software programs," Atos officials say.

Atos Origin has annual revenues of EUR 5.8 billion and employs over 50,000 people in 40 countries. It is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market.
Magic Software Enterprises, a vendor of application platforms and business and process integration products, has announced that it will be showcasing an enhanced version of its iBolt Special Edition for the business integration suite at this year's Dreamforce.

Calling it a "substantially enhanced" version of the company's code-free and hardware-free business integration suite, company officials say it has a new SDK adaptor "enabling ISVs to transform their existing applications from a standard / monolithic architecture to service-oriented architecture ."
It also features a visual data mapping studio and engine, and is being touted by the vendor as "eliminating recurring situations that normally require additional steps, updates and mapping." The Replicator is designed to -- funnily enough -- replicate your data to a selected database for backup, reports "and peace of mind."
There's also Lotus Notes application DB connectivity and the iBolt business integration suite which supports open standards and requires no special hardware, and lets organizations "automate their application integration processes with user-friendly wizards and a model driven approach that eliminates the need to write complex code," company officials say.
With off-premise applications and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the product's Replicator is designed to not only 'replicate' data on-site, but in the process "improve the ability to apply Business Intelligence systems to that data."

Regev Yativ, President and CEO for Magic Software Americas, said the product's enhancements are designed to eliminate many of the redundant integration steps and processes "so that our customers can expect to spend even less of their time and resources developing projects and instead move straight to deployment."

Telefonica, a telecommunications technology provider, has announced an agreement with IBM in Brazil to manage its midrange servers.
With the agreement, Telefonica officials say, IBM's Services Center in Hortolandia, near Sao Paulo, will support the operation of all the Telefonica's midrange servers in Brazil. IBM said it also will provide support and maintenance services 24-7 to keep the company's IT infrastructure running and available to internal and external clients.

In other news, Telefonica has renewed a contract with IBM in Argentina for the same services. The contracts, valued at $50 million, were signed in July 2008 and run through the end of 2011.
Merrill & Associates, a Platinum Avaya Partner and Solutions Provider, has announced that they're adding to their network engineering teams and increasing their efforts around unified communications and applications.

Mike Merrill, President and CEO, made the announcement, adding that "the future of this industry is in unified communications and IP-enabled applications. Adding to our engineering resources will allow us to remain strong in TDM-based areas, while growing our company through network integration products including CRM and Security Solutions."
Merrill & Associates sells end-to-end communications services including Unified Communications, Voice over IP, convergence, mobility, and contact centers. They also specialize in consulting, design, implementation, maintenance, and technical support services.

As a Platinum Avaya Business Partner, Merrill works closely with Avaya and other partners such as Cisco, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks, NetIQ, Polycom, and Tandberg, to integrate hardware, software, video and applications into e business products.

"We truly believe that our partnership with Avaya will help us to add tremendous value to our customers through unified communications and contact center products," said Lenin Rodriguez, CTO. "However, our ability to provide other products such as Microsoft integration to telephony services, video, and data is what our customers are looking for. They want a true end-to-end provider that can design, implement, and support their network as a whole."
IBM has announced that Transzap, a services provider of ePayables and digital data exchange products, has consolidated its distributed Oracle environment of servers to a System z9 Business Class mainframe and IBM storage.

As a mainframe customer, Transzap operates Oildex, which provides an Internet-based ePayable, digital data, and spend analysis products in the energy industry.
"Transzap processes over $80 billion in transactions but we are still a small company with fewer than 100 employees," said Peter Flanagan, CEO of Transzap. "We invested in the mainframe for its ability to scale to meet our business needs at a moment's notice, and to provide our customers with a reliable environment with virtualization capabilities."
"Transzap is not only a new mainframe customer but they are also running System z to behave like a cloud computing environment, an efficient architecture designed to deliver software services to clients," said Anne Altman, general manager of System z.
Transzap currently supplies its Oildex services via an SaaS model.
Mobile TeleSystems, a mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS, and Vodafone have announced a non-equity partnership to provide customers with communications services and to collaborate jointly on future technological developments.
The agreement allows for MTS to "draw on Vodafone's expertise in building and developing third generation networks and mobile broadband products," MTS officials say, adding that it includes "deploying CRM practices."

In addition, MTS will have an exclusive access to a range of products, services and devices from Vodafone for its markets of operation in Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Armenia.

The partnership with MTS is expected to give Vodafone insight into the opportunities of the telecommunications markets of Russia and the CIS, Vodafone officials say, adding that aforesaid markets are "among the fastest growing in the world."
Vodafone's products will be made available to MTS' 87 million subscribers, including more than 60 million customers in Russia. Vodafone's products and services will be marketed in Russia and the CIS under a co-branded approach. Vodafone will also open a representative office in Moscow to co-operate more closely with MTS on future offerings and customer services.

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