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November 2008

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Tactile CRM, Intrabench's VAT Upgrade

November 26, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is The Grateful Dead's live album Europe '72. Surprisingly good work music, along with Traffic's Welcome To The Canteen or The Allman Brothers' Eat A Peach, high-quality jam music that's never obnoxious:

Senokian, the Coventry, England-based applications hosting and open source firm, has announced the new version of its Web-based contact and sales management system, Tactile CRM.
The release "brings social media style tagging to allow small businesses to search their sales leads, contacts, diary and e-mails in one hosted system," according to company officials.

Many small businesses have been slow to embrace traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) due to complexity and cost, according to the Tactilians, who say Tactile's dashboard "gives a visual overview of the current sales pipeline and recent customer contact," showing the deals most likely to be won: "Information previously available only to individual team members is now shared across the whole department or company."

Having worked with local businesses in a range of industries, Senokian officials say they "built the new version of Tactile CRM to meet the issues faced by sales and admin staff in their day to day life... a system that can be used to replace homegrown spreadsheets and paper-based processes that small businesses must evolve from."

With a free trial for organisations to test the system and several payment plans (start from as little as £6 per month), Senokian have already signed up clients across the UK, US, and Australia.

Tactile CRM was chosen as one of the top 20 UK Web 2.0 companies by Digital Mission 2008 sponsored by UK Trade & Investment department, and one of the top UK start-ups by TechCrunch UK in 2008.

Senokian was founded in 2002 by Managing Director Jake Stride and is privately funded.

Revel and Reader's Digest, Opera Mini 4.2, Ignify's Growth, Open Solutions, A Word from Management

November 26, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is chosen for a morning like this, when you need something to get going, the high-energy album keeping you pumping out the work through a tired patch... yes, the ultimate First Coffee work album, makes a slow day peppy and gets a peppy day grooving... Sinatra's Swingin' Session by the Chairman:

We'll give you the condensed version: Revel Consulting, a Kirkland, Washington-based business and IT consulting firm, has been selected by Reader's Digest to integrate a software-as-a-serviceproduct with the company's current customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.

Bango's Mobile Web Update, Jenzabar and ACU, Pronto and Heritage Seeds, Parallels Enhancement

November 26, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Al Stewart's latest album, Sparks of Ancient Light. The usual eclectic Stewart song subject selection - President McKinley, Elvis, sixth-century BC explorer Hanno the Carthaginian, the Shah, Lord Salisbury, the Eisenhower years in America, dissipated international embezzlers and the like. You know, typical rock'n'roll stuff:

Mobile Web tech vendors Bango say they see that the opening-up of mobile traffic channels - paying for on-deck links to off-deck sites and mobile advertising through Yahoo!

CA's Internet Security Suite, Market2Lead Rated by Raab, Bluewolf and Hasler and Force.com, E-autobusiness and GM

November 26, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a Verve reissue of the 1947 Charlie Parker album, cleverly titled Charlie Parker, jammed with the usual outtakes and false starts, which is the lot in life of reissues seeking to justify the $11.99 iTunes price.

By the way, if your grandmother has a copy of this vinyl in her attic, ask her if you can "borrow" it, then take it to a jazz records dealer, it's worth a few hundred bucks. Buy her something nice with the money and you may not even have to think up a lame lie about how you "lost" it:
CA has announced the immediate availability of its CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2009.

CA's Data Center Manager, RewardStream and 2020, Plexus Sales Up, Informa's Med CRM, Bx.com

November 24, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Internet radio, for a change - liveIreland for Celtic folk music:   CA, Inc. has announced that CA Data Center Automation Manager "now addresses the needs of consumers and providers of cloud services."   Larry Ellison was right to famously complain a while back about everybody acting as if "cloud" is the panacea to what ails IT. "Cloud computing providers will only be successful if they focus on deep management and automation technologies," said Tom Bittman, vice president and analyst for Gartner. "To deliver highly available services, cloud computing providers and enterprise IT organizations should use technologies that automate operational processes and reduce the risk of human error that could cause downtime and damage customer satisfaction."   The CA product is designed along those lines, and is billed as helping enterprise IT organizations and cloud computing providers "deliver, scale, and manage computing resources on demand."   "Similar to enterprise IT data centers," CA officials claim, "cloud computing environments struggle to meet changing business demands because of the level of abstraction created by virtualization and other emerging technologies."   In their opinion, management is "key to providing accurate availability and performance data," as well as "the capacity needed to meet service demands."   CA Data Center Automation Manager enables "real-time provisioning and performance management between on-premise and off-premise clouds," designed to assist with resource allocation control, network availability, and service level management of cloud-based service offerings, company officials say.   Basically customers can use the product for cloud service deployments, if they decide that's the way to increase their operational efficiencies. It's designed for companies who want to improve IT agility, and are looking for ways to mitigate IT and business risks.   Roger Pilc, corporate senior vice president and general manager of CA's Infrastructure Management and Data Center Automation business unit, says the product compresses data center provisioning processes "and improves management capabilities." ...   RewardStream, which sells SaaS loyalty marketing technology, has announced that 2020 Marketing, a vendor of loyalty and incentive products, has licensed RewardStream's Lifecycle Marketing Platform.   The agreement means 2020 Marketing can offer loyalty and incentive programs with RewardStream LMP as their core technology platform.

BroadSoft's One-Oh, EchoSign's 4.0, Tealeaf, EGain's Benchmarking Report, Globo Gets Moody

November 24, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass." It's one of those classic albums that's almost great. Probably the best record any ex-Beatle ever did, it has a couple too many dead spots - "Isn't It a Pity" versions 1 and 2, "Awaiting On You All" as Exhibits A and B, for beatification.   "Hey look," you say, "it's a double album, buddy. Don't "Exile on Main Street," "Blonde On Blonde" and, for that matter, "The White Album" themselves have a dud here and there?" Sure do - but "All Things Must Pass" doesn't hit the high points those three albums do. "Lacunae" is permissible if you bestir yourself to recording a "Tumbling Dice" or "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" as well:   BroadSoft, a vendor of Voice over Internet Protocol application software, has announced its 10-year anniversary.   Founded in 1998 - but hey, you've already figured that out - company officials say in the last five years, BroadSoft's annual revenue has grown more than 1,000 percent and the number of employees has increased from 84 to almost 300.   Company officials attribute the growth and success to what they call the firm's "forward-thinking vision of IP convergence, product innovation and ability to secure top-tier customers around the world."   Highlights of the past ten years for the firm:   August 1999 - Unveils architecture for the delivery of telephony services.   December 2000 - Introduces first software-based VoIP media server.   September 2001 - Partners with Siemens to be first to test SIP interoperability.   October 2003 - Hosts first VoIP industry conference, BroadSoft Connections, for senior executives from telcos around the world.   January 2004 - Brings enhanced telephony to the residential market.   October 2008 - Partners with Microsoft for Hosted Unified Communications. ...   EGain Communications, which sells customer service and knowledge management software on-premise or on-demand, has published its 2008 international benchmarking report for the retail sector.   The report benchmarks and compares e-mail customer service and Web self-service offered by retail companies in North America and the United Kingdom.

Customer Effective, Nortel in Romania, ClairMail, CA and PwC, Cast Iron and Microsoft

November 24, 2008

The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is a Creedence Clearwater Revival-John Fogerty solo iPod mix. I'd pretty much ignored Fogerty solo, as much as I like CCR, who are one of the half-dozen finest American rock bands ever, figuring he couldn't be anywhere near as good as Creedence. He's not - who is? - but he's better than I thought:   Customer Effective, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, has hosted its first annual user conference in Greenville, South Carolina, attracting more than 100 attendees representing more than 45 companies.   Attendees included representatives from companies in financial services, professional services, public sector, manufacturing, technology, as well as execs from Microsoft, ExactTarget and Scribe.   Attendees heard presentations by Customer Effective executives and consulting directors, industry thought leaders and peers on current trends and issues including business intelligence, data management, workflow automation and SharePoint integration with Dynamics CRM.   The conference offered a wide variety of breakout sessions on Sales Force Automation best practices, marketing automation and development /customization strategies for CRM.   "Attending Customer Effective's user group was an excellent decision," said Aaron Roth, MarCom Specialist for Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, noting that "the sessions on business intelligence and overall CRM strategy as it relates to performance management were exceptionally valuable for my firm...

Microsoft CRM Videos, SaaS for CRM, InsightNow, Epicor Cost-Cutting, Internet at Limit?

November 20, 2008

The news as of the second coffee this morning, and the music is that sprawling, glorious freeway crash of an album from The Clash, Sandinista!. Where their self-titled debut was the machine gun drive-by and London Calling the perfectly-placed rifle shot, this is the sometimes-brilliant, sometimes slack-jawed stupid double-barreled shotgun blast of an album:

DynamicsExchange.com has announced the availability of a large online video collection for users and prospective buyers of Microsoft's Dynamics CRM software. With over 100 videos already categorized for CRM users' various learning needs and buyers' decision support needs, contained in a dedicated Web 2.0 environment, the offering adds resources to the Dynamics CRM platform and global community.

CRMTrak's Online Support, StayinFront, iSimple for iPods, Broadlook, Sage MAS

November 20, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Dexter Gordon's Go:

CRMTrak , sold as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM product, announced it has added online support tickets capabilities to its product.

The new customer service "allows CRMTrak users to setup a branded online support ticket system that is fully integrated with CRMTrak customer records," company officials say.

SpectorSoft's Monitoring, Numara Footprints, QuoteWerks

November 20, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a truly great song, "Something You Ain't Got" from the 2006 album Greenland by Cracker, a band that hadn't caught lightning in a bottle like this since their self-titled 1992 debut album:   SpectorSoft, a vendor of iInternet monitoring and surveillance software, says its 2008 Annual Corporate Customer Survey revealed that "more than 70 percent of its Spector 360 employee monitoring software customers benefited from increased productivity."   The survey uncovered what company officials call "conservative savings estimates of from $15,000 for a northeastern United States SMB to $200,000 or more for an enterprise business located in Canada."   "As businesses struggle with a deep recession, organizations will need to be diligent about increasing productivity and lowering costs to survive," said SpectorSoft President C. Douglas Fowler.   According to a 2008 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the "cyclical effects of the economic downturn" in 2001 had "a dramatic impact on productivity. After slowing and, in some sectors, declining during the recession that occurred in 2001, productivity growth rebounded, resulting in robust increases over the period from 2000 through 2005."   Spector 360 is marketed as being able to detect employee PC and Internet activity abuse, and review the details via Quick View charts and graphs. Company officials say 72 percent of respondents reported the employee monitoring software helped increase their organization's overall productivity, and more than a third estimated the productivity increase to be greater than 10 percent.

Symphony Metreo, Belkin's Switch to Mac, Avaya, Coordimax Gets Pinnacle, CMC Buys Talisma

November 17, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the finest country singer you've never heard of - Slim Dusty, who recorded 106 albums and captured the heart and soul of his country, Australia, in a way scant few others have done for any country. It was fairly said of him that "Slim Dusty doesn't sing about Australian culture. Slim Dusty is Australian culture."   He is to Australia what Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger and Johnny Cash all rolled into one are for America. He was so revered in Australia that when he died he lay in state with full honors.

Oulu's Wi-Max Network, APAC Award, Farelogix's Hawkeye, Adam and BrandActive, Microsoft and BizITPro

November 14, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz    The news as of the second cup of coffee, and the music is INXS's great song "Beautiful Girl." When First Coffee was moving to Istanbul for the first time in 1993 we were at a party where the DJ kept playing this song over and over. Good associations, in addition to the quality of the song itself, of course, have kept it a favorite ever since:   Oulu Innovation has announced that the city of Oulu, Finland is launching a MobileWiMAX-based wireless broadband network to "enhance the city's current wireless development and testing platforms," company officials say.   Together with the panOULU and Octopus networks, the planned MobileWiMAX network is designed to be a part of Oulu's existing wireless network constellation and is expected by the, uh, Oulians, to be deployed in December 2008.   It's designed for companies seeking to develop wireless devices, needing an "R&D and innovation ecosystem."   Matti Pennanen, Mayor, city of Oulu, Finland, said the addition of the MobileWiMAX network "will be an integral part of our existing wireless infrastructure."   The design and construction of the MobileWiMAX network has been coordinated by the city of Oulu with Nokia Siemens Networks, Nokia, the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and other firms and organizations.   "Mobile WiMAX, based on the Internet Protocol, promises to accelerate wireless-data speeds well beyond what's offered by current 3G cellular networks and deliver basic voice service," said Allen Nogee, principal analyst, wireless technology and infrastructure, In-Stat.   The MobileWiMAX network will consist of 13 base stations. The planned coverage area will be approximately 130 square kilometers, covering a continuous area from Oulunsalo Airport to Oulu City Center and to Technology Park.   Oulu's MobileWiMAX network is engineered to differ from traditional WiMAX networks in that it will provide user mobility in the coverage area, providing uninterrupted Internet access much like 3G phones. The network uses the 2.5 GHz band, which means that all terminals supporting the band will be able to access the network and will offer data transfer speeds of up to 13 Mbps. ...   APAC Customer Services, which sells inbound customer contact products, has announced the award of a multi-year contract to support wireless consumers for one of the world's largest wireless providers.   Under the new agreement, APAC will provide inbound customer care support from their Cedar Rapids, Iowa interaction center.

Flight Delay Updates, Rotating iPod, SDL and Microsoft, DocuSign and Salesforce.com, Glovia

November 14, 2008

By David Sims David at firstcoffee d*t biz   The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Joe Cocker's slapdash revue Mad Dogs & Englishmen. The history of how this show was put together and promoted is a textbook of how not to do a rock promotion -- the whole thing was conceived, cast, arranged, performed and forgotten inside of a year -- but Cocker, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, et al produced some fine brassy rocky-tonk music that holds up well today, some 38 years later:   AccuWeather.com, which likes to call itself "the World's Weather Authority," has announced that it has added flight delay information covering the entire U.S., viewable in map and text form, to its mobile site.

Jim Candor, Senior Vice President of New Media for AccuWeather.com, said he believes that by adding flight delay information, "we will make the site even more useful for business travelers and vacationers."

Flight delay information on the AccuWeather.com mobile site includes national and regional maps with color-coded indications of delays at various airports. For each airport where there is a delay, a text description will appear below the map. All forms of delays are reported including weather and non-weather related delays.   AccuWeather.com mobile officials claim there is "now one of the few mobile Web weather sites to offer flight delay information and the only site to offer a national map view of flight delays."

To see the flight delay information, go to AccuWeather.com mobile on a Web-enabled cell phone and select the Flight Delay link on the home page. ...   The i-Station Rotate is a speaker system from Logic3's i-Station brand.

Interprise Expands, CoffeeCompany and Wi-Fi, ExactTarget Fall Release, OmniVue and Microsoft CRM, Sage and Amix

November 13, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Crosby, Stills & Nash's eponymous 1969 album. Such talented musicians, such beautiful harmonies, such strong songwriting, such an idiotically self-destructive band that could've ruled the post-Beatle pop world but decided it'd be more fun to crash and burn after one brilliant record instead:   Interprise Software, a vendor of software products for businesses, has reported "rapid expansion" in its reseller channel as well as "new customers and partnerships." The pace of growth is also forcing the company to increase its office space and expand staff, company officials say.   Morgan Customsoft associates have joined Interprise Solutions, which Interprise officials say will allow for "a greater focus on the development of direct mail applications" within Interprise Suite. Mark Morgan, founder of Morgan Customsoft, a developer of software for the direct mail industry, will become vice president of direct marketing for Interprise.

Selltis and Texas A&M, Ten SaaS Trends, the FCC's 'Quiet Period,' AT&T's Social Network Study

November 12, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is the sweet spot of late '50s and early '60s jazz - Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, and others. There's probably a name for that specific style of jazz:   Selltis, a vendor of on-demand customer relationship management software, has announced that the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University has selected Selltis Sales 5.0 for use in its Supply Chain Systems lab curriculum.   The Industrial Distribution Program has been using Selltis for its industrial distribution course offering since 2002 and recently migrated to the newest version of the company's namesake CRM software.   Officials of the Thomas and Joan Read Center, a part of Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A&M University, say theirs is the only university center in the United States that focuses on research and education in industrial distribution: "Its professional development and educational programs are designed to increase an organization's competitive advantage and profitability."   Texas A&M's Supply Chain Systems Lab is accessed by the University's Industrial Distribution programs at every level, including approximately 500 undergraduate, 20-80 graduate, and 300-500 continuing education students each year. Additionally, numerous faculty members and graduate students use the Lab to conduct millions of dollars of research each year for the distribution community as a whole, including major corporations throughout the U.S.   "As part of the curriculum, our goal is to help students understand the workflow for making and selling products as well as he technology behind them," said university professor Arunachalam Narayanan. "Our goal is to simulate usage of this CRM software as preparation in guiding their technology decisions as they embark on careers in industrial distribution."   Expanding on the company's technology that offers "many-to-many" data linking, the new Selltis Sales 5.0 "Link The Way You Think" approach provides the capability to manage complex, team sales environments.

CRM Plugin From Go2Group, Opera Mini 4.2, Aperio CI's SNAP, PivotLink BI, UDC's CRM Sales Increase

November 12, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Guns N' Roses' "Appetite for Destruction." Word is that the "band" - that is, Axl Rose with some has-beens looking for work - will release a new album, "Chinese Democracy." And single. Soon. Really. Like, any day now.   Those of you who have been holding your breath for this album about as long as China's been holding its breath for democracy itself may think about exhaling. Since there's no way this could be, like, you know, another false alarm or anything.

Prestige Call Center, Open Systems and Hogan, Ntractive and Peak-to-Peak, Sword Ciboodle, Advent and Silver Bridge

November 10, 2008

The news as of the all-important third cup of coffee today, and the music is a Sly & The Family Stone iPod shuffle. Because sometimes you just need to get back to the solid basics, back when rock, funk and soul were all rolled up into one:   Prestige International USA has announced the opening of a new contact center by the Hong Kong branch of Prestige International. Prestige International sells global, integrated Business Process Outsourcing and Customer Relationship Management products.   The new facility, located in downtown Hong Kong, offers multilingual customer interactions combined with what the Prestigians describe as "global connectivity to organizations such as those servicing the financial services, insurance and luxury goods markets."

Company officials say the new Hong Kong center "extends Prestige International's global service network to 15 facilities in 13 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas regions... other locations include a 1,200 seat contact center in Japan and facilities in metropolitan areas such as London, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Singapore."

The new contact center is located in Tower 1 of the Gateway Tower office complex, rising above the Harbor City shopping mall with its 700-plus shops, including 50 restaurants and two cinemas.

Sage Business Works, Epicor, FCC and White Spaces

November 10, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Hayes Carll's honky-tonky rock album "Trouble In Mind," with a nifty laid-back version of The Ramones' punk version of Tom Waits' classic "I Don't Wanna Grow Up." If this guy had moved to Austin instead of coming up through the Little Rock scene, he'd probably be bigger today:   Sage Software has announced the availability of Sage BusinessWorks 50 Accounting 2009, the latest version of one of the company's management products for small to medium-sized businesses.   Sage BusinessWorks 2009 includes "time-saving features and enhancements," according to company officials who describe it as "even simpler and easier to use than ever." The 2009 edition offers customer-specific pricing, detailed open credits and deposit tracking, unlimited line items on transactions, and increased sales account entry capacity, in addition to check printing efficiencies, and what are described by company officials as "other time-saving and technical enhancements."   Stan Stankowski of Apex Software Group, a Sage BusinessWorks business partner located in Orlando, pronounces himself "impressed with the new open credits and deposits functionality, and the new customer-specific pricing feature," which allows users to assign different part prices for individual customers.   The product also has features such as customer-specific pricing, designed to help eliminate data-entry errors. It makes configuring customer-specific pricing easier by allowing users to import customer part prices and providing tools to copy part prices to other customers.   Detailed open credits and deposit tracking are intended to allow users to reconcile open credit and deposit balances for customers, and the product allows tracking each open credit and deposit as an individual transaction. Additionally, new detail reports display all new transactions that affect the open credit or deposit balance. These reports include drill-down capabilities, making researching details about transactions easier, and helping to reconcile balances more quickly.   Sage BusinessWorks 2009 can also print regular payroll checks on payroll check stock and Direct Deposit Pay Stubs on plain paper, and users can print a check register containing a company's entire payroll run in one procedure.   Current customers with an active ClientCare Support agreement receive a Sage BusinessWorks 2009 upgrade for no additional fee, company officials say, explaining that for new customers, single systems that include General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Cash Management modules, plus a one year support contract (includes upgrades, maintenance updates, and 10 technical support cases) start at a suggested list price of $1,694. ...   Steven Hartley, a senior analyst at Ovum, had an interesting angle on the Federal Communication Commission's finally allowing the White Space spectrum between TV broadcast channels in the 700MHz range to be used unlicensed by wireless devices.   "Despite celebrations from the proposal's supporters, this does not signal impending doom for US mobile network operators.

SugarCRM's DolceGmail, Appian Enterprise 5.7, DSP and Oracle, Octagon's StartingPoint, Convio Results

November 10, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is going to be another Dexter Gordon day. As we've noted before, we're not jazzheads here at First Coffee, but we know what we like, and while saxophonist Gordon may not have hit the high points John Coltrane or Charlie Parker did, we find him, like Frank Sinatra, top-quality work music:   Appian, a vendor of business process management technology, has unveiled Appian Enterprise 5.7, the latest version of its BPM Suite, and Appian ShareBase, described by company officials as "a repository of BPM content contributed by customers, partners and Appian staff. "   Appian Enterprise 5.7 introduces features to help users "design, execute, manage and optimize key business processes," company officials say: "These features are centered on enabling users to rapidly build process based applications that seamlessly integrate people and systems.   Expanded support for custom data types in Appian Process Models is one of the offerings of the product. "Complex data types can be used to define process variables, which are available for use in process nodes, forms, and reports," company officials say.   There's also enhanced Web services support across a wide range of services and the latest standards.

Customer Effective and Microsoft, Ctrip in China, United Way and Omniture, Cox's Customer Service, InQuira Hire

November 7, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch" album, one I bought on recommendation and am giving a fair listen to, but not one I think I'll listen to many more times:   Customer Effective, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Dynamics CRM reseller, has announced that Beekley Corporation, a medical products company, has selected the company to provide CRM software implementation and consultant services to improve its sales process.             Ray Thomas, director of Finance and Technology for Beekley, cites its existing Microsoft platform as a key factor in selecting Microsoft Dynamic CRM.   "Our previous system required an enormous amount of time migrating data from our existing system," says Thomas. "Our sales and marketing team worked around the clock to get the system up and running, and we decided this was not a product to best meet our internal and customer care needs."   Beekly officials say they'll use the Microsoft CRM to track prospects, assign calls and manage e-mail-marketing campaigns through a single system. "An entire sales cycle can be easily tracked, they say, adding that "reports are generated to analyze and identify strengths and weaknesses in the sales strategy," and that "new opportunities can be identified through CRM."   Based on Customer Effective's User First Design Formula, a phased implementation approach with success metrics defined for each phase, the project "ensured a smooth CRM delivery," Customer Effective officials say. According to Martha Flannery, director of sales and marketing for Beekley, the way CRM was rolled out in a test environment "enabled us to make any required changes to the system prior to full implementation." ...   Ctrip.com International, a vendor of hotel accommodations, airline tickets and packaged tours in China, has been awarded one of the "Best Call Centers of 2008" by China Call- Center & CRM Association for the second straight year.   Maohua Sun, Ctrip.com vice president of customer service, was named one of the "Best Call Center Leaders of the Year" at the award ceremony hosted on October 16th, 2008 in Beijing.

CRM Paper from Consona, Model Metrics' CardLasso, Z-force from Zuora, CRM Eyed in New Zealand

November 4, 2008

The news as of the all-important third cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Jimmy Buffett's Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes, a title one cannot really appreciate until one has lived in America, Turkey and New Zealand. Blame it on latitudes or whatever, the differences in attitudes are, in fact, striking:

Today at Dreamforce 2008, Salesforce.com's annual user and developer conference, Model Metrics unveiled its cloud-computing application, CardLasso, part of the Lasso2GO application suite using services from Salesforce.com's new Force.com Sites capability and Amazon Web Services.  The product is designed to capture business card information using a mobile device camera and automate the transcription of contact data, automatically presented for download to the user from a Web site.  With CardLasso, not only is the capture of business card information more efficient using a mobile device camera, company officials say, but "the retrieval of information frees users from any manual data entry. Once the user sends the business card images to the Lasso2GO transcription service from a mobile device, the user simply logs into his account and selects the desired download format." The system offers three formats -- quick save to Outlook in the .vcard format, upload to various systems in the .csv format or automatic synchronization to Salesforce CRM as a new lead. General availability of the application is expected by mid-November, shortly after the conclusion of Dreamforce, Model Metrics officials say. Founded in 2003, the company is headquartered in Chicago with offices in San Francisco and elsewhere. ...
Consona, a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, has announced the general availability of its white paper titled "The Future of the Customer Experience." The paper, written by Tim Hines, vice president of product management for Consona CRM, proposes an approach to CRM which company officials say can "manage the demands of today's large-scale customer service initiatives."  Customer service contacts today are made by an ever-increasing variety of methods including self-service inquiries, e-mail, Web chat, text messaging, and telephone, according to the Consonians, so "it is imperative that companies maximize every customer touch.

InsideView and SuccessFactors, Jenzabar and JFK School, ABI Mobile Study, Sybase Release,

November 4, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is ex-Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen's Quah, an overlooked gem from the mid-70s and a welcome acoustic folk-bluesy counterpoint to the crashing glam rock and twee prog-rock frippery of the era:

InsideView has announced that SuccessFactors, a vendor of on-demand performance and talent management products, has implemented InsideView's on-demand business search and intelligence application, SalesView, throughout their sales organization to "tap into more C-level connections and increase overall sales productivity."
SalesView is described by company officials as a "socialprise application," designed to bring together intelligence from subscription-based sources and the information living on the social Web directly into existing CRM applications.
SuccessFactors officials say they considered "a number" of applications before bringing InsideView's socialprise application on board. Ultimately, the company selected SalesView "due to the product's ease of use as well as features, such as alerts on business events and connections to prospects garnered from the social Web relevant to SuccessFactors' core sales efforts."
Additionally, a determinant in the selection was the InsideView mash-up with Oracle CRM On Demand, the CRM product currently used by SuccessFactors.
With the deployment of the Oracle CRM On Demand mash-up, intelligence will now be delivered directly into the sales reps' "lead" or "account" views and is expected to drive CRM adoption, SuccessFactors officials say.
"The social Web is a critical and immensely valuable part of the sales process, but it can be unmanageable for sales teams to use without wasting time," said Alex Saleh, vice president, sales operations, for SuccessFactors.
SalesView is engineered to bring together social data with enterprise-grade business search and intelligence capabilities to help sales teams automate prospecting. The product presents customer data discovered and distilled through Web harvesting, specialized research providers and social networks, within the context of enterprise applications like sales force automation systems. ...
Jenzabar, a vendor of software for higher education, has announced that the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University has selected the Jenzabar EX Total Campus Management product.
The software and services agreement includes the Jenzabar EX enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and Jenzabar's Internet Campus Solution.

Salesforce.com's Dreamforce and... InsideSales, Bluewolf, BigMachines, ExactTarget, Informatica and Neil Young

November 4, 2008

The news as of Salesforce.com's user and developer conference, Dreamforce, San Francisco this morning, and the music is The Very Best of Stan Getz. Yes, "Girl From Ipanema" is the next track up:

InsideSales.com, a vendor of hosted dialer and lead response management products, has announced the production release of its Lead Management suite integrated into the Salesforce.com CRM platform. The newly-unveiled Lead Management Suite is comprised of PowerDialer, JabberDog and ResponsePop for Salesforce.com. Each of these components "helps inside sales representatives call, contact, qualify and sell more at far less cost," according to InsideSales officials. Mark Pardy, market analyst with Dun & Bradstreet, said the InsideSales.com suite "allows us to increase the number of leads a single rep can effectively manage." "Dreamforce is unequaled in its representation of the top SaaS and Cloud Computing technologies worldwide," said Dave Elkington, InsideSales.com's CEO and Chairman, adding that in his opinion, the "response and lines at our booth at Dreamforce indicate a groundswell of need in the area of technologies facilitating remote selling." InsideSales.com is a telephony-based lead management vendor with dialer technology who has produced research papers in conjunction with Kellogg and MIT on the impact of immediate response to Web leads.

Maximizer CRM 10.5, Boomi, Apisphere for Outlook, ETrigue and Salesforce.com, CiberSecure

November 3, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Nico's Chelsea Girl album. Haven't heard it? Don't knock it -- the album Marianne Faithfull always wanted to be able to do:

With what company officials call "an impressive roster of new features," Maximizer officials announce their CRM 10.5 product.

McKinsey's SaaS Report, Cisco Employee Security Study, New MetraTech Execs, Celigo and Salesforce.com

November 3, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Joe Pass's Virtuoso. Pass is generally considered, by folks who know such things, to be along with Wes Montgomery one of the best jazz guitarists ever. It's strange:  First Coffee likes jazz music and likes guitar music -- attempts to play guitar, even -- but doesn't care much for guitar jazz.

Bango's Mobile Analytics, Manticore's Flagship Update, Agresso's Healthcheck, Demandbase Stream

November 3, 2008

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Dolly Parton's fine roots album, The Grass Is Blue. Forget the boobs, the hair and her (cleverly self-perpetuated) cornpone image, Dolly Parton is one of the shrewdest and most talented women in show business and, along with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Patsy Cline and the Carter Family, belongs on any short list of the most significant artists in the history of country music:

When Bango surveyed the Top 20 most trafficked PC Web sites -- as according to Nielsen Online, company officials say -- they found that half of these sites did not work well on some mobile phones, "despite the fact that typically five percent of visitors to PC Web sites now come from mobile devices, up from one percent a year ago." 

The problem, they say, is that PC Web sites are "not adapting fast enough to match mobile browsing trends and are failing to present mobile-friendly versions of their sites." 

Many online businesses questioned by Bango officials told them they do not know how much mobile-originated traffic is hitting their PC site. Bango's research reveals that between three and ten percent of on-line traffic to a PC Web site now comes from users entering Web addresses on their mobile device.

VeriSign Alliance, Robocall and Varolii, HaiVision Goes to Church,

November 1, 2008

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is a nice twofer from jazz saxophone great Sonny Rollins -- known to rock fans for his lovely solo at the end of The Rolling Stones' song "Waiting For A Friend" -- Saxophone Colossus and Freedom Suite. First Coffee does not pretend to be anything close to a jazzhead, can't tell a Mingus from a Monk, have no idea where Rollins fits in the pantheon of jazzdom, but we knows what we likes and we likes listening to this man play the sax:

Its still Saturday here in northern New Zealand, we now have Sonny Rollins playing in the background, still a nice warm sunny day, feeling good from having played tennis in the morning, my wife and oldest son are now back from checking out a new beach, Steinlagers in the fridge for the barbecue later on tonight as well as the All Blacks-Wallabies Bledisloe Cup match, so why don't we look at a few more news items that don't fit the normal weekaday CRM-focused coverage of First Coffee:
VeriSign, a provider of Internet infrastructure services, and Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, a vendor of smartcard products, have announced an alliance to provide end-to-end products for consumer authentication.
The alliance will give organizations a unified product for protecting users' identities, personal information and assets through VeriSign Identity Protection services, according to the VeriSigners.

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