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:
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. Assistance provided by APAC will include account maintenance and handset troubleshooting support.
"At a time when our community has experienced great tragedy, it has never been more important for businesses to commit to bringing new jobs," stated Dennis Jordan, VP Project Development & Economic Development, for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Chamber of Commerce.
"We're extremely proud of the fact that this new relationship affords us the opportunity to grow our domestic workforce in the Cedar Rapids area; a community in rebuilding that withstood so much during the catastrophic flooding this past summer," says Michael P. Marrow, President and CEO.
APAC Customer Services sells customer care services and products for the healthcare, financial services, business services, publishing, communications and travel and entertainment industries.
has announced Project Hawkeye, described by company officials as open-source, Web-based travel management point-of-sale application for the travel industry.
Scheduled for first public download on March 26, 2009, Hawkeye can be used "as an off-the-shelf agent desktop, or customized and extended to fit a particular customer's business, preferences, or workflow needs," company officials say.
Jim Davidson, President and CEO of Farelogix, believes "we are in a world where travel suppliers and travel agencies want to buy and sell products differently, but the closed systems and proprietary user interfaces in place today don't allow them to... most proprietary point-of-sale systems simply cannot keep pace with new requirements such as user/customer preferencing, attribute-selling, multi-source management, or new content acquisition."
Davidson said such systems "are not being adopted by agents because they don't reflect agency or corporate policy productivity requirements or workflows unique to their business," adding that the idea of Project Hawkeye "is to remove these barriers, expedite innovation, and engage a community development concept."
Since it's done with the open source model, users will have free access to the Hawkeye application source code, supporting documentation and the opportunity to exchange feedback and share development enhancements and suggestions in a community environment, according to company officials.
"Gone is the problem of proprietary vendor lock-in, where you can't customize the user interface without waiting for a new version or hiring consulting services," Davidson claims.
The Hawkeye application is designed to support air, car and hotel shopping, booking and servicing, including unbundled selling (merchandizing), reservation servicing (exchange, refund, upgrades, seat assignments, etc.), and profile integration with legacy or third party systems.
Following the initial 2009 release, Farelogix officials say they intend to "fully support" this new model through user forums and quarterly Hawkeye releases, which will incorporate development from the Hawkeye community. Farelogix also plans to offer optional integration and support services through a small network of certified consultants.
Business IT Professionals
, a North Carolina-based customer relationship management product provider, has been awarded Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with a competency in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The Gold Certified Partner basically means the company so awarded has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies.
Steve Noe, president of Biz IT Pro, explained that one of the requirements for attaining Gold Certified Partner status is declaring a competency. BizITPro declared theirs in Microsoft Business Solutions as a specialist in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
It's a fairly meaningful recognition, as Microsoft Gold Certified Partners get access, training and support from Microsoft others don't. As Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM at Microsoft puts it, "the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Specialization unlocks a host of benefits and resources."
has announced a partnership with BrandActive, which sells brand implementation planning and management.
The introduction of a SaaS Digital Asset Management offering, with Adam as the platform, will be presented to BrandActive's clients as a "natural fit" which " not only enhances the level of service in managing physical brand transitions," but lets the company deliver a tool for on-going brand management "without the complexities, limitations, and costs associated with an on-site installation," according to Philip Guiliano, VP Client Services at BrandActive in Los Angeles.
BrandActive officials make the claim that theirs is "the only company in North America that focuses exclusively on planning and managing the transition to a new name, logo, or visual system across all branded assets." Certainly First Coffee's never heard of another firm focusing on this as their exclusive trade.
The company isn't a creative design or brand strategy consultancy, it really sees its role as simply working with clients for professional brand management through their transition and beyond.
Pieter Casneuf, Executive Partner Adam Software, said the "growing momentum in the market for SaaS-models" leads them to expect success with this partnership.
In collaboration with Adam and their partner network, BrandActive intends to provide brand transition management during merger, acquisition, or rebranding as well as Digital Asset Management.
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