The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a wonderful blues album, Sweet Home Chicago, featuring what can really only be described as the Jewish Blues Ax Attack - brilliant blues guitarists Barry Goldberg, Harvey Mandel, wunderkind Mike Bloomfield, as well as gentiles such as Charlie Musselwhite, Ray Strazza and Bobby Jones:
Majestic Consulting Group
has announced an e-commerce product described by company officials as "customizable to accommodate simple to complex online order systems integrated into CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software products."
The product allows users to order online, check the status of their orders, view their order history, re-order and edit the order history for new orders and "integrate information into a CRM package."
By having this information available to account managers, customer service and executives, company officials say, "it allows for information to be digested, allowing information to be used for management decisions. This is what CRM is all about, having a 360 degree view of your prospects and customers."
Each eCommerce product will have a customized integration to your CRM software product. "The system is flexible enough to push or pull selected data components to and from any CRM and ERP software," the Majestics say.
MCG also represents Microsoft CRM and SalesLogix CRM software.
What's being described by company officials as "the world's first global training and support resource for Info@hand
," an online business and marketing management product for small to medium business, has been launched by US-based CNP Integrations.
The info@hand customer resource business management suite is a Web-based platform developed by the Long Reach Corporation of Canada, and built upon the Sugar CRM open source framework.
It's not uncommon for companies to find themselves spreading data out across a number of systems, stretching resources and people close to their limits. This product's feature set and capabilities are designed to avoid that, company officials say, by centralizing data, marketing, sales support, and customer service efforts.
CNP Integrations has put some of the most frequently asked questions and issues facing new info@hand CRBM users in its knowledgebase for 24/7 access.
Clients can sign up for subscription-based training seats or get training bundled with seat licenses for info@hand. CNP can also create custom user training documents and interactive modules for corporate branded training initiatives.
The first four interactive info@hand courses developed by CNP Integrations focus on concepts for end user training, and have over 80 interactive modules supported with documentation and testing from CNP's Joomla based Learning Management System.
Users can even print out certificates of completion to verify with managers they have successfully completed training. Several administrator training modules and more are planned for release in early 2009.
CNP's training for info@hand covers basic functions including; adding and editing leads, contacts and accounts, managing dashlets, managing forecasts, scheduling meetings and calls, project tracking, and more.
, a - what else? - shipping software developer for small and mid-sized businesses, has announced support for Mac OS X users with the introduction of ReadyShipper 4 Mac.
Based on TrueShip's ReadyShipper software, ReadyShipper 4 Mac fills, in the estimation of company officials, "a need for businesses who use FedEx for shipping," since it integrates the complete range of FedEx shipping services, including domestic and international services and customs documentation.
ReadyShipper brings integrated shipping for e-commerce, order management and accounting systems, and the TrueShippers describe it as a client-based product designed to import, organize and ship orders. The product's design and workflow is engineered to "expedite the shipping process and eliminate errors associated with manually sorting shipping documents and re-keying address information."
The basis of the product, as far as company officials are concerned, is their claim that ReadyShipper 4 Mac is a business shipping product "previously unavailable to Mac users. Business customers who use FedEx with a Windows PC for shipping can now use a Mac to provide the last mile in ecommerce fulfillment."
ReadyShipper 4 Mac features a native Mac interface for creating labels, packing lists and e-mail tracking confirmations with Order Inspector and batch shipping capabilities.
The software also includes an assistant that "identifies common shipping mistakes before they happen," company officials say, and a database for high-capacity shipping. The product has Stamps.com as a standard option so users can ship via USPS as well as FedEx.
, a vendor of operational business intelligence products, has announced partnerships with six firms in software as a service (SaaS), fraud protection, and case management products.
MegaMation, Accertify, 41st Parameter, Creative Data Solutions, and ScottTech have co-developed specialized products using WebFOCUS and iWay Software.
"Companies do not just want technology. They look for products that solve problems," said Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders. "Web-based access to report sharing and distribution has been available only to organizations with the IT infrastructure required to support such products. For small and mid-sized organizations with limited resources, the alternative has been static reports via e-mail or hard copy, which is time-consuming and leads to conflicting data."
By encouraging and promoting the integration of Information Builders technologies and applications into third-party software, Information Builders officials say they want to be included in products that "maximize technology investments." To that end the firm has "sought out and collaborated" with product partners to improve its business intelligence and integration products.
With new partners in SaaS, fraud protection, and vertical management products for logistics and the public sector, Information Builders hopes to be able to expand their market presence.
Generally organizations today are looking to optimize information and business processes with products that eliminate the need for capital expenditure on software and hardware, and of course shortening deployment cycles by several weeks or months, and reducing the reliance on IT resources for deployment and maintenance is a plus in anyone's book. That's basically what Information Builders is shooting for here by partnering with SaaS product providers.
Betcha didn't know there was a wave of baby Jesus thefts, did you? First Coffee didn't either.
Each Christmas season, according to LightningGPS
officials, "hundreds of religious organizations are targeted by vandals and pranksters who steal or deface" outdoor decorations such as baby Jesus, Santa and menorahs.
"Some are taken as trophies, most are lost forever," company officials intone, adding grimly "the financial and emotional cost to the congregation includes the cost of replacement and the pain of explaining the event to small children."
Trophies - "Yeah that's my 1989 college water polo MVP one there, that one's Top Sales for the Tri-State Area in 1995, that's the baby Jesus from the Methodist church's Nativity display in 2000, that's Second Place in the Kissiwamee Over-30 Softball League in 2004..."
Help is on the way: LightningGPS, a vendor of GPS Tracking Devices, which has historically lent GPS Trackers to churches, schools and towns, is offering the free Christmas rental publicly to schools and churches across the country through their distribution partnership with BrickHouse Security.
A GPS Tracking Device can track objects virtually anywhere in the world and is small enough to covertly fit inside most everyday objects.
But with GPS tracking, an individual or police can go online and track the item on a map anywhere it goes, and boy, won't those criminals be surprised - "Awright punk, drop Jesus and put your hands on your head nice and slow, y'hear?"
"The theft or destruction of Nativity scenes is a rising problem," says Todd Morris, CEO of BrickHouse Security. "Every year we hear how the sanctity and harmony of the holiday season was ruined by a few Scrooges." First Coffee wasn't aware that Ebenezer Scrooge made a habit of nicking Jesuses on the way home from Scrooge & Marley, we need to reread that this year.
BrickHouse Security, a distributor of LightningGPS products, is also offering custom hidden cameras in an effort to catch thieves this holiday season.
"Daddy? The sheep's eyes are... creeping me out, it's like they're... following me."