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February 2009

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Chordiant's RA 6.2, Informatica and Salesforce.com, BigMachines and Force.com, Verizon's Exam

February 27, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is one of the greatest compilation albums possible, The Best of Smokey Robinson & The Miracles:

Chordiant Software

has announced Chordiant Recommendation Advisor version 6.2, a version which allows real-time Next-Best-Action-driven dialog and interaction management at the business-to-business and household level.

The product's multi-level decisioning capabilities allow Next-Best-Action decisions and recommendations to be made on both an individual and aggregate level at the same time, company officials say, adding that this will enable service agents to work better with customers who "represent an entire company or division within a company, or one or all members of a household."

No doubt there will be companies interested in getting support for hierarchical decisioning for complex relationships in an out-of-the-box product.

Large service-focused enterprises, such as insurance companies, retail banks and telecommunications companies often have hierarchical relationships with their small-to-medium sized business customers. Within these relationships, different products and incentives are offered at the corporate level, the departmental level, and the individual level. Existing relationships at each of these levels must be factored into the decision when determining the next best action to be taken during an interaction.

For example, if an individual customer calls in with an inquiry, the system should be able to cough up offers or recommendations to the individual which fall within the parameters of existing departmental and corporate agreements. So if a particular proposition is relevant for a number of individuals, it may make sense to create an "all-in" offer at the departmental or corporate level.

Recommendation Advisor 6.2 is one of those products that let contact center agents and company representatives negotiate and make offers and recommendations that automatically account for corporate programs at all levels of operation.

Qire, Xumii's IPhone App, Xiocom and RoamAD, Tata Comm, Aspire Second Gen, Spacenet

February 27, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Rolling Stones' 1973 album Goat's Head Soup. I know this is going to come across the wrong way, it's certainly not intended as any sort of criticism, but this is the one Stones album that works best as background music:

If you're looking for a good percentage to increase your efficiency by, how does 100 percent sound?

That's the number given by voice CRM vendor Qire in announcing that the results of research carried out this past December and January, which shows that "UK outbound call centers could be over 100 percent more efficient than they are today," through better use of systems and contact validation.

Qire officials say the research, covering a sample of over 100,000 calls made in the period, concluded that the use of outbound voice contact validation can increase the number of actual customers spoken to by agents -- a.k.a. "Right Party Contacts" -- by over 50 percent on a daily basis.

Just validating user telephone numbers alone, before they're passed to the call center, can reduce call attempts by nearly 30 percent, according to the Qirians, "by removing calls to out-of service numbers."

Over half the calls made were unproductive because they were routed to an answering machine. And even where an automated dialer was in use, the study found, "many of these calls would be passed to an agent, reducing call center productivity."

Guy Cooper, chief executive officer of Qire, said that while "there are still a number of organizations looking to move their outbound call centers out of the UK" such a move can be not only expensive but ill-conceived: "It can also have an adverse affect on customer service and quality. "

Cooper contends that by simply implementing new technologies and simple validation procedures, call centers "can make enormous savings, in fact in some instances well over 100 percent."

Qire's interactive voice messaging products, company officials say, pass the call to a live agent only when the contact is confirmed: "This increases internal call center efficiency, the number of productive calls handled by agents and the gains flow through to the business.

Always like to report on the hometown news, so since First Coffee lives in New Zealand we're reporting that Atlanta-based Xiocom Wireless has acquired New Zealand's RoamAD , including its brand, trademarks, intellectual property and patents.

Surado CRM, Nuance Communications, Camrivox and Snom, Zoho's Single Sign-On

February 27, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Rolling Stones' glorious ramshackle masterpiece, Exile On Main Street, the one rock album you'd want on a desert island:

Surado Solutions has announced the release of Surado CRM Online - Professional Edition, described by company officials as an on-demand/hosted CRM product.

The vendor already offers on-premise CRM products for small to mid markets, offline CRM and Web CRM.

Surado CRM Online is, a bit unusually, not pitched specifically to the SMB market, whereas most on-demand vendors are scrambling to hawk their wares to SMBs "traditionally under-served" by vendors in "these trying economic times," or something along those lines. Instead Surado simply bills it as being for "companies of all sizes requiring access to information anytime, anywhere." Now that's what we call inclusive language.

SupportSoft, Fox Mobile and Oracle, Amdocs Expansion

February 27, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee, and the music is a nice workplace CD, Miles Davis's 1969 album In A Silent Way. Not the masterpiece his earlier Birth of the Cool or Kind of Blue is, this is more moody and ethereal, basically two long (18 and 19 minute) digressions on a theme. For those who are into that kind of thing:

SupportSoft has announced the release of its next-generation Dynamic Agent, described by company officials as software making it "simple for enterprises and service providers to automatically resolve customers' routine tech problems, as well as deploy enhanced services."

The business proposition SupportSoft execs are pushing is that in today's economy, "delivering value-added services is arguably the most effective way organizations can differentiate their offerings and generate new revenue." SupportSoft Dynamic Agent, a desktop-resident portal, is designed to let organizations "extend customer support in order to offer additional products, when the time is right," they contend.

Microsoft CRM Help, Kallos and K-Serve, QScend's MuniCRM, Sage MAS 90, RightNow

February 23, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of those rare all-star tribute albums that actually works, Folkways: A Vision Shared. It's the songs of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly as done by such acolytes as Bob Dylan, Taj Mahal, U2, Little Richard, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp and Arlo Guthrie.  It's the best lineup I've ever seen for a tribute album to anyone, and it's a natural fit, as the artists obviously know the music well and respect it, probably because they cut their own musical teeth on it:

From the high tech hub of Lenexa, Kansas comes the news that CRM Innovation has released InLine Help, described as an add-in product for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. Evidently it lets users create a customizable Tool Tip message for CRM users when they're entering information into CRM 4.0 form fields.

When you're filling out CRM forms it lets you create a of custom tooltip message displayed on mouseovers of labels or controls. The tooltip messages are created from within a CRM entity -- Tool Tips -- and are viewable by users who are members of the CRM team associated with a tool tip.

Salesforce.com's Spring '09, SalesPush's Free CRM, Maximizer for BlackBerry, CRM 2.0 Report

February 19, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Buddy Rich Big Band's Mercy Mercy, one of the more interesting jazz albums you've probably never heard. Why not? Because it came out in 1968. Let's face it; trying to sell big band music in 1968 was like trying to sell a three-day old newspaper.

Cisco for SMBs, CA's Release, Interprise's E-Commerce, Bandwidth and CRM

February 2, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a nice Donovan mix on the iTunes. Poor Donovan -- his career was holed below the waterline pretty much from the get-go in America when he came out around 1965 with inane comparisons between him and Bob Dylan, the American media dismissing him almost out of hand as not "the new Dylan" after all. Such idiotic things rock critics find to write about, there was never any sense in judging Donovan's work by Dylan's than it is judging John Grisham's novels by Stephen King's. As a result Donovan's strong, solid body of work was pretty much lost to Americans:

Cisco has announced new products designed "specifically for small companies," according to the company, including the Cisco Spam and Virus Blocker, a security appliance described as providing "protection for a business's network and data from viruses and malicious e-mail attacks while mitigating spam."

There's also the Cisco NSS2000 and NSS3000 Network Storage Systems, desktop, network-attached storage devices designed to protect data and let employees share information, and the Cisco Smart Business Communications System Release 1.4, a collaboration and communications system to connect offices, employees and customers "from anywhere at any time," according to company officials, "now with a wireless desktop Internet Protocol phone with Bluetooth capabilities."

The news is seen by Cisco officials as "building on" the November 2008 announcement of Cisco's $100 million "global strategic initiative to provide dedicated products, services and support for small businesses, including the formation of the Cisco Small Business technology group."

The Spam and Virus Blocker is a security appliance that's designed to stop spam, viruses and other e-mail threats.

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