David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
| CRM, ERP, Contact Center, Turkish Coffee and Astroichthiology:

March 2009

You are browsing the archive for March 2009.

Movero's Mobility Study, Verimatrix in Slovenia, Vestitel in Bulgaria, Sun's Speech Design, Level 3, Caller ID

March 27, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is another of The Beach Boys' unjustly overlooked post-Pet Sounds albums, Wild Honey:

Movero Technology , a vendor of managed IT services for enterprise mobility, has co-sponsored the newly-released Aberdeen Group analyst research report on enterprise mobility, titled "More Mobility - Less Budget: Enterprise Strategies in the Current Economic Downturn."    The study finds that companies "continue to maintain or increase their level of mobility support," with best-in-class companies "increasing their mobility budgets year-over-year as a percentage of total IT spend by 27.4 percent," demonstrating "the importance of mobility in delivering greater productivity and workforce effectiveness."

Melanie Gray, CEO at Movero, said the results show "a rapid uptake in mobility initiatives across a broad range of industries. From health care to higher education to even large automotive dealership networks, it is increasingly rare to find an organization that doesn't have some level of mobility in place."

The study looks at how companies in the top 20 percent across multiple metrics have found "additional efficiencies through consolidating central device management." Oh, it also recommends outsourcing to "highly specialized companies" providing mobile IT services, including device procurement, staging and logistics, invoice and expense management, over-the-air device management and 24x7 certified mobility support, just like companies such as... well, Movero.

John Smolucha, vice president of marketing at Movero, said as the total cost of owning and supporting mobile devices continues to increase, "organizations must adopt a more strategic approach to managing mobility." ...

Verimatrix, a vendor of content security technologies for pay-TV networks, has announced Telekom Slovenije as the latest customer of the Verimatrix Video Content Authority System for IPTV. The product is intended to help protect video-on-demand and live broadcast premium content.    The operator's IPTV service, known as SiOL TV with 80,000 subscribers, currently maintains the majority market share in Slovenia, according to the Agency for Post and Electronic Communications.

Telekom Slovenije's subsidiary, Planet9, creates platforms for mobile, Web and IPTV media, as well as producing content.

Smartphones 'Evolving,' Cellular Market Optimistic, Ulysse Nardin, Sword Ciboodle and Jenzabar

March 27, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia," one of the very, very few songs you could put on a tape loop and play all day and I'd never get tired of, the Grateful Dead's "Brown-Eyed Woman" being another:

Fundamentalist opposition to the contrary, evidently evolution does exist: Infonetics Research has released the first edition of its biannual Mobile/WiFi Phones and Subscribers market report, finding that "Smartphones are evolving quickly, and differentiation is becoming increasingly based on software and OS rather than form factor." Evidently smartphones were the best-performing segment of the mobile phones market in 2008, the only segment to show unit and revenue growth in the second half of the year.   The report states that the economic recession has had a notable impact on the worldwide mobile phones market in the latter half of 2008, ending in flat manufacturer revenue growth for the year ($156 billion), as consumers and enterprises cut device spending. Infonetics analysts forecast an eight percent drop in the total number of mobile phones sold in 2009, to 1.1 billion worldwide, down from 1.2 billion in 2008.   Sure smartphones still compete on hardware features that support apps like photography or video viewing, but according to the Infonetics findings, "software and applications that enable a user's preferred mobile uses have an increasing influence on device selection -- personalization will be king."   They give the example of the Android platform. Conceding that "it may be a work in progress," they report that the first handset to use it, the G1, is "attracting high levels of interest, and future models are likely be optimized for Web applications like social networking."   Open source platforms like Android "are gaining traction and shaping the new competitive landscape," says Richard Webb, Directing Analyst, WiMAX, Microwave, and Mobile Devices for Infonetics Research.

Some things don't change, though: The study found that Nokia maintained its leadership of total mobile phone market share in 2008, due to "its established brand, stability of the newly acquired Symbian OS, and its strong visibility in multiple segments." Samsung held steady in second place, increasing its lead over Sony-Ericsson, while LG overtook Motorola on the rail to claim fourth spot.   Symbian retains market leadership of the smartphone operating system market, followed by BlackBerry, which regained its #2 spot after being overtaken by the surge in iPhone units in the third quarter of 2008. ...   We'd like to give you some good news here at First Coffee once in a while, and today we have some. Sure you keep hearing that 2009 will be down in the dumps for cellular handset sales worldwide, but ABI Research's current forecasts for 2010 are cautiously optimistic - "if by optimism," ABI officials say, "you mean that we may see shipment numbers stabilize and maintain an essentially flat growth rate rather than falling further."   Well, yes, in fact, we'll take that as good news these days.

CRM Innovation's Web2CRM, CorporateTracker, Verint and Dimension, Surgient, ABD3 and YellowPin

March 26, 2009

The news as of the first cup of coffee, and the music is The Allman Brothers Band on an iPod shuffle, heavy on the Eat A Peach and Hittin' The Note, for First Coffee's money the two best records they've done. Yeah yeah, Live At the Fillmore East this and that, some of us prefer song structure to bloat jams:

Corporate Tracker , a division of Infinata, and Pearson PLC have announced the ability to upload business intelligence, including hundreds of thousands of corporate profiles and millions of key contacts, directly into Salesforce.com CRM client accounts.

Corporate Tracker sells professional intelligence and sales prospects.

Brian Smith, Marketing Manager, Infinata, said because Corporate Tracker is updated every day, "when users connect our data source to their Salesforce.com account they will get up-to-date information on companies as well as executives."

The direct Corporate Tracker-Salesforce.com integration has a point-and-click based installation and lets Salesforce.com users download data into their CRM in seconds. Corporate Tracker officials point out that this "eliminates the need for mapping of fields and uploading of data from an intermediary source."

All Corporate Tracker data is available in Salesforce.com via the system, "including details on mid-level managers such as I/T directors, network administrators, controllers and marketing managers," according to Smith. "The data that we track is the information that sales and marketing teams need." The vendor provides intelligence on 185,000-plus companies and over one million "decision makers."

Verint Systems and partner Dimension Data have announced that Woolworths Limited, an Australian retailer, has implemented the Impact 360 Workforce Optimization suite in its Everyday Money Customer Service Center located in Parramatta, New South Wales.

Pearson and SASI, Chat Research, Salesforce and Model Metrics, Indian SMBs, The Planet's Cloud

March 25, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the late, great Warren Zevon's live album Stand In the Fire, recorded during one of his brief bouts with sobriety:

Rancho Cordova, California-based Pearson, a vendor of education technology, has announced a milestone in its SASI Customer First Program today -- 70 school divisions in the state of Virginia are migrating from the SASI student information system to Pearson's iWeb-based platform, PowerSchool Premier.    Pearson officials say the SASI Customer First Program is designed to "reward the loyalty of its SASI customers and provide them with updated technology."

In a related announcement Pearson has introduced the SIF Agent for PowerSchool Premier from Edustructures, adding SIF 2.0 capability and SIF 2.0r1 certification to PowerSchool Premier. The idea behind this is to let Virginia PowerSchool users "enhance performance and access to student, staff, and enrollment data." The product, company officials say, is built to meet specific SIF-based state reporting requirements for the Virginia Department of Education.

"Our district needed something to make data-driven decisions," said Kevin Harrison, Data Manager of Bedford County School District, adding that with PowerSchool and the updated SIF component, "we are more equipped" to comply with the state reporting requirements of Virginia.

PowerSchool Premier is described by company officials as a student information system "designed from the ground up" as a Web-based product offering access to real-time data via a standard Web browser, on a Mac or PC.

Pearson's brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, and many others. ...
Wichita-based BoldChat has announced the release of their research on the effectiveness of live chat technology, saying they've found "a direct correlation between live chat and a growth in sales for online retailers."   Company officials give the example that "once a shopper has used live chat, more than two-thirds will actively look for Web sites that provide it as an option."

Bravestorm President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller said the goal of the project was to "quantitatively examine the efficacy of live chat through the filter of prospective buyer behavior. We were interested to know, for instance, how much of a role it plays in boosting conversions. We also wanted to understand whether live chat could be tied to brand loyalty."   To this end, Castro-Miller says, the survey was structured to get "honest feedback straight from online consumers, and we believe the results provide insight into the positive impact that live chat software can deliver for online retailers."

Here's how it was done: In January 2009, Bravestorm funded a blind survey of more than 250 regular Internet shoppers using an opt-in, third party panel.

SAS, Soffront Cops Award, Purdue Notes Wolters Kluwer, CompanionLink's Sync, Integra5

March 25, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends album. Bridge Over Troubled Water gets all the props, maybe rightfully so, but this is an underrated and unjustly overlooked gem from 1968. Paul Simon's songwriting grew by leaps and bounds from Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme to this, moving from a straight "folky" style to a full rock/pop sound as heard on cuts such as "Mrs. Robinson" and "Hazy Shade Of Winter," and as a result Bookends has their strongest album cuts outside of Bridge:

SAS is announcing help for marketing campaigns looking to deliver "maximum return on increasingly limited investment with minimal technology support," according to company officials: a new Internet-based software product.

SAS Campaign Management, already offered as licensed software or a custom-hosted product, is adding a preconfigured version for rapid creation, modification and management of marketing campaigns, "ranging from simple to sophisticated, multichannel efforts," company officials say. The SaaS offering is probably most likely intended to be used to define more targeted segments, use SAS predictive models to improve response rates, and do stuff like prioritize selection rules, manage multiple channels, automate lights out and triggered campaigns and report on campaign success.

Jeff Levitan, General Manager of SAS' Global Customer and Retail business, describes the product as being useful for marketers looking to zero in on appropriate segments, retain selected customers and drive incremental revenue through acquisition, cross-sell and up-sell programs "without IT or large infrastructure investments."

The product has prepackaged analytical models for improving customer insights and focusing marketing programs on whatever customers you deem important.

Serversys, SprinxCRM, Convergys, KWizCom's Microsoft Add-On, Learn Mandarin on the IPhone

March 20, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an unjustly overlooked Allman Brothers album, "Seven Turns" - whose title track is a personal favorite of TMCnet Editor Michael Dinan - and their studio high point between "Brothers & Sisters" and "Hittin' The Note":   From England comes the news that Serversys Limited, a Reading-based business systems company, has announced a merger with opportunIT Limited, a London Docklands-based CRM consultancy and software provider.

Since both Serversys Limited , established in 1999, and opportunIT, established in 1998, work the customer-focused business development side of the street, it was probably a logical move.

Serversys Director, Stuart Lawrence, said with the addition of opportunIT's director Steve Blunn to the Board of Directors, "joining Phil Catterall and I, Serversys will have one of the strongest management structures in the CRM market place today."

The idea behind the merger is to "provide the infrastructure" for both companies to "build on their current positions" in the CRM business, according to Serversys officials, adding that "it will also facilitate the growth of the existing hand-held software technology division of Serversys."

The merger is effective immediately, and the company will trade as Serversys Limited. It will operate out of both premises, London and Reading.

Serversys sells integrated CRM, customer service and custom-built management products to small and mid-sized enterprises across all industry sectors

SprinxCRM has announced the launch of SprinxCRM Mobile optimized for BlackBerry smartphones, so if you have SprinxCRM you can now access your customer data and business products without having to overcome your BlackBerry addiction.

"As the amount of available and vital customer data has grown, so too has the demand for its immediate access," noted Radko Jelinek, Sprinx' Director of Sales.

SprinxCRM Mobile lets users "work with CRM contacts, events, and tasks in a mobile environment," according to the Sprinxers: "Managers, sales representatives, technical consultants, service technicians, anyone with designated clearance can now get access to information on their BlackBerry," company officials say, adding that "SprinxCRM Mobile is an on-line, real-time Web-based product."

The single-user, unlimited version is free to download, and, as a special promotion to introduce this new tool to corporate customers, SprinxCRM is offering a free trial or 90 days for as many as five users per company.

Sprinx Systems was founded in 1996 in the Czech Republic. Today it's a worldwide provider of CRM products and related business marketing applications. It's also a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

Convergys Corporation has announced enhancements to its Real-Time Convergent Charging product in an effort, company officials say, to "improve scalability, reliability, and speed-to-market for communications service providers in their delivery of real-time services."

It's currently deployed in a number of service providers throughout the world, according to the Convergians, used for voice, data, and content services -- "regardless of payment type or contract status" -- in a single database.

Featured Events