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April 2009

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Microsoft and Concentrix, TellMe, Sitel and Cricket, Teradata in Istanbul, Riverturn

April 30, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an album rapidly becoming a standard here at the sprawling First Coffee campus: Dexter Gordon's Go!:

British customer relationship management specialist and IT vendor Concentrix is now providing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 as a hosted offering.    Concentrix has been implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM as an on-premise product within businesses for years, and the company describes itself as "a strong advocate" of on-premise CRM, but company officials say over recent months they've seen increasing demand for hosted systems. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 tends to be popular among small and medium-sized enterprises more for its front-office functions of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
"The hosted model bests suits the requirements of some organizations. We're getting more and more inquiries about hosted, or software-as a-service CRM," says John Odell, Senior CRM Consultant at Concentrix, describing the firm as "product agnostic."
The key difference between Concentrix hosted and on-premise Microsoft CRM, he explains, is that with the hosted version, Concentrix holds the software and data on their servers in a data center. Concentrix personnel run and maintain the software and servers.

Microsoft ERP and CRM Offers, Jedox Suite, Sugar Express, WorkXpress CRM, Oracle Teleconference Deal

April 29, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is mellow yet complex jazz pianist Bill Evans for what promises to be a mellow yet complex morning, with traces of oak, blackberry and toast:

Freiburg, Germany-based Jedox, an open source software company, has announced the availability of Palo BI Suite 3.0, described by officials as a corporate performance management product for a "single version of truth." Three chords and red guitar optional.   Available as a community or enterprise version, with the enterprise version offering extended software assurance and support functionalities. Palo BI Suite 3.0 is now also available on Amazon EC2, which makes it, company officials point out, a BI product "fully operating on a cloud." The suite combines all three of Jedox's core applications -- OLAP Server 3.0, Worksheet Server 3.0 and ETL Server 3.0 -- into one BI platform.  
According to Gartner, by 2012 more than 35 per cent of the top 5,000 global companies will "regularly fail to make insightful decisions about significant changes in their business and markets," because of lack of information, processes, and tools. Given this, Jedox officials contend, it's not a surprise that the market's seeing "greater demand for products delivered via software-as-a-service models."

Palo BI Suite 3.0 is characterized by Jedox officials as an open source BI product that "combines the familiarity and productivity of a Web-based online spreadsheet with the centralized server capacity typical of BI applications, together with multi-dimensionality -- in-memory MOLAP."

Kristian Raue, founder and CEO of Jedox, says the advantage of the Palo BI Suite 3.0 is that it combines a BI core with "the flexibility that our corporate customers and community want, to apply BI to a number of scenarios that monolithic BI software packages could not rapidly adapt to support."   Company officials say the Palo OLAP Server 3.0 has new logical algorithms, and offers a real-time aggregation through the multi-dimensional data model.

Carrefour and Teradata, Mojix and SRA, Autonomy, Banque Accord and BatchBlue

April 29, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is sturdy, reliable Hank Mobley's "Roll Call" album. This guy did a string of great jazz records in the early '60s, including the acknowledged classic "Soul Station," as well as "Workout" and this one, but you don't hear his name as often as you should when discussion of great jazz tenor saxophonists come up:

Ah, here's a dateline from First Coffee's old stomping grounds, Istanbul, with the news that Teradata Corporation has announced that European retailing behemoth Carrefour is expanding its Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse environment to support business analytics within its marketing department.

Teradata's products are used by Carrefour to help with marketing activities for over 14 million households, more than half of all French households. Teradata officials say Carrefour is using the tools to try to get "a 360-degree real-time view of its customers across multiple customer contact channels, most notably its brands, hypermarket and supermarket retail stores." Basically the Teradata stuff's giving Carrefour's marketing folks the capacity to manage volumes of data, deployment and the option to process and extract data for business users.

Carrefour officials claim "the largest customer behavior database in France in terms of information management capacity and customer data history." Teradata officials said at this time, "many organizations are integrating enterprise data and updating their information infrastructures."
With its total of 1,230 stores in France the company has massive data volume issues, due to the convergence of the data from its hypermarkets and supermarkets. Carrefour officials say part of the reason they got something like the Teradata product was to support new business initiatives and its concomitant service demands -- while dealing with all the data they already had.

Red Bend's vRapid, Bango's Analytics, Sitronics in India and CRM Text

April 23, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is J.J. Cale's "laconic Naturally" album:

Red Bend Software, a vendor of Mobile Software Management products, has announced that it has combined its vCurrent Mobile and vRapid Mobile products into a single tool for mobile software management.    The combined product, called vRapid Mobile, is an MSM client "capable of managing any type of software on any mobile platform or device," according to company officials. The idea is to make it easier to move from updating firmware as one complete image to supporting advanced use cases, where embedded software is managed by individual components. It also lets users enable management of built-in and downloadable applications.
VRapid Mobile will be pitched to device manufacturers, mobile operators and software developers as a way to "independently manage their software assets on mobile devices in a unified and standards-based way across mobile platforms," according to company officials: "With firmware over-the-air updating, manufacturers should be able to reduce support costs and increase consumer satisfaction by remotely updating firmware with software improvements and new functionality."    And by managing software components over-the-air, operators can increase data revenues by adding and updating branded applications and service enablers in embedded software without requiring a complete maintenance release.

Instant Dispatch's CRM Award, Navatar, OnStor's Pantera, Infobright

April 23, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is the boozy, bluesy, ragged brilliance of The Faces, that poor man's Rolling Stones fronted by rock genius Rod Stewart and future uptown Stone Ronnie Wood. No band in history ever sounded like they were having more fun than The Faces, and if the performances were sloppy and drunk, well, everybody had a good laugh and that was the main thing:

Cross Country Automotive Services has announced that the performance of its Instant Dispatch software has earned the company its sixth consecutive annual CRM Excellence Award from Technology Marketing Corporation's Customer Interaction Solutions magazine.

Cross County provides driver and vehicle assistance services in North America, which includes connected vehicle (telematics) services provided through its business unit. Instant Dispatch was developed by Cross Country as a way to try to decrease the time it takes to locate and dispatch the towing and emergency roadside companies that provide help to a disabled vehicle by the side of the road, while capturing customer information and real-time vehicle data.    Company officials say that by sending vital information directly to the towing company, Instant Dispatch results in service vehicles arriving at the scene of a disabled vehicle or a potential emergency situation "an average of four minutes earlier." The company also claims that with Instant Dispatch, "customer satisfaction has seen an increase from 88 percent to 92 percent, as measured by survey data."

CRM Excellence Award winners are selected on the basis of their product or service's ability to help extend and expand the customer relationship to covering the entire enterprise and the entire lifetime of the customer, according to CRM officials.

"In today's challenging business environment, retaining customer loyalty has never been more critical, particularly among automotive-related businesses," said Charles Cavolina, Cross Country's senior vice president of Service Delivery. The company is headquartered in Medford, Massachusetts.

Navatar Group, a global Salesforce.com partner in financial services, has announced several new customers, including KStone Partners, Kelvingrove Partners and Zebra Capital. The firms are using Navatar's customized CRM for Hedge Funds, a cloud computing application to manage hedge fund and fund of funds operations.    Navatar CRM for Hedge Funds is built and run entirely on the Force.com platform from Salesforce.com and is available on the Force.com AppExchange.

Avaya in Sheffield, Cisco's WebEx, IceMail, AT&T and Wawa, Quickoffice for IPhone

April 22, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Leo Kottke's magnificent album correctly titled One Guitar, No Vocals. It's hard to believe there isn't the occasional synthesizer or overdub, such as on the album's masterpiece, "Accordion Bells," but there certainly aren't any vocals:

Avaya, a vendor of business communications software, systems and services, has announced the completion an upgrade to the University of Sheffield's voice network as part of a wider IT expansion and upgrade program planned by the university.

The upgrade, to Avaya's Communications Manager 5.0, is seen by university officials as a move to give the university "a more resilient, scalable IP based phone system, while still protecting the investment made in PBX over the last decade." It gives the university the capacity to increase the number of voice and data connections by 20 per cent, and to move to a converged network, which university officials say is in their long term IT objectives.

The university's 10,000 voice connections have moved to the new system with the result that "jobs such as adding a new voice extension or moving phones, which previously would have taken a couple of hours, now take a matter of minutes," university officials say.

Chris Barrow, product marketing manager, Avaya EMEA, said Avaya has "a long standing relationship with the university, and we look forward to building on that in the future."

Mark Franklin, Voice and Data Support Manager, University of Sheffield, said while the old system "had served us well, we recognized the need for an upgrade. With the advent of unified communications and the university's own expansion plans we needed a solid foundation upon which we could build future functionality whilst still protecting our existing investment. What's more we needed something that would integrate with our existing setup."

Franklin says the upgraded phone system will provide better service to students during busy times, such as clearing and enrollment: "The call center functionality built into Communications Manger enables us to take an 'all hands on deck' approach during busy times. Calls can easily be answered, and correctly routed by a team of people, helping us to process student enquiries far more speedily than would have been possible in the past when, all too often, high call volumes resulted in bottle necks and long call waiting times." ...

Cisco has unveiled a new software-as-a-service architecture and enhancements to its SaaS-based Cisco WebEx collaborative applications, a move seen by Cisco officials as "extending the cloud into the enterprise network infrastructure through the Cisco WebEx Collaboration Cloud and the Cisco ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Routers."

The global collaboration market opportunity is currently estimated at $34 billion, according to statistics cited by Cisco officials.

PSS's Legal Product, BigHand in Aotearoa, Social Media Study, Customer Care Benchmarking

April 22, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Marshall Tucker Band's first album, cleverly titled The Marshall Tucker Band. It appears we have a law 'n' survey theme going today, so let's get to it:

PSS Systems, which sells legal information governance products, has announced new software bundles designed to provide Global 1000 companies with a legal and EDRM product in a single offering.    The company announced Atlas Legal Governance Solutions, Atlas for IT, Atlas DCF and Atlas ERM which combine to help companies address legal information management, legal holds and discovery across the enterprise. They "help address the root causes of increasing legal and IT costs which result from bloated data retention and compliance," says Deidre Paknad, President and Chief Executive Officer of PSS Systems, and founder of the Compliance Governance and Oversight Counsel.    She says because the Atlas products share a common enterprise governance map and a single code base, "companies can synchronize legal, IT and records management functions across the enterprise to reduce risk, defensibly dispose of data, and materially reduce costs." 
Discovery cost has gone from just a small portion of litigation costs to the vast majority of those costs, yet forecasting practices haven't kept pace with this sea change. A lack of scenario modeling tools has made it difficult to routinely predict cost or negotiate production scope and, as a result, companies resolve matters more slowly and at higher total cost.

ArrivedOK, Kickfire and Sun, Web Help Desk, Sitel's New Standard and Convergys

April 22, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is as classic as classic rock gets -- The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, pure solid 24-karat rolled gold:

ArrivedOK, a product described as a "personal flight arrival tracker and arrival messenger," is now available in the Japanese and Russian languages and open for beta testing in most countries of the world.    The service -- you're really a bit surprised nobody thought of this before -- lets air passengers automatically notify others about their arrival to airports worldwide by e-mail, SMS, via blogs or Twitter, thereby letting them save on international roaming charges.

Developed by Eyeline Communications, ArrivedOK lets travelers enter flight information and recipient e-mails or phone numbers before take-off. When they reach their destination and turn on their cell phone, the service locates it in the local mobile network and sends out a brief arrival message to the recipients listed. The system bypasses the heavy international roaming charges for voice, text and mobile e-mail services which sneak up and bite you on the rear when you're traveling abroad. Not that First Coffee has had that happen, oh no.

"So why can't they just check to see if the flight's arrived?" someone may ask.

Kickfire's Analytics, Lasso's Real Estate CRM, Kingsoft's SaaS, Data Security Worsens, Transverse

April 22, 2009

The news as of the first cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Rev. Gary Davis's classic country blues album, Say No To The Devil. The Jefferson Airplane's Jorma Kaukonen is only one of the more high-profile rock artists who've been heavily influenced by the good Rev. Davis:   Kickfire has launched an analytic appliance, with what company officials say is the performance capability of large commercial database systems, to the mass market.    The data warehousing mass market is essentially deployments in the gigabytes to low terabytes which, according to IDC numbers cited by Kickfire officials, represent "over three quarters of the total market." Kickfire's analytic appliance targets the MySQL segment, which company official's peg at 12 million active installations and with a brisk growth rate of over 30 percent a year.

The MySQL market does present some pretty big challenges to existing data warehousing vendors, as customers down here want the performance -- but are a lot more price-sensitive than larger customers. They have limited data warehousing expertise and few IT resources, and early-stage data warehousing deployments of the kind typical in the mass market generally have mixed workload characteristics which other vendors cannot support.

Targeting of the mass market in an economic downturn is "right on the money," says Wayne Eckerson, director of Research for The Data Warehousing Institute. "This is an under-served market."
Price is certainly put forward by Kickfire as a competitive selling point, as the product starts at $32,000.

NetSuite's OneWorld, Acteva and Salesforce.com Foundation, Paddy Power, Argistics

April 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Dexter Gordon's 1978 set Live At Carnegie Hall. Great music, but sad to hear his in-between talking to the audience, the man sounds so completely baked. Amazing that it doesn't affect his playing any, but then again Keith Richards used to go out on stage with the Stones strung out on heroin and not hit a wrong note:   NetSuite has announced a new version of NetSuite OneWorld for large SAP enterprise customers "at the divisional level," while retaining their current SAP on-premise systems at the corporate level.    Officials of NetSuite say that with the new version, "large SAP legacy accounts can now use NetSuite's on-demand application to manage business operations," and roll up division-level transaction and summary data. Key to NetSuite OneWorld for SAP is a new integration offering called SuiteCloud Connect for SAP, which lets SAP users roll up data to their SAP system at the corporate level and any data that was captured and used in NetSuite OneWorld at the divisional level, such as general ledger, order and revenue information.
This new offering is a pretty clear indication that NetSuite sees a huge market opportunity -- namely, large enterprises seeking to control costs and gain greater efficiencies across processes who are tired of the high price tags on corporate implementations which don't deliver what the enterprise is expecting.

Salesforce.com in Gartner, LiveOps's Platform, DataSphere Web Suite, Loyalty Lab

April 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a nice Sonny Rollins album for a cool, slightly overcast day, Saxophone Colossus. Some critics call this album a great jazz classic, that may be, First Coffee doesn't know jazz well enough to say, but if so it's one of a handful of jazz albums praised by critics which also happens to be enjoyable listening for the more casual jazz fan, as most critical darling jazz albums are unlistenable exercises in musical deconstruction:

Salesforce.com has announced that it's been positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's CRM Customer Service Contact Centers Magic Quadrant. According to Gartner, the magic quadrant "looks at contact center desktop software for customer service and support best suited for different economic situations, including a recessionary period." Noted vendors, the analyst firm said, "are showing how their products can lower costs while driving customer loyalty."

Michael Maoz, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, says in the report that as more applications are built in a cloud-based model, "by 2011,SaaS will evolve from an interesting alternative delivery model into a critical selection factor at all levels of the customer service contact center," an opinion which is no doubt music to Marc Benioff's ears.

The Service Cloud, according to Gartner officials, "transforms customer service through the power of cloud computing," bringing together cloud computing platforms like Google, Facebook and Twitter with traditional contact center channels like phone, e-mail and chat. By capturing these conversations, they explain, "the Service Cloud helps companies deliver the expertise of the community to customers, agents and partners regardless of location or device."    As far as Gartner's concerned, this is the future, too - they predict that "by 2013, at least 75 percent of customer service centers will use some SaaS application as a part of the contact center solution." The heart of the Service Cloud, what it does that really makes it tick, is capturing and funneling information from inside the enterprise and in the cloud into a company's knowledge base.

The Magic Quadrant is described by Gartner officials as "a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period," depicting "Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace," and is "intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action." ...

DataSphere, a Software as a Service Web technology company, has announced the availability of the DataSphere Web Suite, which lets companies create and run Web sites based on catalogs, media or other data on a scalable, multi-tenant SaaS platform.   The suite is comprised of a number of different services, each designed for the specific requirements of individual customers.
DataSphere CEO Satbir Khanuja says he sees quite a market in "affordable consumer experience for Web sites." To that end, he explains, the Web Suite is designed to let Web sites with extensive product, media or other data catalogs operate smoothly, "increase revenues and reduce expenses within weeks."

The DataSphere Web Suite is a basically a site creation, hosting and management product giving Web site owners access to capabilities for attracting traffic from across the Web and providing the in-site consumer experience.

Network Automation, Connotate and Agents, Netbooks and Recessions, APconnections's NetEqualizer

April 15, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Neil Young's "Live Rust." It's hard to think of any major rock artist who's been around as long as Neil and who's been as good as Neil -- "After The Goldrush" and "Rust Never Sleeps" are in anybody's Top 100 -- who's released as much dreck. Maybe The Beach Boys, but they expired as creative artists years ago and are now simply a human jukebox. When Young's good he's among the very best, yes, but it's difficult to think of any artist taken seriously today who's put out an equal tonnage of forgettable music as ol' Shakey.     And we're not just talking a misfire here and there, everybody has those, we're talking entire eras of Young's career can be safely ignored-- anything he did for poor David Geffen in the 1980s, for starters.

RightNow's Defense Contract, Teens Still Prefer Offline, Aplicor and Optimus

April 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the greatest hits album from MFO, Turkey's only decent rock band -- the only decent one First Coffee heard after living there a total of nine years between 1993 and 2008. They sing exclusively in Turkish, but you don't need to know a word of Turkish to appreciate their masterpiece song, "Bodrum:"

Bozeman, Montana-based RightNow Technologies has unveiled new "defense-ready hosting capabilities" designed to support both the Department of Defense and other civilian government and intelligence agencies, according to company officials, who add that "two commands within the DoD have made the decision to move ahead" with this new offering.

"Our new secure hosting capabilities will help our DoD clients to tap into the cloud... The DoD requires a more intense level of security than most civilian agencies," says Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder, RightNow

RightNow has been working government contracts for over ten years, and today counts clients in over 155 public sector clients, including nearly every US cabinet-level agency as well as the Army, Marines, Air Force, members of the Intelligence Community and DoD.

RightNow officials say they expect their DoD contracts to furnish the same benefits of SaaS, "such as lower cost of ownership, fast deployments and exceptional scalability" as civilian users find: "Because the DoD requires an unparalleled level of security, RightNow's new hosting capabilities use DITSCAP/DIACAP to ensure compliance with DoD Instruction 8500.2, meet US Federal security standard FISMA (NIST 800-53) and include a 24x7 dedicated security and information assurance team," company officials say, adding that civilian contracts with extraordinary security needs can have "a second secure hosting environment" to meet their needs.

"In the last year, our North America public sector sales grew 66 percent, showing the demand for cloud based CRM is growing among government agencies," says Kevin Paschuck, vice president, public sector, RightNow. ...   So you think everything's moving into online social community? Not so fast there.

Microsoft CRM and Varicent, Oracle Siebel's CRM, CDC Pivotal CRM, Epiphany

April 9, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Duke Ellington's Blues In Orbit:

Varicent Software , which sells incentive compensation and sales performance management products, has announced what company officials are calling "an integrated product" with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.    The move is characterized by Varicent officials as producing a tool to help sales managers and sales users get a complete view of sales performance, compensation results and key performance indicators and better visibility into inquiries, compensation and plan approvals from a single application. It's also touted as helping users "manage other incentives, including Management by Objectives," and to "facilitate the development and management of quota plans."

Varicent officials see "business value" in the product arising from users' Microsoft Dynamics CRM being extended to sales performance, and "providing a single product that addresses the needs of various departments across the organization." Working with marketing, finance, sales and human resources, the product provides "alignment between field activities, and corporate strategy."   Brian Hartlen, Vice President Marketing at Varicent, argues that having an integrated CRM and SPM tool will "increase CRM's relevance to sales, motivating increased adoption rates. The sales audience will gain visibility into actual and potential commissions through enhanced sales reporting, analysis, modeling and forecasting available within this unique integrated offering."

Pitney Bowes Business Insight, a vendor of location and communication intelligence offerings, has announced that the Data Quality Connector 5.5 for its Customer Data Quality Platform software is  now validated for integration with Oracle's Siebel CRM 8. 

The Pitney Bowes Business Insight Data Quality Connector software "integrates the company's CDQ Platform software with Siebel CRM" so the data going into the CRM engine is "clean and complete," according to Pitney Bowes officials, by verifying, updating and correcting addresses.

"Validation through Oracle PartnerNetwork Application Integration Architecture for Partners gives customers' confidence that the integration between Data Quality Connector 5.5 software and Siebel CRM 8 has been validated and the products work together as designed," said Mary Arbelaez, senior director, ISV Programs at Oracle, adding that validation through this initiative applies a technical process to review the integrations.

Siebel CRM customers can use the CDQ Platform software's data solutions to "improve marketing practices with more accurate data," Siebel officials say, explaining that the Pitney Bowes software provides "name standardization, geocoding, data cleansing and data matching services in batch and real-time modes within accounts, contacts and prospect records."   Navin Sharma, director of product management for Global Data Quality for Pitney Bowes Business Insight, said the matching algorithm of the Siebel CRM integration provides CDQ Platform software users with more advanced duplicate detection and the flexibility to use corporate data.    The Data Quality Connector software is a server-based product that supports both real-time and batch operations. It uses out-of-the-box data quality integration with Siebel CRM and provides a graphical interface that features data quality functions inside the actual Siebel CRM application. ...

CDC Software, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China's CDC Corporation, has announced that AAA Western and Central New York has selected Pivotal CRM 6.0 for its membership relationship management system that is expected to be used by more than 650 associates at 17 locations throughout upstate New York.

AAA Western and Central New York wants to use the Pivotal product to market the association's products and services to its membership base, "meet its vision of standardizing core business processes across all business units and provide enterprise-wide access of member data to enhance customer service."

When fully implemented, AAA officials say, the product is expected to provide the platform and service-oriented architecture to support AAA Western and Central New York's relationship management, leads and opportunity management, complaint management, marketing campaign management, corporate knowledge management and enterprise reporting.

Tom Chestnut, president/CEO of AAA Western and Central New York, said the organization was looking for a system that offered "advanced integration capabilities with our other systems and significant flexibility to conform to our business processes, and no other system we evaluated did that except Pivotal CRM 6.0." He said they were "impressed" that Pivotal CRM was based on Microsoft.NET technology for integration with Microsoft Office, Visual Studio and SharePoint.    Bruce Cameron, president of CDC Software, said service organizations are "looking for membership relationship management products to help them differentiate their services and build customer loyalty in increasingly competitive markets."   Pivotal CRM 6.0 is based on Microsoft.NET technology with task-based navigation, embedded Microsoft SharePoint and Office applications. ...

VisualCube, which sells products and services designed to enhance Infor's CRM, has launched a community Web site for Epiphany users and developers.

"We launched this open and free forum to connect users' wants and needs with developer products, and to give Infor intel," says VisualCube Managing Partner Jason Balliet.

Youcalc for Salesforce.com, Acteva, ManageEngine's IT360, ProClip USA, LongJump's Platform and the HTC Snap

April 6, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a nice recording of Thelonious Monk's "Brilliant Corners." Yeah I know music is just math with sound, and this is supposed to be one of the greatest jazz compositions ever, or something like that, but Monk's composing has never really grabbed me the way other jazz composers' work has, mainly because it strikes me as overly mathematically precise. Of course I'm almost a complete illiterate when it comes to jazz, I just knows what I likes, but that's how it looks to me:

Youcalc, which sells on-demand analytics apps for online marketing and on-demand CRM, has announced a series of analytics apps which it says are designed to reduce the time it takes analysts and administrators to "analyze sales force and call center activities."

"The term 'analytics' is used so loosely in the cloud communities that their popular definition can be confused with simple reporting," notes Rasmus Madsen, CEO of youcalc correctly.
The real difference between reporting and analytics, Madsen says, since you were wondering, is that while reporting is basically views of data already in the system -- "total sales by region," et al -- analytics lets you play around with the reportage, crunching the data and generating calculated metrics -- "lead conversion ratios," "funnel conversion ratios," et al. What the Salesforce.com analytics apps from youcalc are supposed to do are let you perform custom analysis on the data in your Salesforce.com database, and in the words of company officials, "generate new insight in a fraction of the time it would take to use traditional reporting tools."

It also comes with funky animated 3D Flash chart graphics.

Youcalc currently has more than 25 Salesforce.com analytics apps and promises more are on the way. ...

Acteva, a vendor working the online event registration, ticketing and payment management side of the street, has announced its participation in the Salesforce.com Foundation's "Power of Us" Partner Program.    The objective of this corporate philanthropy program is to provide Salesforce.com partners with a model to make contributions to their communities through a donation of time, equity, and products to nonprofits who need their expertise.

Acteva's participation will include donating its RSVP tracking for Salesforce CRM. This functionality lets Salesforce.com's nonprofit customers take registrations and track RSVPs for all types of free events, including meetings, workshops, trainings, seminars, retreats, volunteer programs, parties and what have you. Some nonprofits, such as the National Council on Aging, are already using ActevaRSVP and Salesforce CRM to create and send event invitations to their database, capture event registrations online and update Salesforce campaigns.

AbilityCRM, Knoa and Serene, Xactly 4.5, Wi-Fi on American Airlines, iSales vs. Salesforce.com

April 3, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Warren Zevon's interesting solo acoustic live album Learning To Flinch, followed by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver's exquisite a capella bluegrass gospel album There's A Light Guiding Me. It makes more sense than it might seem:   AbilityCRM, a CRM seller based in Tempe, Arizona, has teamed with Rave Computer Association and Consona ERP to release myCRM-Appliance, a CRM server appliance marketed to small to medium sized companies.

Customer Relationship Management is "front and center" for all growing companies,  says James Marzola, President and CEO of AbilityCRM, because "the market conditions mandate a different approach to increasing new business, taking care of your customers, and marketing your products and service."
The product is billed as giving customers a choice of mid-market CRM systems from either Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Sage SalesLogix CRM for 10-25 users. It also has the recent release of Intel's new Nehalem architecture processor and a price point between $59.00 and $89.00 per user, which includes installation, configuration, training and ongoing 24-hour system and network monitoring support, according to AbilityCRM officials.

Frank O'Nell, vice president of product management for Consona ERP, says the new appliance "streamlines the implementation process, and could reduce the cost of implementation and support services." Options include the AbilityConnect integration interface for Consona Made2Manage and Intuitive ERP systems and data import and conversion for ACT!, Salesforce.com, or GoldMine.

"Having two respected software partners like AbilityCRM and Consona further solidifies Rave's presence in the ISV appliance market," said Joe Borowicz, CFO of Rave Computer. "This is a win, win for everyone."

Knoa Software, a vendor of experience and performance management software, has announced a partnership with Serene Corporation, which implements Siebel CRM.

Mobile Wastage, Amdocs's Tru2way, Vivendo and SugarCRM, Jenzabar and LSU, Convergys and Renna

April 3, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tim Hardin 2, with such gems as "Black Sheep Boy" and "If I Were A Carpenter." Hardin's one of those songwriters whose stuff you've heard, you just didn't know it was his:

Brace yourself: Companies are "wasting money on unused minutes and unnecessary charges for their employees' mobile phones," according to a new survey by Mobi, a mobile device management company. I know -- shocked, aren't you?   The survey talked to both employees and information technology workers, finding that a mere "one in four employees uses most (75 percent - 100 percent) of the monthly minutes their company is paying for. More than one third (35 percent) of employees have downloaded extras like ringtones and costly data applications for their mobile devices on the company dime -- and fully 14 percent of employees are spending $10 or more per month of their company's money on extras.   And it's not just money. Internal IT administrators spend hours assisting employees with day-to-day program issues, and the employees themselves waste time mucking around with wireless - almost one-third (31 percent) told the survey they have to spend between one and five hours a month on mobile issues, while 13 percent spend more than 10 hours a month.

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