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David Sims
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May 2009

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SugarCRM, SharePoint and Microsoft, Cablevision's Optimum, OnState Communications and Aspect

May 29, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits's across-the-years collection Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards. If you're going to leave studio tape lying around on shelves to be pulled out and anthologized one day, make sure it's as quality material as these tracks, most of which are the equal of anything Waits was putting out as official product at the time:
SugarCRM has announced the beta release of its new Web services framework, platform improvements, and enhanced mobile features for SugarCRM. The release, company officials say, lets users and developers "create and manage customized CRM experiences." The new capabilities are on Sugar Open Cloud, and available to the SugarCRM community to test in beta today. General availability is expected this summer. 

CRM is "most valuable when customized for each business and integrated with other mission-critical systems,ews for modules designated for mobile use.

Amdocs and SmartTrust, Risky Searching, Salesforce.com and Perks, RedHorse CRM 2.0, Sonoma and Microsoft

May 28, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Uncle Tupelo's No Depression. One of those albums that kick-started a musical trendette, the so-called "No Depression" school, combining alt-country and rock in some supposedly great new way, as far as I can understand.   It's an OK album if you're into country artists slipping into The Byrds' studio after hours and playing with the instruments - "Lookit me, I'm Gene Clark!" - but hardly the earth-shattering landmark it's sometimes made out to be. Besides, if you want this kind of stuff Buck Owens and Creedence Clearwater Revival both did it better earlier:

Come to a company with a better way to comply with SLAs and you'll find a new customer. Amdocs, a vendor of what they call customer experience systems, has announced that SmartTrust, a Swedish vendor of SIM and device management software for mobile operators, has upgraded its service assurance solution to Amdocs CES - CRM 7.5 software.

Ana Marquez, Technical Support Manager at SmartTrust, said Amdocs "identified how we could enhance the existing system to better support our business needs, such as ensuring cases are managed and resolved in compliance with customer service level agreements, as well as improving agent efficiency by centralizing information management."

The Amdocs service assurance product lets SmartTrust offer support "regardless of the communication channel -- e-mail, phone or Web -- and geographical location," company officials say: "With integrated business processes and improved workflow management, SmartTrust can now respond more efficiently to SLA issues."

Amdocs reported revenue of $3.16 billion in fiscal 2008, and counts over 17,000 employees. ...

"Some of the riskiest searches on the Internet today are associated either with finding items for free, such as music or screen savers, or looking for work that can be done from home," according to officials of Internet security company McAfee.

Avaya, Radicati Study, Salesforce.com, Bendigo's Contact Center, Ace Hardware and Targus

May 28, 2009

The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is The Grateful Dead song "Brown-Eyed Woman" - in nine versions from various live shows, and including a fine cover from The U-liners. No, First Coffee isn't a Deadhead, this is the only Dead song I have more than one version of:

Avaya, a vendor of business communications systems, software and services, has announced a new program to attract Nortel resellers to the Avaya Business Partner program.     New Nortel partners joining Avaya, company officials say, will be fast-tracked with programs and incentives to help them deliver Avaya's unified communications and contact center products to new small, medium and large businesses. "For Nortel channel companies, it's an opportunity to add the Avaya product line, including the Avaya Aura platform," says Todd Abbott, senior vice president and president, Field Operations.

Avaya recently announced Avaya Aura, an architecture designed, company officials say, to simplify communications networks.

Verizon Wireless, NetSuite, BlackBerry Support, Customer Connect and Microsoft, Clarizen

May 28, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the best non-jazz, non-muzak albums for a creative work environment - Traffic's live album "Welcome To The Canteen":

According to ex-TMCer Al Bredenberg's fine, interesting blog Quriosity, the Times-Reporter of New Philadelphia, Ohio has reported that "police searching for a potential suicide victim were thwarted by a Verizon Wireless operator who refused to turn on the customer's cell phone so the police could use a nearby cell tower to locate the victim."

The man was behind on his bill, Bredenberg explains, and the rep informed police that they would have to make a payment on the bill or the signal would not be connected.

"This kind of intransigence makes me think that Verizon Wireless has been unsuccessful at implementing a key practice in good customer relations: Empower your people to do the right thing for the customer," Bredenberg says. He's right, of course. Assuming the facts as reported in the article are correct, there's probably another good word for Verizon here, but as this is a family publication First Coffee can't use it.

According to the Times-Reporter article as Bredenberg recounts it, "Sheriff Dale Williams attempted to use the man's cell phone signal to locate him, but the man was behind on his phone bill and the Verizon operator refused to connect the signal unless the sheriff's department agreed to pay the overdue bill.

SAP and RIM, Sybase Ranked, Vendavo and Salesforce.com, Aria, Intalio

May 20, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Cage's "Daughters of the Lonesome Isle." No "4.33" here, just wistful, sometimes challenging but never grating piano music ably performed by Margaret Leng Tan. This is John Cage when his experiments work:   SAP AG and Research In Motion have announced the availability of a product designed to give customers "anytime, anywhere access" to the SAP Customer Relationship Management application on BlackBerry smart phones.     The new BlackBerry Sales Client for SAP CRM is now available from RIM. It's billed as giving sales reps the same kind of access to customer information in SAP CRM "they have come to expect from BlackBerry smart phones."
As enterprise mobility using smart phones becomes more and more just something you gotta have because the next guy does, SAP and RIM felt the need to put a product out there for business users allowing access to SAP CRM. The product is billed as using "the inherent security, management capabilities and efficiency of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution," while introducing such mobile CRM functions as "in just one or two clicks" giving users access to client information from a BlackBerry smartphone, including contacts, sales leads and logged activities.

NetSuite, Sage, Salesforce.com, SprinxCRM, Miller Heiman, SAP's Sapphire

May 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an old favorite here at the Manhattan penthouse suite of offices for First Coffee: David Bowie's Station to Station. Never has cool, detached decadence sounded so good, so... emotionally appealing, especially if you substitute the live version of the title track from Stage for the studio cut:

NetSuite, no doubt timing the announcement for the middle of the Sapphire SAPfest, has announced some of "the latest" companies to select NetSuite over software provided by SAP.    Distribution Video & Audio, GestureTek and Schaeffer Oil are now using NetSuite's enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and e-commerce offerings "in a single on-demand application... at a fraction of the cost and administrative overhead of SAP," company officials say.   Guess their invitations to Sapphire got lost in the mail.

The NetSuite officials gleefully cite "new research from Macro 4, a UK-based global software company," claiming to find "a high degree of risk and complexity involved in most major SAP upgrades," including "the bulk of historical data clogging up their systems...

Syclo and SAP, SalesQuest and Twitter, GoAhead and SAFfire3.0, Customer Connect and 3i Consulting

May 13, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is... goodness, been such a crazy morning we forgot to put on the music... hang on... there we go, some Sunny Border Blue from alternative chanteuse Kristin Hersh, formerly of Throwing Muses:

Tired of your field service techs being behind on changing information that affects what they're doing?

NetSuite and Suntech, Makana and Salesforce.com, Opene and Cisco, ClickFox, iBreath, Maximizer

May 8, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an overlooked gem - The Steve Miller Band's Brave New World. I'm a spaaaace cowboy... bet you weren't ready for that:

NetSuite has announced that Suntech America, a unit of Suntech Power Holdings, manufacturers of photovoltaic modules, has gone live on NetSuite.    Suntech officials say they now have a platform to manage their network of solar power dealer-installers, and have simplified the chart of accounts preparation "from a week-long administrative chore to a single-click report." Suntech America uses NetSuite primarily for the ERP and customer relationship management functions.

Suntech officials are hopeful that solar energy is "on the verge of rapid growth in the U.S., since the firm is banking heavily on their recent initiatives to expand within the U.S. solar market in hopes of tripling sales to the U.S.

Oracle's CUIM 7.1, eglue on Gartner, LumenVox and MRCP, Convergys, Mobile Network Security

May 7, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis's 1971 album A Tribute to Jack Johnson, an album I learned about on Facebook this morning. Can't believe I've never heard of this before, it's one of the most exciting jazz discoveries I've made:

Oracle has announced the general availability of their Communications Unified Inventory Management 7.1, which company officials say is designed for the introduction "in a discrete fashion" into an existing inventory environment through a modular, service-oriented architecture-based framework for unifying disparate data across multiple systems.    Company officials say this approach lets service providers deploy "only the specific inventory capabilities required in their environments." They point to Etihad Atheeb Telecom "GO," Cellular South, Com Hem AB and Tikona Digital Networks as early adopters using it to "support enterprise and consumer services across fixed, cable and mobile networks."   The 7.1 release has new capabilities, Oracle officials say, with "improved usability and integration," and including technology packs giving out-of-the-box functionality for accelerated rollout of the most common IP multi-play and higher layer services, including voice over IP, multi-protocol label switching layer 3 virtual private network and Metro Ethernet/virtual local area network services.
It's also touted as providing out-of-the-box integration with Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, which can be used to create tailored reports that draw upon real-time and historical inventory data, as well as Oracle Spatial, which supports geographical mapping and geocoding across the application. There's also a graphical design time modeling tool, Design Studio, offering best practices modeling of customer services and resources. ...
Software vendor eglue has announced it has been positioned by Gartner in the Niche Players quadrant of the "Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers" report.

Eglue officials say that the current economic situation is "affecting the decisions of business leaders," who are "focusing on the central role of customer service to simultaneously lower costs and build customer loyalty," maintaining that this is "changing the evaluation criteria of the Magic Quadrant" in light of "budget realities."

The report assesses the market for customer service and support applications, saying selection of an application must take into consideration how the application addresses the requirements of the service center. Hard to argue with that, of course.

SugarCRM, NGenera Financing, Kalido Release, Infor's ERP, GetSocial and Twitter

May 6, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is... total iTunes shuffle... hit play, no idea what the first song's going to be, you'll know it as soon as I do... it is...
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