David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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June 2009

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Cisco's Telecommute Study, OpenLogic's Open Source Study, Exploria SPS, Nanomed Tech, Global Wireless

June 30, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Diane Burch's Bible Belt. First Coffee tried this a week or so ago, found it okay but rather samey, so in the interests of fairness and objectivity we're trying it again. She has swell pipes, that's for sure, but the songs aren't strong across the board and the arrangements aren't all that great. The bottom line is here's a talented singer in need of better material:

Want your employees to experience a significant increase in work-life flexibility, productivity and overall satisfaction?

SugarCRM Studied, Broadband 'Crucial,' EGain, OOCOSPI, NetSuite's Zander

June 30, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and we'll play The Jackson Five's "ABC," the last recording Michael Jackson made First Coffee would want on an iPod, then put on PJ Harvey's Stories From The City -- Stories From The Sea. The real tragedy of Wacko Jacko is that he was, along with Prince, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, one of the most ridiculously gifted musicians of his era. Yet those three have full, rich catalogues with years of quality work, while Jackson, who never made a good record without Quincy Jones, had Off The Wall, Thriller and a handful of singles. That's not much for such a rare talent.

You'll be relieved to know that there will not be a "religious war between an open source community on one side and commercial proponents on the other" in Europe, according to IDC.

Rather, says Bo Lykkegaard, research director, European Enterprise Applications and Services, IDC, "it will all come down to a battle over who can provide the customer with the most ERP or CRM per euro."

The research firm has issued a study titled Open Source Enterprise Applications in Europe: Disruption Ahead? examining SugarCRM and open source vendors' adoption in the enterprise applications market "from both a demand side and a supply side," firm officials say.

The study offers in-depth profiles of SugarCRM and other open source application vendors in Europe.

  DC officials say the survey of 515 Western European IT decision makers in organizations with more than 50 employees showed "surprisingly high usage of open source enterprise applications." IDC identified the "main driver" behind open source adoption as "the absence of an upfront license payment along with a lower total cost of ownership. 

Not that it's overwhelming European business -- nine percent of respondents reported current use of an open-source back-office application and seven percent reported using an open source CRM application.

Zoho and Microsoft, NEC and Wit Hotel, eGain IVR, Bold and AppExchange, References-Online

June 25, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the fine Apple Jam portion of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, the only ex-Beatle album which can be spoken of in the same breath as the Beatles' records:

Zoho has announced Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint, so online Zoho users can now collaboratively create, view, and edit files stored in Microsoft SharePoint.    Clicking on a file in Microsoft SharePoint brings up options including "Edit in Zoho Editor" and "View in Zoho Editor." Hit the Edit option and you open the file for editing in a Zoho editor within Microsoft SharePoint -- either Zoho Writer,Zoho Sheet, or Zoho Show, depending upon the file selected. The View option opens the file for viewing in appropriate Zoho applications within Microsoft SharePoint, company officials explain, adding that a user must be connected to the Internet to access Zoho applications.

  Raju Vegesna, a man whose business card says "Zoho evangelist," says that the company noticed "some businesses like the collaboration capabilities of online productivity applications, but they prefer to keep their data behind their firewall." Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint fills both needs, he claims.

It's delivered as an add-on that installs on top of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 and 2003. Once installed, company officials say, it lets users working in Microsoft SharePoint view, edit, and create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Microsoft Office formats -- "but using Zoho online applications."

Vegesna notes that in addition to letting users work on Microsoft SharePoint documents from any operating system, the approach "can help save some money on Microsoft Office licenses." Zoho Office for Microsoft SharePoint itself is available now as a 30-day free trial version, after which an annual subscription runs $24/user and a monthly subscription three bucks per user. ...

NEC Unified Solutions officials say the newly-opened boutique theWit [sic] Hotel in Chicago is using NEC communications technology to deliver guest services and amenities. Guest rooms at theWit feature touch-screen access to such services as valet notification, setting restaurant reservations, ordering wake-up calls, requesting towels from housekeeping, and looking up airline flight or weather information. If you're into truly surreal experiences you can request wake-up calls with Second City comics doing celebrity voices, including President Barack Obama, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Al Capone and Harry Caray.

Optimum and Verizon, NEC Unified and TORO, Mailprotector, AT&T and iPhones, SureWest's TV Caller ID

June 19, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Kinks' classic 1968 album Something Else, the best non-Beatle pop songwriting to appear in the 1960s:

According to the redoubtable J.D. Power, Optimum Business ranks highest in satisfying home-based and small to midsize business customers with telecommunications data services, and Verizon's tops among customers in the large enterprise business segment.

  After a sharp decline in satisfaction scores in the small/mid-size and large enterprise business segments between 2007 and 2008, overall satisfaction in both segments have increased in 2009, J.D. Power officials say, "driven by improvements in the billing and customer service factors." The results are in the latest J.D.

Salesforce.com and iPhone, Metastorm and SAP, SF Parking, InterCall's Award, Global IPTV Looking Up

June 19, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Neil Young's re.ac.tor. A rather uninspired hard rock workout released during his rather uninspired "Hey, let's steal David Geffen's money!" phase, with a lot of what sound like dummy lyrics, but a bracing shot of noise when you need to wake up:

As soon as you heard Apple was updating its iPhone software you knew what was coming next -- and sure enough: Salesforce.com officials say the Salesforce CRM Mobile application has been updated to "take full advantage of the new iPhone 3.0 OS software," giving customers features including the ability to cut, paste and copy, clone records, create custom filters and manage tasks using a new calendar interface."

Users can cut, copy, and paste text from e-mails and text messages directly into Salesforce CRM. They can use the, ah, "thumb-saving clone button" to create identical records and save a bunch of typing. If that's a good thing.

Virgin and NEC, Aspect's Client, Biz Com Plunges, Tricension and Microsoft, Host Analytics

June 12, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Dwight Yoakam's wonderful acoustic.net, the 2000 solo acoustic reworkings of gems from his back catalogue. Some songs shine brighter in this setting than they did with full band backing, notably "Readin', Rightin,' Rt. 23" and "Little Sister:"

Virgin Games, Virgin's on-line gaming offering, is claiming an average e-mail response time of "less than five minutes" to customers, following the implementation of a multimedia contact center product from NEC Philips Unified Solutions. The combined multi-media contact center is a first within the Virgin Group, breaking away from their traditional telephony based applications.
The NEC Philips tool combines call, chat and e-mail customer contact facilities. Virgin Games officials say they've seen a 200-300 percent improvement in service delivery since the product was implemented, as well as "average abandonment" rates dropping to below one percent.

Inilex's Apprize, PCSU's Contact Center Awards, FrontRange Partners, 24x7Guru and Analytix, Navis

June 11, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is, if I must be honest, Grand Funk Railroad's "Loco-Motion." Go ahead and laugh if you've never listened to anything for the pure dumb fun of it:

Inilex has launched Apprize, described by company officials as a "machine-to-machine software service" for "challenges faced by developers" of M2M products. It lets developers add different devices and networks with no limitations, and can integrate outdated legacy devices that are still a part of an M2M system with newer or modern applications. 

  The SaaS product is billed as letting developers "deploy any type of M2M application using any device, any protocol, over any communications network." 

It's not difficult to see the market opportunity Inilex is heading for here. Strategy Analytics says the M2M industry is projected to grow exponentially in the coming years, from approximately $16 billion in 2008 to more than $57 billion by 2014. Apprize is positioned by Inilex officials as offering M2M software "that can be implemented across a variety of industries such as telemedicine, energy management, environmental, security" and more.

"It takes between four and six supply-chain partners" to develop and manage just one M2M product, says Vice President of Yankee Group's Enterprise and SMB Research, Steve Hilton.

Redtail and Advisor, 911 Texting, Innoveer and Suffolk, Salesforce.com and Advent, the HelpExchange

June 10, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a random play of the 102 Rolling Stones songs on my iPod. Current selection: "Midnight Rambler" from Let It Bleed:

Advisor Products, a financial advisor technology and marketing company, and CRM vendors Redtail Technology have announced the integration of Redtail's flagship Web-based CRM system and Advisor Products' Personal Client Portals.

Personal Client Portals, which uses Web 2.0 technology, is designed to give a client of a financial advisor a financial Web page "complete with live feeds from portfolio management, financial planning, and CRM systems, as well as market data, an advisor blog, and personalized financial content," according to company officials.
Using XML feeds, client activity information can be pushed from Redtail CRM to the client-facing product. Advisers can make notes of work done for clients and display this in each client portal's To-Do Manager. Company officials note that this feature is "especially valuable to fee-based advisers for validating their fees, since most of the work advisers do is often unseen by clients."

The product also lets advisers assign tasks to clients directly through their CRM system. "If an advisor notices that it's time for an annual meeting with a client, he can assign a reminder to the client directly," says Redtail Technology CEO Brian McLaughlin. ...

The Black Hawk County, Iowa, 9-1-1 Service Board has announced that the Black Hawk Consolidated Public Safety Communications Center has become the first 9-1-1 Call Center in the country to receive text messages sent directly to 9-1-1. 
The approach uses Short Message Service to establish a text conversation directly between the "caller" and the 9-1-1 operator.

NetSuite's Award, Cyber City, Asian Intentions, ProTrak and Blackberry, Transcensus

June 8, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a rather new find, Diane Burch's debut white soul album, Bible Belt. She has a good voice for this sort of thing (think a warmer, more playful Joss Stone), and there are some sparkling moments here -- "Ariel" is a standout track -- but this is the second time through and it's sounding very much the same. Lenny Kaye's fine guitar work is wasted on the rather bland arrangements, the horn charts don't knock me over and she could have used stronger songs. But it's a good showcase for her vocal abilities, and she can broaden the material she tackles next time out, she certainly has the pipes for it:

Customer Interaction Solutions magazine has named NetSuite CRM recipient of a 2009 CRM Excellence Award.

NetSuite officials say the award recognizes "NetSuite's growing impact on companies looking for powerful, integrated Software as a Service (SaaS) business management." The CRM Excellence Awards, now in their tenth year, are based on each rated product's ability to extend and expand the customer relationship across the entire enterprise, and provide end-to-end customer life cycle management.

Other recent industry awards for the on-demand CRM vendor recognize the company's software products and "contribution to helping organizations streamline business processes and spur growth," NetSuite officials say.

RightNow and Taxes, SAP and Eclipse, Small Biz Trends, AT&T for Small Biz, MTS Allstream

June 5, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the more unjustly overlooked albums of recent years, former J. Geils Band front man Peter Wolf's Sleepless:

RightNow Technologies officials say their CRM on-demand product is "assisting" 200+ service representatives for Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, a tax prep company, give better customer support experiences. 

Specifically, RightNow officials say, the tool lets reps view "contextual and timely" information for each customer call, see a single, unified view of all customer and franchisee interactions and access the same self-learning knowledge base used on the company's Web site for more consistent and accurate answers. 

Jackson Hewitt piloted the RightNow product this past tax season at the peak of its seasonal activity -- throwing it to the wolves right out of the gate "to ensure it was robust enough to handle its high volume of interactions with franchisees, while simultaneously improving their support experiences," according to RightNow officials. Indeed, if it can handle that mad rush it's probably the right tool for the company. 

"The successful trial of the RightNow on demand solution during our busy season proved that it could help us deliver a better customer experience and could scale to meet our needs during the most demanding time of year," says Danamichele Brennen, Chief Technology Officer, Jackson Hewitt. She added that using the tool, "call volumes dropped, questions were answered and we received positive responses from our franchise system."

Describing it as "part of its ongoing commitment to Java technology... as well as industry-wide technology standards and open source," SAP says it's taking "a more active leadership role" in the Eclipse Foundation by increasing its membership level from Strategic Consumer to Strategic Developer.  SAP is a founding member of the foundation and has been using Eclipse technology since 2002.

Consumer M2M, Seniors Protest Cell Phones, IBM, Propalms and Ratna Sagar

June 1, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Aimee Mann's rock-solid "Live At St. Ann's Warehouse." Call me cynical, but if this is truly an all-live album, without any studio overdubs, then it's one of the greatest jobs an artist has done in improving the studio versions of her songs to the stage:   The Machine-to-Machine market is already at $50 billion, say analysts from Beecham Research, who foresee "strong growth prospects" ahead.   It's traditionally a B2B market, but the new report by Beecham predicts the coming of age of a growing consumer market for M2M products and services that will rapidly catch up to the traditional business. The report, titled "Consumer M2M: The Approaching Mass Market" forecasts over 100 million consumer M2M products being shipped within the next five years, mostly for cellular mobile networks.   "A fundamental change in the M2M arena is now under way," says Georg Steimel, lead author of the report, saying today the M2M market is dominated by individual products serving the needs of individual users: "In contrast, the developing consumer market requires integrated products that offer simplicity and one-stop-shop availability that is easily enabled. To get to this requires new business models."   According to Beecham Research, the M2M market is still small compared with the worldwide mobile handset business, with new network connections for mobile handsets slowing in many markets -- particularly in Europe and North America -- and those for M2M speeding up. "Mobile Operators need this business," says Robin Duke-Woolley, Founder and CEO of Beecham Research. ... Watch out, cell phone companies, gray power's coming after you.   "It's time for cell phone companies and their poor disclosures to U.S.
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