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David Sims
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July 2009

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OSS Study, IPhone Apps, Bango's WiFi, Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, Boomi Widgets, Tpad

July 30, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the first song to come up on the iTunes shuffle of the thousands upon thousands of songs here on the official First Coffee playlist... it is... "The Equaliser" by The Clash from their glorious, sprawling freeway crash of an album, Sandinista!:

Worldwide revenue from open source software will grow at a 22.4 percent compound annual growth rate to reach $8.1 billion by 2013, according to a recent IDC study.

The attentive reader will notice that this forecast is "considerably higher" than 2008. IDC officials give three reasons for that: One, the bottom-up list used to calculate the revenue has expanded through an effort to include more projects in the forecast.

SugarCRM, DecisionPoint Systems, Revention's CCC, Zayo's Network, PingConnect, Numerex

July 29, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Alan Jackson's fine, understated gospel album, Precious Memories. I have no idea what Mr. Jackson's personal beliefs are, but the vocal warmth on these recordings sure do sound like a guy walking past a Baptist church, going in, finding a hymnal and sitting down at the piano to fondly relive his days in the church choir:

  A SugarCRM tutorial site, CRMStage.com, has been launched "to assist SugarCRM developers, partners and customers to speed up development time."

  In the past SugarCRM developers "would have to spend hours in forums or going through code in order to make customizations," says Josh Sweeney, founder of CRMStage.com. 

  The site offers "tutorials and articles" to provide steps for conquering what site officials say are "common and difficult SugarCRM customization tasks." CRMStage officials said they see their offering as complimentary for SugarCRM by offering not only articles and tutorials but "and pre-built custom modules" for SugarCRM: Users "can read a tutorial that will guide them through both basic and advanced customizations, saving time and money," Sweeney says.

SugarCRM, of course, is the open-source customer relations management (CRM) product popular among budget-conscious businesses. Its Web-based CRM allows employees to access customers' profiles whether they are working in the office, working from home or traveling. 

  With a program like SugarCRM, while customers and their needs can be monitored and attended to, what's essential is a solid understanding of the SugarCRM structure. Saying "every aspect of SugarCRM can be customized to fit with any company's business processes," CRMStage officials say their product "helps business IT departments by taking hours off of training and development time."   ...

DecisionPoint Systems has announced its Field Mobility program, which company officials characterize as a way to "help customers identify and achieve faster Return on Investment in field-based workforce automation, while mitigating the risk of in-house deployment."   Brent Felker, Vice President of Field Mobility for DecisionPoint, said the product "takes the complexity and uncertainty out of the job of rolling out dozens or even thousands of mobile computers to field-based workforces." Company officials say wireless, mobility, and RFID technologies are used for delivery.   The product provides application software and tool sets from multiple ISV Partners in "virtually every application category," company officials say.

AT&T U-verse, Radicati's E-mail Report, Astoria Funding, Acteva's Partners, MultiFactor Corporation, Call Compliance

July 28, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music, since we don't want to get into an escalating situation here, is the iPod shuffle Mrs. First Coffee has playing. She's here today working on her university course, and she wants to listen to her song shuffle, so we say fine, dear, let it roll. I love the Dixie Chicks and James Taylor, yep. Can't get enough of 'em:

AT&T has announced the availability of AT&T U-verse Voice in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties "marking," company officials say, "the one-year anniversary of the launch of AT&T U-verse TV."   The U-verse Voice product is designed to bring together home phone, wireless, broadband and TV services on one bill.

LearnCenter and VivaKi, Travel Benchmark Survey, TargusInfo, AT&T Biz Solution, CHOBS, Ntractive

July 28, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Mick Jagger's 1993 solo album Wandering Spirit. I bow to nobody in my appreciation of the Rolling Stones, which is why I refused to buy any of their solo albums, but I heard "Evening Gown" from this album in a 2006 duet between Jagger and Jerry Lee Lewis, thought hm, that sounds pretty good, listened to the clips from Wandering Spirit on iTunes and was impressed enough to give it a shot. 

Learn.com, a vendor of on-demand workforce development and productivity, has announced that the VivaKi Nerve Center, a core division of France's Publicis Groupe's VivaKi entity, chose the LearnCenter Platform for online training "to their global employees."
As opposed, presumably, to their extraterrestial employees. 

VivaKi officials say they're expecting the software to provide savings in administrative time, such as time spent on completing training registration, as well as savings in travel and "just-in-time" training.

"We selected Learn.com because it will provide us with all the tools we need," says Barbara Jobs, VP, Talent and Development, VivaKi Nerve Center, adding that the product offers "the opportunity for us to add new components at no charge" and that it lets them "create different sub groups that can be controlled by each group within our ecosystem, each with its own look and feel."

The VivaKi Nerve Center is a core Publicis Groupe resource within VivaKi. Learn.com's products include the LearnCenter learning and talent management suite, WebRoom Web conferencing suite, PeopleCenter Application Builder, FormFlow Custom Form Creation and other products.

The results of the first eTravel Benchmark survey from online research firm eDigitalResearch are in. Evidently online travel industry as a whole "has some way to go in order to compete with 'best in breed' companies for Web site engagement and customer service." 

  But we didn't have to tell you that, did we?

  According to survey officials, that online travel sites "need to look beyond the 'wow' factor," and "work harder at improving the entire end to end Web site experience" if they are to build trusted, long-term relationships that encourage customers to buy from them time and time again.
The eTravel Benchmark survey uses eDigitalResearch's eMysteryShopper tool to measure the usability of 18 channel crossing, cruise and airline sites, comparing "seven key areas" ranging from first impressions to the search and booking process. 

  "The recipe for a successful site is a simple one," the study's authors conclude. "What customers want is a clear step-by-step process.

NetSuite vs. Sage, FunnelSource, SAP in India, Requisite ECommerce, Sage Down Under, Neudesic Award

July 24, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is PJ Harvey's Stories From The City - Stories From The Sea. Not exactly my kind of music, but I listened to it once to see if it could be. It didn't displace Exile On Main Street after the first listen, but it stayed in my mind and I'm listening to it again. At first listen in lacks the strong songwriting and melodies I like, but there's something about it that's interesting.

SugarCRM, Zoho Add-On, EGain and WorldManuals, Sharein, Cortado and Dog Chase!

July 23, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Frank Sinatra's Songs For Young Lovers:

Open Source CRM vendor SugarCRM's CEO Larry Augustin has agreed to participate in two upcoming panel discussions on what companies need to consider when implementing and enforcing open source licensing and trademarks. Augustin will offer his perspectives on whether or not it's useful to register a trademark and, if so, how to permit its use by others. He'll "evaluate various policies and enforcement strategies from corporate and non-profit perspectives" as well, SugarCRM officials say. For a preview of his thoughts on the state of open source and other related topics visit his blog at:http://lmaugustin.typepad.com/. The discussions will be held at the Open Source Convention underway in San Jose.  In May TMC's Stefania Viscusi reported that SugarCRM founder John Roberts stepped down from his board seat and as CEO of the company to "pursue other opportunities." Board member Augustin stepped in as interim CEO after serving on the board for a little over three years. He had been CEO of Linux systems vendor VA Linux. ...

Zoho has announced the Zoho Mail Add-on for Zoho CRM.

NetSuite's Green, Knoa's Academy, Gladinet's Cloud, IBM and SMBs, VendorRate, LACCA and Hurricanes

July 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The J. Geils Band's Blow Your Face Out, which iTunes finally decided to offer as a full album. It's a jam-packed double live album (everybody over 30 understands what "double album" means) which is as much fun as rock 'n' roll was always meant to be, with not a smidgen of pretension to be found anywhere:

Green of one kind begets green of another kind: NetSuite has announced the results of a recent independent sustainability impact study of the company's Software as a Service platform, finding "significant business energy-saving benefits" for NetSuite customers using its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and e-commerce software.

These eco-friendly green benefits translate into bank-friendly green returns for NetSuite users, according to the impact study by Greenspace: "By vastly reducing the need for servers and support equipment, such as server room air conditioning, Greenspace found the average NetSuite customer can cut its electricity bill by more than $10,000 per year," NetSuite officials say, "calculating" that when added to the overall costs of hardware, software licenses, maintenance, personnel and occupancy, "the cost reductions can exceed $100,000 per year, per customer."

  To arrive at these results, Greenspace officials say they reviewed NetSuite's platform using its EcoMetrics scorecard review, which measures cost savings, efficiency and environmental benefits. 

"Being a green company, one of the main reasons we selected NetSuite was because we didn't need to buy additional hardware or servers," says Angelica Biehl, director of IT for CMC Energy Services.    The NetSuite data center incorporates HP's servers listed in the ENERGY STAR program, a voluntary energy efficiency program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Greenspace EcoMetrics study found "tremendous incremental benefits" to the NetSuite approach. It not only identified significant energy savings opportunities, but revealed green benefits including e-waste reduction, paper use reduction and increased employee productivity.

NetSuite's billing their SaaS model as an "energy-saving green alternative to traditional on-premise ERP and CRM," contributing to "less overall energy use, fewer emissions and smarter thinking about how companies manage technology." The company is also offering alternative energy industry association members "substantial on-demand business suite discounts," company officials say. 

  Greenspace sells office, janitorial, energy and maintenance supplies and products. ...

Knoa Software has launched the Knoa Academy of End-User Experience Management, kicking off with the publication of a benchmark report titled "Monitoring the End-User Experience: Improving Business Performance through Application Management," by Aberdeen Group.

SaaS Studied, Palm App Study, NSPI and Microsoft, SPS, XO and NEC, Openbravo

July 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an Elvis twofer -- first the best complete album The King did, the last time he ever sounded like he was really trying and not just milking it, 1969's From Elvis In Memphis, followed by 1977's My Aim Is True by the second greatest Elvis in pop, Mr. Costello:

No, not everybody falls in love with SaaS: Gartner has released a study finding that the increasingly mainstream Software as a Service underwhelms many customers: "The apparent acceptance of SaaS as a viable model has not entirely translated into satisfied users of SaaS."
  Overall, organizations are "somewhat satisfied" with SaaS, giving it a tepid average score 4.74 on a 7-point scale. The survey was conducted in December 2008, which may help explain why some folks were grouchy as the economy was not, ah, rosy at the time. It looked at "users and prospects" of SaaS in 333 enterprises in the United States and United Kingdom.

  When asked to identify the top three factors that they would consider in making their decision to deploy SaaS, meeting technical requirements was the top overall consideration at 46 percent, followed by security, privacy and/or confidentiality at 33 percent and ease of integration and functionality needed for business unit owners, both at 29 percent.
"Our research findings did not exactly provide a ringing endorsement of SaaS, in fact I would go as far as to say that satisfaction levels among SaaS users are little more than lukewarm," said Ben Pring, research vice president at Gartner. "Although macroeconomic factors would seem to favor SaaS providers, almost two thirds of respondents said that they planned only to maintain their current levels of SaaS in the next two years."

While a healthy 58 percent of organizations will maintain current levels of SaaS in the next two years, Gartner found, 32 percent will expand, five percent will discontinue and five percent will decrease levels.

Those who "considered using" SaaS, but decided not to, cited high cost of service, difficulty with integration and the product not meeting technical requirements as the main reasons.

AS, Tripware's GUG, QuoteWerks, Robocalls, CTCOMPLY, Aspect's Sheridan

July 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the true redwoods here at First Coffee, a sturdy stalwart standard, an old favorite, an ideal work album, what you put on when you don't know what to put on, Aimee Mann's Live at St. Ann's Warehouse:

Cary, N.C.-based SAS has announced Marketing Mix Advisor, billed as a tool helping "marketers faced with countless choices among media and marketing channels to determine the right investment mix" by "analyzing, predicting and optimizing" the mix of advertising and promotions.

  The product offers data "from marketing mix models in a dynamic form that generates dashboards and Web reports as data updates occur," helping marketers "calculate the effects of specific tactics across business units, product lines, geographies, channels and time horizons." 
The hosted product is pitched as a planning and forecasting tool to help "calculate the effects of marketing tactics across business units, brands, geographies and channels." SAS officials say it consolidates all media and promotions analysis in one location, offering prebuilt reports "for performance assessment across an organization's media mix." 

Kimberly Collins, Managing Vice President, CRM, at Gartner Research, noted that understanding how to best allocate marketing resources is "one of the biggest challenges for organizations today. Companies that can figure out the optimal allocation of their marketing mix - and how to do it more frequently and accurately - will be a step ahead."

Saying they're "simplifying interactions with marketing mix data and models," SAS officials say Marketing Mix Advisor identifies opportunities to increase profit through improved ROI on existing investments in marketing and research projects and improves collaboration and consistency of analysis across business units, brands, categories and geographies. ...
File this one under GUG -- Genuinely Useful Gizmo: Tripware, a new travel service, provides a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook 2007 that lets travelers to handle all their business trip needs directly in Microsoft Outlook.    It may not give the economy much of a boost, though: "I no longer pay an assistant to book my trips," says the CEO and President of Tripware, Clark C. Rines.

  The plug-in, OutBook, connects to a traveler's online travel portfolio storing  flight, hotel, car, and scheduling preferences. Using the time, date and location information already entered into a business meeting, Tripware OutBook can book a trip and embed the itinerary in Microsoft Outlook within three minutes or less.   If you're not on Microsoft Outlook 2007, no problem: Tripware offers a desktop application called Tripware Travel Center with many of the same features as Tripware OutBook. 

Rines claims he can "book a complete itinerary in under three minutes, know that I am getting what I want because the system knows me personally and when the payment is made, all of my corresponding frequent flyer, rental and stay numbers are sent to the appropriate vendors automatically." He says he doesn't even have to worry about typing in a credit card to pay: "This same system automatically puts my itinerary into my Outlook calendar along with maps and weather, keeps me apprised of trip events prior to and during my travels and even helps me do my expense report when I get back."
Travel writer Jay Hammond says "based on an unscientific comparison with other online travel services, Tripware holds up well.

WaveMaker and ECN, Aepona and Valista, Level 3 and ImClone, Model N and FCI, KaleidaCare, PivotLink

July 17, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Tom Waits' Bone Machine. If you're looking for a good album to set a romantic mood, or use as background for your eight-year old daughter's birthday party, you'll probably want to look elsewhere:

WaveMaker Software, who sell a visual development platform for Web applications, say the ECN Group selected WaveMaker to "SaaS-enable" their ECN Round Trip Logistics application. 

  Chris Keene, CEO of WaveMaker, pronounced the company "excited" about the deal. WaveMaker is based on the Java stack, offering WYSIWYG tools.

  ECN needed help with their supply chain. "We wanted to get our RTL suite to market to take advantage of our niche market opportunity," said John Axe, CEO of ECN Group.

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