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

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

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

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.

The study "emphasizes the need to advance current practices in this discipline," according to Knoa officials, who say the Academy of End-User Experience Management ("A.E.U.E.M." on the sweatshirts sold in the campus bookstore) will provide a "forum for practitioners of end-user experience management to share knowledge and advance best practices." It will have an online content repository of industry research, a collection of operational experience and business outcomes from end-user experience practitioners to cross pollinate best practice, a series of knowledge-sharing events but -- as of yet -- no football team.
The Aberdeen report found that the application management strategies of top-performing companies "focus on the user, rather than simply using technical measurements... The best-in-class respondents in this research initiative were over twice as likely to improve brand reputation and 75 percent more likely" to improve employee productivity.

"Throughout this study we found significant gaps between enterprises that committed to bettering the experience between end-users and the applications they interact with and those that choose not to," says Jeffrey Debarros, Senior Research Analyst, Network and Application Performance Management at Aberdeen. 

Aberdeen officials say their research "detailed the need for true end-user experience and performance management -- software that reaches beyond infrastructure and application performance to monitor, measure and manage how end-users are using applications within enterprise IT departments." 

"Aberdeen's report is extensive and it details myriad benefits realized by enterprises that have adopted end-user experience and performance management software," said Lori Wizdo, vice president Marketing at Knoa Software. "The goal of the Knoa Academy is to provide the industry's premier forum to advance the art and science of end-user experience and performance management to optimize business process execution in support of achieving business goals."

If you agree that the Web has "evolved far beyond browser capabilities, limiting the usability and practicality of cloud storage and cloud services," you might be interested in Gladinet, whose officials describe the company's goal as to "transform the Internet into a virtual PC by integrating cloud services directly onto a PC desktop."
Gladinet offers open-platform integration with EMC Atmos, Google Docs, Amazon S3 and other providers. Gladinet's flagship product is Cloud Desktop, which provides "an Internet-based virtual disk drive," company officials say, adding that it also allows for cross-storage backup among such providers, and for "using these providers as a redundant array of cloud storage."

"Previously, each cloud storage provider has required a different interface tailored to that particular brand, and this has been highly inconvenient for users," says Jerry Huang, co-owner of Gladinet. "Gladinet's Cloud Desktop is truly revolutionary because, as a ubiquitous cloud storage client, it provides the same features and interface to many cloud storage providers. Plus, the virtual drives, which are then located on your desktop, allow for backups to a redundant array of cloud storage, eliminating the need to rely upon one provider for backup."

IBM is announcing a self-managing, "office in a box" appliance for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), a market niche IBM last counted itself a member of in, oh, 1916 or so.
The product, IBM Lotus Foundations Reach, available for purchase next month, combines unified communications and collaboration tools for running a business with "the ability to connect to telephony" in a single product. It's marketed to that chronic SMB sweet spot, needing a way to overcome limited in-house IT expertise -- Big Blue says it "reduces complexity and enables employees to access people and information."

The new Lotus Foundations Reach, IBM officials say, "customizes and extends the IBM Sametime UC(2) capabilities in a single appliance designed specifically for SMBs that have limited IT skills and smaller budgets. In about an hour, a business can install and configure its entire UC environment in a system small enough to fit under a desk."

The product is designed with an eye to minimizing the need for human intervention with self-managing technology that automates IT tasks such as adjusting to workload demands, conducting proactive system checks for security and reliability of the network, and detecting and repairing potential issues. To more closely approximate a corporate IT department it also wears dashikis, knows all the lines to Monty Python & The Holy Grail and is using company time and resources to invent a remote-controlled, all-terrain drive beer caddy.

The product combines UC features such as instant messaging, presence awareness to see who is online and available, e-mail, calendars, contacts, office productivity tools, network security, remote access, file and print sharing, and backup and disaster recovery accessible from a mobile device.

VendorRate, a Web-based business information service offering "confidential" performance ratings and comparisons of technology vendors, has announced that customer satisfaction scores for Microsoft "plunged dramatically in the second quarter of 2009," while IBM Informix and telecom equipment maker ShoreTel earned the top scores in the quarter.
Guess the Best Little Software Company in Redmond didn't opt for the confidentiality rider. VendorRate officials say the service is vendor neutral, and accepts neither vendor sponsorship nor advertising, and that its users rate vendors on ten specific performance criteria that include customer service, reliability, integrity, budget and effectiveness. It also collects rating information by cooperating with user groups, trade associations, event management, and IT and telecom departments from organizations.

"IT pros" rating vendors on VendorRate in April, May and June downgraded Microsoft across the board with poor customer satisfaction scores for the company's server and infrastructure software (55 out of 100, down nearly 17 percent), operating systems (67, down 9.5 percent) and applications (64, off nearly 18 percent), VendorRate officials say.

Take solace, Microsoft: Verizon Communications received the lowest overall vendor score of 61.

"Microsoft was cruising along with satisfactory scores in earlier reports but it simply fell off a cliff in this quarter," says Rick Schaefer, CEO of VendorRate. "Meanwhile, IBM Informix was among the top rated vendors for the fourth straight quarter, and this is the first time that ShoreTel made it into the top rankings."

Schaefer noted that GovConnection was the top rated reseller with a score of 98, "the highest ever posted for a VendorRate quarterly report."

The Latin American Call Center Association has announced the availability of a toll-free hotline to help answer questions during this hurricane season. 

Yep, that's right -- just hurricanes, please.
U.S. callers to the hot line will receive information regarding hurricane preparedness, storm development, hurricane tracking, shelter locations and evacuation information. Call center representatives from the LACCA member companies will staff the toll-free number throughout the hurricane season, as the National Hurricane Center issues the first Tropical Storm Watch Alert. 
The number is 888 99HURRICANE and it will be answered from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the various stages after the first alert is issued.

"We are very proud to be able to offer these services, which are funded by our member organization. They have provided us with a team of representatives who are now trained to work the hurricane hot line and offer assistance to our callers" says Isabelle Fuentes, LACCA Director and founder of the LACCA.

The Latin American Call Center Association was founded to inform companies in the United States of the call center industry in the nearshore Latin American region. LACCA officials say it serves as a "guide" to those businesses who are interested in relocating their business to the area.

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