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

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

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

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,, 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 

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. It's supposed to design, deploy and integrate these, using widely-accepted industry methodology and best practices, while managing the rollout, including the support services and help desk functions.

Revention, which sells restaurant management products, has announced the release of a Customer Communication Center application designed to "allow a call center team to enter orders via the HungerRush online portal," company officials say. 

Describing the offering, Revention officials say C3 is "designed to convert call center customers to online customers." How this works, they say, is if an e-mail address is entered, an online ordering account will be created and a message will be sent to the customer containing a temporary password: "C3 will verify whether the customer has ever ordered online. If they have not, an e-mail containing a customized promotional code will be sent to the customer."
The call center application may be used as a stand-alone module or in conjunction with Revention's HungerRush online ordering offering. Revention officials say they're offering special pricing packages "for customers who implement both the HungerRush and Customer Communication Center modules."

Revention CEO Jeff Doyle says C3 "results in increased efficiency and higher check averages than other ordering methods."

Zayo Enterprise Networks, a division of Zayo Group and vendor of fiber-based telecommunications products, has announced the implementation of its new network infrastructure and migration of its existing customers to aforesaid network. 
According to company officials, "this completes the integration of customers included in an acquisition of five city markets from CenturyTel in July, 2008." Zayo will now be delivering Ethernet services to customers in these markets as well. Zayo is based in Louisville, Colorado.

The new network includes Akron and Toledo in Ohio, Ann Arbor and Lansing in Michigan and Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The customers in these markets, now transitioned to the Zayo network, will have access to advanced IP communications services including Voice Over IP, Hosted PBX, Internet Access and Private Data Networks.

Glenn Russo, President of Zayo Enterprise Networks, noted that this investment can be used by "our current and future customers."

Ping Identity has integrated its PingConnect on-demand Single Sign-On service with Google Apps to deliver a universal Software as a Service login which, according to company officials, "ties together different SaaS environments by managing user access and authentication in the cloud."
The combined offering is based on the OpenID open authentication protocol with Google Apps acting as an OpenID provider and PingConnect acting as an OpenID relying party. Once a user's identity has reached PingConnect, it can then transfer to any SaaS providers who integrate with PingConnect via Security Assertion Markup Language.

Users can now log in to their Google Apps domain, then directly access their other SaaS applications, such as Salesforce CRM with no further authentication required, reducing the number of pesky passwords -- dog's name, birthday, boyfriend's dog's name, boyfriend's dog's birthday -- you need to keep taped to the bottom of your desk. This includes not only Salesforce but WebEx, Concur, SuccessFactors and "more than 60 other SaaS applications," company officials say. 

So if you're using Google Apps this gives you the option of managing all SaaS user accounts via your Google Apps domain instead of, say, site-based corporate directories -- Active Directory or LDAP. This appears to be the thing if you want a pure cloud-based product with the authentication mechanism and SSO to manage user access to applications in the cloud.

Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand pitched the product as a way to let users "take full advantage of the benefits of SaaS without the constraints that come with managing user passwords across any number of SaaS platforms."

Google Enterprise and cloud system integrator Appirio both see strong market demand for this type of solution.

Eric Sachs, Google Apps Security Team Product Manager, noted that successful integrations of multiple SaaS applications in a single environment "have been limited in the past."

Mike Epner, head of Appirio's cloud strategy consulting practice, noted that Appirio uses PingConnect within its organization to manage SSO across Salesforce and Google Apps, and is also offering PingConnect along with its products and services.

It's nice to see somebody reducing debt these days: Numerex, a vendor of machine-to-machine network services and solutions, has announced that it has reduced its outstanding debt associated with the financings in May 2006 and December 2006. 

The company, which carries the ISO 27001 information security certification, repaid $2 million in cash on the secured non-convertible term note and converted $1 million of outstanding debt into equity under the secured convertible term note. It will issue an aggregate of 226,244 shares of Class A Common Stock in connection with this conversion on July 28, 2009. 

Numerex's total debt level stands at $6.0 million after the reduction. The company will also be writing off all unamortized financing costs related to the debt reduction. This non-cash expense is approximately $160,000.

Alan Catherall, Chief Financial Officer of Numerex, said "this is an accretive transaction. The savings in interest expense, which will be reduced by one third, will more than compensate for the newly issued shares and the negligible opportunity cost from forgiven interest income."
Catherall said neither financing included any pre-payment penalties, noting that he expects the company "to remain in a sound liquidity position to finance growth."

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