Portrait in Scotland, SprinxCRM, iBabyBuddy, TRM RulesManager, Jenzabar's Newest, Jailhouse Phone

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

Portrait in Scotland, SprinxCRM, iBabyBuddy, TRM RulesManager, Jenzabar's Newest, Jailhouse Phone

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the cool piano jazz of Bill Evans. Sometimes mistaken for wallpaper music, this is, in fact, highly accomplished unshowy playing -- there's a reason Miles Davis wanted him for the "Kind of Blue" sessions:

Portrait Software, a vendor of customer interaction software, has announced that VisitScotland, the national tourism agency, increased revenues through the use of Portrait Customer Analytics to the tune of £48 million.
PCA, delivered as a hosted service through Optima Value Group, is credited by officials of the tourism board with increasing the revenue in the Scottish tourism industry "by £48 million in one year alone," or $80 million. That figure is evidently calculated from independent market research referenced by VisitScotland officials, who say it represents the value of trips by visitors who claim they would not have visited without prompting from marketing.

The agency wants to give Scotland "a real presence in the global marketplace,"benefiting the whole of Scotland." Agency officials say their priorities are to "attract visitors to Scotland, engage with partners within the industry and to add value to the visitor experience." An upwards of 200 campaigns a year are now processed through the managed service, Portrait officials say.

If the goal for Scotland is to attract visitors, then as one with experience of the British isles, may First Coffee suggest doing something about the weather. I for one could do with fewer bagpipe skirls in favor of more non-rainy days. 

VisitScotland claims a database of over 3.5 million consumers collected over the last four years, and "needed to determine how many were regular visitors, as opposed to occasional visitors so that marketing effort and monies could focus on those most likely to re-visit and those with a particular interest relevant to Scotland," Portrait officials say. Segmenting the data ("Here's the last names beginning in 'Mac,' here's everyone else...") and being able to apply marketing campaigns had been primarily a manual task, evidently, and the level of analysis and accuracy charitably described by Portrait officials as "fairly random."

Using the Portrait Customer Analytics VisitScotland has developed a Relationship Marketing Program based on the analysis of the travel behavior and patterns of UK and Irish tourists and from tourist feedback. The database has now been segmented into a "loyalty ladder" with the level of marketing investment spent on each individual dependent, quite reasonably, on their position on the ladder. Ian Rippin, Managing Director, Optima Value Group, notes that Visit Scotland "is now able to process information so that the right message is sent to the right people at the right time."

Oh, and a complimentary bottle or two of the wonderful highland single-malt whisky for business writers probably wouldn't go amiss either. Just a suggestion.
SprinxCRM has announced the launch of SprinxCRM QuickBooks Connector.

Radko Jelinek, Sprinx' Director of Sales, describes the product as something to allow businesses to link customer profile data captured by SprinxCRM with "corresponding financial data captured by QuickBooks," and "assess the total value and total potential of their customers."

Basically it lets users of QuickBooks, a popular financial software product for small business, import their contacts and invoices to SprinxCRM -- "and vice versa" -- to develop and implement marketing campaigns. "It provides a view of customers' overall health in terms of the indicators, without the capital investment and user training typically associated with custom IT," says Jelinek, adding that it "operates real-time so deviations in the purchasing behaviors of customers can be spotted and addressed immediately."

Sprinx Systems was founded in 1996 in the Czech Republic, and today sells it CRM products "and related business marketing applications" worldwide. The company is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.

"There's a new playmate in town," the press release begins, capturing First Coffee's attention. Oh, it... it's an iPhone app, Mantaray Creative Lab's iBabyBuddy, described by company officials as something "designed to keep babies and toddlers entertained when there's not a toy box in sight."

The iBabyBuddy features "iconic" animal characters that make noises and "vibrate in response to baby's movement and interaction," company officials explain. Of course for the low-tech parents there's always a set of keys. Hours of fun, believe me. And personally I'd rather toss a two-year old my keys than my iPhone, but that's just me.
"Busy parents often find themselves juggling fussy babies and a long list of errands and there's rarely enough time to pack a bunch of toys for the road," says Tamara Rosenblum, principal and creative director of Calgary-based Mantaray Creative Labs. "Most people have their phone at their disposal regardless of where they are so with that in mind we developed iBabyBuddy to be a traveling playmate that never leaves your side." It's available at The App Store for $1.99.

Designed to work with both the iPhone and iPod Touch, iBabyBuddy "entertains, stimulates and teaches through interaction and discovery." The first release has animal, musical instrument and whimsical toy sound themes. New themes will be added regularly free of charge, company officials say. Just be prepared for your kid's first sentence to be "I want an iPhone!"

"Combined with a Shake-n-Change feature" -- which will not go unused in the hands of a toddler -- "iBabyBuddy guarantees an endless array of non-stop, educational fun...and an opportunity for Mom or Dad to take a quick break from being the constant entertainer," according to Mantaray officials. In other words, "This keeps kids quiet. Line forms to the right, no pushing..." Just be sure you can extract it from aforesaid toddler's grip when a call comes in. This isn't as easy as it may sound, he said from experience.
To view a video of child and iBabyBuddy visit www.youtube.com/user/ibabybuddy. The iPhone survives the encounter.

Alexandria, Virginia-based Total Resource Management has unveiled its newest version of TRM RulesManager SE 4.0, configuration software designed for IBM Maximo and Tivoli Asset Management for IT.

Al Johnson, VP of Product Development, said current customers who are in the process of upgrading to Maximo 7.1 "were clamoring for the next version of RulesManager."
The tool is intended to let Maximo systems be "tailored to meet business requirements with configuration, integration and data migration capabilities and control of Maximo." Company officials say it offers improved service delivery, reduced operating, lifecycle maintenance and support costs and lower training costs.
RulesManager 4.0 also has enhancements for administrators and developers, including what company officials characterize as an "improved integrated development environment with additional drag-and-drop capabilities, advanced error-checker and RulesManager Help."

In addition to the features in previous versions, this release, according to company officials, has an adaptive user experience, simplified data migration and scrubbing and specific functionality applied only to certain application servers, groups and users.

It also has Maximo Web services, "direct XML Web services in Maximo rules, enabling real-time transactions. These include the ability to dynamically attach value lists and auto-populate Maximo fields," company officials explain. They tout the product's "visual feedback," which includes the ability to dynamically control the presentation in any event. They say they've also added functionality to change the look of the browser: "Advanced users also have the capability to send JavaScript commands to the user's browser allowing the display to be modified."

Jenzabar, which sells tech for higher education, has announced the release of new Jenzabar Institutional Intelligence products with improved reporting and analytical capabilities.
The tools aren't just standard business metrics, they're designed, Jenzabar officials say, to support measures "vital to higher education." These include "keeping pace with changing goals and strategies and changing constituents, who represent the core business of higher education institutions." The products are designed to support recruitment and retention of students, financial health, regulatory compliance, and fundraising.

When integrated with the Jenzabar EX or Jenzabar CX administrative systems, company officials say, Jenzabar's Institutional Intelligence lets the institution analyze office and project statistics from a single database. In addition, Jenzabar has used its partnership with IBM-Cognos to integrate Cognos 8 reporting tools with its Institutional Intelligence product for reporting on institutional data residing in the Jenzabar product.

"Evaluating the effectiveness of operational initiatives and forecasting future trends can be challenging for higher education institutions, especially amidst a changing economy," says Robert A. Maginn, Jr., Jenzabar Chairman and CEO.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given its target market, Jenzabar is headquartered in Boston.

Inmate Telephone has added the OffenderConnect.com portal to provide additional service and support to families and friends of inmates who have Inmate Telephone's service at their facility.

OffenderConnect.com replaces the InmateBanker.com and ITI Bill Pay Web sites used by "nearly fifty thousand customers currently, offering existing services as well as several new services." English and Spanish language versions of OffenderConnect.com are available

The portal lets ITI customers open a telephone account, deposit funds in an inmate's commissary and telephone accounts, check balances on their telephone accounts, view prior statements and payment histories, move money on telephone accounts between participating facilities and close accounts online.

"We really wanted to add more self-service options online for our customers," says Matt Caesar, Chief of Product Development for DSI / ITI, adding that OffenderConnect.com "provides us with a platform to add additional services to better serve inmate family and friends in the future." Existing Inmate Telephone, Inc. customers using ITI Bill Pay and InmateBanker.com may convert their accounts into OffenderConnect.com accounts until August 3rd, after which any ITI customers will have to create an OffenderConnect.com account. Customers "don't lose anything in the transition,"says Caesar.

Established in 1984 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Digital Solutions Incorporated is a privately-held technology company that specializes in automating corrections agencies. Its sister company, Inmate Telephone Incorporated, was founded in 1994 to create and maintain inmate phone systems.

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