CustomerCentric, Avocent Upgrade, SaaS Study, LG Social Phone, SaaS CRM, RightNow

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CustomerCentric, Avocent Upgrade, SaaS Study, LG Social Phone, SaaS CRM, RightNow

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of John Cage's more accessible recordings, Daughters Of the Lonesome Isle. The trick to appreciating Cage, as we've tried to explain to Mrs. First Coffee, is not to think of it as "music" per se, but rather as interesting thought-sound experiences using for the most part traditional instruments. We haven't convinced her. Nor are we likely to, we must admit:

CustomerCentric Selling, which describes itself as "a proven methodology for predictably improving revenue growth and sales performance," has announced that the unfortunately-acronymed Decision Dynamics Technology, which sells software products and services for financial controls, implemented the CustomerCentric Selling methodology earlier this year.

In February, Calgary-based Decision Dynamics officials say, they decided their primary challenge was "navigating through a sales culture that was product-centric and focused on selling features and functionality" instead of focusing on the product's value to clients. 
Applying a customer-centric approach lets Decision Dynamics' sales force have "meaningful conversations" with customers as "business improvement consultants rather than salespeople," which then allows them to address their customers' business pains. With Decision Dynamics products.

Since the CustomerCentric Selling workshop and implementation, Decision Dynamics officials say, they've seen a "65 percent increase in pipeline." Decision Dynamics also uses CCS Key Performance Indicators, using such tools as a champion letter or a value sheet to disqualify opportunities that waste company resources where the prospect is "unable or unwilling to commit to solving their business pain."
Jason MacVicar, EVP of Sales for Decision Dynamics Technology, said if the prospect is not "willing to explore the potential ROI from using Decision Dynamics Solutions, they move on to the next opportunity," whereas before, "we would end up wasting valuable time and resources."


Salt Lake City-based Avocent Corporation has announced an upgrade to its LANDesk Service Desk IT Business Management Suite, billed as a tool to help companies "increase productivity, improve service quality and reduce IT management costs." 

The new version, generally available immediately, continues Avocent's LANDesk product line strategy of providing service desk and IT service, infrastructure and asset management.
The upgraded LANDesk Service Desk  provides new features such as a Web Desk application and dashboards for more proactive service management. Web Desk allows access to LANDesk Service Desk from any location via an Internet connection -- great for avoiding local installation.

"The latest version of LANDesk Service Desk builds on our Touchpaper acquisition with service desk technologies customers want," said Steve Workman, vice president, product management, LANDesk, explaining that the LANDesk product line lets organizations "transition the service desk from a cost center to a business services center, improving service processes."

Avocent officials say organizations are looking for tools "that grow with them as they evolve from basic incident management to more long-term IT goals and proactive ITIL service management disciplines, such as problem and change management." 

"The ability for us to have even quicker response times through a browser, from anywhere with Web Desk, coupled with the new version's  dashboard, are benefits," says Tom Mortimer, director of computing services, University of Dundee. 

It also offers integration with SolarWinds Orion Network Performance Monitor, a network management product, via new Event Management functionality that allows events occurring on the network to be automatically reported to the service desk.
... has announced the addition of IDC 's new report, "Attitudes to Software as a Service Are Driven by Experience," to their collection of software market reports. 
"This year, it focused on a reality check of investment," MarketResearch officials say, as "a vital question for companies selling SaaS into Europe is who to target." Topics covered  include... "Where Might Software as a Service Be Used For Next?" and "Does Existing Adoption Affect Attitude?" 

This IDC Insight looks "specifically at the attitudes of European user organizations on adopting or further adopting SaaS in their organizations," MarketResearch officials say, adding that it's "based on data from IDC's annual European Enterprise Services Survey 2009."
This included 553 enterprises with more than 250 employees in seven countries and regions in Europe, eight verticals, and four size classes. 

The IDC report analyzes the SaaS areas that user organizations see as the most appropriate for their next SaaS acquisition, and the differences in attitudes towards SaaS between the user and nonuser groups. 

In both areas, this report identifies "significant findings" with "strong implications" for marketing.

The LG GW520 is mobile phone which has "embraced the new trend of social networking and has made it more mobile than ever before," according to company officials, who say it's targeting "the millions and millions of users of sites like Twitter or Facebook by giving them a similar experience."

It has a "push" updating feature letting users connect to other people, "much like what Twitter or other social networking sites currently offer." And presumably what outmoded cell phones offer with their nifty feature of letting you push a button to talk to someone?

This new phone also lets users assign custom animated characters to specific contacts in the phonebook, characters which are "then placed all around the homescreen for quick access, much like a speed dial function, but much more fun."

But, in fact, much like a speed dial.

Naturally it comes in a trendy, stylish case, defined as "trying to look as much like an iPhone as possible without unduly riling Apple's lawyers," and a 2.8-inch touchscreen with 240 pixel x 400 pixel resolution and 256K colors. It has a slide out QWERTY keyboard, enabling quicker typing and qualifying one genuine improvement over the iPhone. Plus it's got the requisite downloadable games, themes, camera, 40 MB memory, FM radio, Bluetooth Connectivity and Internet browsers.

It doesn't have an infrared port, WLAN, GPS or secondary camera. And it is pretty clearly designed for the youth market, you wouldn't want to pull one of these out of your pocket during a client presentation or board meeting.

Sydney-based Australian data management expert David Taber recently stated that SaaS CRM software is only as useful as the data put into it is relevant. 
Hardly an earthshaking observation, but it does raise the question of whether businesses need to train staff in using software like, and for developers there's the issue of whether their CRM programs can be updated to help staff input more relevant information passively.

On the current SaaS and CRM market there are several programs aimed at large businesses, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which work through an Intranet system to help staff work together and keep up to date using one easy and efficient platform.

But unfortunately for large businesses, "it is difficult to stop staff entering inaccurate data, but for smaller businesses there is a much simpler solution," according to Daniel Barnett, founder of the WORKetc Online CRM. His company, online CRM software developers, offer an alternative to programs like Salesforce "designed to make sense in a small business environment" by combining CRM with project management and billing.

"CRM software won't work to the best of its ability if staff don't use it in the way it's intended," Barnett points out quite reasonably. "This is why we've spent time ensuring the features are easy to use and easy to teach to new employees." 

On the whole, it seems small business management teams and staff are happier with the service than they are with CRM software that has been designed for large businesses. WORKetc are also confident that their online CRM structure encourages employees to input relevant data by default. They expect to see a rise in sales and a shift within the SaaS market, with more smaller businesses turning to their total customer relationship management software.
..., which trades in postage online and shipping software, has picked the RightNow on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) to provide customer service via the Web, phone and e-mail. 

With RightNow, officials say, they expect to improve customer satisfaction and agent productivity by having agents located in multiple support centers access one central self-learning knowledge foundation for "consistent information to customers."
Using the RightNow products, officials say their customers can find answers online regarding postage printing instructions, USPS regulations and delivery confirmation, which "reduces e-mail and call volume, allowing agents to focus on complex issues."

Because that's what happens once you shunt the easy stuff off to the Web: People calling the center have the harder questions. also wants to use the RightNow capabilities to capture customer feedback from survey responses on interactions, products and services, and to reduce the training period of new agents through RightNow's "simple" desktop implementation.

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1 Comment

Good info post. Thanks for sharing this informative article with us.

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