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September 2009

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ManageEngine, Doc Access, IPass and Finpro, Dorado and Redcell, Capstar and IPlanet, Speech Recognition, Dotcom-Monitor

September 22, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Charlie Parker's 1947 debut album, Charlie Parker. First Coffee isn't a jazzhead by any means, we certainly enjoy Parker's playing, and we'll plead ignorant to the parsing out of influences and trendology jazz freaks obsess over, but it's hard to see what everybody got so excited about. Guess you had to have been there:

Austin-based ManageEngine, which makes network, systems, applications and security management software, has announced the "latest version of ManageEngine SupportCenter Plus, its customer support software.

Claiming the product can now "meet the needs" of larger organizations, company officials say the multi-tenancy capability means users can "simultaneously assist internal users from various company departments and business units, as well as help individual customers and customer groups" from a single console. 

  It also lets administrators view and organize pending employee and customer trouble-tickets. ManageEngine is a division of ZOHO Corporation.

Its Computer Telephony Integration feature is designed to speed up the time to resolution, company officials say -- "with CTI, when a user makes a phone call for assistance, SupportCenter Plus can match the number from which the user is calling with information about the user's computer configuration stored in a database." At that point the product can route the call to a specific technician.
But for those times when a user needs more than to be talked through an issue, the product has the remote control capability to let a tech -- with the user's permission -- view PC configuration information to help solve the problem.

ManageEngine SupportCenter Plus is available as a downloadable file for both Windows and Linux platforms.

Astoria On-Demand, TRACLabs, FlexSafe Cloud, Datatel, IPass and BlackBerry, GestureTek

September 15, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Brobdingnagian Bards doing "Wild Mountain Thyme," a song we have about a dozen versions of here on iTunes, and which we put on as a playlist. Not too many songs you can do that with:

Astoria Software has announced the September 2009 release of Astoria On-Demand, a tool for managing XML content across the enterprise, pretty much on schedule with the company's every three to four month upgrade release.  

Michael Rosinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astoria, said the September 2009 release "establishes a new standard for high performance XML component management."    The marketing point for San Francisco-based Astoria is that it's supposed to help "drive efficiencies in dynamic product documentation with on-demand delivery of structured content management," according to company officials, who add that Astoria On-Demand "reduces documentation costs up to 90 percent and compresses product launch cycles from months to weeks." ...   Houston-based TRACLabs, vendors of robotics and automation, were recently awarded an $850,000 software development grant from the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The company's proposal, "Building a Coherent World View from Sensory Data," focuses on "creating software that can integrate data from a wide variety of video, infrared, range and other sources to improve the performance of robotic search and recovery," with the goal of saving more soldiers' lives, according to TRACLabs officials.

  "Imagine a situation where a unit wants to see if chemical or radioactive weapons have been deployed in a building before they enter," says David Kortekamp, President and CEO of TRACLabs. "Our software will enable a robot to quickly and accurately assess the situation without putting troops at risk of exposure."
Robots and unmanned air and ground vehicles form an increasingly large segment of the U.S. military's surveillance and security assets.

Gamma Search, Promero and Oracle, Altec's InMotion, C64 on IPhone, PowerSteering

September 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a good Dexter Gordon album we don't listen to as often as we probably should around here, Doin' Allright. Released during his stellar early '60s run of albums, it's a perfectly fine jazz album, it just doesn't seem to hold our interest the way other Gordon albums from the same period do:

Gamma Engineers has released Interaction Search, a call center reporting search tool designed, company officials say, to "search all interactions that occur in a call center across all media," such as voice, chat and e-mail in real-time. 

  Along with real-time search, other features of this tool include "the ability to drill down into searches, unstructured search capability, access to customer information as well as call center information, and cradle to grave report of a call," according to Gamma officials. 

  So what exactly does all of this mean? Let's take an example: have you ever needed to find out something like "how many people from the 212 area code are calling with a warranty issue right now?" Sure you have. But how do you do it?

FreeBit, Verizon Mobile, InVision, Skype on IPhone, Euro Mobile Industry, Avaya

September 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Alice Cooper's classic album Killer. Oh stop giggling - I don't make fun of those REO Speedwagon or Kenny Loggins albums you still listen to, do I?

Tech vendor FreeBit, which sells to "as many as 80 percent of Japan's ISPs," according to company officials, has released today its latest version of the iPhone application ServersMan@iPhone 3.0β.    "I'm very happy to announce the release of ServersMan@iPhone 3.0β," said FreeBit president and CEO Atsuki Ishida.

  The software, billed as "transforming iPhone & iPod Touch into true cloud storage devices," is now available at no charge in App Stores covering 77 countries in French and German -- assuming Apple approves the App Store registration -- as well as Japanese, English and Chinese.

ServersMan lets iPhones be used as cloud storage devices, FreeBit officials say, and lets users "import, view, and export any type of file -- Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, PDF, mp3, jpg and others -- from any online device.    In addition, ServersMan has a Web server service for mobile phones to publish data in the iPhone as Web pages. ServersMan@iPhone 3.0β was selected as one of Japan's Best iPhone Apps by TechCrunch, a technology blog.

The product enables file uploads to the ServersMan Storage area in an iPhone or iPod Touch directly from a Web browser on a Mac or PC: "Users do not need any cables or iTunes synchronization when transferring data," company officials explain, adding that since ServersMan also supports WebDAV, "users can transfer data directly to and from iPhone or iPod touch without going through the browser."

It also has a Web server engine to allow users to publish data on the Internet by selecting the data on iPhone and "performing a few touch operations." ...

Verizon Business has unveiled a set of IT consulting services designed to "support the deployment and ongoing support of enterprise-wide mobility programs," according to company officials.

The new professional consulting services are intended to help organizations "control expenses associated with multiple mobile devices and usage plans across several carriers, while maintaining security over the IT environment," company officials say.

  Verizon Business' suite of mobility professional services is currently available in the United States, as well as 19 European countries.

Comodo, Pearson's English, SAS as 'Leader,' Oracle and InQuira, SprinxCRM and Google, IPscape and Prosper CRM

September 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is The Eels' Daisies Of The Galaxy. After his previous cheery album, Electro-Shock Blues, E manages to almost sound not completely suicidally depressed on Daisies:

Comodo has introduced vulnerability scanning for internal networks in the cloud on the newest release of its HackerGuardian.

Evidently -- First Coffee didn't know this, but is glad it's true -- merchants who accept payment cards such as credit cards are required to scan their networks at certain periods, checking for breaches in security. "Previously, internal network scans required dedicated hardware, run by an on site employee," Comodo officials explain.   Comodo sells security software and services, including digital certificates, PCI scanning, desktop security, online faxing, and computer technical support services.
HackerGuardian lets businesses run remote scans of their internal and external networks using the same software -- "a lightweight bootable agent installed on one of the local network nodes can be activated by an employee" who can be physically located anywhere, company officials say.

  Merchants required to meet level 1, 2, or 3 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards can use the product to "centralize the administration of their vulnerability scans," company officials say, adding that it works to scan both internal and external networks.

The product's internal scanning feature lets CI DSS-compliant merchants run vulnerability scans for computers on a local area network, typically inside the company's private network, protected by a perimeter firewall or other network security device. 
The Comodo family of companies is committed to continual innovation, core competencies in PKI, authentication, and malware detection and prevention. As a catalyst in eliminating online crime, the companies' mission is to establish a Trusted Internet.

Comodo's US headquarters "overlook Manhattan on New Jersey's waterfront," according to company officials, and have "global resources" in the United Kingdom, China, India, Ukraine, and Romania.

E-Book Report, Lyzasoft and Salesforce, Canadians' Mobiles, EValue Prompter, Helpstream, Wired Contact

September 10, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Leo Kottke's magnificent One Guitar, No Vocals, one of First Coffee's Ten Greatest Work Albums, although there are parts where you'd swear there are two guitars:

The electronic book segment is pretty well a feature of the landscape now, and according to a report from In-Stat, has "room for growth" given such new features such as e-mail and Web connectivity.   The research, "Electronic Book Survey: US Consumers' Attitudes and Behaviors Towards the Burgeoning E-Book Market," is available now for $1,495 and covers the US market.

  Indeed, what with reading e-books on your iPod Touch and sending e-mail on your e-book reader, it isn't hard to see that we're going to end up with a blended product pretty soon here.
An e-book is a handheld consumer electronics device capable of accessing and storing digitized books for portable use. Examples are the Amazon Kindle DX -- and one can download and read Kindle books on the iPod Touch and iPhone as well, although without all the neat features of the Kindle reader itself -- and the recently introduced Sony E-Reader Daily Edition.

"According to In-Stat's most recent consumer survey, current e-book owners desire e-mail capability in the next e-book they purchase," says Stephanie Ethier, In-Stat analyst. "Longer battery life and Internet connectivity are the top two desired features among respondents who don't currently own an e-book but plan to buy one in the next year."

  First Coffee will go along with the "longer battery life" request.
Recent research by In-Stat found that Amazon is the leading brand of e-book owned, the largest percentage of e-book owners (45.5 percent) is spending between $9 and $20 a month on e-book content and that "eleven percent of total survey respondents said they planned to purchase an e-book over the next 12 months."
In-Stat is a segment of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier global information network. ...

Lyzasoft has introduced a feature for Lyza, the company's desktop data analysis product, allowing direct connectivity to Salesforce.com's portfolio of CRM apps. 

  Lyzasoft officials say this connectivity will allow business analysts using Lyza to "integrate Salesforce data with other enterprise data sources, then analyze, report and share the results." Current Lyza customers will receive the Salesforce connectivity upgrade at no additional cost.    In addition to Salesforce, Lyza provides data connections to enterprise databases such as IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase, as well as Microsoft Excel workbooks, Access databases and text/flat files. Lyza runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Revel's Cloud, RightNow and Stamps.com, OAUG and IT Convergence, Convio's Summer '09, OAC Services

September 10, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the sounds of the U.S. Open, First Coffee's favorite tennis tournament, on television in the background -- current match, Verdasco-Isner -- and we'll try not to let the divided attention affect the quality of the CRM reporting here:

Revel Consulting, a business and IT consulting firm, has announced the launch of its Cloud Computing Practice, aimed at selling products for software companies "transitioning to Web-delivered services" and businesses "incorporating Web-based technologies into their day-to-day operations."   Cloud computing uses software-as-a-service to provide the vendor's products to customers via the Internet. The industry will see revenues reach $150 billion by 2013, according to Gartner, which currently leads the third set 5-3.
"Cloud computing is more than a short-term trend," says Vikas Kamran, CEO and Co-Founder of Revel, adding that there are "legitimate benefits" to companies adopting cloud services, such as a better first-serve percentage, reduced expenses and efficient scaling. 
Basically Revel pitches their services as helping companies "transform their infrastructure, operations, and sales and marketing processes" to fit with cloud computing. Their services range from helping assess the cost and benefits of migrating to the cloud to helping companies integrate SaaS apps such as CRM or financial management and reduce unforced errors.

Revel boasts a "pure consulting" model, which company officials say "reduces layers of bureaucracy to provide clients with on-site senior industry experts."

Based in Kirkland, Washington, Revel was founded by Joseph Sedmak with Vikas Kamran and Brett Alston as co-founders.

Fourth-seeded Stamps.com -- here, we'll provide the link, it's a tough one to figure out, First Coffee's aware -- which sells postage online and shipping software products, has picked the RightNow on-demand CRM solution for its doubles partner, replacing Siebel/ Kana, which withdrew with a knee injury.
Stamps.com believes the pairing with RightNow will "improve customer satisfaction and agent productivity by helping our agents be more effective and better service customers,"  a more well-rounded, all-court game, according to Dawn Stevenson, director of customer care, Stamps.com.
RightNow claims approximately 1,900 customers among "corporations and government agencies worldwide," including winning the 2002 Bozeman Open. ...

The Oracle Applications Users Group recently announced a partnership with San Francisco-based IT Convergence to hold the OAUG and ITC Oracle Applications Workshops, described by OAUG officials as "a series of four-day training programs" to let users obtain "the necessary skills to master Oracle R12, Oracle 11g, OBIEE" and other Oracle products.

The OAUG and ITC developed the Oracle Applications Workshops to familiarize users on all the features and functions, bells and whistles of specific Oracle products.

DMG's PMML 4.0, Jafza and Google, Green IPhones, SDN Global, Boku, ASC

September 4, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is one of the more underrated Texan singer-songwriters on the scene these days, Adam Carroll. If there is a most-played song on my iPod over the past five years it's no doubt Carroll's "Ol' Milwaukee's Best:"

The Data Mining Group, a vendor-led consortium involved in "developing standards for statistical and data mining models," has announced the general availability of Version 4.0 of the Predictive Model Markup Language.

  This new version of PMML is a major update of PMML Version 3.2, which was released May 2007.


  The idea behind the product is to make it "straightforward" to develop a model on one system using one application and deploy the model on another system using another application. Group officials say it's supported by over 20 vendors and organizations. 

  "PMML turns the deployment and practical application of predictive models within any existing IT infrastructure into reality. Without PMML, it would take months for models to be integrated and deployed via custom code or proprietary processes," says Cris Payne, Senior Analytics Scientist for XO Communications, Inc.


  This version offers support for multiple models, which includes support for both segmented models and ensembles of models.

MPortal and iPhones, Runaware SaaS, Bluetooth, DeltaCom, Net-Results and Salesforce.com, Netezza and Oracle

September 3, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is more Larry Norman. This guy single-handedly created the entire "Christian rock" genre, today worth billions, but back in the late '60s and early '70s he couldn't get played on radio, as he was too secular for Christians and too Christian for secular radio. His essential '69-'76 records have that dated Brit blues rock with a hippie hangover sound, but the songwriting's strong and they're still better than 95 percent of what passes for Christian rock today:

MPortal has assisted Comcast in developing Comcast mobile for the iPhone and iPod touch, described by mPortal officials as a mobile app providing features of Comcast Digital Voice, Digital Cable, and High-Speed Internet services to iPhone and iPod Touches.    "This is mPortal's first commercial application launch with Comcast," said Alec Walker, Vice President of Strategic Accounts at mPortal. "Together with the Comcast team, we designed a converged voice, data, e-mail and video experience for Comcast subscribers using the iPhone or iPod Touch."

Among other features, the app lets users check Comcast e-mail and listen to home voice mail in one combined inbox, as well as read, reply, forward and compose e-mail and read attachments supported by the iPhone.
Users can manage voicemail messages and call logs, view voice mail in any preferred order as well as "touch" to call, and forward home phone calls to the iPhone from the iPhone, view call history and manage home phone settings.
And hey -- you can see what's on TV tonight, tomorrow or next week, including program details and watch video on-demand movie trailers.

Promero and Oracle, Intacct and Salesforce.com, Questetra, My1voice, CompanionLink, iPhone and mDialog

September 2, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a great find - iTunes finally got Larry Norman's back catalogue, so we're listening to Only Visiting This Planet. Still sounds as good as anything on radio did in 1972:

Oracle partner Promero has announced that is has completed an upgrade of its premier call center software as a service platform to Oracle's Contact Center Anywhere v811.

"We've used the Oracle call center software for years," said Gregg Troyanowski, president of Promero, adding that their customers "truly like" the new features and GUI.

  Promero also offers a premise-based product as well as the SaaS version of Contact Center Anywhere.

Contact Center Anywhere v8 features include Multi-Channel ACD Built-In Softswitch, and TDM Switching provides "skills-based routing and a universal queue for phone calls, e-mails, faxes and callbacks to route customers in virtual queue," company officials say. 

  Contact Center Anywhere "replaces or co-exists with" PBX Inbound/outbound cross-media blending, integrated outbound predictive and preview dialing IVR, company officials say, adding that it also provides built-in voice recording, supervision and agent-coaching capabilities, voicemail, fax, and unified messaging.
The product also comes with screen pops -- integrated in pre-built agent User Interface or as separate screen, and a blended agent for both inbound and outbound communications.
Contact Center Anywhere has won 49 industry awards from Internet Telephony Magazine, Customer Interaction Solutions Magazine, TMC Labs and others. ...

  Intacct has announced a "new and improved" version of Intacct MAX for Salesforce CRM, described by company officials as a streamlined "lead to cash" application built on the Force.com platform connecting Intacct's financial management and accounting system and Salesforce CRM. 

  Intacct officials say over 50 companies have posted reviews on the Salesforce.com AppExchange concerning their experiences combining Salesforce CRM and Intacct.

The Summer '09 edition of Intacct MAX for Salesforce CRM has such features as bi-directional data synchronization, price book management, automated contract renewals and payment processing. 

  As a composite application, Intacct MAX for Salesforce CRM goes far beyond simple data integration by creating new and unified business processes, an integrated user experience, aligned master data and shared business objects across both Salesforce CRM and Intacct.

Intacct officials are hyping cloud-connected applications like Salesforce CRM and Intacct as allowing companies to "choose best-of-breed systems, knowing that they will not have to incur the cost or risk of maintaining integration between the applications themselves." 

  Generally, they contend, with vendor-supported composite applications, "the end result will be far superior" to that delivered by data integration-based products.

"The combination of Salesforce CRM, Force.com and Intacct is compelling for companies moving their business applications to the cloud," said Kendall Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at Salesforce.com, "avoiding the compromises associated with single-vendor ERP and CRM suites." ...

Questetra has launched the Questetra BPM Suite SaaS Edition in Japanese, renamed "Questetra BPM Suite Download Edition."

The free workflow/BPM software "Questetra BPM Suite Download Edition" is a Web application that has been downloaded about 6,000 times since its release in January 2009, and is currently used in such BPM practices as Kyoto University's inquiry and contact process.

The Questetra BPM Suite SaaS Edition service is billed as contributing to BPM activities of bodies such as businesses that promote cloud computing, departments "with no restriction on software installation," as well as small organizations with around twenty members. 

  The software shall be available in other languages in the future. ...

Noting correctly that small business owners and employees "typically wear many hats in a given day," call center vendor my1voice officials say the company's products offer them "a host of features that are both flexible and easy to use," reflecting "an understanding of the day-to-day challenges facing owners and employees in a small business."

  And hey, they're designed to "match the way they work rather than forcing them to work according to the phone service."

  Examples include a single phone number to reach all employees: "Rather than each employee handing out individual -- or multiple -- phone numbers, customers, prospects and partners can reach anyone in the organization by dialing a single number." The virtual receptionist directs calls by extension, or callers can select the company directory to dial by name.
"Time is a precious commodity in a small business," said Steve Adams, vice president of marketing for Protus, the provider of my1voice. "The rich feature set in my1voice allows small business owners and their employees to set up their phones in a way that will use their time more efficiently."

There's also smart call forwarding, letting users customize incoming calls to their cell, home, office, voicemail, and even numbers with extensions. Also my1voice "can be set to deliver voicemail messages directly to the customer's e-mail," company officials say, "eliminating the need to check voicemail for messages or dial in to retrieve them."
Other features include a Web call button letting customers and prospects searching the site connect to an employee over the phone by clicking one button.

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