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David Sims
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October 2009

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Amdocs and JNetX, IT Structures, IPhone App, Emobus Board, Salesforce.com, Warp 9 and The Today Show

October 28, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story. Before he was a socialite, a disco act or a crooner, in the early '70s Stewart was one of the greatest bluesy-folk rock performers in the game. Here he is at his absolute "Maggie May" and "Reason To Believe" best on one of the very, very few truly indispensable rock albums:

"Customer experience systems" vendor Amdocs has announced the acquisition of jNetX, a privately-held service delivery platform provider, for $50 million net of debt and cash, subject to post closing adjustments.   Amdocs officials say the acquisition "accelerates" their position in the SDP market, since it combines jNetX's offering with Amdocs' CE products and service delivery.
The SDP market is estimated to grow at a 14 percent to $6 billion by 2013, according to industry analyst firm Analysys Mason in a study concluded a couple months ago. It's seen as a way of "enabling faster time-to-market and the monetization of services."   Amdocs and jNetX share a number of customers, including Vodafone Group, British Telecom and Mobilkom.   In explaining the market opportunity they see, Amdocs officials contend that "today," service providers "are seeking to move their businesses from predominantly subscription-based access services to include rich content, applications, and other offerings." Therefore, the combination of Amdocs and jNetX products will, in their view, "allow service providers to expose both Telecom and IP components in the network to offer convergent network, IT and Web-based services."   Amdocs is evidently hoping to distance themselves from other SDP vendors supporting services solely on IP-based networks: Jim Liang, senior vice president strategy and corporate development for Amdocs, underlined the "technological combination" of the acquisition.   The combination is also an excuse for punching up Amdocs CES Portfolio.

ILinc, Contact Center Language, Admiral Technology, Net-Results, StayinFront, Noni

October 27, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Leo Kottke's One Guitar, No Vocals. It's a fine album for someone who doesn't like jazz (First Coffee does, but we're just saying) and who wants good music at work that's not soporific wallpaper:

ILinc, which sells Web and video conferencing software and services, has announced that iLinc for Salesforce had been named the "App of the Week" by Salesforce.com.   This is a designation given to a Software-as-a-Service application that integrates with the Salesforce CRM platform. You can get it from the Force.com AppExchange.   The software vendor noted that iLinc for Salesforce app integrate Webinar data with existing Salesforce CRM data, with the ability to launch virtual meetings directly from Salesforce Lead and Contact records was also a key feature.

James M. Powers, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of iLinc, described the product as combining a Web conferencing platform with real-time data management, letting companies deliver "high-impact Webinars, sales demos and product training sessions while keeping the sales and customer support teams informed."

The idea behind this, company officials say, is that by moving Webinars and online training sessions to the iLinc platform, customers get to integrate two business systems as well as "the visibility into online event intelligence that they need."
Built using the Force.com platform, as well as the native Apex and Visual Force languages, iLinc for Salesforce is available for test drive and deployment on the AppExchange. ...

Here's a rhetorical question if First Coffee's ever heard it: "Many of us get frustrated when dealing with contact centers - but do you ever find yourself swearing at the agent, or simply hanging up?"   We'd like to see the honest hand of anyone except our dear saint of a mother (mutterings after hanging up pleasantly don't count) who can truthfully -- truthfully -- answer "no." Now we find that's maybe because First Coffee's mother isn't Scottish. Or Welsh.
New research by Corizon reveals that among Brits, "Scots are the most likely to use 'inappropriate language' when talking to a contact center agent (15 percent), while the Welsh are the most prone to hanging up in frustration (49 percent)." 

Corizon describes its business as "bringing together elements of other software applications in 'enterprise mashups'" for contact centers.

Conducted during August 2009, the study of 90 contact center managers and 2,100 consumers found that Scots are the most likely to use inappropriate language (15 percent), followed by Londoners (12 percent), and that 18-30 year-olds are the most likely age group to use inappropriate language.

LeadMaster, Kana Social CRM, IBM and Canonical, Clickatell SMS, TomTom GO I-90, Broadband Shortfall

October 21, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the absolutely unique Miles Davis work A Tribute To Jack Johnson. Part jazz, part acid rock, part jagged glass fragments slicing through silk, it's like nothing else First Coffee's heard:

LeadMaster, a vendor of cloud computing products for sales lead tracking, lead management and online CRM, has announced a certification program for lead generation and lead providers designed to let users have sales leads flow in real-time into LeadMaster's Web-based, SaaS system.

  They're inviting all lead generation companies to join the Lead Provider Integration Program for free.

To participate in the certification program, a lead provider will register and receive access to the LeadMaster system as well as instructions on integrating and sending leads, company officials say: "The lead provider will test the integration to complete the certification process."

  The instructions are described by company officials as "straightforward, and most companies are certified in less than an hour." Heck, this Web app is so simple even your technophobe sales reps can learn to use it in about an hour, they say.

LeadMaster officials say the product can accept data from "every industry. In addition to the demographic fields lead providers have an unlimited number of user-defined fields available through the LeadMaster custom form technology."

  With leads in the LeadMaster system, users get reminders to follow up.

Safe Online Socializing, Consona, UMG Center, Teradata and Microsoft, Global Telecom Testing, Sorrento

October 21, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Bob Geldof's rather overlooked 1995 Vegetarians of Love. Not a great album, not even as good, maybe, as his unfortunately forgotten Boomtown Rats material, but a sturdy album, pleasant melodies and fun lyrics, a nice change of pace for a work morning:

"Hanging out" for teens today isn't what you and First Coffee remembered it as, where you actually, you know, saw people. Live people. Where you, like, talked and punched each other's shoulders.

Glympse and iPhone, TeleNav Track, SAP AMI, CradlePoint Technology, CSI, Intelestream

October 19, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is a nice discovery, Angela Easterling's Earning Her Wings album. Solid traditional country songwriting, a beguiling vocal and obvious passion in the performances. What more could a Friday morning need?

Thanks to Glympse, IPhone users can now "visually share their location with anyone around the globe" for free. Evidently the newest version of the app uses maps included in the 3.0 OS and a new Twitter feed sharing option.

Bryan Trussel, co-founder and CEO of Glympse, said that while other location sharing apps "require users to create another social network, which is unappealing to most people because the reality is there are very few people in our lives who we want to know where we are, all the time." The man has a point; supply your own hellish scenario here.   So with Glympse, users to define a limited time period of up to four hours during which their location will be shared, making Glympse appropriate not only for family and friends but also coworkers, existing social networks and even mere acquaintances."

And yes, Twitter junkies, you can post your location to your account.

Convergys, Rocketvox, Boomi and Model Metrics, New Call Center, Infusionsoft and Palo Alto, Flowlett

October 14, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Sinatra's Swingin' Session!!!, the hardest-swinging record he made. You know that lost, weird feeling you get when you haven't listened to Sinatra for a few days? Me neither:

Convergys Corporation has announced that three global companies in the services and technology industries have renewed contracts for Convergys HR Solutions.
These "human resources outsourcing" contract renewals, Convergys officials say, range from one to five years in length, and during that period are expected to generate total revenue of more than $25 million.
According to the terms of the most involved deal, Convergys will continue to provide workforce management and HR administration services, including recruitment, on boarding, absence management, and leave administration for over 60,000 North American employees of "a business services company," company officials say,
Another deal covers benefits administration and support for a company with 70,000 employees, and the third is a one-year renewal for payroll technology and systems supporting 18,000 US-based employees of a global technology company.   John Gibson, Convergys President, Human Resources Management, described the contract renewals as "testament to the hard work and dedication of both our clients and Convergys employees."
Convergys has clients in over 70 countries and 35 languages and 70,000 employees of their own in 82 customer contact centers and other facilities in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, as well as global headquarters in Cincinnati. ...   Rocket Technology Labs, developer of the Rocketvox unified communications platform, has announced the release of Rocketvox Beta, available by request.
Company officials bill the product as "one place to view and manage all of your communications streams with channels for any POP or IMAP e-mail, VoIP, voicemail, visual voicemail, voicemail-to-text, Twitter, and Facebook accounts."
In other words, your one-stop shop for all your "social media." What a boon for ADD Web surfers out there, sharply reducing mousewear. There's also a cross channel address book for "the Internet and mobile devices."
Rocketvox Beta's user interface is being released as an Adobe AIR application that runs on Mac OS, Windows, or Linux.

Cognera's SaaS, InContact, Quantivo's Analytics, SafeHarbor's ROI, TargusInfo, Whither WiMAX?

October 13, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is an iTunes play list arising from a Facebook discussion as to what the most listenable songs in our collections were -- the ones you can listen to over and over and over until your wife slams your office door shut. First Coffee came up with twelve. Current song: Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again." Last song: Brook Benton's "Rainy Night In Georgia." Next song: The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset," quite possibly the most beautiful song written in the rock era. On deck: Mundy's "Galway Girl:"

Calgary-based Cognera, which sells billing and customer management tools, says more companies in the utilities industry should consider the Software as a Service model.

Cherwell Software, Gubmint Jobs, Telecom NZ, New Bay's LifeCache, G2iX's Morph, OpSource

October 12, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Miles Davis's mind-blowing Tribute to Jack Johnson. Music biz rumor is that Davis wanted Jimi Hendrix as guitarist for these 1970 sessions, but it's hard to imagine he could've done much better than John McLaughlin did. The producer grabbed Herbie Hancock, who just happened to be walking through the building on other business that day, to play keyboards, and the first track that appears on the album is the one where Davis himself showed up at the studio after the other musicians had started playing:

Cherwell Software, a vendor of ITIL and Pink Elephant Verified IT Service Management software, has announced what company officials are calling a "unique and innovative guarantee and licensing structure."

  And there you thought you'd seen all the guarantee and licensing structures there were.

The vendor's offering both the SaaS on-demand and the on-premise options, both allow multiple users to access the licenses. In addition, the software has the ability to reserve licenses for specific individuals for continual access.

"We've found our customers have a hard time determining the number of concurrent licenses they may need because the industry has long had a restrictive and costly 'named license' approach," says Vance Brown, Cherwell CEO, adding that his company's approach of "concurrent licensing combined with our 60-day guarantee, allows an organization to find the optimal ROI balance of needed licenses in the first 60-days of deployment." 

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Cherwell Software was founded and is run by the former CEO of FrontRange Solutions, the former Chief Architect of FrontRange's HEAT and ITSM product lines, and the original founder and past CEO of the Help Desk Institute. ...

Good news or bad news, depending on your point of view: A study recently released by the Partnership for Public Service finds there will soon be "a considerable increase" in new government jobs.

Work from Home, Google Voice, Ignify, Ribbit, Microsoft, Tigerpaw CRM and Cabinet NG

October 9, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is that great old reliable standby, Creedence Clearwater Revival:

Nearly two in five employed U.S. online adults work from home at least one day a month, according to new research in the "The Telework and the Technologies Enabling Work Outside Corporate Walls" from the Consumer Electronics Association.    First Coffee's a perfect one-for-one on that score.   The same study also found that "most teleworkers plan to spend at least $925 over the next year on technology products to help them work from home."   If that includes coffee and Diet Coke, then okay, we're jake there, too.   More than 38 million employed U.S. online adults, or 37 percent of the total U.S. workforce, work from home at least once a month, the study found, adding that "focusing on tasks without disruptions" and "running a business from home" are the top reasons given by employees for teleworking.    The top benefits include flexible hours, reduced travel time and costs, fewer disruptions, greater productivity and "nobody checking up to see how long I play Minesweeper or goof off on Facebook."    Ninety-eight percent of teleworkers use computer/IT technology such as PCs or printers.

HulloMail, TravelTrac, Prophet 21 CRM and ERP, RightNow, EInstruction, Kalido

October 9, 2009

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is U2's Achtung Baby, in honor of the fact that First Coffee is evidently the only person on all of Facebook who doesn't get to see U2 on their current tour... okay, you can block Farmville and Mafia Wars and Easter Eggs and all the other annoying Facebook app notifications from your wall, can you block Insufferably Happy People Going To See U2 When You're Not notifications as well?   Anyway, catching up on some news you may have missed recently:

Here's what we in the business call a "catchy" lede -- that's how we in the biz misspell "lead," too -- in a press release from HulloMail:

  "The story of billionaire Warren Buffet's failure to receive a timely voice mail message from Barclays Capital chairman Bob Diamond pleading for help with the Lehman Brothers bailout has been fodder for the international news and blogger community this past week."

  Guess First Coffee's gone off his fodder, didn't hear much about that. "If only the Oracle of Omaha had received the message from Diamond back in Fall 2008 instead of nearly ten months later ... would the course of international financial history have been changed?" company officials ask.

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