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

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

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

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. Relax.

All that is needed to receive a Glympse is a Web-enabled phone or computer. 

"The possibilities are endless," company officials say, suggesting that now when you let others know you're stuck in traffic and running late you can actually prove you're not lying. You can also "allow your teenager to check in on Friday night without feeling as if they are being followed," giving them another reason to "forget" their phone when they go out.

Glympse can be downloaded for free on the iPhone and iPod touch from Apple's App Store. Caveat: On devices without GPS, like the iPod touch and non 3G iPhones, the Glympse experience "can be less than optima," company officials say, "since it uses WiFi triangulation to identify location, which is typically less accurate than GPS and not always available."

First Coffee can vouch for that: We tried it on our iPod Touch here in New Zealand and it couldn't even locate us. No doubt it'll work better on a GPS -enabled device.

Jefferson County CYF, the division of Children, Youth and Families, a 24/7 investigator of child abuse and neglect allegations, estimates it will save more than $100,000 annually using TeleNav Track, a cell phone-based GPS navigation and tracking service.

In 2008, the organization responded to more than 6,000 calls of concern. Its social workers travel throughout Colorado, and appreciate the TeleNav Track's turn-by-turn GPS directions -- and being able to save the location for future visits.

Since implementing TeleNav Track and accessing the information directly on their mobile phones, Jefferson County CYF estimates that each caseworker is saving an average of one hour per week.

Prior to implementing TeleNav Track, Jefferson County's caseworkers would depend on calling local police within their jurisdiction to come to a location when a situation escalated. However, employees would often call for police support too late. The organization determined it needed a safety system put into place that would be appropriate and effective for situations a caseworker might face.

Jefferson County CYF officials say the system lets supervisors track the location of caseworkers, how long they were on each site, and their last location should the caseworker lose contact for an extended period of time. Caseworkers can easily report a problem by pressing designated "hot keys," generating emails that are issued to a pre-determined group alerting management that the employee is in trouble or in an uncomfortable situation.

SAP AG has reported an uptake of utility companies adopting SAP AMI Integration for Utilities software in 2009. The offering, introduced in May 2009, is billed as a tool to help utility companies integrate their metering processes with their back-end systems, "providing end-to-end clarity into energy usage patterns."
"The push toward smart grids by the utilities industry calls for new technology and IT infrastructure," SAP officials say, adding that the deployment of smart meters "will impact utility processes and require flexible business operations and IT systems that can adapt to changes."

The modernization of networks through deployment of smart meters "comes hand-in-hand with operational challenges," according to SAP officials: "SAP is addressing these challenges by linking metering, back-end operations, customer service and billing processes."

Using the system, smart meters provide real-time information about energy consumption and enable communication between a utility company and its customers. As for finding a way to make efficient use of the large amounts of data collected by the meters, the product lets utility companies integrate the collected data with business processes such as those included in SAP Business Suite.

Boise, Idaho-based CradlePoint Technology, which sells 3G and 4G networking products, has announced the launch of a new product line, the All Connected Business Series, aimed at the small to medium office market.
The debut product in the series is a new business-class router, the MBR1200 Failsafe Gigabit N Router, evidently named by a latent Guns N Roses fan, to provide availability to users of both traditional wired networks and wireless networks using 3G and/or 4G services.

As the name might suggest, the MBR1200 has a built-in failsafe feature that senses when the wired Internet connection has been disrupted and fails over to either a 3G or 4G service. Once the wired Internet service has been restored, the MBR1200 will then fail back to the wired Internet service.

The MBR1200 Failsafe Gigabit N Router is available now with an MSRP of $299.99.

Chicago-based Intelestream, an open source CRM consultancy and developers of intelecrm, has released a fully functional 30 day free trial of intelecrm.

Intelecrm is an on demand CRM product for small and medium sized businesses with a pricing structure which charges subscribers according to the quantity of records and data storage used, rather than the number of users accessing the system.
Intelestream has also used a "pay-for-what-you-need" approach, where customers are billed for only the features and add-ons they require. Obviously this is tailored for small businesses on a budget. Basic edition pricing for the product with unlimited users starts at $20 per month.
"Intelecrm is our response to what small and medium sized companies have told us was missing from the CRM market," said VP of Consulting Services for Intelestream, Ray Stoeckicht, a guy who has never heard "can you spell that, please?"
Intelestream was founded in 2006 by former employees of SugarCRM as a professional services firm concentrating on open source CRM implementations and customizations. 

"The application is designed as an affordable, turn-key CRM product that can be customized according to individual requirement," Stoeckicht said, adding that an Internet connection and Web browser are "all that is needed to use the application."

Peterborough, New Hampshire-based Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory has released research detailing the failure of traditional Customer Relationship Management technologies to act as the proverbial silver bullet for improving customer interactions, and how that has led to the rise of Customer Strategy and Interaction consulting.

The report, "Customer Strategy and Interaction Consulting Marketplace 2009-2012: Key Trends, Profiles and Forecasts," defines the "burgeoning" CSI practice area as "the definition of customer-centric strategic goals and execution of operations processes that leverage information technology to capitalize on customer insight."
That and the desire to get a cool TV show named after it. "CSI - Peterborough!"
This services evolution is evidenced by consulting practices centered on the concept of the "customer," which include market strategy, customer insight, experience, and strategy and pricing and customer segmentation.

Clients pursuing these services, in particular, should check out capabilities before committing to a provider, company officials say: Erick Burchfield, Associate Director, Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory and lead analyst, said as an emerging market, "CSI consulting comprises a relatively small portion of the global consulting market, yet demand is expected to grow approximately three times faster than the overall market over the 2008-2012 forecast period."
Kennedy's research found that the CSI consulting market is highly fragmented -- "one in which both large, multinational firms and niche firms have a stake. Larger firms tend to focus on customer-facing technology."
Research analysts say that there is "significant opportunity" for niche firms to capture market share from large, global practices, "particularly when it comes to the soft side of CSI, such as customer experience management."

Firms horning in on the CSI market include the usual suspects -- Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Bain, Deloitte, Fujitsu America, IBM, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, et al.

The research also details the competitive landscape, including top-five ratings by practice type -- global, niche, customer strategy, pricing, customer interaction management, marketing sales and service management, customer-based IT enablement, and customer intelligence (data) services.

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