Verizon SMB Internet, Intrinsyc, Metatron, Kiva's Respect 7, Cutting Edge Information, XCO Springboard, AltiGen

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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Verizon SMB Internet, Intrinsyc, Metatron, Kiva's Respect 7, Cutting Edge Information, XCO Springboard, AltiGen

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Gustav Holst's The Planets suite. Yes, we're quite highbrow here at First Coffee. It was our New Year's resolution, to improve and broaden the music played here at the sprawling headquarters just outside of Milwaukee, get off the Frank Sinatra treadmill:

Small and medium-sized businesses now can get Verizon Internet access coupled with automatic wireless broadband backup, according to Verizon officials.
White gloves included: "This gives small- and medium-sized business customers Internet access along with the peace of mind that comes with having a wireless backup plan in place," says Carrie Gray, Verizon Business executive director of SMB solutions marketing, adding that their "white-glove managed installation approach" is used.
The product, catchily named Verizon Internet Dedicated Access with Mobile Broadband, routes business traffic to the Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO broadband wireless network in the event of a service disruption. Company officials are pitching it as "ideal" for businesses with distributed locations, who primarily use IDA for outbound traffic, Web research or point-of-sale transactions. 

The broadband backup over the Verizon Wireless network is intended to give SMB customers an alternative to traditional wireline business-continuity, Verizon officials say, offering "high speed at a low cost." It has two linked ADTRAN NetVanta 3200 routers -- one connected to the primary T1 access source and the other featuring a 3G wireless Network Interface Module designed for use with the Verizon Wireless network.

"Small and mid-size businesses, across a variety of vertical industries, seek the same resilient, reliable networks of their large counterparts," said Gary Bolton, vice president of global marketing, ADTRAN. "With Verizon's dedicated Internet solution and ADTRAN NetVanta routers, we bring unmatched industry expertise, best-practice business processes and platform leadership to address the critical business-continuity needs of small and mid-size businesses."

Saying they're "continuing the global expansion of Destinator GPS navigation software across geographic markets, smartphone application stores and mobile handset makers," officials of Intrinsyc Software have announced the expansion of their Windows Mobile and Android applications into the UK, Australia and Western Europe.
They're available for download through Destinator NavStore and Android Market. Destinator 9 for the iPhone's submission and availability on Apple's App Store was also recently announced pending final certification. It's a turn-by-turn app for your smartphone.

"At its core," company officials explain, "Destinator 9 is a solid and reliable turn-by-turn navigation application with on board maps and a routing engine," with "a host of new features." Those features include the Google Local Search, Real- Time Traffic Updates, StickyPOIs. NavStrip and NAVTEQ maps.
Oh and hey, it's "more social. Destinator taps into the new wave of social mapping. What's better than a feature to send your location or your favorite POI to a friend? It's the beginning of a social mapping revolution and Destinator is at the leading edge."
It's available from the iPhone to Android to Windows Mobile and across the globe, company officials say: "We are making the Destinator Experience accessible to all first-hand courtesy of a free trial. The 14-day trial of the full application will allow users to see the features and functionally." 

Users can also access multi-destination routing by setting multiple trips with various stops to help plan a day's drive to different locations: "A one-click widget brings up a Google Map view of the current location, when available on a device with a data connection. Destinator's StickyPOI feature allows users to display Points of Interest categories" as well, company officials say.
Intrinsyc is publicly-traded and headquartered in Vancouver, with offices in China, Israel, Taiwan, the U.K. and the United States.
Gilligan's Island on the iPhone? Metatron officials have announced an agreement with Digital Management Associates of Carlisle, Massachusetts to bring its library of classic movies and television shows to the iPhone and Droid mobile platforms.
"Our first iPhone Video Delivery app has been submitted and approved by Apple, and we have dozens of titles on sale now," says Joe Riehl, Metatron's CEO. "While we certainly are not yet a household name like Netflix or Blockbuster, we can now bring classic movie content to millions of mobile devices, and expect to be releasing thousands of titles in the coming months."

Digital Management specializes in the distribution of classic, or as we like to call 'em, "evergreen" movies and TV shows, from Sci-fi, Horror, Westerns, Martial Arts, Drama/Comedy, and other genres.
Because, after all, you never know when you might need your Wizard of Oz fix, right?
Over the years, DMA has provided both proprietary as well as public domain content to companies such as National Amusements, Warner Brothers, NBC-Universal and National Geographic, as well as to home video distributors such as Madacy Entertainment, Mill Creek, and many others.

Strategy Analytics claims the mobile content market will reach $67 billion in 2009, up 18 percent from 2008.

Kiva Group officials have announced Kiva's Respect 7 software suite, which is being marketed to "mid-tier and community financial institutions" for consistent, personalized service across the enterprise delivery channels."
It's being pitched mainly for "institutions still grappling with manual processes and information silos," promising and "automated approach to selling, servicing and developing relationships with their customers and members."

Built upon a common Microsoft .Net infrastructure, Kiva's Respect 7 is supposed to help banks and credit unions "manage customer interactions at any and all touch points -- branch/teller, Internet, call center, IVR, e-mail and mobile devices." Company officials say the integrated applications can be implemented as point solutions "or as the foundation of an enterprise-wide, unified customer relationship management strategy."

Kiva products generally provide a single Web architecture with integrated applications -- not ones simply "pieced together through acquisition of systems or initially built on disparate platforms," company officials maintain. The software helps tellers with the information and capabilities they can use in their front-line customer interactions, too.

Cutting Edge Information's most recent medical information study reveals that drug companies "agree that operating medical information call centers in-house is more efficient."
The study, "Evolving Medical Information Call Centers: Performance Measurement and Process Improvement," shows that 85 percent of pharmaceutical companies use in-house call centers. 

Why? The study found the number one reason given is "call quality. When a company outsources its medical information call center function, the company effectively hands over control of its customers' call experiences to a vendor." Bad experiences talking to company-affiliated call centers could spell disaster for a brand trying to gain market share in an increasingly competitive environment.
Members of in-house teams, the pharmaceutical companies believe, are "more driven to provide the greatest customer service." David Richardson, the report's lead author, noted that while call center employees do not sell the product, "they are selling the company." 

Interestingly, the study finds that consumers don't even need to make the explicit connection between a particular drug and its manufacturer: "Although patients may not know which company markets specific medications, a bad experience trying to gain information about one product will keep them from adhering to that treatment regimen."
In other words, if you have trouble getting good information on CureAll, you're not going to use CureAll, not because you're mad at the company but simply because it isn't worth it.

Financial concerns, naturally, were cited as reasons why companies would opt for contracted services: "Not only does it cost less overall, but outsourced call centers are also easier and quicker to set up, making them a practical option for companies without the resources to establish an in-house operation."

The Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League have selected XCO Springboard, a smartphone application and content management product for their fans.
Thrashers officials say they will use it to connect directly with their fans to "share powerful content and create unique experiences using this mobile technology."
The XCO SportsLink has the "content, analytics, and technology services" to let the Thrashers organization create and manage their content, allowing fans to download apps to their smartphones. "All content will be available through a cell carrier or Wi-Fi network connection to a fan's smartphone," club officials say.
Promotions and internal links for current sponsor partners can be embedded into the program for marketable and measurable ROI opportunities as well, of course.

Tracy White, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing and Chief Sales Officer for the Atlanta Thrashers, explains that the Thrashers 24/7 approach "allows us to use the Thrashers in-game experience as well as insider offers and information, year-round in order to entertain and inform our fans."

The content on offer includes video, images, commentary, promotions, and links including access to Thrashers TV content. It also gives fans access to roster updates, real-time statistics, and "inside the locker room" information, club officials say, letting subscribers stay updated "with all aspects of the Thrashers right in the palm of their hands, whenever and wherever."
Initially, Thrashers 24/7 will be used by the Thrashers to create an iPhone app which will be available to fans later this season, and will be followed by applications for BlackBerry and other smartphone platforms in the future.

AltiGen Communications, seller of Microsoft-based Unified Communications products, has announced that China UnionPay Co. has deployed an AltiGen software-based call center and Voice-over-IP for customer service at numerous banks all across China.

Established in March 2002, China UnionPay is a bankcard association established under the approval of the State Council and the People's Bank of China. Alti Gen officials describe CUP as "the only national payment network in China," with more than one billion cards issued on its network.
CUP Data and AltiGen have co-developed a customer service system deployed by numerous banks and credit unions throughout China, using both automated voice services and human agents to perform such duties as customer surveys, publicity, customer care services, channel management, and support management.

AltiGen CEO Gilbert Hu says UnionPay has effectively used AltiGen's communications experience in the financial industry to benefit their customers. The vendor has over 10,000 customers around the world and is headquartered in Silicon Valley with international operations based in Shanghai.

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