Case-mate for iPhone, Jobscope's CRM, Business Card Phone Scanner, Aegis on Gartner

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David Sims
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Case-mate for iPhone, Jobscope's CRM, Business Card Phone Scanner, Aegis on Gartner

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane's "Off Minor:"

Case-mate, which designs accessories for mobile devices and electronics, has announced the launch of "a new brand experience," not "a brand new experience," called "I Make My Case."
It's a Web site letting users create their own original composition by re-mixing the designs of graphic artists, including Joshua Davis, Deanne Cheuk, Thomas Hooper, Matt Moore, Hannah Stouffer, Ray Frenden, Anthony Yankovic, Nigel Dennis, Shadow Chen, Chuck Anderson and others whose names might mean something to the appropriate cognoscenti, First Coffee pleads ignorance.
Or you can just buy a pre-designed case from the site.

Budding Van Goghs can "choose all elements of their case," company officials say, "starting with the background color scheme and shade. From there they can pull in a variety of elements, including artist-rendered illustrations such as dinosaur skulls, mushroom caps, gems and doodles to ink blots to images of hands and lips, just to name a few."
Effects with kaleidoscope, monochromatic palette or mirror options are available as well. 

Shashi Reddy, case-mate's founder and CEO, says consumers "choose their artist, then use their mouse to pick from the various design options, clicking and dragging their selection to a blank canvas that represents the back of the iPhone with its exact dimensions."
From there, either save the design or add it to the cart and check out. It uses a 3D printing process that embeds inks directly with the case -- "ensuring that it will not scratch or abrade with daily use," company officials say.

Pre-designed cases will be available for $34.99 and customized made-to-order cases will be available for $39.99 per case. Cases designed by the consumer typically arrive 7-10 days from purchase. 

One of the participating graphic artists, Joshua Davis, was named one of the Ten Most Creative People by the Internet Professional Publishers Association, and won the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in the category "Net Excellence," the highest honor in international digital art and design. His works have been displayed at the Tate Modern in London, Le Centre Pompidou in Paris, New York's Moma and the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt.

Another participating artist, Thomas Hooper, according to the company, "lives, paints and tattoos in New York City."

Greenville, South Carolina-based Jobscope, which sells ERP for "order-driven manufacturers," is shipping their new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module as part of the Jobscope ERP system.
The new CRM module within Jobscope "creates information visibility into all aspects of each customer," says Hank Sanders, President of Jobscope.
Integrated within Jobscope, the new CRM module offers customer management capabilities "without the need of buying a third party application or any bolt-on software." Company officials say single screen views with customer tabs "simplify the CRM experience."
The CRM module is included with the purchase of Jobscope and available at no cost for existing customers who maintain an on-going support agreement.

Using the module gives customers activity tracking capabilities for accounts and prospects: "Multiple contacts, bill to and ship to addresses are included on single records," company officials say, for tracking activity: "Additionally, multiple hold statuses for each account are available including job hold, work order hold and shipping hold. Users also have the ability to link documents to customer records for simplifying access to engineering drawings, pictures, or other account and project documentation."

Penpower has announced the WorldCard Mobile App for the iPhone 3GS, which allows business users to take photos of business cards and have them inserted directly into the user's contact book.
According to company officials, the application recognizes cards in seven different languages, with Chinese, Japanese and Korean versions also available for purchase. It can be downloaded from iTunes for about ten bucks, but is currently on sale for about half that.
"While online social sites such as LinkedIn make it easy for people to connect in the online world, the paper business card is still a standard at trade shows and in face to face meetings," company officials say. 

As Penpower officials correctly note, "it's not uncommon to open the desk drawer of a salesman, real estate agent or even CEO and find stacks and stacks of paper business cards from potential clients and vendors collecting dust... for a networked contact to be useful, it has to be digital."
The WorldCard Mobile app uses the camera of the iPhone 3Gs to photograph business cards and pull the information off of them, using Penpower's OCR technology allowing for text detection. "The iPhone is not known for being user friendly when entering a significant amount of text," says Dr. Tsay, CEO of Penpower, adding that after cards have been scanned in, it is "simply a matter of syncing the phone with the computer to load your contacts into your e-mail program and social networks."

Penpower also sells business card and document scanner hardware and software programs for personal computers. The WorldCard Mobile system has been available for Windows Mobile and Symbian since 2007.

Mumbai-based Aegis Limited, a global business process outsourcing provider and part of Essar Group, has been included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Contact Center BPO for North America.
The Gartner report was published last month.

Aparup Sengupta, Managing Director and CEO Aegis, notes that Aegis has seen "significant growth in its North American operations in last four years," the result of an "aggressive growth strategy through a judicial mix of organic and inorganic growth."

According to the Gartner report, the market for CRM contact centers "continues to expand as buyers shift their focus from simple cost containment to include revenue generation and service improvements. It is important for buyers to evaluate service providers with the most relevant and consistent information available."

Gartner officials say the inclusion criteria for this North American Magic Quadrant include demonstrating revenue derived from clients in North America, minimum revenue of $350 million and a minimum of 20,000 CRM contact center BPO full-time-equivalent agents.
In addition, the companies considered for this Magic Quadrant "have to demonstrate a blend of business, organizational, industry, technical, project management expertise and ability for innovation," Gartner officials say.

Aegis qualifies, serving more than 135 clients from 40 delivery centers with more than 39,000 employees across India, the Philippines, United States, Costa Rica, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa.
The Magic Quadrant, Gartner officials say, is "a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period," intending to show only "Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant."

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