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A set of guidelines governing the use of Web beacons by Web sites is the recent focus of the Network Advertising Initiative (www.networkadvertising.org). Web beacons, small snippets of code that reside on Web pages or in emails, are primarily used for the collection and transfer of marketing data. Businesses use Web beacons as an alternative to Web-server logs to measure and improve the performance of their online marketing campaigns and to analyze anonymous visitor behavior on large, complex Web sites. The guidelines require businesses to fully disclose how and why they are using Web beacons on their Web sites. The biggest implementation challenge facing the CRM industry is training, according to IT executives who participated at a recent roundtable discussion hosted by Sage Research Inc. The participants agreed that Web-based training and services are preferable to other systems.
To strengthen its alignment with customers, Baan, a Dutch-based enterprise application provider for industrial enterprises and part of Invensys plc, has created a global sales organization. Susan Heystee, executive vice president, who formerly served as president of Baan Americas, will lead the new organization, called Worldwide Solution Sales and Delivery. By integrating its sales initiatives on a global basis, Baan will attempt to build on the strength of its operations in more than 60 countries. The company plans to add new capability to support the increasing number of industrial companies operating internationally. The global call center component technologies market will grow to $5.5 billion by 2007, according to a report published by London-based market analyst firm Datamonitor. The study projects that growth from 2002 through 2007 will happen at 6 percent per year. Datamonitor claims the bulk of growth will occur as call centers add on to existing systems. The technologies to be added to those systems include automatic call distributors, call recording, computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, and predictive dialing, the report states. Two recent acquisitions by SAS Institute Inc. and Vignette Corp. were completed to aid in the companies' attempts to enable the real-time enterprise. SAS's acquisition of Verbind Technology enables SAS to include real-time customer tracking capabilities in its arsenal of products, while Vignette bought Epicentric Inc. to add Epicentric's portal solutions to its enterprise Web applications.
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