• March 9, 2005
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

March 9, 2005

CUSTOMER WINS Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC), the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Kansas City, MO, is expanding its current business intelligence (BI) deployment with BusinessObjects XI, from
Business Objects. BCBSKC will deploy BusinessObjects XI as its standard enterprise BI solution and will be used in every department in the company, including finance, sales, marketing, human resources, and medical and quality management. BCBSKC is hoping the implementation will lead to better customer costs management. RightNow Technologies has been selected by digital video software provider Pinnacle Systems to implement RightNow CRM as the company's strategic platform for managing global operations. Comprising RightNow Sales, RightNow Marketing, and RightNow Service, RightNow CRM will manage Pinnacle's worldwide sales pipeline via a Web-based system, streamline Pinnacle's customer service, and manage Pinnacle's marketing campaigns. IN THE NEWS GOT announced the acquisition of Smart Solutions International (SSI), a U.S.-based Cognos BI consultancy serving multinationals and governments in Canada, the Caribbean , Latin America, and the United States. The acquisition enables GOT to add BI functionality to its products and to offer customers powerful intelligence to better manage and plan digital marketing initiatives. The move will also enable GOT to expand its market presence in the Caribbean and Latin America, and to gain a new revenue stream from SSI's operations. TechTeam Global has signed a contract with Galaxy Hotel Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. It will assist Galaxy in the deployment of its Galaxy LightSpeed application, a software-based property management system, at up to 350 Sheraton, Westin, Four Points, St. Regis, and The Luxury Collection hotels under the Starwood umbrella. NEW PRODUCTS Salesforce.com made two product announcements: Thomson Financial and Salesforce.com, have launched the Thomson ONE CRM module, a new on-demand application that will be delivered via Thompson ONE. The CRM module represents the first time Salesforce.com has been available as an OEM solution. Thomson Financial will offer a cobranded edition of Salesforce.com as part of its Thomson ONE desktop solution for Wealth Management. Secondly, Salesforce announced new customization capabilities, including Multiforce application environment, that will be offered as part of the company's summer '05 release. Multiforce is a new feature that allows users to multitask between multiple on-demand applications, all running in the same Salesforce environment. Escend has released EscendSales, a specifically designed CRM solution for the semiconductor and manufacturing industries. The new SFA application is designed to track and manage leads and link design wins to production orders at a customer's outsourced EMS provider. EscendSales also supports multilanguages, currencies, and local data and number formats. Soffront Software, a provider of midmarket CRM, has released the latest version of Soffront CRM, Soffront 8.5. Soffront CRM v8.5 incorporates new modules to extend functionality beyond sales, marketing, and customer support. This includes an order processing module, sales commission, and a framework for interfacing with accounting systems like QuickBook and Microsoft Great Plains. All systems within 8.5 are integrated to allow company departments, including customer service, helpdesk, sales, marketing, accounting, or engineering to track all aspects of a product or service. eOn Communications, a provider of unified customer interaction management hardware and software, and M1 Global Solutions have partnered to create a next-generation customer interaction center. The partnership will link eOn's customer interaction management platform with M1's business process management platform to improve integration between customer channels and business processes. Amdocs has released its IP Convergence Solution for IPTV, a comprehensive solution to allow service providers to offer digital content and entertainment services to increase customer satisfaction. The solution will combine Amdocs consulting and implementation services, Amdocs 6, and solutions from an IPTV partner ecosystem, including Bitband, Intel, Kasenna, and OpenTV. Related articles: RightNow Announces a Major Extension to its CRM Suite SalesLogix and Salesforce.com Expand Their Customer Service Offerings
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