New Product Spotlight: December 10, 2003

Microsoft has released the first upgrade to its CRM suite, version 1.2. The latest version is now available in nine languages, and includes improvements in workflows, an easier setup process, enhancements to the user interface to improve usability and increase flexibility, additional data evaluation capabilities, and further support for lead tracking and sales territory effectiveness, according to the company. In addition, developers now have greater ability to customize Microsoft CRM Sales for MS Outlook. PeopleSoft has introduced a new ROI planning and measurement tool aimed at helping prospects and customers to predict and evaluate the return on their investment in software training. PeopleSoft ROI for training identifies ROI metrics that correspond to an organization's unique business process improvements and provides customers with instant ROI calculations that predict reduced attrition, improved cycle times, increased productivity, and reduced costs, according to the company.
Salesforce.com has made available the latest version of its CRM product, Winter '04, as well as an upgraded version of its application server sforce 2.0. Winter '04 contains upgrades in analytics, dashboards, workflow automation, real-time alerts, and contract management. Salesfporce.com says that the new version of sforce allows users to create custom applications that suit their business with even greater ease. Gartner and Blue Pumpkin have teamed up to include benchmarking capabilities to Blue Pumpkin's performance management solutions. Industry benchmarking enables businesses to measure business performance against that of peers and competitors in the contact center. The benchmarking data is gathered from benchmarking studies conducted by Gartner Measurement with hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies. Loyalty Factor has announced a new training seminar called Ask and You Shall Sell, which teaches sales and other professionals how to understand the communication styles of others, from colleagues to superiors to potential clients, and to respond in a like manner through all forms of communication. The course is intended to help sales teams develop long-term business relationships, and not just a one-time sales victory, says Loyalty Factor president Dianne Durkin. ASC telecom has announced the launch of MARATHON EVOlite, ASC's new plug-and-play communications recording solution for small to midsize enterprises. MARATHON EVOlite captures and records all customer interactions from 4 up to 32 channels simultaneously with a minimum on-line storage of 15,000 recording hours allowing for both record-on-demand and full-time recording. MARATHON EVOlite can be configured to record, live monitor and archive communications at one location and to provide search and replay facilities through browser-based interfaces both at the recording unit and remotely via local networks (LAN/WAN), Intranet or a secure Internet connection, according to ASC.
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