The Week in Review: June 27, 2003

In the news... Oracle CEO Larry Ellison dared attendees at the company's Appsworld event in London this week to "spend less to know more." Ellison explained that building applications to suit specific departments has resulted in an "overwhelming problem" due to data fragmentation and incomplete business automation. Every time another application is added, data is further fragmented, he said. "All we can see is the trees and really not the forest," Ellison added. "It's a fascinating claim, but CRM can never, by definition, give you a 360-degree view. CRM systems do not bill customers. CRM systems do not know whether a customer has bought or paid. That's a billing and accounting system. I would like to keep the promise of CRM, but you need a complete business system, a suite, in order to do so. Every time you eliminate a customer database [by centralizing], you save money and receive better information. And everyone can use a little information sometimes." Call center outsourcer Spherion Corporation announced it has opened a new bilingual contact center near Panama City, Panama. The company says the new center will help companies better serve the growing Spanish-speaking population in the United States. The move also marks continued investment in nearshore outsourcing. "Nearshore and offshore locations offer linguistic, technical, and support availability that is often unmatched in the United States. This marketwide trend is driving business, because service providers such as Spherion are able to offer high levels of service in low-risk locations such as Panama to deliver substantial benefits to clients," Brian Bingham, program manager for CRM and customer care services for IDC, said in a Spherion company statement.
Skywire Software has announced that it has acquired iWave Integrator from NEON Systems in an all-cash transaction. Specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Skywire says the iWave Integrator acquisition expands Skywire Software's portfolio of enterprise offerings by allowing Skywire Software's customer support and integration-server products to have access to over 45 prebuilt adapters representing more than 25 system vendors. Executive changes... WebSideStory announced the appointment of Rand Schulman as chief marketing officer. Schulman founded Keylime Software, a Web-analytics service provider that was recently acquired by Overture. Infowave Software, a provider of wireless software for mobile operators, corporations, and individuals, announced today the appointments of William "Butch" Winters as executive vice president, enterprise solutions, and Thomas Owen as vice president, business development. Winters served as CEO of ROI Direct, an e-CRM and digital marketing firm, while Owens served as vice president of strategic development at Neomar, a wireless technology provider. The Cobalt Group, provider of e-business software and services to the automotive retail market, announced this week that it has promoted Mike Martinez to the company's newly created position of vice president of sales and marketing. This week marks the launch of Composite Software, a new enterprise application provider. The company has named Jim Green, former CTO of WebMethods, as its CEO.
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