Week in Review: 2/21/03

In the news... In the wake of marketing software vendor Xchange Apps ceasing of operations, Forrester Research says that competitors will probably make moves to quickly acquire the company's assets. Likely acquirers include Chordiant, DoubleClick, or Unica, all of which have open, database-neutral applications that can be snapped on top of Xchange customers' existing deployments, according to Forrester. The research firm claims that CRM suite vendors like Siebel Systems, PeopleSoft, and Oracle will now point to Xchange's failure as another reason for organizations to purchase all their CRM applications from a single source. Microsoft announced this week that its Microsoft CRM solution, which has been available for only a few weeks, has gained some traction with resellers and company partners. According to the company, more than 850 resellers have signed on to sell Microsoft CRM. The product, aimed at serving the mid-market, is very scalable and easy to customize, thus resellers have been busy working on ways to package the product according to different verticals and business needs, a Microsoft spokesperson says. Next week ChannelWave Software will introduce an updated version of its flagship partner relationship management product aimed at addressing the needs of the indirect sales channel. ChannelWave 6.0 is expected to offer a combination of flexibility, low cost of ownership, and rapid time-to-market, to help companies create more successful sales channels and relationships with partners. Eighty-eight percent of consumers surveyed expect a response to email inquiries within 24 hours, but only 54 percent of companies sampled in Jupiter Research's latest customer service study met these expectations--the same percentage as in a 2001 study. "Companies that fail to get serious about their management of customer service e-mail now, will pay the price with higher customer service costs and lost revenues down the line." David Daniels, Jupiter Research senior analyst, said in a company statement. NetLedger this week announced its new product called Advanced Partner Center, a module designed for small to midsize businesses using partners in their selling process. The company says that by building the module into its NetSuite CRM product, companies and their partners can have real-time access to sales and marketing information. NetLedger says that since the product is Internet based, like all of its CRM solutions, the companies offering this service to its partners don't need to do any special programming to enable access, since it is ready to use with a subscription. Executive changes... IntelliCorp, a global solutions firm focused on optimizing enterprise business processes, has appointed George D'Auteuil Jr., current vice president of global sales and marketing, to the position of chief executive officer. D'Auteuil previously served as vice president of CRM for SAP America. Precision Response, a provider of outsourced customer care services, has announced the promotion of Miguel Ramos to vice president of strategic planning. Ramos will be responsible for driving PRC's vision and strategic plan, the company said.
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