Week in Review: October 31, 2003

In the News... The Help Desk Institute (HDI) and Microsoft are teaming up to promote a complementary approach to soft-skill certification for support professionals. Because help desk support professionals' job functions include troubleshooting, providing facilitation and customer service, performing hardware and software installation, supporting new configurations and upgrades, and performing system maintenance, certification for these functional areas helps to validate their skills and ensure that they are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest technology, HDI says. Salesforce.com today announced the launch of its charitable Salesforce.com/foundation in Europe. Salesforce.com donates 1 percent of its profit, equity, and employee time to the foundation, aimed at using technology to enhance the lives of underprivileged youth. The communications service provider (CSP) industry is one of the larger early adopters of Web services technology, according to a new Yankee Group report. The report illustrates how some early CSP adopters of Web services are strategically using this technology for initiatives that increase customer value and decrease operating expenses, according to Sharon Ballard, Yankee Group telecom software services analyst. The report says mainstream CSP adoption of Web services technologies will not occur for at least another two to three years, however. Deals of the Week IBM this week announced an agreement with Marriott International to implement a new group sales and event management solution. IBM Business Consulting Services will implement the hospitality solution to help Marriott maximize revenue and enhance responsiveness to meeting planners and other customers who plan events. MicroStrategy announced that Telephia, a provider of marketing and service quality intelligence to the mobile industry, has chosen the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform to power its client portal for business intelligence. Hansen Information Technologies, a provider of CRM solution for the public sector, announced this week that the City of Philadelphia has entered into a $3 million contract to implement Hansen's integrated Building Permit and Code Enforcement application for the City's Department of Licenses and Inspections. Blue Martini Software announced that Harrah's Entertainment, a leading casino operator, will begin using Blue Martini to market to VIP gamblers.
Executive Changes RightNow Technologies has hired Jay Weidner as its consulting services director. He most recently served as group practice manager at Siebel Systems. SmartPath has announced the appointment of Timothy Buckley, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Red Hat, to its board of directors. Extended Systems, a provider of mobile application solutions for the enterprise, has appointed David Willis to the position of vice president of North American sales. Willis previously served as the eastern regional manager for RightNow Technologies
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