Biographical Information

Colin Beasty

(former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Colin covered enterprise strategy, consultancies, and data quality for CRM magazine and He was responsible for writing about CRM implementations for "Secret of My Success" in the Real ROI section, the "Required Reading" section inside the Insight section, and "Re:Tooling," the monthly thematic product-review roundup of CRM technologies. He was also responsible for assigning and slotting contributed articles for the Viewpoints section on the Web site.

Colin is a graduate of West Virginia University's Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, where he received a BS in news-editorial journalism. Prior to joining CRM, he served as a general assignment reporter for The Charleston Gazette.

Articles for Colin Beasty

The Master Piece

As unified data hubs go mainstream, here are six broad strokes to help you master the art of master data management.

Tech Solution: Sales Compensation Management

Business Problem: Inability to drive a sales force's behavior, rapidly deploy new sales plans, or effectively track and pay compensation and bonuses.

Flying High on Customer Service

Honeywell Aerospace had to plot an entirely new flight path to navigate often-turbulent CRM skies.

Customers Gain Traction with Off-Road Vehicles

In the business of producing all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles, customer service can get downright dirty.

Tech Solution: Defect-Tracking Software

Business Problem: A business is unable to track product-defect issues across development teams and customers.

Required Reading: Service with a (Real) Smile

Market Focus: Energy/Utilities -- Speaking Truth to Power (Companies)

Analytics are increasingly leveraged for insight into customer behavior.

Gartner Magic Quadrant Puts Together Data Integration Leaders

As the market for these tools continue to evolve, vendors continue to push towards a consolidated solution set.

CRM Is Up Down Under

New research shows Australia leading the adoption of CRM software in the rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific market.

Predicting Profitability

After years of trial-and-error, enterprises are finally developing innovative strategies and incorporating new software to allow them to identify -- and sell to -- their most profitable customers.

The Mother of Enterprise Information

A new way of thinking about data and information generated across all lines of business.

Required Reading: Protecting Your Brand at All Costs

Great branding doesn't come from gimmicks -- it derives from exceptional, innovative customer service.

Tech Solution: Social Networking Tools

Business Problem: Inability to generate qualified contacts and leads within customer companies.

Online Banking for the Little Guy

A new study highlights the importance for financial services firms to round out their SMB offerings, fresh off the heels of a related announcement by Wells Fargo.

Teradata Tops Gartner Magic Quadrant for Database Management

Big-name companies populate the Leaders Quadrant as vendors and customers alike look to leverage data warehouses as mission-critical applications.

Microsoft Lowers Its Partnering Price

The software giant lowers the price for Dynamics CRM 4.0 and unveils new functionality and partner news at its Convergence 2007 Copenhagen conference.

In Oracle's Star Wars, a Wookey Falls

The company's head of Fusion Applications is expected to leave, raising questions and concerns about the vendor's ability to deliver Fusion as scheduled.

SAP Tucks-In Another Acquisition

The German software maker adds BPM functionality to its portfolio by acquiring Indian-based YASU.

Business Objects' Polestar Guides Information Search

The business intelligence vendor released an updated version of Crystal Reports at its user conference this week, along with the schedule for the release of a new information-search tool.

Teradata's Call For Data-Driven Success

Partners '07: At its annual user conference, the newly independent vendor focuses on its core business with a new partnership and a series of new services.

Teradata Stands Alone, and Not Alone

Partners '07: Fresh off completing its breakaway from parent company NCR, the vendor unveils an alliance with SAS and defines its product roadmap (including the long-in-the-works Relationship Manager 6).

Web-Savvy Retailers

A study by Forrester Research highlights the top marketing, merchandising, and multichannel initiatives as retailers become wiser about the online world.

A SWITCH in the Top 10 Service Providers

New Gartner research details the strong growth and strengths of India-based service providers, and their inevitable arrival among the global top 10.

Oracle Continues to Lead IDC's Analytics Pack

The analyst firm ranks the vendors by revenue and market share, and finds SAS Institute and Microsoft continue to make inroads.

The Chain Gang

Your CRM is only as good as your ability to deliver to your customers. So why not merge supply chain management data with CRM to gain a holistic view? It's not that simple.

Required Reading: The Not-So-Odd Couple, Marketing and Integrity

With more purchasing power than ever, consumers are increasingly leery of businesses they don't believe they can trust.

Tech Solution: Workforce Management Solutions

Business Problem: Managers cannot staff and manage their contact centers effectively.

Best Kiteboarding Splashes into E-Commerce Using NetSuite

Few vendors were prepared to meet the company's requirements for customizable products.

Market Focus: Sports and Entertainment -- CRM Scores for Sports Franchises

In a multibillion-dollar industry, teams aren't playing around when it comes to connecting with fans.

Analyzing the Analyzers: The Forrester Wave on Web Analytics

Out of a field of eight Web analytics products, the latest Forrester Wave elevates five to the top category, a sign of how confusing things are for customers.

Product Roundup: Gartner CRM/MDM Summits

A review of product announcements from the Gartner conferences in Hollywood, Fla., last week.

CDI Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

At the Gartner MDM Summit, one analyst explains how CDI differs by industry and type of customer, and how the CDI market continues to evolve.

MDM's Monumental Momentum

A series of keynote speakers at the Gartner MDM Summit outline why the time is right for master data management; Gartner reveals its 7 Building Blocks of MDM.

The Sticky Side of CRM

A Gartner CRM Summit presentation describes why, when it comes to CRM, if your ideas don't stick, your project's doomed to get stuck.

CRM's Future Will Look Nothing Like Its Past

At the Gartner CRM Summit, a distinguished industry analyst outlines (yet again) how companies have learned about -- but continue to struggle with -- the requirements of CRM.

NetSuite Goes Vertical

The on-demand provider releases upgrades to two vertical editions, as software-as-a-service vendors take "a more focused approach," according to one industry analyst.

The Dynamic Duo: SAP and Oracle Still Lead, But Oracle Offers More

Yet another market-share report tags the two vendors as the market's only leaders--but this one gives Oracle the edge in product quality. Overall, the CRM arena remains competitive.

CRM Exclusive: A New Web Site Tailored for CRM Careers

A group of industry pundits will launch a new "online career center" at the Gartner CRM Summit later this month.

CRM's Expanding Horizon

Gartner predicts CRM software revenue will grow 14 percent this year to exceed $7.4 billion, as SaaS, sales, and foreign markets continue to drive the market.

Cognos To Purchase Applix

The $339 million acquisition is the latest example of the convergence of business intelligence and performance management.

Picking Partners

All the happenings from Microsoft Corp.'s Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

Required Reading: Selling What No One Wants to Buy

The Coldest Call author Gerry Cullen explains why some products don't sell, and why you're not to blame.

Tech Solution: Mobile Sales Tools

Business problem: Salespeople need on-the-road access to opportunity, lead management, and other sales-force-automation-related functions.

Group 1 Software Upgrades Its CDQ Platform

The company continues to build out its data integration offerings, but lags behind the competition in broader data quality initiatives, according to one analyst.

SAP Escalates in India

The German software giant doubles the number of Indian outsourcers among its top partners, as part of its ongoing efforts to expand market presence in that country.

SugarCRM's New Spoonful

The open-source CRM provider's Version 5.0 focuses enhancements on the platform and architecture; the company also provides a roadmap for going public.

ACT! Steers Users to a New Dashboard

New Sage offering provides productivity and business intelligence improvements; one industry analyst suggests the new version closes the gap between contact management and SFA.

The 2.0 Effect

At destinationCRM2007, author and futurist Stan Davis outlines the influence that Web 2.0 is having on companies and their ability to service and sell to the next generation of consumers.

The Price is Right: Price Optimization 101

A session on the emerging technology kicks off the destinationCRM2007 conference in New York, and focuses on how businesses are maximizing profitability analytics.

Infosys, Tata, and Wipro Top Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Offshore ASPs

The offshore market has reached "a unique point" as service providers continue to perfect the global delivery model and offer more domain expertise.

Web 2.0: Secure Now, Succeed Later

A new Gartner report says Web 2.0 technologies will force businesses to reconsider their approaches to security.

NEC's Buy o'Sphere Expands the Ecosystem

The Japanese-based vendor's purchase of Sphere Communications is a move to bolster its unified communications portfolio, according to one industry pundit.

Business Processes Manage to Keep Growing

IDC predicts rapid growth for the BPM software market, which is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2011.

Wipro Makes $600 Million Move for Infocrossing

The Asian technology firm's purchase of a U.S.-based outsourcing provider is consistent with its expanding worldwide presence, according to one industry analyst.

Accenture Ranks the Top 5 Web Sites in Consumer Experience

The consultancy announces a new Web-site marketing service to help companies drive loyalty and sales.

Business Objects Moves to Master Its Data-Product Portfolio

The BI vendor releases a new product- and region-focused data cleansing solution as it continues to expand its Enterprise Information Management line beyond customer data.

The Age of WIT?

Indian consultancies are increasing their pursuit of their Western competitors, and are experiencing similar outsourcing issues.

Required Reading: You Just Got Punk'd!

Tech Solution: Internet Marketing Solutions

Business Problem: Marketers lack the ability to launch targeted, analytics-driven marketing campaigns online.

The New SMB: The Smart Midsize Business

As their needs grow more complex, SMBs are turning to a wider array of information in order to make educated product and technology choices.

A Good Review Is Worth Its Weight in Gold

A yearly retail satisfaction index maps shoppers' preferences for product feedback--and its impact on online sales and satisfaction.

SMBs Have a New CRM Application 'At Hand'

Canada-based CRM vendor The Long Reach Corp. launches the first major revision of its flagship Info At Hand product.

Only 4% of CRM Users Are Very Successful

Despite the development of CRM best practices, many businesses are still struggling to properly measure the success of their implementations.

Microsoft: Partners Get 2007 Offerings and 2008 Roadmap

Executives, including CEO Ballmer, outline a flurry of product announcements to support the corporate line: "software plus services."

Microsoft CRM Pricing and Availability Go Live

The company releases pricing, product information, and vertical templates for Dynamics Live CRM at its Worldwide Partner Conference; one analyst suggests Microsoft lags in the on-demand race.

Informatica Joins Leaders in Gartner's Data Quality Magic Quadrant

Others in the top category are DataFlux, Business Objects, Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, and IBM; expect to see increased M&A activity as smaller, international players make their presence felt.

A Healthy Diagnosis for E-Health

The use of the Internet in healthcare services will benefit patients and healthcare providers alike--as soon as security concerns are addressed.

Endless Possibilities

Web designers now enjoy unlimited site enrichment tools, which will help companies take e-commerce sites to new levels as broadband adoption rates soar.

Required Reading: The Complete Marketer

Corralling Clutter

Confirmed: High clutter leads to TV viewers to change channel.

Tech Solution: Search-Engine Marketing Tools

Business Problem: A company's marketing department cannot effectively track and manage campaigns across multiple search engines.

AMPRO Blows a CRM Whistle

NetSuite helps the company manage its demanding client base.

SMBs Are Embracing Enterprise Software

New research reveals that enterprise and CRM software isn't just for the big boys anymore.

Gartner Details 9 SOA Pitfalls To Avoid

Either a bad technical implementation or a lack of governance will increase the risk of failure in SOA projects, according to a new report.

The MDM Effect: Who Stands to Gain?

A study finds businesses are turning to master data management solutions to improve their business intelligence results; data governance best practices are still key.

SMBs Showing Increased Appetite for Converged Communications

As SMBs enjoy an expanding IP communications and managed services market, no dominant players have yet emerged.

Alterian Introduces New Level of Integration

The marketing technology vendor releases the latest version of its EMM solution, targeting the gaps across customer touch points.

Database and Storage Markets Keep Growing

Two reports detail the growth of the database and worldwide software storage markets, driven by strong growth in the SMB segment and enterprises looking to host heterogeneous IT environments.

Prezza Mobilizes EFM

The feedback management vendor releases an on-demand version of its mobile surveying solution, as it continues to penetrate the enterprise segment.

Indian CIOs Look Offshore

In a bizarre twist, a research firm is recommending CIOs in India look to Hong Kong and Singapore to avoid fighting for IT talent within their own country.

The Top 25 in Supply Chain Management

A new study IDs the top performers in supply chain management and explains the importance of allowing the consumer to drive manufacturing and distribution strategies.

Oncontact Makes Cosmetic Improvements and More

Oncontact Software launches a Vista-compatible CRM application suite targeted to the midmarket, using the new operating system to enable compelling workspaces.

Sage Takes a Vertical Leap

Sage Software's second vertically focused app targets financial services with a new contact/customer management solution.

E-Retail's Customer Service Champs

Although overall customer satisfaction is high, several companies are lagging as consumers' expectations continue to increase on a yearly basis.

SAP Loses Visionary Agassi Over CEO Rift

One analyst says that Agassi was "a charismatic and highly visible driving force for change."

Required Reading: Moving Beyond the Buzz

Dirty Little Data Secrets

CRM's real truth requires enterprises to clean up -- reorganize -- customer information with data integration solutions, Web-services technology that integrates data applications.

Tech Solution: Extract, Transform, and Load Tools

Business Problem: Valuable customer data is scattered throughout disparate data sources.

Emerging Markets Mean Emerging Customers

Gartner advises enterprises to take advantage of emerging markets in Asia and other parts of the world to remain competitive against the local alternatives.

Business Objects Will Acquire Inxight and Align with IBM

The BI provider will now supply customers with enhanced search capabilities for unstructured data; an alliance with IBM will help tap the Asia Pacific market.

NetSuite Carpools for Mobility

The on-demand provider releases an end-to-end mobile suite solution with several partners; it matches market demand, according to one industry analyst.

Enterprise Content Management Is Growing

The market is expected to grow as enterprises seek to consolidate the vast amounts of unstructured data in word processing, spreadsheets, and other formats, according to a report.

Who's Who in Open Source?

Different licensing models have left customers confused and vendors squabbling over the definition of open source.

Gartner Names the Top Service Providers

Magic Quadrant '07: This year's North American CRM service provider quadrant reveals Accenture and IBM GBS as the strongest implementation partners.

For Cognos, the Time Is Now

The company releases a new BI and performance management solution tailored for the SMB segment and based on technology acquired from the Celequest purchase.

Wise Move: Sage Software Undergoes a Restructuring

The CRM vendor realigns its corporate foundation to create two new divisions that will better serve their customers' needs.

SAP: Boosting Its CPM Credentials

SAP will buy OutlookSoft, putting more analytics tools into the hands of CFOs; the acquisition continues a consolidation war with Oracle.

QlikTech Refreshes Its Memory

The European company releases QlikView 8, improving its predictive analysis and collaboration capabilities as the company sees increased traction from the enterprise segment, according to one analyst.

Sugar's Expanding Knowledge Base Is Sweet

SugarCRM introduces a customer self-service portal and knowledge base to connect customers with key CRM business processes; an analyst firm draws parallels to

Oracle Leads the Database Pack

Larry Ellison's company continues to lead the market thanks to increased software sales and SMB penetration, but IBM and Microsoft close the gap, according to a study.

Citrix Tells Customers Where to Go for Collaboration

The company releases version 8 of GoToAssist, focusing on chat and collaboration functionality to improve one-call resolution rates.

The Big Picture

How to connect the dots to reveal a complete image of new corporate performance management software solutions.

Required Reading: Analytics: A Winning New Way

Thomas Davenport and Jeanne Harris argue that companies need analytics to make better decisions and extract maximum value from their business processes.

Tech Solution: E-Catalog Software

Business Problem: A company must design and manage a visually appealing interactive storefront for its Web site.

Microsoft: Partnering Up or Partnering Down?

For partners it is a question of how far Microsoft will go with the verticals initiative.

SOA Comes at a Cost

Companies look to develop best practices around the business processes and technology changes required with SOA as its popularity and use continues to soar.

Responsys Answers the Acquisition Bell

The company broadens its on-demand marketing solutions with the predictive analytics of Loyalty Matrix, a marriage of solutions that the market is ready for, according to an industry pundit.

Cognos Brings BI to Excel

The business intelligence vendor adds search and analysis capabilities for business users of Excel; more vendors will follow, according to one industry analyst.

Europe Is Turning to the Subcontinent

European businesses are overcoming their reticence toward offshoring, and looking to India instead of homegrown providers to fulfill their needs.

Fine-Tuning Search

Marketers will invest more money in search marketing as they look to maximize their ROI via campaign management optimization.

Brits Are Bucking the Outsourcing Trend

Britain's call center industry grew 6 percent in 2006 and predicts steady growth for at least another five years, according to a recent report.

More Than Just the Money

Money is a prime motivator when it comes to compensating a sales force, but a new study finds that there are incentives--and barriers--other than Uncle Sam.

SugarCRM Has an I on Mobility

The open-source CRM provider teams with iEnterprises to provide a client-based mobile CRM solution tailored for the BlackBerry platform; the tool set's the thing, according to one analyst.

BPM's Evolution

The market will see dramatic growth over the coming years, buoyed by a renewed interest in process management, as BPM vendors begin to leverage SOA.

The 2007 Rising Stars and Service Excellence

There are customer service technology vendors making dynamic acquisitions and expanding their broad product portfolios that don't necessarily fit neatly into one of the seven Service Leader categories. In keeping with that our third annual Service Excellence award recipient, M2M Holdings, made two smart deals that plunged it directly into the full-suite CRM and knowledge management arenas. Also, we present our second annual Rising Star awards, spotlighting under-the-radar tech providers that are making serious strides to deepen their competitive footprint.

The 2007 Service Elite

It's clear, as the impact of commoditization continues to sweep across various verticals, that devoting serious energy to customer care processes is a bona fide strategy for strengthening brand loyalty. CRM magazine acknowledges five companies that realized eye-catching returns on their contact center services and technology investments with service-and-support deployments in the areas of Web-support services, workforce optimization, speech solutions, hosted contact center services, and agent-facing universal desktop.

The 2007 Service Leaders, Part 2

The customer care market in 2006 evolved at an enthralling rate, as providers of service-and-support technologies and services toiled to bolster their capabilities through strategic partnerships, head-turning mergers and acquisitions, and deepened research and development--all with the goal of helping companies provide stellar service. At the forefront of these developments are our 2007 Service Leaders--the contact center market's leading vendors in seven areas: computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, Web-support services, workforce optimization, quality monitoring, agent-facing universal desktop, and outsourcing services. The results are based on a blend of weighted criteria comprising analyst ratings for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, and company direction, coupled with financial strength throughout the past year evidenced by revenue and revenue growth.

THE 2007 Service Leaders, Part 1

The customer care market in 2006 evolved at an enthralling rate, as providers of service-and-support technologies and services toiled to bolster their capabilities through strategic partnerships, head-turning mergers and acquisitions, and deepened research and development--all with the goal of helping companies provide stellar service. At the forefront of these developments are our 2007 Service Leaders--the contact center market's leading vendors in seven areas: computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, Web-support services, workforce optimization, quality monitoring, agent-facing universal desktop, and outsourcing services. The results are based on a blend of weighted criteria comprising analyst ratings for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, and company direction, coupled with financial strength throughout the past year evidenced by revenue and revenue growth.

Required Reading: A Peak at Sales Process

Colin Beasty speaks with Russ Lombardo about his new book, CyberSelling--Using CRM Technology to Help You Sell.

Market Focus: Telecommunications: The Name of the Game: Personalization

Telecommunications companies have unparalleled access to their customers. Will this pave the way to a new era of personalized content?

Tech Solution: Speech-Enabled IVRs

Business Problem: CSRs are inundated with routine customer inquiries, which increases wait time and reduces agent effectiveness.

BI and PM: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Spending on business intelligence and performance management is expected to balloon as companies seek to bring financial data and operational metrics to the corporate masses, according to a new study.

Purisma Points to MDM

The vendor unveils the first of a series of point solutions designed to provide organizations with a point of entry into MDM initiatives, according to an industry analyst; version 3 of its flagship product arrives.

Five9 Hosts SMBs' Call Centers

The company's latest offerings are meant to provide small contact centers with telemarketing and customer service while providing the flexibility to scale up or down.

Oracle Sues SAP

Oracle has accused its chief rival of cracking into its computer systems in an attempt to steal copyrighted software; software maintenance fees are at the heart of the suit, according to an industry pundit.

The CRM Market Is Still Strong

The market continues to expand, albeit at a moderate pace, as vendors achieve strong growth in SaaS applications and vertically focused solutions.

Identity Theft Loss Doubles

A Gartner report also identifies a 50 percent increase in total identity crimes and underscores the importance that companies take preventive measures to ensure customer satisfaction.

Tellme About Microsoft's Acquisition

The company expands its long-promoted speech recognition portfolio as it looks to build new voice-enabled customer service software and add speech to its Live Search engine.

Microsoft Goes Vertical

At day two of Convergence Microsoft deepens Dynamics' vertical investments by announcing an acquisition and a new ISV certification program to deliver industry-relevant software to customers.

Microsoft Introduces a New Level of Convergence

The company debuts SharePoint Server 2007 along with other announcements as it begins to focus on molding the Dynamics product line into a fully integrated suite solution.

Centric CRM Updates Its Offerings

The open source provider expands the number of databases it supports and adds e-commerce capabilities; it's part of the product's evolution, according to one analyst.

Ramping Up to Service On-Demand

Gartner finds that the rapidly expanding SaaS market will force service providers to position themselves in preparation for the quickly changing landscape of IT software.

Building a Firm Foundation

Corticon announces Foundation, a BRMS platform that enables users to customize and manage business rules from within application interfaces.

Oracle Is Set to Purchase Hyperion

The $3.3 billion acquisition would be Oracle's largest since Siebel, and continues Oracle's focus on BI while undermining rivals; more BI acquisitions are to come, according to analysts.

The Enlightened Enterprise

As big businesses enter phase 2 (and for some, phase 3) of their varying CRM initiatives, these tips will refine the advance.

Super CRM for the Birds

The Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens have turned to Epic Cycle to personalize their Web sites.

Tech Solution: Multivariable Testing Tools

Business Problem: A company can't determine which Web-site factors either drive conversion rates or detract from a customer's experience.

Required Reading: The Price of Profiting

In The Power of Positive Profit, Graham Foster attacks the issue of false business success promoted through volume selling.

Taking Out the Trash

Onyx North America can now go beyond cleaning records to building more complete information from customer data.

Maximize Sales Effectiveness Through Communication

A new TAS Group study finds the disconnect between management and reps can erode a sales force's ability to close deals and hit quotas.

Prezza Releases Version 4.0 of Checkbox

The company updates and renames its flagship surveying product, focusing on workflow and usability enhancements.

SAP Acquires Pilot Software

The German software giant purchases the management software provider to make good on its promise to embed more analytics in its offerings; more acquisitions will follow, according to the CEO.

CDC Responds With an Acquisition

The company buys Respond Group, a vertically focused acquisition aimed at expanding CDC's industry-specific offerings.

NetSuite Moves Up the E-Commerce Ladder

The company releases enhancements to its e-commerce engine, with improvements that are tailored for a potentially untapped midmarket, according to one analyst.

Microsoft Brings Analytics to the Desktop

The software giant releases a BI platform for Dynamics CRM in an effort to hand business intelligence to the Excel-using masses.

The Convergence of Enterprise Security

Security vendors are making the transition from point solutions to suite products that tackle potential threats as enterprises deal with inflexible licensing policies and high costs.

All Hail EFM

Allegiance releases version 4 of its EFM suite, with considerable emphasis placed on reporting and managing of survey results for company management.

Manufacturing a Speedy Delivery

The globalization of markets and economies is forcing manufacturing firms to improve their SCM and ERP solutions in an effort to get products that satisfy customer demand to market faster.

SAS Tops Gartner's BI Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant '07: The market will experience more growth as the technology includes more users within an organization while application and suite providers enhance their own offerings.

Feedback Mountain

Enterprise feedback management solutions are replacing conventional surveying tools as companies seek a centralized surveying framework that leverages all data.

Market Focus: Professional Services: Servicing the Law

Companies are now paying CRM vendors for complete comprehension when it comes to regulatory software products.

Required Reading: Staying Out of the Spam Folder

Tech Solution: Sales Forecasting Tools

Business Problem: The sales department lacks the ability to accurately forecast, hindering its ability to design sales plans, restructure the sales force, and leverage information from other departments.

Web Cruisiology

A discount vacation firm finds training heaven on the Web.

Oracle's World of Unlimited Possibilities

The software giant releases five new versions of its major product lines and highlights the progress it's made in integrating JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and Siebel via Project Fusion.

Dialing Up New Markets

Struggling with a growth dip, telecoms are turning to new multimedia markets to increase revenue; the segment could have plenty of failure due to not grasping business models.

Autonomy Offers Order From Chaos

Two new solutions are designed to garner insight from structured and unstructured data, helping to make the contact center a bigger piece of the enterprise puzzle.

Catering to the Multiplay Consumer

Amdocs unveils version 7 of its CRM suite, a solution designed to enable service providers to deliver an improved customer experience in the ever-converging world of communications.

Transformer: More Than Meets the VoIP

Microsoft and Nortel debut three ICA products and outline the transformation of both companies' communication products through 2010 and beyond.

Cognos's Quest for Real-Time BI

The BI vendor adds real-time operational dashboards to its performance management solution and announces tighter integration with

The Newest Method of BPM

WebMethods unveils the latest version of its flagship product, with strong emphasis on utilizing SOA to drive process management, a trend representative of this emerging market.

Interactive Intelligence's New Puzzle Piece

The vendor debuts its workforce optimization module, which--thanks to pre-integration with its contact center suite--will make it available to the SMB segment, according to one industry pundit.

A New Flavor of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The latest version, called Titan, is released to the company's partner network as Microsoft gears up to begin hosting the solution itself via Dynamics Live.

Cisco Security: As Strong As Iron

The infrastructure giant acquires IronPort to beef up its network security capabilities; more acquisitions will likely follow, according to one industry pundit.

Texting to Profits

Consumers are more open to text message and mobile marketing than most companies know; some name brand businesses are taking advantage of this developing medium.

ERP for the SMB

SMBs are paying more for ERP systems than enterprises but receiving less business benefit, a study reveals.

Forecasting a Flap

Econometrics has long been the province of Ph.D.s, but applications for marketers are emerging via automated user interfaces and BI reporting tools.

Head to Head: NetSuite and

The companies release customization platforms for on-demand, a move that reduces IT risk, yet could spell trouble for midmarket CRM providers.

Tech Solution: Quality Monitoring Tools

Business Problem: The contact center needs to strike a balance between call volumes and quality of service.

Required Reading: Proven Sales Warfare Strategies

Retailers Are Becoming More E-Savvy

The results from this year's holiday shopping are in, with most retailers posting impressive customer satisfaction scores; last year's leaders raise the bar for service.

Enterprise Spending Will Dip for '07

IT spending will increase, but at a reduced rate as companies focus on "running the existing IT infrastructure," according to one industry analyst.

Retail Is Alive and Thinking

Retailers are becoming smarter as they target business intelligence functionality for managing customer data; new research shows heavy BI adoption, but plenty of room to grow.

Payroll Power to the People

NetSuite brings HR functionality to its suite offering, giving employees access to payroll information and streamlining business processes.

Government Web Sites Are Lagging

After years of improving citizen satisfaction, e-government scores have leveled off, a possible sign of improving private sector Web sites.

Five IT Predictions

Gartner highlights new trends and technologies that will influence the way that IT departments operate -- and the way companies do business -- in 2007 and beyond.

SFA for Outlook Will Be Prophetable

Avidian releases the latest version of its Outlook-based sales and contact management solution, and looks forward to leveraging Office 2007 and Vista in the immediate future.

IT Prediction 2007: A Rebuilding Year

While IT spending is predicted to slow, CIOs should focus on making targeted cost cuts and look to leverage young talent to replace retirees.

Extending ERP Throughout the Enterprise

As ERP end users demand greater functionality from their solutions, companies are having to weigh the difference between richer functionality and future integration woes.

Attack of the European Blog!

Marketers across the pond should get to know bloggers' unique e-commerce habits to tap blogging's potential and tailor Web sites to meet these consumers' needs.

Analytics Brought to Bear

How strength in numbers--in this case, the analytics of customer data--transforms sales teams into sales forces.

Power to the People

Companies will be able to track and publish partner success metrics to partners' homepages.

CRM's Expanding Vista

Many CRM vendors, including Microsoft with its own CRM offering, have tailored their solutions to mesh with the anticipated new operating system.

Required Reading: Gen Next?

Tech Solution: BI Reporting and Tracking Tools

Business Problem: Companies lack the ability to draw insight and intelligence from the vast pools of customer data they've collected.

Security Costs E-Commerce $2 Billion in '06

Nearly half of U.S. adults have concerns about shopping online and distrust email, causing problems for companies that interact with customers via the Internet. Releases ApexConnect

The on-demand provider unveils a family of tools to address integration woes, though one industry pundit says integration issues are as much a state of mind as they are an IT dilemma.

Workforce Planning Is a Plus

CIOs who sit down and align their IT workforces will improve effectiveness and find that they can be proactive versus reactive in addressing business needs.

SugarCRM Builds a Firm Foundation

The open source provider unveils a new service to allow its CRM applications to be supported by open source middleware stacks.

Phishing For Trouble

Thieves are targeting wealthier consumers while impersonating banks less often, adapting their tactics to a changing environment; one analyst says it's "still a lucrative business."

Brainshark's Improved Communication

The company's latest content communication platform adds tighter integration with and enhanced workflows, which one industry analyst says sales forces are looking for.

DataFlux Accelerates the Path to MDM and CDI

Version 8 of the company's flagship product introduces new, prebuilt Accelerators that assist customers in overcoming common data challenges associated with making the transition to MDM and CDI.

Tailored Dynamics CRM for Office '07 and Vista

The latest version will have tighter integration with Office and Vista, and will be sold alongside Dynamics ERP.

Oracle Powers Up Its Utility Offerings

The acquisition rampage continues as the software behemoth acquires a CIS vendor for an undisclosed sum; the CIS market is ripe for acquisition.

Timing Is Everything

CIOs should prepare, be more proactive, and must place the people and processes before the technology if their company is part of an M&A.

Climbing the MDM Ladder

Enterprises must walk up the new rungs of MDM and CDI solutions to remain competitive.

Required Reading: What's Your Competitive Advantage?

Companies are failing to identify it.

Wild & Crazy

Companies see green in this graying generation's attitudes and outlook on life.

MDM for Companies on the Go

Purisma's new Data Hub product focuses on improving data accuracy while reducing implementation times, which one analyst says increases these types of solutions' value.

Tech Solution: Email Management Tools

Business Problem: Poor email response times lead to increased numbers of phone calls to the contact center.

QlikTech Opens New Doors to Analytics

The BI vendor announces QlikView for Communities, among other products, to allow a customer's partner community easier access to its analytic toolset.

NetSuite Flexes Its Muscles

The company reveals a new customization and development platform; it now goes "toe-to-toe" with, according to one industry pundit.

CRM Investments: Working With What You've Got

The market will continue to grow, but new license revenues will drop as companies focus on product enhancements and getting value from prior investments.

IT Security Will Become More Proactive

CIOs will start integrating security at the point of technology integration, as opposed to waiting for an attack to occur.

Connectors for Dynamics CRM

Microsoft reveals tighter integration with other enterprise applications; an analyst wonders if will it will be a big enough selling point.

SPSS Offers Another Dimension

The company releases version 4.0 of its EFM solution, which, when tied to its other applications, provides the enterprise with EFM suite, according to one analyst.

The Dramatic Shift in Outsourcing

More players, more global deals, and decreased spending on outsourcing are changing the way companies like IBM, BCS, and EDS are packaging their services.

Dreamforce: Wonders of the Business Web

Dreamforce '06: At the annual event, Colin Powell stressed the importance of the Web and how businesses can leverage it to for a competitive advantage.'s Dreams of Apex

Dreamforce '06: Marc Benioff outlines the company's new customization and programming platform, discusses community development, and announces Winter '07.

Kumbaya My CRM App, Kumbaya

SugarCRM deploys a community marketplace where developers can offer extensions and community-built applications.

Green Beacon Grabs an ERP Consultancy

The company purchases MSC eConsulting to expand service offerings and to fulfill customer demand for tighter CRM integration with back-office systems.

Xactly Ties SCM to Data Management and Analytics

Two new products address the growing popularity of integrating on-demand apps with other solutions and analytics.

Required Reading: A Single Version of the Truth: CDI

CDI allows companies to reconcile customer data automatically: It provides a closed loop between individual, sporadic relationships and the redeployment of that data back to the CRM system.

Market Focus: Sports and Entertainment: CRM for Bleacher Creatures

Smaller franchises are leveraging CRM to increase their fan bases.

Tech Solution: Mobile Sales Tools

Business Problem: Salespeople need on-the-road access to opportunity, lead management, and other SFA-related functions.

Right in the Midmarket Middle

The middle business market is ripe for the picking for CRM vendors as these companies look to purchase their first CRM systems.

NetSuite Links PRM+ to Sales and Order Management

The company focuses on extending sales compensation management to partners to give incentive to salespeople to provide order management data.

NextNine Tailors for the Ecosystem

The service support vendor releases a new product intended to streamline a company's service requirements and to reduce service and support costs.

Are Customer Surveys Hogwash?

Many companies are simply using surveys to impress the customer, and they rarely ever act on the data to drive change in CRM initiatives.

DestinationCRM 2006: Best Practice Basics

Industry consultants outline the key drivers that place the processes and people ahead of the technology at the destinationCRM 2006 conference.

Affinium 7: Unica's Authoritative Solution

The company see the benefits of its Affinium EMM solution as a "marketing system of record," in bridging the gap between different applications.

Salesforce Mashes Analytics in the Snow

The Winter '07 release will offer "unlimited customization" for analytics and BI tools, including Business Objects Crystal Xcelsius; one analyst sees the potential benefit to CRM in general.

Sage Hopes Seven Will Be Lucky for SalesLogix

Sage launches the latest version of its full-featured CRM suite at the Gartner CRM Summit in Chicago, with renewed focus on end-user adoption and mobility.

Wireless Connectivity Is Kicked Up a Notch

Both RIM and Palm introduce new smartphones that offer significant improvements over previous models for connectivity to enterprise applications.

Cognizant Technology Seeks Acquisitions

Following its purchase of AimNet Solutions, the outsourcer will continue to look for other acquisitions in the U.S., Europe, and India.

Required Reading: Service With a Smile?

CRM magazine's Colin Beasty spoke with Richard Gallagher about his book, Great Customer Connections.

The Cycle of Life Continues for CRM

Many vendors have either dropped out of the market or been acquired, but a slew of new, smaller companies with innovative solutions has stepped in to take their place.

Tech Solution: Guided-Selling Tools

Business Problem: A sales force is overwhelmed with the complexity of its company's products and service offerings.

Keep Customer Data On Pointe

A ballet company sends a dirty database "en arriere" with QAS.

A Killer Replacement: Oracle Pulls the Plug On IBM

Oracle's announcement of its intent to acquire Siebel raised doubts about how long Siebel's OnDemand alliance with IBM would last.

SCM's Use Broadens Throughout Enterprises

The market continues its moderate growth as enterprises developed new strategies and tactics to integrate SCM with other enterprise applications.

Europe Continues to Lead the IP Charge

The region's businesses continue to post higher IP adoption rates than their North American counterparts.

The Price Isn't Right

Retailers need to learn that value-added services are critical when it comes to differentiating their brand and that better customer service training is a business strategy.

The Hype Surrounding BPO

Enterprises must be careful to understand the difference between the hype surrounding BPO and its actual business benefits, according to a Gartner study.

CRM Is Back on the Glory Road

The market experiences its second consecutive year of growth and enters its "second wave," according to one industry analyst.

Product Roundup: SpeechTEK 2006

Aspect Software readies CSS 7.2; TuVox launches OnDemand 6.0; OpenMethods adds tools to the open source voice toolkit; and more.

Teaming Up to Open the Open Source Door

Centric CRM and SpikeSource announce a partnership to make open source software more accessible to smaller enterprises.

I'm Taking My Business Elsewhere

A new survey indicates that despite the steady growth of CRM, customer service is still a weak point that drives consumers to competitors; retail leads the poor-service pack.

Sales Compensation is Back, Baby!

The market is experiencing growth for the first time in years as vendors introduce new delivery models and applications to drive strategic value.

Executing Web Analytics

Sento makes available CXP, a product that is designed to "execute" the data gathered from Web analytics software.

Euro CRM Growth Continues At a Reduced Rate

SAP continues its dominance of European sales as and Microsoft see the most growth.

Market Focus: The Public Sector--Eye on the State

Local and national governments are turning to CRM to satisfy the citizen-as-consumer.

Required Reading: CCOs and the Power Core

CRM's Colin Beasty spoke with Jeanne Bliss about her book, "Chief Customer Officer."

Selecting a Remote Relief

Keeping lap-tops up and running is essential.

Tech Solution: Partner Relationship Management Tools

Business Problem: Channel managers are struggling to exchange customer info with their partner network.

Driving the Back-to-School Blitz

Retailers won't have to worry about high gas prices keeping potential customers away, but should focus on letting customer data and demand inform their autumn sales.

Sweet Open Source CRM for Microsoft

SugarCRM releases version 4.5 of Sugar, the first version of the company's flagship product resulting from its technical agreement with Microsoft.

HP Purchases Mercury Interactive

The $4.5 billion acquisition marks HP's entry into the world of business applications, SOA, and more.

The Keys to WLAN Adoption

Two-thirds of businesses will increase their investment, but they must tackle security and network management to fully leverage this emerging wireless network technology.

Businesses Protect Data by Sending It Out

More companies are hosting key segments of their IT systems to ensure better disaster recovery and less system downtime.

CIOs: Give IT Staffers a Pat on the Back

New business growth will mean increased headcounts for IT departments, but it's equally important to retain employees through strong rewards programs.

BSG Gets Some TPV

The telecom provider acquires the customer verification business of VoiceLog, which operates in an innovative and expanding market, according to one analyst.

This Little SMB Went to Market

SMBs are turning to specialists for products and services to help themselves take advantage of the Web.

SMBs Will Spend Big Bucks on Security

The continued growth of the Internet and SMB IT departments are leading to an increased emphasis on security, according to a report.

The ABCs of SLAs

Many vendors require customers to perform their own due diligence.

Required Reading: To Lead, Know Where to Go

CRM's Colin Beasty spoke with Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones about Why Should Anyone Want to Be Led by You? and how it relates to good CRM.

Practical Presto!

Customer clarity is an analytical wand's wave away with new marketing automation apps.

IT Paradise: Integrating CRM with ERP

"We were like, my God, that's the nirvana."

Tech Solution: Marketing Campaign Optimization Tools

Business Problem: Marketers are failing to drive revenue and market penetration from their current campaigns.

Wireless: On Telecoms' Agendas

Telecoms are beefing up their wireless networks and placing more emphasis on management policies as the use of mobile devices soars.

Sending Out an SOS for SOA Help

Enterprises will need to look to third-party providers for SOA assistance as they continue to migrate to this increasingly popular approach.

The SMB Market Gets Channeled

Personalized service, upkeep, and maintenance are attracting SMBs to purchase their IT software and hardware through vendor partners.

You've Got Nerve: AOL Won't Let Customers Go

AOL's massive customer misfire this week is a perfect example of corporate arrogance and poor CSR training.

Intuit Gets Dynamic with QuickBase

The company adds enhancements and packaged application updates to build out the solution's usability.

And the Survey Says...Solutions

Perseus Development and WebSurveyor are bought and will be merged to create a surveying "suite" solution; one analyst says to expect more acquisitions within this market.

Entellium Bucks On Demand

The company releases a wireless SFA product based on new smart-client technology, not a Web browser, and upgrades its hosted suite.

Oracle Gets to Work

The software giant acquires Telephony@Work for its IP-based technology, a move that might represent a shift within the call center industry, according to one analyst.

Cisco Acquires Metreos and Audium

The acquisitions will signal further growth for the Cisco communications system and shore up product integration for its customers.

Fanning the CDI Flames

New data management solutions and best practices will spur enterprises to switch from simple data warehouses to reactive CDI data marts.

Wouldn't Better Scheduling Be NICE?

IEX's first product release since NICE acquired the company is designed to meet scheduling requirements and represents the continuing move towards workforce optimization.

VoIP's Mainstream March

Cable providers are improving their service offerings surrounding this emerging technology, but there are still some barriers to overcome.

Dialing Up Financial Services

Amdocs tailors a dynamic focus on banking solutions.

Tech Solution: Data Integration Tools

Business Problem: Customer data is scattered throughout legacy systems, preventing a company from fully leveraging it.

B2B Web Sites Are Dropping the Ball

Poor site design, lack of pricing information, and user registration are found by a new study to be the primary culprits in user experience woes.

Xactly Incentivizes the Plan

The company adds plan-document approval to its on-demand offering and announces the latest AppExchange victim.

NetSuite Launches ''SAP for the Rest of Us''

The company adds new ERP functionality to its popular on-demand suite, making it difficult for SAP to catch up in the race for the midmarket.

Retailers Continue to Connect Channels

Now that the vertical has finished reacting to the Internet, companies are making long-term investments in online consumers.

Big Blue BI For the Rest of Us?

IBM launches its new business intelligence search application, which one industry analyst says represents the market in general.

SSA Global Gets Grabbed

Infor buys the enterprise software provider to create the market's third-largest software maker, competing directly with Oracle and SAP.

Indus International Gets Real(-time)

The company shipped its real-time performance management tool, which, according to the company, will help monitor and improve the productivity of individuals and departments.

Unica Merges Online With Offline

The enterprise-marketing apps provider revealed plans to ship its Web-analytics application to track customer behavior everywhere.

BPM Samples the Entire Enterprise

OutlookSoft launches the latest version of its BPM product; users are able draw insight into customers and business operations from multiple data repositories.

BI Keeps an Open Mind

The deployment and use of open source BI is expected to increase as this new software application enters the mainstream.

The World Is Not Enough

IT spending throughout Asia, Europe, and North America will continue to rise throughout 2006, with strong focus on security and business intelligence.

Business Objects Extends Across the Board

The BI company announces a host of new data integration, cleansing, and dashboard products targeted for the SMB and enterprise market.

Required Reading: Love Thy Customer

Barriers to CRM Success

Tech obstacles to CRM success can be considerable, but others include process and people concerns--read here about two companies' experiences.

Tech Solution: Text Mining Tools

Business Problem: Unstructured text, articles, surveys, call center notes, and more are concealing patterns and trends, obscuring customer relationships.

Centering Operations on the Customer

Priorities are changing from cost cuts to service improvements.

Sorry, Could You Please Repeat That?

Accents and dialects are the leading contact center frustration among consumers; 29 percent of U.S. respondents say hard to understand accents is their top complaint.

Gartner's First Data Quality Magic Quadrant

Customers can expect to see continued M&A activity and the rise of hosted services as the market continues to grow.

WebSideStory Ups the Search Solution Ante

The company debuts its latest search solution, making it the first to leverage Web behavioral data; a key enhancement is active ranking.

Online Banking Customers' Top Web Site Choices

Wachovia topped the customer experience rankings; Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and Bank of America all topped the Web excellence scorecard.

How Customer Service Stacks Up

Consumers rate 2006's best-in-class across 14 industries, highlighting how important it is for companies to maintain consistent brand and customer service.

Google Gets Down to Business Apps

The search engine darling announces an enterprise application launch that will ease the growing pains associated with CRM end-user adoption.

The Hidden Costs of Outsourcing

Hidden fees like government costs and severance pay are limiting the cost benefits of IT outsourcing, though the business practice isn't losing its popularity.

Customer Service in the (Really) Deep South

U.S. businesses are beginning to look to Mexico and other Central American areas for customer service agents as the domestic Hispanic population rises.

Performance Management Spending Will Increase

Companies are working on standardization; budgets will increase as organizations look for ways to extend BI and analytics throughout the enterprise.

Speech Analytics Will Be Listening

The use of this emerging technology is expected to soar over the coming years; the ability to report in real-time will begin to appear in second and third generation versions.

Aspect's Workforce Optimization Puzzle: The Final Piece

The acquisition of a quality management provider signals that the game is on against other workforce optimization companies.

Coremetrics Acquires SurfAid Analytics; WebSideStory Analyzes Streaming Media

The acquisition will create more vertically focused digital marketing solutions; the product upgrade will enable marketers to analyze the activity of a new set of visitor demographics.

The 2006 Service Leader Awards, Part 1

The contact center industry was hot in 2005, as providers of customer service and support technologies and services strengthened their commitment to delivering first-class service. Many of the industry's players made their presence felt with forward-thinking mergers and acquisitions, while others upped the ante by growing from within and extending strategic alliances. We honor the industry's top-three leaders and one company to watch in the following categories: computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, Web-support services (formerly the Web self-service category), workforce optimization (formerly the workforce management and optimization category), quality monitoring, agent-facing universal desktop, and outsourcing services. The results are based on a weighted formula that includes analyst assessments for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction, as well as fiscal health over the course of 2005.

The 2006 Service Leader Awards, Part 2

The contact center industry was hot in 2005, as providers of customer service and support technologies and services strengthened their commitment to delivering first-class service. Many of the industry's players made their presence felt with forward-thinking mergers and acquisitions, while others upped the ante by growing from within and extending strategic alliances. We honor the industry's top-three leaders and one company to watch in the following categories: computer telephony integration, interactive voice response, Web-support services (formerly the Web self-service category), workforce optimization (formerly the workforce management and optimization category), quality monitoring, agent-facing universal desktop, and outsourcing services. The results are based on a weighted formula that includes analyst assessments for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality, and company direction, as well as fiscal health over the course of 2005.

Required Reading: Customer Satisfaction at Its Best

Tech Solution: Web Self-Service

Business Problem: The contact center is overwhelmed with basic, repetitive inquiries.

Will Success Ruin the U.S. Wireless Market?

It could begin to suffer from high saturation levels and revenues could drop while providers improve their service offerings.

Omniture Plays Matchmaker for Its Partners

A new partner networking program is intended to help customers better leverage their customized solutions.

Callidus Answers the Demand for Commissions

The vendor's latest on-demand sales compensation product goes after big businesses with tight wallets.

Oracle Looks to Get More Out of Data

The company introduces a new suite of BI tools for companies of all sizes, and in the process, looks to compete against SAP and Microsoft.

Email Response Time Is Getting Worse

Companies are undervaluing the channel and its potential savings as more customers seek support.

Speech Analytics Vendors Are Listening

Announcements from two vendors highlight one of today's fastest growing technology markets.

The Cost of Doing Business

Gartner finds that saving money is still the number one driver of outsourcing, but warns not to let financial savings be the sole motivator.

SAS Buys a Build Out in the MRM Market

The BI giant acquires Veridiem to help expand its marketing offerings; now it may better compete with Unica, according to one analyst.

NextNine Upgrades Its Service Automation Suite

The Israeli company announces the latest version of its support software; one analyst calls it a critical IT component for companies providing services to their customers.

Analytics Made Easier

Monitor Software enhances its on-demand analytics tool; an industry analyst says the products provide a perfect complement to existing on-premise solutions.

All the Talk at VoiceCon

The contact center market continues its migration to IP as vendors make a host of IP-related announcements.

It's Siebel in the Service and Support Leader Corner

Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service and Support (CSS) Applications '06: The company maintains its Magic Quadrant dominance, although the emergence of a full customer service suite is still some time off.

Wet Woos Fire: BEA Systems Acquires Fuego

The middleware provider expands its SOA offerings by acquiring a BPM software company; expect a stronger service focus and access to new verticals.

ISM Reveals Its Top 15 Award Winners

ISM Top 15 '06: A survey of top vendors shows providers will continue to expand their on-demand and SMB offerings.

Retail's Two Worlds: Tips on Integrating Online and Offline Channels

Retailers are in transition as they balance customer experience in the store and on the Web.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Backing up data today helps ensure recovery tomorrow.

Tech Solution: Web-Survey Systems

Business Problem: A company has little insight into timely customer or employee feedback.

A Wireless Emergency

"The biggest key to getting customers to buy is a quick response."

Siebel and SAP Dominate Western European CRM

Siebel continues to rely on its CRM applications and SAP on its ERP offerings to land customers, but both companies will have to continue to improve their wares to keep customers.

Midsize Businesses Are Fueling CRM's SMB Growth

Microsoft, Oracle, Sage, and Salesforce are listed as some of the top solution vendors in the segment.

The Sage Group Takes a Local

The company opens a new localization center in Ireland to streamline European operations; an industry analyst says the move also addresses differences in culture and marketing.

Oracle Pounces on Sleepycat

The move helps legitimize the open-source model, but underscores the enterprise giant's need to build out its business.

Sales Compensation Gets Into Relationships

A new application from Xactly provides currency conversion and the ability to calculate pay rates based on relationships with a company.

Microsoft Serves SugarCRM

The companies announce a technical partnership, which one industry analyst says will help deliver open source to SMBs.

Business Objects Plans to Acquire Firstlogic

An industry analyst says the move validates data quality's role in BI, and makes more sense than the purchase attempt of Firstlogic by Pitney Bowes.

Bigger BI Budgets Are CIOs' Priority for '06

Gartner predicts strong growth for this rapidly expanding market, but not before companies start to look at BI as the means to strategic IT planning.

The FTC Snares Credit 'Repair' Scammers

The Commission and other law enforcement agencies have cracked down on 20 firms that claim they can remove negative information from credit reports.

Keynote Systems Expands WebEffective

The company announced improvements to the product's ability to capture online customer data throughout the world.

The On-Demand Influx

Industry pundits expect Google and Microsoft to shake up the market.

How Sales Teams Should Use CRM

Different positions within a sales force require different functions from an SFA system, and tailoring to fit those functions is a big part of successful SFA strategies.

SMBs Confront Barriers to IP Adoption

Enterprises respond to IP's features and technology, but smaller companies have to care more about cost benefits.

Tech Solution: Event-Based Marketing Tools

Business Problem: Marketing campaigns are failing to deliver targeted, relevant messages to customers.

SAP's On-Demand CRM Valentine

The hosted app will launch in February; the company outlines its midmarket plans for 2006, and sees strong 2005 revenue numbers.

Gartner Crowns SAS and SPSS Data Mining Kings

Magic Quadrant results show that a large number of niche vendors offer complementary solutions for specific aspects of the industry.

Companies Are Selecting Software for Integration

IT customers have changed the criteria to selecting their software vendors, concentrating more on vertical expertise.

Verticals Look for Value in Servers

A report by IDC indicates that certain industries are warming up to different server vendors for different reasons.

Cingular Wireless Battles 'Data Burglars'

The cell phone carrier is obtaining restraining orders against companies that are stealing and selling their customers' records.

NA Contact Center Outsourcing Strengthens

An analyst report predicts that more U.S. and Canadian companies will engage in BPO to fight competition from other regions.

How Popular is SOA?

Slow adoption rates can be attributed to companies not yet realizing the true value of the architecture.

Siebel Exceeds Wall Street's Expectations

The firm's higher-than-expected Q4 revenues likely will have little impact on the proposed Oracle acquisition.

Gartner Releases Its BI Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant '06: The analyst firm expects the business intelligence market to experience sustained growth as the technology includes more users within an organization.

Onyx Rejects CDC's Acquisition Proposal

The company cites a lack of synergy between the two organizations; CDC finds Onyx's lack of communication 'dismissive' and 'unusual.'

Alcatel Acquires Brazil's GMK

The move is a play to enter the Latin American market and acquire an established customer base, but there will be trade and language barriers.

Dangling the Carrot: Drive Your Sales Force to Profitability

Selecting and implementing the proper sales compensation tool to drive and motivate your sales force is more important than ever.

The Bitter Taste of Offshoring

Europe is setting an example of best outsourcing practices that American business might want to follow.

Required Reading: Why Customers Do What They Do

Today, the customer is the real decision maker.

Hosting Time Is Money

Migrating to iRadeon's version of SugarCRM saves a search engine marketing company both.

Tech Solution: Workforce Optimization Tools

Business Problem: Managers cannot staff and manage their contact centers effectively.

No More Making Spam for Nigel

A businessman has won what is believed to be the first victory of its kind by claiming damages from a company that sent him email spam.

Branding Works Across the Board

Consumers rate 2005's best-in-class restaurants, retailers, convenience stores, and supermarkets.

2006: A Gut-Check for IT Vendors

Providers will be forced to adapt due to the emergence of new players and services, such as Google and open source technology.

The Email Marketing Transition

Marketers should identify product brand in their email campaigns; concerns about spam and other online pitfalls seem to be diminishing.

Healthcare Providers Will Buy More IT

Storing patient medical records electronically and new regulations from governments will contribute to spending.

Speed Up Automotive Customer Satisfaction

Automakers can solve problems more quickly and improve customer satisfaction by exchanging customer data with dealers.

Oracle Has a Q2 Earnings Drop

The company meets expectations, but industry experts say it is beginning to focus more on its business applications line.

SMBs Take Advantage of the Web

Online marketing and on-demand solutions are important factors when considering the adoption of IT solutions.

No Means No: DirecTV Is Fined for DNC Violations

The company settles charges for $5.3 million, the largest-ever Do Not Call payout; the fine underscores the importance of monitoring affiliate marketers.

Cyber Mondays, So Good to Marketers

A new report stresses the importance of marketers understanding consumers' online purchasing habits -- the peaks and valleys -- between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

SMBs Dial Up VoIP

While adoption is still slow, a new report says the quantitative and qualitative benefits for SMBs will raise penetration rates.

AOL Launches a New Security Suite

The solution, as a giveaway, puts pressure on Microsoft as it continues to enter the consumer market, according to one analyst.

11 Ways to Ensure CRM Success

We asked consultants to list some common CRM mistakes, and to then advise readers on how to avoid them.

Gen Y Will Fuel Online Banking

Banks need to do a better job of making consumers aware of online payment options and benefits.

Cleaning a 75 Million Name Database

A large publishing company turned to data cleansing to power up its enormous customer database.

Tech Solution: Sales Forecasting Tools

Business Problem: Managers can't predict the sales pipeline.

Building by Bits Unblocks ROI

Gathering far-flung customer information solidifies a development model.

Don't Keep U.S. Waiting

Americans are more impatient than the rest of the world with CSRs; first call-resolution rates and personalizing experiences are important.

November 29, 2005

LivePerson launches version 7.5 of its hosted enterprise CRM solution; Ellison agrees to settle the insider trading lawsuit; Knova has a new vice president; and more.

Group 1 Hopes to Go Global

The CCM solutions provider has added enhancements to its flagship product to advance worldwide implementation.

Forrester's SFA Wave Reveals Changing Tides

Sage CRM SalesLogix is listed as a leader in both the midmarket and small business categories; analyst says this market will continue to merge its deployment models.

November 22, 2005

Five9 cuts phone costs with product enhancements; Knowlagent announces the latest version of its flagship products; and more.

Intervoice Will Purchase Edify

The move is seen by industry analysts as a smart IVR play, but some say Nortel and Avaya remain the big fish.

Avaya and Cisco Lead the IP Telephony Charge

IPT analysts feel strong industry growth in a short period of time is a sign that this technology is becoming mainstream.

Lunchtime Is Online Shopping's Prime Time

Consumers buy on weekdays; marketers should use that knowledge to time email campaigns and search engine bids.

November 15, 2005

Interactive Intelligence unveils Customer Interaction Center 2.4; Tigerpaw releases version 10 of its flagship product, NICE announces record financial results; and more.

The New IT Professional

Versatility, initiative, and business knowledge are essential for success; professionals will need to focus on business processes and relationships, as well as technology.

Supply Chain Management's Top 25

A research report IDs companies that are succeeding by using SCM; Dell takes the number one spot in the ranking.

Cross-Channel Capabilities Are Still Siloed

Insufficient integration between customer communication channels is depriving consumers of positive experiences.

November 8, 2005

Autonomy purchases Verity; Maximizer Software release Version 9 of its enterprise suite; and more.

Nonprofits Set Email Marketing Benchmarks

NPOs are taking advantage of relevant content and supporter issues to create more targeted campaigns.

Oracle Loses Another CFO

Greg Maffei quits after just four months; analysts say he may have started at the wrong time.

November 1, 2005

Earnings roundup: Microsoft and Sento announce revenue growth; ICT Group reports a record quarter; Reynolds and Reynolds expects a revenue loss; and more.

Wonders of a Wireless World

Third generation--3G--technology is finally arriving after years of mishaps and delays.

Required Reading: Cashing in on Contact Centers

Donna Fluss, principal of DMG Consulting, spoke with CRM magazine's Colin Beasty about her new book, "The Real-Time Contact Center."

Flying With Avaya

Edmonton Airport installed IP-based technology to manage its phones, also helping safety levels and improving customer service.

Tech Solution: Marketing Campaign Management Software

Business Problem: Decision-makers have no insight into marketing effectiveness.

Consulting Workforce Woes

Accenture turns to IEX's TotalView to manage three Indian call centers.

The FTC Nails Marketing Scams Aimed at Hispanics

An industry analyst says this is a perfect example of marketers taking advantage of an ethnic group that 'wants to be marketed to.'

Consumer Technology's Influence on IT

It will be the largest driver of adoption in the IT department, and the results of that will be higher consumer-technology penetration and shorter product life cycles.

October 25, 2005

Telemarketing firms settle consumer charges; RightNow announces financial results; Parature releases version 6 of its flagship product; and more.

Office Depot Sues Staples Over Google Ads

The lawsuit is a sign of the growing popularity of search engine marketing, according to one analyst.

October 21, 2005

SAP reports positive Q3 results; Experian reveals a tool for better B2B prospecting; Voxify appoints a new marketing vice president; and more.

IT Security Must Invest in Suite Products

IT departments will reduce expenditures by switching from best-of-breed to solutions, and by enforcing security best practices.

NASD Is Probing Merrill Lynch Call Centers

The company has been under a year-long investigation by the private-sector self-regulatory organization for allegedly misleading its smaller clients about investments.

October 18, 2005

AIM Technology reveals Version 6 of its performance management suite; Dendrite announces 360 Insight; Deltek has a new CFO; and more.

ERP and Hosting Vendors Spur Market Shifts

Oracle and SAP will lead the enterprise applications market; AMR Research avers hosted apps and new global markets will contribute to the space's growth.

IT Spending To Tumble, Then Rise 2007-2010

Slowdowns in economic growth, coupled with hesitancy to adopt new technology, will temporarily stall investments; high energy prices are partly to blame.

Verticals Are Driving WLAN and IP Spending

Government, financial services, and professional services will expand usage for mobile workforces, and retail will advance customer care and supply chain management.

SMBs Are Adopting SaaS Verticals

Financial services, construction, and healthcare are top implementers of on-demand CRM; uptake is slow, but is accelerating among small businesses.

October 11, 2005

ABG and eVergance Partners join forces; Siebel launches a new index for SMBs; Oracle buys open source developer Innobase; and more.

Losing the Offshoring War

U.S. contact center growth is being hampered by consolidation among outsourcing providers, which is expected to continue as new offshore markets emerge.

Asia Pacific Contact Centers: Expect Multibillion Dollar Growth

IP vendors must fix quality of service, infrastructure reliability, and network security to effectively enter the price-sensitive emerging market.

CEOs See Two Top Risks

Permanent challenges for executive will be competition and the battle for talent; change management strategies include flexible tactics.

October 4, 2005

Deltek acquires Wind2Software; KnoahSoft releases KnoahsARK; and more.

Required Reading: The Mobile Revolution Rings True

CRM magazine's Colin Beasty spoke with Dan Steinbock about his book, The Mobile Revolution Rings True.

The Post-Strike NHL: Set to Score

Unified customer databases are helping to boost the sport's renewed marketing efforts.

The 2005 CRM Elite, Part 3

It is impressive when CRM vendors promise business performance improvements never before possible, but it is more impressive when their products actually deliver on those promises. The CRM Elite awards showcase six companies that have achieved significant returns on their technology investments that have either met or surpassed their expectations.

The 2005 Influential Leaders

Influential leaders are those who pave the way for others to follow. They are often the first to market with a strong CRM product or strategy, are often the best at delivering a product or strategy, or have such industry clout that their actions reverberate widely in the market.

The 2005 CRM Elite, Part 2

It is impressive when CRM vendors promise business performance improvements never before possible, but it is more impressive when their products actually deliver on those promises. The CRM Elite awards showcase six companies that have achieved significant returns on their technology investments that have either met or surpassed their expectations.

The 2005 CRM Elite, Part 1

It is impressive when CRM vendors promise business performance improvements never before possible, but it is more impressive when their products actually deliver on those promises. The CRM Elite awards showcase six companies that have achieved significant returns on their technology investments that have either met or surpassed their expectations.

The 2005 CRM Market Leaders, Part 1

The CRM industry over the course of the year grappled with well-publicized mergers and acquisitions, executive turnover, and product line restructuring. Still, the industry's impact--especially in the small and medium business markets--is growing more pervasive across industries and within organizations. With an eye on ROI, companies are benefiting from lower startup costs, shorter implementation times, ease of use, and more robust analytics, from both the on-demand (hosted) delivery model and on-premise solutions. Spearheading these developments are the 2005 CRM Market Leaders--read on to see how they are driving the market and how they stack up against the competition.

The 2005 CRM Market Leaders, Part 3

The CRM industry over the course of the year grappled with well-publicized mergers and acquisitions, executive turnover, and product line restructuring. Still, the industry's impact--especially in the small and medium business markets--is growing more pervasive across industries and within organizations. With an eye on ROI, companies are benefiting from lower startup costs, shorter implementation times, ease of use, and more robust analytics, from both the on-demand (hosted) delivery model and on-premise solutions. Spearheading these developments are the 2005 CRM Market Leaders--read on to see how they are driving the market and how they stack up against the competition.

The 2005 CRM Market Leaders, Part 2

The CRM industry over the course of the year grappled with well-publicized mergers and acquisitions, executive turnover, and product line restructuring. Still, the industry's impact--especially in the small and medium business markets--is growing more pervasive across industries and within organizations. With an eye on ROI, companies are benefiting from lower startup costs, shorter implementation times, ease of use, and more robust analytics, from both the on-demand (hosted) delivery model and on-premise solutions. Spearheading these developments are the 2005 CRM Market Leaders--read on to see how they are driving the market and how they stack up against the competition.

Unattended Computers Are Security Risks

Privacy breaches occur as often from within an organization as they do from outside it; user authentication methods can help reduce the damage.

Optimize and Standardize the IT Workforce

Leading global organizations are using a best practice for IT that advises managing personnel and strategies.

September 27, 2005

Concerto and Aspect seal the deal; SAP teams with IBM and Siemens for new analytics tools; and more.

Verint Unveils Its First Opus Offering

Extending its analytics portfolio may give the company more competitive weight.

Consumers Vote For Online Government

Federal Web sites now rank high in satisfaction, but they must continue to focus on constituents.

Online Retail Sales Won't Stop Growing

A combination of innovation, selling tactics, and targeting strategies is the key retailers need to stay ahead of the competition.

September 20, 2005

HP teams up with multiple BI providers; Perseus launches an improved EFM solution; AIM appoints new vice president; and more.

Email Delivers ROI

Upped conversion and click-through rates mark that despite declining open numbers the channel remains popular.

Attrition and Training: Stalling Indian Call Centers?

High staff turnover and a shortfall in qualified employees could slow the growth of the Indian call center market.

September 13, 2005

Concerto Software extends VoIP functionality; Aspect launches an Anniversary Edition; Business Objects names a new CEO; and more.

Auto Dealers and Makers Need to Collaborate

A matrix approach that combines customer data will forge better sales and marketing results as buying patterns emerge.

Dynamics--Microsoft's Midsize Business Tools

The next-gen offering will be a natural extension of personal productivity programs.

Verint Systems Buys The Opus Group

Opus's delivery model and consultative practice place Verint in a better competitive position.

September 6, 2005

Sage releases ACT! 2006; Salesnet previews its 25th Anniversary Edition; Siebel dodges an SEC bullet; and more.

ABN Amro's Big Deal

The euro 1.8 billion contract is the largest financial deal ever involving offshore IT service providers.

Surveys: A Dying Breed?

EFM solutions are replacing the old-school method of customer feedback.

Required Reading: Life After the 30-Second Spot

Cost Savings and Business Reform Drive Verticals' Offshoring Growth

One analyst says that the market leaders 'are the most comfortable with outsourcing.'

Tech Solution: Agent Training Applications

Business Problem: Customer satisfaction levels are too low and agents are not sufficiently cross- and upselling products.

A New ERP Market: The Federal Government

There will be a consolidation of 'redundant' IT systems by the OMB; ERP providers should tailor their solutions to meet the demands of the federal government.

High-Tech Goes After SMBs

Communications and tech companies now recognize the monetary rewards of the market, but mishandle offerings and lack customer focus.

Self-Marketing--IT's Better Business Value

Improving marketing approaches will alter the current image of the department as a cost center.

Wireless Worlds Within VoWLAN

A future wireless technology convergence has the potential to offer much improved service for wireless providers.

McAfee Is First in Business Security

A Forrester study sees the market shifting from best-of-breed to comprehensive suite solutions that offer more layered approaches to security.

Siebel Continues to Lead Enterprise Deployment

The company is losing some ground, however, to SAP and Oracle, which show slight gains as their license sales have grown.

An SMB Must: Market on the Internet

These businesses still harbor apprehensions about creating Web sites and do not take advantage of e-commerce presence.

The Telecom Industry Leads the Outsourcing Surge

With significant contributions from the healthcare, transportation, utilities, and banking industries, outsourcing is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.3 percent through 2009.

IT Is Warming Up to IP Telephony

Company support, funding, and security concerns are hindering the process.

August 9, 2005

Responsys releases Interact 5 and creates a marketing forum; Nortel increases revenues by 10 percent; and more.

Extending a Power Partnership For Open Source

Siebel and Novell say that a widened range of more complete offerings will benefit customers through increased flexibility and support.

The Top Three Business Security Targets

Government, financial services, and manufacturing head up IBM's Global Business Security Index, a trend barometer of increased criminal intent in attacks.

IBM Will Acquire Data Integrator Provider DWL

The deal strengthens IBM's information management portfolio, while positioning the company to compete with Siebel and Oracle.

August 2, 2005

Broadbeam and Cingular team up to offer SFA services; Aspect announces version 7.1 of Customer Self-Service; and more.

Online Credit Card Branding Is Weak

Companies must strengthen sites to reflect more accurately their products and services.

Tech Solution: Social Networking Applications

Business Problem: Employees don't share contacts.

Learning the ABCs of Marketing

An educational products company uses Omniture's SiteCatalyst to build its Internet marketing campaigns.

Required Reading: A Closer Look at Sales and Marketing Alignment

SMBs Are Upping Tech Spending

Technology developments are enticing SMBs to invest more in CRM and ERP applications.

Witness Systems Has a Record Q2 (Earnings Roundup)

Witness Systems reports a record second quarter; Siemens sees a drop in operating income; RightNow Technologies reports its 30th consecutive quarter of revenue growth; and more.

South African Call Centers Roar

The country is threatening other outsourcing spots; fluency in English and education are advantages.

Electronic Medical Records: A Clean Bill of Health

Customers feel more protected in case of emergency and would pay to have information stored that way.

July 26, 2005

Dictaphone introduces a new medical speech recognition solution; Five9 opens Centers of Excellence; Parature hires a new CFO; and more.

Earnings Roundup: July 22, 2005

Microsoft, SAP, and Amdocs all report strong growth; Informatica has record profits; and more.

Global Routing Via Speech Recognition

An MCI solution follows current market trends, which one analyst asserts are altering IT managers' buying decisions.

Small Businesses Lack IT Security

Companies are not increasing budgets for the most basic systems, including email and wireless network connections.

July 19, 2005

Empirix and Genesys announce a joint GVP monitoring solution; Sendia releases a wireless business platform; Fred Alger prospers from Proposal Software; and more.

Enterprises Are Profiting From PMPO

Pricing solution deployments are budgeted at up to $5 million for large companies in this relatively untapped market.

How to Drive Development of Digital Home Solutions

Vendors must first lower costs, then collaborate to deliver single-provider choice if they want people to buy.

Ethnic Consumers Require Sensitive Marketing

Diverse groups want marketers to understand their life experiences and to build lasting connections.

Oracle Acquires ProfitLogic

The takeover gives the world's largest database software maker a shot at being the leader in the retail market space.

July 5, 2005

Concerto buys Aspect; SmartCompany releases version 4.0 of its flagship product; Amdocs acquires DST Interactive; and more.

Take Care of Online Customers

An annual survey of the top-100 U.S. companies reveals what R E S P E C T means to their Web visitors.

To Open Source or Not to Open Source

Recent debuts by SugarCRM and could jump-start an industry space.

Lending a Helping Hand

Business outsourcing provider Pearson Government Solutions answers the call of thousands who take employment for granted with those who cannot.

Oracle Reports Strong Q4 Results

SAP is still gaining market share in North America, say one analyst, who nonetheless thinks 'everything at Oracle is going according to plan.'

IT Service Providers Need to Offshore

The demand for offshoring over the next three years may grow by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study.

June 28, 2005

Aspect Communications launches Uniphi Suite 6.1; Siebel and IBM reach an agreement; Aprimo has a new CFO; and more.

A New Seer at Oracle

Greg Maffei is known for M&A deals; his hiring signals a company awareness of business execution needs.

SAP Snatches Up Competitive Talent

The company is gaining Silicon Valley expertise as it navigates North America and battles Oracle and Siebel.

Companies: Tailor Wireless to Workforce Demands

The Collaborative Technologies Conference provides best practices and words of caution for mobile workforces.

June 21, 2005 announces an addition to its Summer '05 release; Conversagent and InstantService partner; and more.

Convergys Is Buying Deloitte's F&A BPO Business

Adding account control may lower the outsourcer's customer acquisition costs.

Top IT Threats

The upsurge in cyber crime is leading many managers to adopt more best-of-breed security solutions.

Required Reading: Peppers and Rogers Focus on Customer Value

OnDemand 8: Siebel's Sophisticated Save?

A new, core marketing functionality feature could help the company compete in the SMB space.

June 14, 2005

Japan reels in its first phisher; Peregrine Systems optimizes Optimal IT; Pfizer decides to align behind Alliance Data; and more.

June 10, 2005

Omniture delivers version 12 of SiteCatalyst; Amdocs and Microsoft sign a letter of intent to deliver converged IP-based services; and more.

Private Banks Rate High in Customer Satisfaction

Publicly owned banks need to weigh short-term financial results against long-term customer loyalty.

IP Is Driving the ACD Systems Market

New revenue opportunities exist for vendors, but to be successful they must take into consideration the variety of markets to which they are selling.

June 6, 2005

NICE completes its Dictaphone acquisition; Nortel announces its first-quarter results; Pivotal hits the books in Canada; and more.

Ranking Poorly with Online Customers

Computer and software providers' email responsiveness and respect for personal data rate low on a new survey.

NCR Brings Power to Marketers

Marketers can update their messages in real time across various touch points.

100 Proven CRM Ideas, Part 1

...successful and disastrous: 90 bright ideas for your CRM strategy and 10 dim ones to avoid. Edited by David Myron

100 Proven CRM Ideas, Part 2

...successful and disastrous: 90 bright ideas for your CRM strategy and 10 dim ones to avoid. Edited by David Myron

Virtual Contact Centers Need Some Fine-Tuning

"It's a certain kind of person who can work on their own without a lot of interaction, communicate by email, and gather information on their own."

Required Reading: Value Thy Customers

May 31, 2005

Genesys releases two new products; FirstLogic names new director of EMEA; and more.

IBM Partners With SaaS Providers

The computer giant announces two new services to provide help and awareness for software-as-a-service providers.

Enterprise Use of Hosted Apps Is Up

Large companies have noticed the relative low cost, ease-of-use, and quick implementation.

IT Providers Must Change How They Sell

Changing consumer buying trends hamper traditional sales approaches--team sales will play a larger role in the future.

May 23, 2005

KANA releases an updated version of KANA Response; Business Objects provides BI for DoD; and more.

SAP Goes Vertical

SAPPHIRE '05: SAP releases the latest version of its CRM suite, but analysts cite the company's 'failure' to deliver a hosted application.

Converting Call Centers Into Cash Centers--A $64,000 Question

Executives need to identify what they want to change, then compare their methods to industry needs.

The CTI Market Will Grow Along With IP

Enterprises will be the driving force behind the market.

May 16, 2005

Siemens releases Version 6.5 of its contact center application; iKnowtion and Poindexter team up; a jeweler credits Alliance; and more.

i2 Technologies and Teradata Team

The companies will create an enterprise data platform allowing users to collect master data for streamlined business processes.

SMBs Are Shopping For ERP and CRM Solutions

The market remains fragmented, so leading vendors must drive home the value of offerings to command market share.

Consumers Want Banks to Show Tough Love

Financial institutions must act as better consumer advocates by improving customer education and encouraging financial discipline.

May 9, 2005

KANA releases Agent Desktop Search; Business Objects announces new analytic solutions, SBC selects Amdocs; and more.

Marketers Need To Log-On

Consumer trends will drive marketers to online channels in 2005.

Technology CEOs Foresee Growth in 2005

Organic growth and pursuing opportunities within their own countries are key to driving success for Technology Fast 500 companies.

May 2, 2005

Epiphany, Avaya, and DataFlux release new products; Progress Software plans to acquire EasyAsk; and more.

U.S. Service Vendors Target--and Profit From--the Midmarket

Growth opportunities are being fueled, in part, by the outsourcing of IT and business processes, according to IDC.

Required Reading: Nordstrom's Class of Service

Many companies only have an inkling of what Nordstrom really is, yet they all say they want to be the Nordstrom of their industry.

Is It Time for Real Time?

Recent debuts of real-time enterprise tools by Microsoft and AOL could help jump-start presence management in the contact center.

Earnings Roundup: April 29, 2005

RightNow reports strong earnings; Convergys's operating income drops; and more.

Will Onyx's Enterprise Challenge Corner Siebel?

The company is launching into the enterprise and business analytics space, but vows not to leave SMBs behind.

April 25, 2005

Edmonton Airport Authority uses Avaya; Best Software exec resigns; and more.

Earnings Roundup: April 22, 2005

SAP reports strong first-quarter earnings; Epiphany suffers losses; and more.

Southwest Airlines Cruises in Customer Satisfaction

A semiannual report shows airline service improving, but travelers want more live agents.

SAP Targets BPO

SAP looks for HR BPO providers to turn to its ERP platform; partners will continue to build out service delivery platforms based on HR BPO value propositions.

April 18, 2005

Dendrite buys FirstLogic's data quality solutions; Proposal Software has a new director; MySQL and Business Objects partner; and more.

Low-Cost, Open Source CRM

SugarCRM takes on Siebel Systems and with a cost-conscious, hosted suite.

CRM Initiatives Are Not Meeting Predefined Goals

Successful companies make the application fit the strategy as a best practice, and stay aware of organizational change management needs.

April 11, 2005

First Mutual Bank deploys FaxCore; ChoiceStream appoints a new executive vice president; SAS enhances its BI platform; and more.

April 6, 2005

Gold's Gym gets stronger customer service using Avaya; WebSideStory and Flak eSolutions enter into a partnership, Pivotal loses CEO; and more.

EMEA: The Next Hosted IP Hot Spot?

The contact center services in EMEA show promise, but need more visibility.

April 5, 2005

Telsource is using Salesnet to manage its sales cycle; Brussels Airlines glides on with; Witness Systems announces a workforce optimization solution; and more.

April 4, 2005

Nissan North America selects Hyperion; Global Knowledge and Oracle announce partnership; and more.

Required Reading: Be the BALLS

"You want to be [brave] enough to want to be creative, try new things, while still growing revenue."

Outsourcing Options South of the Border

Consumers aren't necessarily supportive of all that vendors are trying to do to provide customers with cost-effective support.

March 30, 2005

Verizon ammends MCI terms; Google acquires Urchin Software; Siebel releases CRM OnDemand 7.0.

Talisma Acquires

The multichannel CRM solutions provider capitalizes on strong history and subject matter expertise to delve into the customer interaction management space.

March 29, 2005

PUMA North America making the shoe fit with SPSS; Oracle acquires Oblix; Vuepoint launches Learning System 5.0; and more.

March 28, 2005

Siebel Systems selects Macrovision; Acxiom to acquire Digital Impact; SHIFT Communications launches SHIFT LeadSensor; and more.

KANA Relaunches Its Email Management Solution

The retooled product hits a market that is now ready for it, with both enterprise and midmarket price points considered.

March 23, 2005

Trover chooses Nuasis; Xdrive implements eGain; Opus Group has a new vice president of development; and more.

March 22, 2005

Oracle acquires Retek; Del Monte Foods to implement Cognos; Steve Roop joins Vontu's executive team; and more.

March 21, 2005

Time Warner Cable implements Conversagent; merged Kanisa and ServiceWare Technologies change name; Onyx appoints new CFO; and more.

March 16, 2005

SAP links up; Nextance appoints a new vice president of professional services; Apropos Technology announces a new product/services bundle; and more.

March 15, 2005

The City of Indianapolis turns to citizen relationship management; i360technologies to purchase Cantilever Technologies; Aspect Communications releases eWorkforce Management 6.3; and more.

Salesnet and Miller Heiman Announce a Partnership

The on-demand CRM software provider and the sales process pioneer will deliver a solution to strengthen CRM effectiveness.

March 14, 2005

Solucient implements Supportforce; Coremetrics moves to London; Amdocs to consult CSPs; and more.

March 9, 2005

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City select Business Objects; TechTeam Global to outfit hotels; announces improvements in functionality and customization; and more.

March 8, 2005

American Greetings Interactive upgrades; Connextions appoints new vice a president of contact centers; Coremetrics launches LIVEmark; and more.

March 7, 2005

Alaska Airlines flies high with Siebel; FrontRange Solutions releases fourth-quarter results; Parature and Salesnet appoint new sales executives; and more.

Outsourced Call Centers: Virtual Diplomats in the Middle East?

The business link forged by the United States and Ireland in the 1990s acts as a model for the benefits and successes of future call center outsourcing to real global hot spots.

March 2, 2005

The United Way of fundraising; META Group says that Oracle's loss is Siebel's gain; ATG announces ATG On-Demand; and more.

March 1, 2005

OmniAmerican Credit Union selects Open Solutions; IBM launches Business Partner initiatives; the latest version of SAS Enterprise ETL Server is released; and more.

CRM Where You Least Expect It

Customer relationship management fits all shapes and sizes. The following case studies present the details of four organizations' CRM approaches.

Required Reading: The Rich Are Different

They demand a different set of criteria to sell to than the general public.

The End of Independence?

Best-of-breed applications are feeling more pressure from full-suite solutions.

Hear Customers, Help Overall Revenue

ResponseTek announces the release of its customer feedback solution designed to increase customer loyalty.

February 28, 2005

USF chooses RightNow; SAP and Retek sign a merger agreement; SalesCenter releases SalesCenter 3-D; and more.

February 23, 2005

Caser Seguros keeps contact centers humming; Unisys and GenuOne to battle healthcare threats; FrontRange turns up the heat; and more.

February 22, 2005

Kaidara Software provides a clearer image for IDX Systems; Omniture announces membership to the Web Analytics Association; QlikTech selects a new vice president of marketing; and more.

February 16, 2005

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education gets smart about business solutions; Intervoice and Vocent Solutions crack down on criminal actions; and more.

February 15, 2005

RightNow, Tekelec, and Coremetrics announce new customers; Oracle and Unisys announce a partnership; Proficient Systems releases Proficient Express; and more.

February 14, 2005

Labatt Breweries is using Cognos; Vanguard Investments selects StayinFront; Mindjet and introduce information management software; and more.

Amdocs Dials Up Telecommunication Integration

New Amdocs 6 product, services, and strategic partnership are targeted for telecommunication providers.

February 9, 2005

Bradley Pharmaceuticals selects StayinFront; Kanisa and ServiceWare Technologies complete merger; Hummingbird keeps humming with a new release; and more.

February 8, 2005

Unica announces monster customer win; Envision Telephony releases third- and fourth-quarter results; Avaya makes available new service; and more.

February 7, 2005

Marin County selects Avaya to govern county relations; Telekom Malaysia and Cisco Systems collaborating on new customer services; and more.

The Most Effective Direct Mail Campaigns

Well-targeted mail campaigns are increasing in-store traffic.

February 2, 2005

Staples is leveraging KANA SRM; Mercury Interactive agrees to a multiyear deal with SAP; announces Developer Program for Microsoft Office; and more.

February 1, 2005

Cincom Systems goes ape over a new customer; SAP purchases DCS Quantum; Autobase announces a new release; and more.

January 31, 2005

Axios Systems lands the FAA; VenturCom changes its name to Ardence; Parature releases a new on-demand customer support software; and more.

SugarCRM Customizes to the Client With Sugar Suite

The open source developer rebrands its core application to better reflect its ease-of-use.

January 26, 2005

Motive empowers Japan's ACCA Networks; SAP announces fourth-quarter results; Channel Intelligence releases Commerce Data Syndication; and more.

January 25, 2005

Vcommerce and Omniture announce a partnership; Witness Systems completes its Blue Pumpkin acquisition; TeleTech Holdings and Avaya announce a joint offering; and more.

January 24, 2005

Oakwood Homes selects MicroStrategy; EDS Agility Alliance adds three partners; and more.

The Ideal Shopping Experience

Retailers need to change they way they do business to retain consumers.

Required Reading: Tracking the Evolution of CRM

Is Blogging Viable in the Contact Center?

Those in support of blogging point to the support it has received from many customer service companies.

Managing Risk and Data: Two Key Drivers in the Global Financial Industry

Financial institutions are noticeably improving their data management.

Midsize BPO Deals Are Stronger Than Ever

Uncle Sam helps to drive the outsourcing market for smaller companies.

January 18, 2005

Phoenix Life selects Vettro's RainMaker; TeleTech Holdings goes multilingual; Blue Martini Software strengthens its relationship with SkillNet Solutions; and more.

January 14, 2005

Russia's largest telecom carrier to receive an update; Elix announces a new customer; and more.

Supply Chain Managers Share Best Practices

Optimizing relationships with business units, other corporate groups, and customers is key to top firms' supply chain management.

January 12, 2005

SBC and Hewlett-Packard team up to improve IT; Antepo and Jive Software announce a partnership to improve instant messaging; SAP and Microsoft announce the availability of Portal Development Kit for Microsoft; and more.

January 5, 2005

Amdocs announces an agreement with R.H. Donnelley; TotalView gains a new customer; Pegasystems and Oracle replace senior management; and more.

Matching Support With Profitability

Consumers have high expectations of customer service, but aren't willing to pay for it.

January 3, 2005

Oracle continues to fire PeopleSoft executives; Open Solutions restructures its board of directors; and more.

December 29, 2004

PeopleSoft Founder and CEO David Duffield resigns; Gartner acquires META Group; Oracle takes control of PeopleSoft stock; and more.

December 28, 2004 adopts; Pivotal Corporation announces a new sale to Beazer Homes; Aberdeen Group names new vice presidents; and more.

December 21, 2004

Sweden's Tele2 selects edocs; IBM and Siebel team up for UMB Financial; Harte-Hanks acquires Postfuture; and more.

December 20, 2004

FrontRange reports earnings; Chip Ganassi Racing maintaining high performance with UniPress, Time Warner Greensboro selects VenturCom's BXP software; and more.

Required Reading: Who Is the Voice of Your Company?

The folks in charge of the marketing, image, and branding typically don't pay much attention to the guys in the call centers.

Oracle Releases CRM Integration Update

The new 11i.10 release is designed to give companies a more holistic view of customers.

December 14, 2004

Paymentech helps Pepsi go cashless; ReleMail certifies email; Selectica to merge with I-many; and more.

December 13, 2004

Portugal Telecom Group signs on with edocs; T-Mobile Hungary deploys Amdocs CRM; CMO Council extends memberships into Europe; and more.

6 Secrets to Selecting the Right Contact Center Location

Critical for success is a balanced solution that meets the needs of both an organization and its customers.

December 9, 2004

Musicland Group employs mystery shopping; Data Sciences chooses Parature; NetSuite forecasts the future; and more.

Automatic for the People: Comcast Goes ''Live'' With Online Customer Support

The cable provider is using an automated agent to answer customers' inquiries.

The Power of Self-Service Support

A new HDI survey highlights growing trends within support centers that could help organizations empower their customers.

December 3, 2004

Contactual and announce new customers, FootPrints providing great benefits for UniPress, American Eagle Outfitters chooses ATG to outfit; and more.

November 30, 2004

Verint Systems is providing ULTRA secrets for Delaware Investments; Kalido implements an application suite; Cincom Systems announces the latest version of Synchrony; and more.

November 24, 2004

Pragmatech names SPSS veteran Zanghi as CEO; OutStart acquires Participate Systems; Firstlogic teams up with the University of Utah; and more.

November 23, 2004

WebTrends and ExactTarget partner; Indus powers up Atmos Energy; rocks Yamaha; and more.

Wires: News and Technology for November 19, 2004

Convergys buys Finali; White Pajama puts its name to sleep; BlueRoads and SugarCRM announce new releases; and more.

Transitions: Executive Changes for November 16, 2004

Selectica names "bullish" CEO; Dexterra appoints COO; Empirix announces three new executives; and more.

Required Reading: The Evolution of the CRM Value Proposition

You have to figure out how much value an individual is going to provide you over time.

Wires: News and Technology for November 12, 2004

Nuasis announces survey results on offshoring; BlueRoads and Witness Systems release new functionality; Acxiom acquires ChinaLoop; and more.

Transactions: Customer Wins for November 9, 2004

Design Within Reach chooses Iphinity Call Center; Convergys signs multiyear contract with Wachovia; 7-Eleven implements Cognos; and more.

Wires: News and Technology for November 5, 2004

SPL on the verge of being purchased; Siebel announces financial results for its third quarter; Unisys to team up with Linux; and more.

Transactions: Customer Wins for November 2, 2004

Marines are gung-ho about Oracle; Convergys signs multiyear contract with Wachovia; Quaero has new clients; and more.

Wires: News and Technology for October 29, 2004

Hyperion announces new software; Databeacon releases Databeacon Analyst; and more.

In the Money: Vendors Announce Quarterly Earnings

Many CRM providers, including the leading enterprise players, are experiencing strong growth.

Transactions: Customer Wins for October 26, 2004

Smiths Medical selects EADS' contact center solution; Nursefinders selects; and more.

Transitions: Executive Changes for October 19, 2004

KANA announces Charles Isaacs as CTO, Genalytics names CEO, Nortel has new CMO, and more.

Salesnet Announces Three New Releases

Salenet's idea for Customer Success Roadmap is to give companies the ability to acquire, implement, and structure their on-demand CRM on an ongoing basis.

Wires: News and Technology for October 15, 2004

ATG introduces Adaptive Customer Outreach; Cognos strengthens Deloitte relationship; SAP releases ad management tool tested at WaPo; and more.

Wires: News and Technology for October 13, 2004

Onyx and Best announce mobile solutions; Pragmatech releases integration tools; Cognos completes its acquisition of Frango; and more.

Transactions: Customer Wins for October 12, 2004

BoA implements Apptera's Spanish-language speech application; Colonial Life deploys QlikTech; and more.

Profiles in Web Behavior Give Clients Courage

The release offers an automated marketing system that aims to give users access to detailed analytics covering customer Web-site behavior.

Wires: News and Technology for October 1, 2004

Internet advertising revenues in the United States surged 42.7 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago; and more.

Transactions: Customer Wins for September 28, 2004

BlueRoads has announced that Sana Security deployed BlueRoads 5; San Francisco Giants implement a wireless LAN at SBC Park, and more.