Biographical Information

Marshall Lager

founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Marshall Lager is the founder and managing principal of Third Idea Consulting (www.3rd-idea.com).

Most recently, he served as Senior Editor at CRM Media, writing news, blogs, and feature articles for CRM magazine and its Web site, destinationCRM.com. During his tenure at CRM Media, he was the recipient of three APEX writing awards for his feature writing and his back-page column, "Pint of View." He previously was on staff with Vault, Inc., where he edited several business-advice books and cowrote two books on management and technology consulting. His experience also includes home office and home and mobile consumer electronics reviewing.

His other journalistic experience includes consumer electronics reviews and news reporting, both for CNET and as a staff writer for etown.com. He holds a BA in English literature from the University at Albany.

Articles for Marshall Lager

Last Call

Our beloved Pint of View columnist toasts the end of an era.

Triple Play or Infield Fly?

Package deals don't always make sense.

The Comeback Trail

So you've got egg on your face. Now what?

Vice Squad

The art of selling things that are bad for you

Waiter, There’s a Frog in My Soup

Customers will put up with a lot, but usually only so much.

You Can’t (Mis)Handle the Truth!

Thoughts on the role of truth in a post-facts world.

The Solution Is the Problem Is the Solution

Tools can cause troubles of their own.

Dueling Trends

Is industry analysis real, or is it doublespeak?

The Internot of Things

Linking machine to machine, separating hype from hope

The ROI of Teamwork

Specialists are important, even when roles overlap

YouTube’s Moment of Silence(ing)

Can a stifled social community survive?

For the Record, Integrated CRM Is Getting Closer

Writing is in everything we do, but we still need to unify systems of record and engagement

Customers Versus KPIs

Remember what's more important to a business

Keeping ’Em on the Team

Customer loyalty in sports is harder than it seems

Dissin’ Franchise

What does the business model mean for customer experience?

Three Little Words

Our lives would be so much easier if we said them more often

Enabling Behavior

We use strange language to describe our applications

Marketing Is Magic!

How else do you make something out of nothing?

People, ________, and Technology

We should re-examine CRM's tripartite nature

Thank You for Your Whatever

Warm feelings help drive satisfying interactions

What Is Brand Love?

Baby, don't hurt my bottom line.

The Hard(ly) Sell

In-person cold calls can get way out of line

Moving and Shaking

Tarantino's favorite cinematic opiate makes the transition to mobile

Blinded With (Data) Science

Number crunching relies on humans who chew well

The Philosophy of Customer Relationships

We have the tech, but still lack true understanding

No Sale

Can we saw off the third leg of the CRM tripod?

Success in Spite of Itself

How far can the experience take you when the product is rubbish?

Growing a New Market

Business development for a different kind of cloud

My Fellow Citizens...Er, Customers

Mixing politics and CRM

Customer Experience: Code Blue

There's more to patient care than what happens within a hospital's walls.

Designing Humor: IKEA Mocks Apple

Our consumerist obsession values hype over innovation.

In Enterprise Applications, Competence and Innovation Don't Always Go Hand in Hand

Consider your business' focus in the evaluation process.

When It Comes to Marketing, Drop the Scare Tactics

It's not just what we say, but how we draw attention to it

Where Does CRM Go from Here?

We ask the experts where the industry is headed in the new year.

Give Localization Its Due

Mastering this important concept is trickier than you think.

The Age of Entitled Consumers

What hath consumerism wrought?

Greeting Cards Enter the CRM Space

A new spin on contact management piques my interest—and pique.

For Hewlett-Packard, FantasySalesTeam Makes Results a Reality

Tech leader sees sales gains—and a culture change—with gamification solution.

Insuring Fliers Against Travel Snafus

Air travel gets a new wrinkle—annoyance insurance.

Neutering Net Neutrality

Let's put the brakes on a separate, but unequal, future for bandwidth providers.

Use the Brand, Luke

The more you tighten your grip, the more that will slip through your fingers.

Best Practices for Whom?

You can only play so much Follow the Leader.

The Troubles of Trading on Name Recognition

When your brand's secondhand, tell a new story.

The Physics of CRM

Newton was even more right than he knew.

Eschew the Peer Review?

There are limits to what "people like me" can tell you.

Excellent Customer Service Begins with Self-Evaluation

Meeting others' expectations starts with coming to terms with your own.

Pull the Plug on Customer Care

Communication is good, overkill is not.

Bidding Social CRM a Fond Farewell

A transformative term is being retired. What does it mean to us?

Top Gear Is Driven to Excite

Experience is where the rubber hits the road.

New Year, New Strategies

At the change of years, CRM welcomes new social, mobile, and gamification trends.

Debunking the Lone Wolf Sales Myth

Let's put this old cliche to sleep.

What's Your Marketing Plan?

What we can learn from etymology and an ancient general

Customer Retention Starts with Listening

Whatever your profession, hearing what your customers say is crucial.

Giving Small CRM Players Due Credit

CRM's reality contest, and why you should pay attention.

Why CRM Is a Balancing Act

Are CRM vendors sending mixed messages, or complementary ones?

Brother, Can You Spare the Time?

Making the job of nonprofit marketers a little bit easier.

We're All Connected

For better or worse, everything digital is out there.

How May I Help You, Buddy?

Warm personalized service can clash with professional detachment.

Branded!

Will you fight for your name?

Nonservice Versus Disservice

There's a difference between doing what you can and doing what you can get away with.

Flying Colors?

Consider what your flight attendants can control before giving them attitude.

Smarten Up

Arm graduates with skills that matter.

The Wisdom of Crowds

The voice of the customer is more than a buzzword.

Getting Back in the Game

After a separation, making the next connection is crucial.

The Anatomy of a Customer Breakup

Nothing lasts forever, not even customer or company loyalties.

Kickstart Your Business

Seeking venture capital has become a little easier.

Customers: Old Dog, New Trick?

To serve customers, go with what you (and they) know.

Train Your Customer Muscle

If business tasks are not as natural as breathing, your business will suffocate.

Be the Influencer

A voice unheard is a waste.

Keeping It Natural

Social streams are what you put into them—for better or worse.

The 2012 Service Elite

The Keeler Principle

"Hit 'em where they ain't" works great in baseball, not in business.

Music Lessons

What's fun got to do with learning? Everything.

My Latest Excuse

Love the player, hate the game.

HauteLook Gets Help for Help

Online discounter taps RightNow for customer care.

Past Is Prologue for CRM

We look at the major events of this year in the CRM industry for hints of what's to come in 2012.

Another Round of Gamification

Get customers onto the winning team—yours

A Tale of Two Oracles

Server and apps giant goes hard core on hardware, soft on software

Plus What?

Google dips its toes into social networking waters—again

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for … Short Ribs?

Food trucks live and die by social CRM

Can I Help You? Can I Help You? Can I Help You?

CRM requires listening, not just speaking

Children Are the Currency

Courting kids in the experience economy

Thank You For Your Business

Eagerness makes a difference to customers

The Winter of Our Dis-Content

Trying on some bold "new" social media strategies in CRM

Renting the Rubber Room

Apartment hunting reveals what happens behind closed doors

The Jobs, They Are A-Changin’

Social CRM technology requires learning new skills

Where You At?

Because GPS wasn't enough for some people, we now have LBS

Find the Story in Your Data Storage

Don't just store your customer data—use it

(Proactive) Service with a (Secret) Smile

If you feel like somebody's watching you, it just might be CRM in action

Can Ya See the Real Me?

Most companies can't—or won't.

These Awards Are Yours

Do you still want to eat the sausage after finding out how it's made?

Analyze This!

Are we suffering from too little data, or wallowing in too much of it?

Your Community Is Almost Entirely Mute

And yet communities are expected to reflect the people who show up—even the quiet ones.

The Rise of the A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.

The Abbreviation Coalition for the Regular Overuse of Nothing You Meant is now called to order.

Hear Kitty Kitty

Think CRM with your customers is complex? Try it with your cat sometime.

March Madness

Are betting pools the office worker's lottery ticket, or a security blanket?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Gala

How to survive the vendor events of last resort—no matter what resorts they're held at.

Everything Old Is New Again

Innovation is change, but change isn't necessarily innovation

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A quick look at year's-end uncertainty and future possibilities.

Marc'ing Time in San Francisco

It's been 10 years since the founding of Salesforce.com, and CRM has never been the same.

The Message Has Two Faces

Find the truth hiding behind the brand.

The Best of the Rest

The Market Awards are done, but there's so much left unmocked!

Channeling My Frustration

Words, words, words. Why don't they mean what they used to?

Matching Pie Slices to Plates

As more vendors enter the on-demand CRM arena, profit may be harder to come by. Is consolidation the answer?

A Revolution in Customer Centricity

It all started with sales tax.

Smooth Sailing

Travel Dynamics International finds that adding a real CRM system can lead to unexpected destinations.

The New Connections of Social Media

I don't care to belong to any social network that will accept me as a member.

Investing in Knowledge Management

Financial software developer Advent uses InQuira to show it's what you know and who you know.

Sales and Social Media: No One’s Social (Yet)

Social computing is still working its way into the consultative sales process. For most sales forces, that's just fine.

Identifying Your iNeed to iDeploy an iPhone App

As the iPhone App Store emerges as a significant brand-building platform, the phrase "There's an app for that" has become a catchphrase for consumers and businesses alike. But is it the right place for you?

Web Analytics Market to Hit the Billion-Dollar Mark by 2014

Exclusive First Look: A new Forrester Research report, due out on Wednesday, shows an industry segment lurching through a tricky middle stage, but one that will continue to blossom in coming years.

Beagle's Best and Brightest: The 2009 WizKids

The independent market research firm releases its fifth annual WizKids report, themed around operational excellence.

Your Savings Are My Services

Think about what you're giving off when you're giving in to pressure.

The Psychology of the Sale

There's a lot going on inside the customer's head, whether you put it there or not. What are salespeople up against?

Partners Grow Routes

Intuit QuickBase helps TomTom navigate reseller deals.

Zuora Scores 100

The billing-as-a-service provider expands its platform to include 100 features, including a new taxation module.

What Is Sales Support Costing You?

A new study from Forrester Research reveals a sofa cushion where sales budget money gets lost.

ISM's Top 15 Arrives -- and Exceeds 15

ISM Top 15 '09: The consultancy reveals its annual list of the best companies and products in CRM.

Salesforce.com Frees Up Mobility

Cloudforce London '09: The popular on-demand provider introduces a free version of its mobile CRM access package -- after all, one executive says, "cloud applications make mobility possible."

NetSuite Connects Two Clouds

Partner-built connectors link NetSuite's cloud with rival Salesforce.com's, allowing overlapping customers to combine applications.

Bad Billing Will Kill Off Your Biggest Buyers

More than half of telecommunications carriers don't measure customer satisfaction when it comes to enterprise billing.

We Reserve the Right to Screw Up Your Service

Service gaffes are part of life, but some of them are just astounding.

NetSuite Forms Another Cloud Out West

The on-demand CRM and ERP vendor introduces the SuiteCloud Ecosystem, the latest word in software-as-a-service development and distribution.

Spring Brings Service Tweets from Salesforce.com

Cloudforce Tour: Customer service in the cloud gets Twitter integration.

Sales Struggling to Make Quota

A recent report on sales performance optimization shows a gap between expectations and capabilities.

Looking to Score

Marketing gathers the leads; sales pursues them. It sounds simple. It isn't.

You Know What They Say…

Floggers of these bons mot need a punch in the bouche.

A Training Regimen Gets Rigorous

Brainshark helps FitLinxx pump up customers' use of fitness technology.

Stay Tuned

The switch to digital TV broadcasts is upon us—or is it?

Bad Billing Will Kill Off Your Biggest Buyers

More than half of telecommunications carriers don't measure customer satisfaction when it comes to enterprise billing.

NetSuite Retails a New Offering

The popular on-demand ERP and CRM provider announces a version for the retail industry, and has its first profitable quarter.

Salesforce.com Expands the Cloud to Sales

The Spring '09 release of the popular on-demand CRM platform includes new social functions for salespeople.

The Depression? Great.

How we handle the bad times can reflect well on us in the long run.

Outsprinted

Telecom giant Sprint cuts telecom contact centers.

It’s Showtime!

Cobb Theatres makes a blockbuster move to combine dining and moviegoing.

Oracle CRM On Demand Takes Aim at Salesforce.com

A slew of enhancements mark the 16th update to Oracle's software-as-a-service CRM option, and comparisons to Salesforce.com abound.

When Will We See CustomerService.Gov?

A new report details deficiencies and opportunities for government agencies to connect with citizens.

Xactly Acquires Centive

Analysts say consolidation in the sales performance management market was expected -- but this particular deal comes as a surprise.

Data Quality Best Practices Boost Revenue by 66 Percent

Research by SiriusDecisions also shows that faulty marketing intelligence has a comparably huge negative effect.

Salesforce.com Adds Service to the Cloud

The software-as-a-service CRM vendor's new Service Cloud solidifies crowdsourced customer support.

Holiday Revisits

I hope you kept that list of New Year's resolutions…

The Shots Heard ’Round the World

A turbulent economy is driving some on-demand vendors to reduce fees. Is a price war looming in software-as-a-service?

Sales Contentment for Content Management

Monk Development gets a handle on its sales process and pipeline.

Shake Your Moneymakers

Here are three areas in which technology can help your organization sell better.

Scoping Out SFA for Consumer Goods

Gartner's most recent MarketScope looks at how businesses in the consumer world are using sales force automation.

Sprint: Please Hold for Silence

Sprint Nextel will close contact centers in response to lower demand for customer service while increasing its marketing efforts.

The Rave Is Over

What happened at Entellium, and what it means for businesses.

Makana Solutions Makes Plans

A new sales compensation management tool joins the Makana Motivator family of products.

CRM 2.0 Is for Real

Forrester Research examines the growing field of social CRM and shows where the value lies.

Oracle Shines Up Siebel and Social Computing

Big Red's acquired powerhouse gets a major update, and adds sales gadgets to its social initiative.

HP Now Serving NetSuite to Order

The hardware-and-services vendor inks a partnership with NetSuite to resell CRM.

Jigsaw and SkyData Piece Together Mobile Contact Data

Dreamforce '08: The software-as-a-service companies partner up to deliver a contact database to the traveling business user.

NetSuite Saps a Competitor and Shows Growth

The popular on-demand CRM and ERP provider takes a bite out of yet another company's customer base.

Captive Audiences

When you only get one side of a story, are you really getting what you need?

The Slackers’ X-cellent Adventure

Generation X has a reputation for aimlessness, but, in truth, its members are concerned about the future—and they're using their resources accordingly.

Invicta’s Thrill of Victory

A dealer of wireless products and service conquers the agony of weak processes with LongJump.

AMI-Partners Susses Out the Hot SaaS Vendors

A new report looks at several on-demand application providers who are worth keeping an eye on.

All the News from NetSuite

Rounding up a slew of announcements from the on-demand CRM provider, including a half-price deal targeting Salesforce.com customers.

Maximizer Mobilizes More

With the release of Maximizer 10.5, the Canadian CRM mainstay adds to its wireless capabilities and spruces up the value to SMBs.

Gamer-Influenced Design Games the System

An update to the ongoing story of Entellium's self-destruction.

The Power of Wireless Customer Satisfaction

J.D. Power and Associates releases its latest findings on the popular (and growing) side of the telecommunications industry.

It's Time to Change Channels

New research shows consistent disappointment with indirect methods—and explains why.

On-Demand Analytics Birsts Upon the Scene

Success Metrics releases Birst, a software-as-a-service business intelligence package with a free entry-level offering and a surprising focus on verticals.

An On-Demand Assessment

Five nines of semantic foolishness, at your service.

SAP Retains Market-Share Lead in CRM

Gartner report shows the Wonder of Walldorf still on top—but a lawsuit and other troubles loom.

The Price Is Right...You Hope

Maximizing profit isn't about squeezing your customers dry; it's about charging them what's fair. Price optimization is no longer a chore or a secret technology—it's a competitive differentiator for those wise enough to explore it.

CRM Eases the Pressure for WIKA Instruments

Selltis helps gauge sales solutions for a maker of industrial gauges.

Forrester Research Finds Disservice in Self-Service

Customers still want to speak to live agents, but companies aren't making it easy for either side, according to a new report.

Partners Bark Up the Right Tree

TreeHouse Interactive's channel management suite gets an overhaul in advance of integration with Oracle CRM On Demand.

Mobile CRM Finds a Permanent Home

A 2007 Rising Star delivers a browser-based CRM suite that stays true to its wireless roots.

Oracle and SAP Surf Side-by-Side in Forrester Wave on Enterprise CRM

Forrester Wave on Enterprise CRM Suites '08: Forrester Research's latest on big-business CRM shows close competition between the two, with Microsoft coming on strong.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Market Leaders -- Small Business Suite CRM

For the "true" small business, needs may be less robust, but reliability's a must -- and Maximizer Software takes top honors this year.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Market Leaders -- Sales Force Automation

Some things don't change: The continuing trend toward "SFA plus something more" is accelerating, and Salesforce.com takes the title once again.

View of Pints

You wanna go where everybody knows your liver.

CRM Dials into the iPhone

Is the industry ready to turn a consumer craze into a business tool?

Market Focus: Financial Services -- Keeping Your Money on Their Minds

Compliance, mobile banking, data in the cloud—financial services firms have a lot to deal with when it comes to CRM.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Influential Leaders -- Paul Greenberg

The Herald: Paul Greenberg -- chief customer officer, BPT Partners; president, The 56 Group.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Influential Leaders -- Brad Wilson

The Steady: Brad Wilson -- general manager, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Rising Stars -- Apple

Devising the newest mobile device.

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Rising Stars -- Zuora

Sending the bill, from A to Z(uora).

The 2008 CRM Market Awards: Elite -- Toledo Mud Hens

A minor league team plays like it's in the majors with Microsoft and First Tech Direct.

Forrester Waves to Midmarket CRM

Forrester Wave: Midmarket CRM Suites '08: Despite consolidation, buying CRM software for the midmarket segment is still a major headache.

Demandbase Helps Harvest Leads, One by One

The software-as-a-service demand generation specialist gets on the platform bandwagon, and releases a free tracking widget as well.

The Woes of Enterprise Miscommunication

destinationCRM 2008: Whether it's Web 1.0 or 2.0, sales and marketing still need to communicate.

CRM Ain't Easy

destinationCRM 2008: An implementation expert lays out what businesses really need to succeed in CRM 2.0 initiatives.

Four BI Vendors Crest the Forrester Wave

Forrester Wave '08: The latest report on enterprise business intelligence shows SAP's BusinessObjects property in a tight race with three other respected vendors.

SAS Institute Gets Some Bright IDeaS

The analytics and statistical analysis powerhouse acquires an on-demand price optimization vendor -- and builds a new practice around it.

SFA Vendors Come and Go in Gartner Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant for SFA '08: Gartner's latest sales force automation report shows some movement, including some dropouts, as the research firm focuses on big business; Oracle and Salesforce.com top the field.

SAP Retains Market-Share Lead in CRM

Market intelligence from Gartner shows the Wonder of Walldorf still on top in CRM, ERP, and supply chain.

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

The one from my birth-minute is no mystery.

A Code Win Doesn't Blow

CRM is all over this year's awards for programming excellence.

Wouldja Look at That?

Vendors and users both now have an unprecedented degree of control over what a CRM application can look like. How should that power be used?

All Lines Are Not Busy

British Telecom sees massive turnaround in its contact centers thanks to Knoa.

Summer Landslides Strike Salespeople

Landslide Technologies' latest release includes a revamped interface, sales process tools, and an expanded VIP service for management.

NetSuite Adds to CRM+

Marketing automation and knowledge management headline the company's latest list of enhancements, as well as those coming from its partners.

Entellium Builds a CRM Suite to Rave About

The vendor launches two new products for its Rave suite aimed at "true" small businesses, and hooks up with Boomi as an integration partner.

The Last Word from Microsoft's WPC

As the show wraps up in Houston, a roundup of some announcements from the vendor's weeklong Worldwide Partner Conference.

CRM Vendors Say Hello to the New iPhone

Apple's 3G update to its popular handheld has early support from big names in the industry, but little meat so far.

SAS and SPSS Hold the Lead in Gartner Magic Quadrant on Data Mining

Magic Quadrant for Data Mining '08: Packaged applications are all the rage -- but as the pair atop the list remains the same, a Visionary emerges overseas.

Growth Trend Continues for CRM

A new report from AMR on customer management indicates double-digit market growth is here to stay, though the economy remains a concern.

Darth Vader Kills the Road Runner

Inertia will only keep customers in place for so long.

Another Bright Idea out of Edison

From the famous inventor's hometown, CheckPoint HR gets insight and cuts costs with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Is Microsoft Winning the CRM Race?

The latest CRM products and partnerships from Redmond's software juggernaut have set industry tongues wagging about whether Microsoft has finally forced its way to the forefront -- or if it was ever destined to be a true leader in the first place. Plus, an exclusive interview with Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.

Targeting Performance Beyond Sales

Callidus Software announces an addition to its performance management offering: a corporate alignment product -- one that's on-demand, to boot.

The Art of Simplexity

Selectica releases its latest sales configurator, optimized for field agents with high-end laptops.

CRM Versus CEM

Ventana Research's latest benchmark study lays out the difference between the two, and suggests why the "E" might have more future success than the "R."

Salesforce.com Kicks Off a Cloudy Summer

With the launch of Salesforce Summer '08, the on-demand superstar raises the level of discussion about platform-as-a-service, partnerships, and more.

NetSuite BOSes Its Way into Manufacturing

Will on-demand ring a bell in manufacturing? The SaaS pioneer rolls a new vertical integration off the assembly line, and its partners are also building for the industry using NetSuite's Business Operating System platform.

Big Red Gets Social

Enterprise megavendor Oracle offers a taste of its social networking-inspired on-demand applications at the Enterprise 2.0 conference.

Partners and Customers and Relationships, Oh My!

BlueRoads and Microsoft team up to offer joint partner management and CRM.

NetSuite Inhales OpenAir

The popular on-demand CRM vendor puts its cash to good use in snatching up professional services automation developer OpenAir.

"Houston, We Have a Problem"

Simple customer management shouldn't be rocket science

The Second Coming of Web 2.0

"Web 2.0" has been the subject of much buzz -- especially in CRM. What's beyond that buzz, and how can you make it work for you?

Awana Hears a SaaS Sermon

An international youth ministry gets the CRM it needs, integrated with the enteprise resource planning system it knows.

Oracle Scores Twice in Gartner's Field Service Magic Quadrant

Siebel and the Oracle E-Business Suite are ranked in a recent Gartner Magic Quadrant; ClickSoftware and TOA Technologies are visionaries.

RightNow Starts Flipping Through Channels

RightNow Technologies' latest release adds chat and surveys to its multichannel customer-care arsenal, seeking to capture the voice of the customer.

Zuora's New SaaS: Subscriptions-as-a-Service

Industry veterans launch an on-demand billing provider, offering a new way to handle time-based invoicing for goods and services.

Filling Out the Spice Rack

Sage Insights '08: A roundup of announcements from last week's partner conference.

Swenson Clears the Cobwebs for Sage

Sage Insights '08: The new CEO discusses her observations of the company, and outlines goals and aspirations for the coming year.

Tealeaf Stalks Customers Online

The provider of customer experience applications for e-commerce companies adds new capabilities to its front and back ends.

Voice Automation Hops to the Forefront

Ribbit, calling itself "Silicon Valley's first phone company," launches a CRM integration with Salesforce.com, paving the way to unite business applications with the spoken word.

CRM World News, Part III

If I found it on the Internet, it must be important.

Is CRM Too Hard for Microsoft?

On The Scene: Convergence 2008 -- Redmond's mighty software maker finally has what it needs for a great CRM program -- but is it too late?

Skin in the Game

Centive smoothes away the calluses for a dermatology-product vendor.

Analytics is Xactly What Sales Teams Need

Sales performance management breaks data out of the operational realm -- and tries to deliver business intelligence in the process.

Microsoft Goes Live with CRM Live Online

The 4.0 version of the recently renamed on-demand CRM suite from Microsoft reaches its domestic launch date.

Infusion Software Updates Its Name and Brand

The small-business CRM service provider becomes Infusionsoft, dropping "CRM" from its product name along the way.

Oracle Helps Seal the Deal

Collaborate '08: The debut of Oracle Deal Management brings boutique technology into the CRM and ERP suite world.

SaaS CRM Helps Olympic Swimmers in the Shallow End

Small and medium businesses increasingly turn to the Web for applications that fit.

The Real Benefits of Mobile SFA

New research from Aberdeen Group shows how mobile sales force automation can keep Road Warriors from becoming Mad Max.

Hot Sales for Cool Vendors

Gartner names the new and the noteworthy in the realm of sales applications for CRM.

There's No Stopping CRM

New research from Gartner predicts strong market growth continuing through 2012, despite the coming economic downturn.

Out of Context

Remember to look around you when spelling out your corporate message.

A Tenancy of One's Own

Just when the battle between on-demand and on-premise CRM seemed to settle down a bit, a new one opens up: single-tenant architecture versus multitenancy.

The 2008 CRM Service Awards: Rising Stars -- Telcordia Technologies

Telcordia Technologies may have been around -- but it's planning to be around a lot longer, too.

The 2008 CRM Service Awards: Elite -- JPMorgan Chase Card Services

JPMorgan Chase Card Services has Enkata to thank for a unification of agent metrics.

The 2008 CRM Service Awards: Contact Center Infrastructure

Replacing computer-telephony integration (CTI), this category encompasses all the contact center technologies; despite the rejiggering, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories remains on top.

The 2008 CRM Service Awards: Contact Center Search

In a contact-center-specific adaptation of knowledge management, InQuira is this year's answer.

Should Microsoft Quit CRM?

Microsoft Convergence 2008: While some analysts leaven criticism of Microsoft's Dynamics offerings with restrained praise, one recent report suggests the company "continues to lag rivals significantly" and should give up on CRM entirely.

Microsoft's Latest Convergence Theory

Microsoft Convergence 2008: CEO and President Steve Ballmer outlines his company's approach to business applications, expands a partnership, and drops some hints about strategy.

Marketing: It's Nothing Personal

A report from the CMO Council reveals that personalization is a marketing force that isn't being fully utilized -- yet.

The Power of Habit

Green beer and parades will rule the day, and we shall rue it.

Selling CRM to Your Sales Force

They're set in their ways, stubbornly independent, and resistant to change. But your staff doesn't have to be your toughest sale.

SaaS X.0?

The next wave of on-demand computing may just be another trendy "2.0" label.

Chasing Down First-Call Resolution

A credit-card company reduces agent strain and finds answers faster with Enkata.

NetSuite Calls In the BOS

The on-demand CRM vendor, recently public, launches an application development platform -- NetSuite Business Operating System -- for custom and vertical software.

Experian Opens Its Attribute Toolbox

The broker of financial-information services launches a set of data-access and -intelligence tools.

Oracle Explores the Power of One

Single-tenant architecture for the on-demand world gets a powerful enterprise advocate in a new edition of Oracle's Siebel.

Does Enterprise 2.0 Have Traction?

New research shows about two-thirds of businesses are using the latest tools, but there are questions over the extent of penetration.

Salesforce Turns Silver

The popular software-as-a-service CRM company delivers its 25th release -- Spring '08 -- adding collaboration and content features amidst rumors of ownership-shopping.

CRM Best Practices Aren't Practiced

Research from one of CRM magazine's Influential Leaders shows that adoption of core ideas and approaches isn't where it should be.

Former Sage CEO Goes to Corrigo

Industry heavyweight Ron Verni lands at a field service management company, with a mandate to create growth.

SAP Susses Out 2008

With financial results in hand and Business ByDesign humming along, the vendor offers some thoughts on what's coming next.

The Loyalty Riddle

Can marketing overcome the customers who talk about you?

The Bold Flavor of Brand

There's smoke, but maybe not fire, in the world of product image.

Rumble in the Office

Your sales force and your technology staff may not respect each other's turf, but you'd better broker a truce if you want your business to thrive.

Tying Up Cable's Loose Ends

A Web-based solution helps Molex Premise Networks log project, customer, and contact information.

CRM Drives Down-Market

SAP and Microsoft make big moves to embrace smaller customers.

Oracle and BEA Systems Settle on a Price

Three months after the initial $6.7 billion bid, the juggernaut of enterprise computing pays $8.5 billion for its rival in the middleware market.

Big Changes in Solutions for Small Businesses

Consumerization, software-as-a-service, and several other industry developments are affecting how application vendors approach smaller organizations.

Inside Sales Moves Beyond the Boiler Room

IDC outlines best practices for an oft-overlooked selling job, and shows that it's more important than some realize.

Compensation Management Pays Off in Performance

A new Aberdeen study reveals the strategic importance of automating sales compensation management, including planning.

Mismanaged Lead Management

Sales organizations aren't measuring what they need to measure; closed loop lead management could be the answer to multiple woes.

Fresh Meat, Social Media Style

Hope you like the taste of crow--or foot-in-mouth. Your customers are serving it up hot

Fine-Tuning the Channel

They're not exactly employees, and they're not quite customers, but your channel partners can be equally important -- and you can't just direct them by remote control.

Required Reading: Like Pulling Off a Band-Aid

The critical steps to rapid transformation.

Putting Asia in Your Pocket

Red Pocket Mobile snags a particular prepaid phone market, with help from VoIP Logic

Opening a New Window on Business Intelligence

Ventana Research delivers a pair of reports on the analytics field, both old school and new.

NetSuite Takes Stock, and Sells It

The on-demand CRM vendor posts a big IPO, suggesting the tech market is still buoyant.

Microsoft Unleashes a Titan

The much-anticipated Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 makes it to market in time for the close of Q4 2007, to the sounds of analyst praise.

Getting Your Tech Ducks All in a Row

Introducing a sales automation system for the people who must actually make a product work for the customer: the sales engineer.

Verint Makes a Speedy Impact

The company's acquired Witness arm launches its latest workforce optimization suite, Impact 360, stressing analytics prowess and integration.

SAP's Year-End Model Sports a Facelift

SAP Influencer Summit: The German giant's SAP CRM 2007 -- with a new user interface -- sneaks in under the calendar-year wire.

The Buyer Is Your Owner

Forward thinkers come together to learn how customers are changing the business landscape/

Getting Connected with Surveys

Covad achieves fat customer satisfaction with HyperQuality.

The Dark Side of the Search Engine

Will a sage oracle sap your nice salesforce?

A Shift in SAP's Growth Strategy: Buy Big to Get Bigger

The company's planned acquisition of analytics powerhouse Business Objects represents the largest in company history.

It's All Coming 2.0gether

As 2007 ends, and 2008 looms ahead of us, patterns are beginning to emerge: The future of business may not be in the hands of the executives, but those of the customer instead. And yet, hasn't it always been that way?

Installed Software Strikes Back

After years of software-as-a-service rising ascendant, economic pressures may be favoring on-premise software again.

Outsourced Sales Training Is More Effective

New research suggests that training your sales team in-house isn't the best way to get lasting results -- but choosing the right outside partner can be tricky, as well.

LiveVox Opens the Doors on Voice Portal 3.0

Inbound and outbound features unite in an alternative to the dialer; one analyst sees hints of ambition beyond the current offering.

Microsoft's New Desktop Arrives

Customer Care Framework 2008 updates the company's existing integrated agent workspace with hosted application tools, single sign-on, and more.

Sales Configuration Vendors Are Splitting and Tangling

Recent market research from Gartner shows overall consolidation but with divisions appearing between specialists and megavendors.

Customer Connection Is Sage's Flavor of the Day

On the scene: Putting recent executive shakeups in the rearview mirror, the venerable vendor dialogues about dialogue.

Primos Hunting Calls Snares Efficiency

Exact Software delivers a warehouse system dog that will hunt.

Things I Learned at Dreamforce '07

A few more takeaways from the fall's big event.

Market Focus: Technology -- The Simple Truth about Complex Manufacturing

Tech firms need CRM as much as any other company--and sometimes even more.

Modern Times, Modern Methods

As business models become increasingly complex, more and more processes are shunted to automated systems. But the best examples never lose touch with the human element.

RightNow Partners for a Mashup

The Bozeman bunch signs partnerships with Demandware and Cast Iron Systems to expand its e-commerce and integration capabilities.

Maximizer and CanDoGo Can Do Mentoring

The CRM vendor teams with the business coach to deliver Web-based professional advice through the CRM interface.

A New Forrester Wave Comes Ashore: End-User Experience Monitoring

Research firm delves into a new area of enterprise software: passive desktop agents.

Outsourcing Hits a Plateau

New research shows that business process outsourcing (BPO) growth has been stagnant among midsize businesses in recent years.

Forrester Wave Ranks Cognos and Oracle Tops in Performance Management

Forrester Wave on Business Performance Solutions, 2007: Forrester Research's ranking of BPM vendors provides a snapshot of a market in motion.

Sage Dismisses CEO

Facing challenges, the venerable midmarket vendor beheads its North American operations.

SAP to Acquire Business Objects

The friendly takeover folds new business intelligence capabilities into one of the leading enterprise software platforms; amidst differing opinions, rumors loom of a counteroffer from Oracle or IBM.

Analytics Demand Has an Online Answer

Applix bolsters its user community with a cache of new applications, development tools, and tips; one analyst says Applix On-Demand could become a SaaS offering of its own.

Let the Games Begin!

We can learn a lot from our pastimes...or not.

Salesforce.com's Platforming Ventures

Two venture-capital firms help launch and fund a program for companies to develop Force.com applications.

Something Special in the Air

Carriers announce the latest attempt to provide broadband Internet access to airline passengers.

Pay Day

You track your sales team's numbers -- and so does each member of the team. Here's what you need to know about the business of sales compensation, and how you can make it work for all of you.

OutClick Media Gets a Second Opinion

A medical marketing company fills its sales transparency prescription with Entellium.

Please Hold While I Answer the Doorbell

Contact centers are continuing to accelerate toward a distributed, home-based staffing model, says a new report.

The Cities That Serve: New York? Fuhgeddaboutit.

British research firm The Grass Roots Group breaks into the U.S. market with a report ranking 10 American cities on customer service; Phoenix is tops, while the New York region comes in at the bottom of a closely packed list.

Dreamforce '07: Highlights from the Salesforce.com Scene

Dreamforce '07: A summary of what's on display from Salesforce.com partners at the company's annual convention.

Salesforce.com's Soapbox Is the Platform

Dreamforce '07: AppExchange says hello to its younger, bigger sister: Force.com, touted as "platform-as-a-service"; the family also welcomes a cousin: Visualforce, hailed as "user-interface-as-a-service."

Cloud9 Analytics Peers into Salesforce.com

The company debuts with a brace of on-demand applications designed to pull more sales data from the popular CRM system.

NetBooks Targets the 'S' in SMB

The creator of QuickBooks debuts a new on-demand business management system, catering to the very smallest of the small-business segment.

Defining the High-Performance Contact Center

A new report identifies the key factors in call center success, and they require looking beyond the benchmarks.

Software, On and Off

A growing segment of on-demand providers is boasting of offline functionality. Is this an admission of failure, or a stopgap on the way to perpetual access?

The CEO's New Clothes

The polo shirt is great, but the company sucks.

FastForward to CRM Best Practices

Forrester Research announces a framework for assessing your CRM needs and achieving quick wins; accompanying research reveals that less than half of CRM users had been fully satisfied with CRM initiatives.

Sales Credit Assignment Gets Compelling

Sales compensation vendor Centive tries to make its Compel on-demand product as attractive for sales as for finance.

The TAS Group Livens Up Its Selection

Sales effectiveness training gets a four-course meal of process, methodology, technology, and performance metrics from the company's new subscription service.

Netbriefings 'Proclaims' Video Tools for Business

Webcast provider responds to the explosion in video communications with something sales and marketing teams can use.

Contactless Payments Are Tagged for Growth

Retailers continue to identify radio-frequency technology as their best hope for contactless payment systems.

Social Studies: It's the Interface, Stupid!

A report reveals numerous flaws in popular social networking sites' design for user experience--but also some good processes.

Brainshark Floats a New Version

The latest version of the company's business communication solution helps users analyze how audiences are responding.

Metastorm Improves Its Forma

The business process management vendor acquires Proforma, expanding its capabilities with enterprise architecture modeling.

Critical Care for Health Records

Capital Ideas

Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover -- or a company by its name.

Monitoring the Partners

NetSuite helps ViewSonic revamp its PRM capabilities for better insight and communication.

StayinFront Takes a Leap Forward

The vendor's newest version adds an updated interface, business rules creation, and multiplatform compatibility, complete with better formatting for mobile devices.

Higher Education Belts On Intelliworks CRM

The company's new Orion platform gives universities a much-needed update to relationship management via SaaS.

SaaS Rises in the East

The Asian market for on-demand software nearly doubled last year as awareness and adoption rates boomed; new report says satisfaction is high for CRM and other applications.

Outsourced Customer Care Is Accelerating

A recent study says growth in mergers and acquisitions are driven by industry's demand for scale; CRM component of outsourcing is small but "growing rapidly."

Healthcare Hunters Search from Scratch

A new study says that, for consumers seeking health information online, relevance matters more than trust, and that search-engine optimization is a must for healthcare companies.

NetSuite iPhones It In

The on-demand CRM vendor announces full in-browser capabilities for use on the wildly popular new Apple device; CRM on the hip could make Apple the next big mobile business tool.

Business Practices Affect Buying Habits

Consumers make purchasing decisions based on how companies conduct their affairs, but word of mouth has lost its luster.

Salesforce.com Joins Siebel Atop Gartner Magic Quadrant for SFA

Magic Quadrant for SFA '07: Oracle's Siebel has to share the spotlight in sales force automation, and additional challengers are closing in.

NetSuite Will Go IPO

After years of rumor, the on-demand CRM vendor files papers to become a public company; analysts agree it's the right time, more or less.

What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Journalistic temptation runs deep.

Market Focus: Healthcare: The Great Divide

The business of medicine and the care of patients are not the same thing; for both segments, customers is difficult to define.

Test-Tube Implementation

A biomed supplier turns its CRM system around over the years as its client list grows.

The Alignment

CRM capabilities and business processes enable technology to shine.

Maximum Sales Research

Maximizer Software inks a deal with sales-effectiveness analyst group ES Research to share information on best practices and link their customer bases.

Xactly Does Incentive Management for SMBs

The sales compensation systems provider releases a managed service that takes the labor out of wrangling incentives.

NetSuite Dials a New Number

The on-demand CRM suite provider floats its latest version, combining analytics, back-office integration, and partner relationship management.

MarketLive Speaks with Bazaarvoice

Bazaarvoice and MarketLive partner to offer an integrated e-commerce system complete with analytics and user ratings.

Metastorm Adds ICCM to the Pod

The vendor's new Process Pod for partner ICCM's eService Desk lets users integrate BPM into all aspects of their business, not just the contact center.

Tealeaf Broadens Its Offerings

The Web experience management specialist delivers upgrades for two of its applications, letting them span an organization's needs.

Motorola Hands Over the Retail Scanner

The technology vendor's new portable scanning terminal could affect how shoppers shop, and how stores generate loyalty.

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Order Management

A recent study reveals that few companies are following best practices when it comes to a critical area of their commerce systems.

Gunning the Sales Accelerator

An outdoor recreational products maker cruises to better results with Sales Progress training.

Lord of the Undead Vendors

He'll saaaahck your braaaahnd.

Clicking and Chatting in Financial Services

A new report makes the case for interactive help to drive the next wave of success and innovation in the financial services field.

Call Center Strategies Ride the Bench

A recent study shows that contact centers in all industries have similar goals and needs; teleservices is beating the pack in terms of low call abandonment.

A Million Handshakes for Onyx and Knova

Consona releases new versions of its acquired CRM and knowledge management properties, and adds some marketing automation from Norway.

Sharpened Logic and Analysis for Sage

The vendor announces an improved, expanded version of its popular SalesLogix midmarket suite (and an analytics and reporting package) at its Insights convention.

Sage Delivers Insight on Changes

The company's annual partner and customer convention kicks off with talk of the future, growing from recently announced structural shifts.

Cisco and Salesforce.com Get Connected

The communications infrastructure vendor and the on-demand CRM provider announce Unified CallConnector, strengthening the companies' partnership.

London Texting

A new study indicates that mobile phone calling in Great Britain is experiencing a sharp decline, while the use of text messaging is on the rise.

An SFA Wave Hits a Crowded Beach

The latest Forrester Wave for sales force automation shows that Siebel still has what businesses want; a number of other vendors are challenging its primacy.

Is Salesforce.com Changing Direction?

The vendor is implementing vertical solutions after long shyness, but how far should they go and who is creating them? Plus, two questions for the CEO.

Do You Believe the Hype?

Well, stop!

Playground Gets Maximized

Ease of use allows sales teams to focus on customers and build relationships.

IT Meets CRM for ROI

A network administration toolmaker turns to Soffront to tame some of its own wild technical difficulties.

No More Dying by Inches

To help reverse the effects of its information malnutrition, a sales team must let its marketing department know what customer data is of value and what is not.

Chordiant Takes the Pain Out of Collections

A new application lets financial institutions develop brand loyalty even when chasing late payments.

SMBs Welcome Hosted VoIP

On-demand IP communications systems are burgeoning, especially among smaller businesses with limited IT staff.

Salesforce.com Uncouples Apps from CRM

The company introduces Salesforce Platform Edition, a version that allows application development and sharing without a CRM subscription.

Oracle's New Integration Platform and the New Siebel

The company unveils its new SOA platform for integrating with other vendors, and delivers the latest Siebel CRM On Demand--minus IBM components.

Salesforce.com Builds Bricks with Adobe

The two companies partner to deliver a set of tools for rich Internet application creation; the combination will flesh out the offerings on AppExchange.

PRM Rides the CRM Tide

Oracle and SAP are the big kahunas in the Forrester Wave for partner management, but there are numerous others to choose from among on-demand and specialty vendors.

Verticals OnDemand Offers Miracle Cures

The on-demand specialist partners with two other vendors to deliver CRM tools for the pharmaceutical industry; the timing is right, according to one analyst.

Small Businesses Get IPcelerated

VoIP solutions vendor IPcelerate announces a tetrad of voice solutions for the healthcare, legal, retail, and manufacturing verticals, aimed at giving SMBs integrated functionality.

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 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.

Condemned by Every Syllable She Utters

Ineffective speaking and presentation skills can kill a sale.

It's All the (Road) Rage

Be careful the sort of behavior you incentivize with your loyalty program. Really careful.

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.

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.

E-Commerce Stumbles with Customer Service

Poor online retail performance needs to be addressed, despite continued industry growth; a 32 percent problem rate from the holiday season hasn't been fixed.

ISM Announces Its Top 15 (or 16 or 17)

ISM Top 15 '07: The CRM consultancy's annual awards reveal trends in process and technology, and laud the vendors that are driving them forward.

Advertisers Think Locally

The local online advertising market is poised for rapid growth from its current $4.3 billion annual revenue due to heavy competition and new businesses entering the fray.

Xactly Adds Breadth and BI

The on-demand sales compensation management vendor announces sales-driven analytics and more, along with a roadmap for diversified offerings.

Workforce Management Grows Up

A new study shows that WFM and WFO technologies have come a long way, and will go even farther in smaller contact centers with SaaS.

TeaLeaf Brews a Hot Mug of CEM

The customer experience management specialist delivers the latest version of TeaLeaf CX and a new application to go with it, intended to give real-time insight about transactions to e-businesses.

The Bottom Ten

Revisiting the worst in CRM, via the worst in CRM.

ClientLogic and Sitel Emerge as Sitel

With the merger complete, the two BPO powerhouses announce new unified branding and a refreshed approach to the industry.

Listen Up

Sales experts provide 10 ideas--new and old--about the deal.

SMBs Find Commonalities and Differences

Small and medium businesses have similar broad needs when it comes to IT and growth, but the specifics are not so close; considering them one group may be a mistake.

Omniture Acquires and Discovers

The business optimization vendor reveals signed plans to acquire behavioral targeting company Touch Clarity, and launches the Discover 2 customer analytics application.

VoIP Has Too Much Variation for SMBs

The range of IP telephony solutions presents smaller businesses with many confusing choices, according to a new study; vendors have an opportunity to create targeted solutions.

FrontRange Casts a Whole New (dot)Net

The latest version of GoldMine Enterprise Edition has a redesigned interface to please users and new architecture to entice the midmarket.

Lazy Sheepdogs, Annoying Sheep

A CRMudgeonly view of the vendor-consumer relationship.

Marketing Meets Bad Judgment

An environmental marketing campaign for a cartoon leads to arrests and controversy; the debate is on over where targeting demographics crosses the lines of taste and reason.

Oracle Makes Intelligence Accessible

The latest release of Oracle Business Intelligence Suite includes new visualization and reporting capabilities, intended to broaden the ways workers access BI.

Infor Is the Top Performer in Performance Management

A research report rates 11 vendors and their products in the performance management space, giving users a sense of where to turn to improve business results.

The Rise of the Machines

Deloitte predicts some key technology trends for 2007; social networking, green technology, and the reinvention of the user interface are among them.

LiveOps: Tell the Rep Nothing

The company will debut its Secure Exchange technology tomorrow, enabling callers to give and receive information without being overheard.

From iNeo: Lead Management Kung Fu

Three new LMA products from iNeoMarketing are intended to strengthen B2B customers' relationships with marketers and salespeople; one analyst says such tools can solve "an important problem."

Product Reviews Drive Site Loyalty

ForeSee Results reveals part of its retail satisfaction index, wherein holiday shoppers state their preference for immediate information and back it up with sales.

TUG Sellers Get a Helping Hand

Sales process automation helps out hospital automation.

The Devilish Drift

Watch your step on the slippery slope.

The New World of Sophistication

From mashups and analytics to melanges and intimacy, in the coming year CRM's evolving opposable thumbs will add dexterity to business processes.

Don't Put It in Writing

Never has "know your audience" resonated so much.

Going Full Auto With SFA

Separate the wheat from the chaff by automating key sales processes for maximum return on SFA dollars.

Telus: How to Achieve ROI

Callidus calls a telecommunications company to success.

Allconnect: Making Convenience Convenient

A brief but thorough evaluation process led the company to select HyperQuality, a call center monitoring company focused on quality assurance.

Market Focus: High Tech: Completing the Circuit

Complex gear requires business processes to match.

Global Industrial Revamps Its Catalog

The "idea of integration" becomes real for a company struggling with a virtually obsolete order management system.

X Ways

Generation X's consumer identity isn't easy to pin down, but a large aspect of successful selling to this crowd involves clarity, honesty, and open communication.

CRM Around the World, Take Two

Our plot to warp people's minds is working--here's proof.

A Landslide for Single Salespeople

The company formerly known as SalesGene distills its sales assistant product for individual sellers on the go; one analyst says it "democratizes CRM."

Big Red Roars

Larry Ellison talks about Oracle's history with grid computing and Linux, and drops a bombshell for server operators everywhere.

Partner Day at Oracle OpenWorld

AMD and Dell, pushing their integrations with Oracle, dominate the keynote sessions; the emphasis is on hardware making software work.

BPO Big Boys Will Blend

ClientLogic and SITEL enter a merger agreement to form a massive organization spanning six continents; one analyst says the global footprint is "essential in today's space."

Experian Uses Smaller Stones in Its Mosaic, and Acquires More

The information broker announces its most granular customer segmentation model yet, and acquires Estonian credit bureau Krediidiinfo.

That Dog Must Hunt

The most profitable salespeople are the ones who can focus on high quality leads, according to a new study; organizations should provide the right opportunities and not force customer care onto sales.

Unreality Shows

They're just a way for grown-ups to play dress up.

Ordering Biz Apps for Delivery

Research indicates that one quarter of all new business software will be delivered as SaaS by 2011; loyalty to the on-demand model is reaching enterprises as well as SMBs.

Spreadsheets That Aren't a Pain?

Actuate unveils version 9 of its e.Spreadsheet software, challenging Excel with scalability and security.

The Last Word on SaaS TCO?

New research spells out the costs associated with on-demand implementations versus on-premise for various business sizes.

Financial Success, Successful Finance, Through CRM

Two institutions detail their experience and rewards with CRM implementations at the destinationCRM 2006 conference.

IPcelerate Teaches Communication for Schools

A new bundle of VoIP applications helps educators and administrators unify and expand touch points for students and faculty.

Sales Mobility Really Works

Mobile sales solutions help make top businesses what they are, and many others are following their lead, according to a new survey.

Shoppers and Buyers: Divide, and Conquer Both

Analytics tools and methods can boost sales-closure rates by concentrating sales efforts.

Gettin' Schooled

Facing the fourth "R"--retail.

BEA Systems Makes Hot SOA Moves

The acquisition of metadata repository Flashline and an expanded partnership with Tata Consultancy Services puts BEA back on the A list.

Campus Management Makes the Dean's List

CampusVue 8 delivers administration and CRM for colleges on the ground and on the Internet; one analyst is impressed by the many options.

WebEx Offers Remote Support Satisfaction

Intelligent routing and click-to-connect are some highlights of WebEx's remote service addition to its Support Center product; "[The vendor] understands service," one analyst says.

PeopleSoft CRM Resurfaces

Oracle releases version 9 of PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM, renewing its commitment to the brand and its customers.

There's Something About RFID Revenue

It's decreasing, but this says some good things about the industry, according to a new report; standards and savvy customers will provide a future.

CallMiner Frees Up Speech

The new SpeechTools application puts complex analytical tackle in the hands of nonspecialist users, speeding deployment and reducing cost.

IMS Is a Gleam in Enterprise Carriers' Eyes

An In-Stat report suggests a market is brewing for hosted IP multimedia subsystems, if carriers and customers can see the opportunity.

Money Changes Everything

Callidus helps a financial force straighten out its transactions.

A Treatise Concerning the Flogging of Expired Equines

Sell me once, shame on you; sell me twice, shame on...you.

Try It, You'll Like It

Nailing sales end-user buy-in has been a long-standing challenge for organizations that decide to implement a CRM system. Here, how to gain compliance and what to watch for.

Spoke's Freedom of Information Act

By making its huge contact database available at no charge, the social networking provider hopes to fill a void in personal access while making fresh info the users' responsibility.

CIM Forum: The League of Extraordinary Service

Talisma and eVergance lead the formation of an industry consortium devoted to improving online and multichannel customer interaction.

Customer Demand Demands Performance Measurement

Most manufacturers aren't using the technology available to them to improve customer satisfaction while improving operational efficiency.

Verint Systems Acquires Mercom

The takeover provides a new channel to the contact center vendor, as well as a more compelling play for the growing SMB call center market.

Customer Recommendations Drive Business Success

Industry leaders in online services, computers, and consumer software got that way by having loyal users, according to a trio of reports by Satmetrix.

A Praxical Move for SAP

The German software vendor buys partner Praxis to build up SAP's e-commerce and SFA strengths; one analyst says this will play "a key role" for SMBs.

Syspro Unpacks a Shipment of New Features

Version 5 of the manufacturing and distribution midmarket vendor's suite includes broader integration and better visibility for users.

My Pet Project

Making business relationships warm and fuzzy.

Market Focus: Healthcare: CRM Says ''Ahhh...''

As healthcare providers turn to electronic records, CRM finds its way into the practice.

Overcoming a Bear of a Communications Gap

Contact Networks teaches a VC to get in touch with its inner address book.

Wireless: Hot or Not?

Devices and platforms and applications abound--here's what you need to pay attention to

Flying Colors: JetBlue and Continental

J.D. Power cites people and process as the key factors for success in its 2006 North America airline study.

Bringing Your Partners In On the Deal

Salesforce introduces Partnerforce, the Salesforce Partner Edition: Integrated CRM and PRM provide visibility that best-of-breeds lack.

Communications Customers Want the Total Package

U.S. households are increasingly subscribing to bundled services from telcos and cable providers; IDC sees the market doubling by 2010.

SMBs Are Serious About Web Hosting

Smaller businesses will seek to improve their online presence through vendors that can deliver expertise; telecoms stand to gain if they round out their service offerings.

Maximizer Minimizes Its Pricing Structure

The quiet on-premise vendor fires a surprise salvo to compete with Salesforce.com; functionality is another key to the value proposition.

Old-School Entertainment Is Still in Session

How to keep it fresh and inviting in an age of home theater and game consoles.

It's Hard Out Here For a Manager

Celebrating the ultimate CRM professional.

E-commerce Best Practices Make Perfect

CRM magazine presents what some of the best minds in the industry have to say.

How to Trust and Have Funnel

Avaya's deal registration now exceeds 12-month goals in 30 days, thanks to BlueRoads.

Professional Courtesy

"Our customers increasingly expect specialization...."

AppExchange Gone Wild

Salesforce.com releases a version of its development platform unfettered by CRM, allowing OEMs to build on-demand services at will.

Net-Net: RightNow Buys Salesnet

The customer experience management force gains SFA expertise, a workflow engine, and customers; an integrated solution should be ready by summer's end.

Intuit Owns the Back End

A report on ERP and accounting software places the QuickBooks publisher at the head of the SMB segment; Microsoft and Oracle have pull with the midmarket.

Lots of Character: Lyris's Upgraded Campaign Tool

The software provider adds A/B testing and comparison to campaign management in its latest on-demand release.

An ERM Upgrade for Pro Services--More Sales 'Whack-a-Mole'?

Contact Networks releases version 5 of its business social networking software, which focuses on bettering communication within professional services firms.

Gartner Hears CRM Accents Across the Pond

Magic Quadrant '06: This year's European CRM service provider quadrant reveals Accenture and IBM BCS as the strongest implementation partners.

Sage Makes Commitments to Customers and Partners

The company reveals a score of new applications, and renews its allegiance to the channel that supports it.

Market Focus: Systems Integrators: VARs Vary in Customer Care

How CRM integrators aren't practicing what they preach.

Instant Web Analytics: Just Add Genius

A new on-demand tool delivers immediate information on what prospects are up to; one analyst says it will make campaigns more "personal and relevant."

Nextel Partners Reaches Out to Touch New Customers

Integration with PAR3 Communications lets the telecom turn off the autodialer.

Pointing to Profits

It takes a special breed of thinker--quick, tenacious--to be a successful salesperson, and the job has been getting harder. As products and services become more complex, salespeople need to think faster than ever, respond more quickly, remember more details, and comply with more guidelines than ever before.

Enterprise!

Cutting costs (and throats) by skipping CRM.

Marketers Still Fail to Connect with Customers

The department does not consistently put CRM into practice, even though it is a high priority; marketing relies too heavily on sales to drive customer satisfaction and it under uses analytics.

Business Process Wheels Need a Strong Hub

A new Forrester study on order management cycles shows vendors from all parts of the sales process performing strongly, including some smaller players.

Oracle Fulfills Demand Again

The latest release in the CRM On Demand series, version 10 delivers custom-fit functionality for operations of all sizes.

CDC Acquires c360 Solutions

Pivotal's owner is buying a Microsoft CRM partner, strengthening the bond between them for the time being.

Return to Sender

Most email marketers have tremendous difficulty reaching consumer inboxes, but even more don't make deliverability a priority.

NetSuite Episode 11: Revenge of the Suite

The new version marries AJAX to business process customization, adds new verticals, and heats up the suite wars.

Oracle Versus SAP: The Gathering SOA Storm

Forrester peeks into the future of enterprise applications, and discovers that it's up to the customers.

Making SOA Pay Right Away

These five projects can deliver ROI within six months.

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.

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.

Taxing Your Patience

Customer relationship (mis)management meets the IRS.

Business Signatures Bans Bank Bunko

Preemptive defense against electronic fraud, which analysts call the new frontier of secure finance, gets a new weapon for the arsenal.

Customers Are Checking Out of Hotel Web Sites

Online travel agencies are the preferred destinations for prospects, but a study indicates that this year, consumers are less satisfied with site behaviors.

CDC and Onyx: Round Two

Pivotal's parent company makes another bid for the rebounding Onyx Software, putting cash into the deal for shareholders.

Cracking the Whip on Mobile Content

A committee of mobile providers sets new guidelines for ethical behavior in wireless telecom, with control in the hands of the consumer.

Aprimo Is Still First in the Quad

The latest Gartner MRM ranking hails the company as the industry leader, but visionary competitors are on their way.

NetSuite Powers Up(right)

The on-demand worthy delivers its first-ever vertical product, based on its own internal processes and targeted at software developers.

Businesses Aren't Using What They Have

Enterprise applications face lukewarm adoption, even when they've been customized, according to a Butler Group report.

IBM and Cognos Cuddle Up a Little Closer

The companies expand their SOA partnership to jointly develop and market analytics tools and consulting services.

Integrators Fail to Deliver Satisfaction in CRM Service Relationships

It's ironic, but despite technical skill the SI community is not performing well enough for client recommendations, according to a new survey.

SaaS: Opening the Hatch(ery)

Incubators are teaching on-premise vendors how to host.

Social Networking: Getting in Touch the CRM Way

CRM magazine explains technology that will understand and leverage your relationship capital.

Compensation Problems? Please Hold for Callidus

Sprint rings up experts to revamp its commission payment system.

A Primer on Risky Business

Outsourcing for the ethically challenged.

Talisma Serves Up CIM 7.0

The business process and e-service vendor moves upmarket with .NET architecture, adding cross- and upsell capabilities to its engine.

SMBs Demand Integration

Seamless operation and single databases lead the list of requirements for SMB success; on-demand products are the most popular in the segment.

Price Tops Loyalty for British Consumers

U. K. consumers are still mostly swayed by price, despite businesses' attempts to win customers' loyalty in other ways.

Mobile CRM Is Warming Up for Spring

New partnerships and predictions point to a period of rapid growth in wireless applications for sales, service, and marketing.

Salesnet Celebrates With Silver

The company's s 25th Anniversary Edition helps bring down the walls between sales and marketing. Two new modules, lead management and campaign management, head up the company's venture into marketing automation.

Oracle Cuts 2,000 Jobs

The layoffs announced are the highlight of the company's post-Siebel acquisition guidance call; fiscal performance and predictions are also stated.

AOL and Yahoo! Will Charge Bulk Senders

One analyst asks if certifying 'good' email is enough; senders may be missing an opportunity to further help consumers.

The Handheld Market Slows

There's been a 16.7 percent year-over-year shipment volume decrease from 2004 to 2005; converging capabilities and no new killer app may be the culprits.

Dear John Inc.

Celebrating the urge to merge, and the heartbreak.

SOA Simple

CRM examines service-oriented architecture and its growing impact on the applications landscape.

Flying High on Service Automation

A messaging provider uses NextNine for seamless network maintenance.

Cleaner Page Loads with AJAX

The RIA refreshes an on-demand dashboard only with figures that have changed.

Salesforce.com Takes Another Power Nap

The on-demand service and interface go offline, but financial analysts stand by the company's performance as the fiscal quarter comes to an end.

SOA Success: Tips From IDC's Recent Forum

The industry conference updates the state of service-oriented architecture in business, and suggests best practices for starting and expanding implementations.

The Supreme Court Denies BlackBerry's Appeal

The fate of the wireless email service likely will rest in the hands of a Virginia judge, but analysts don't think customers should worry.

Fusion Is Heating Up

Oracle updates progress and road maps for its SOA middleware platform one year after its inception.

AppExchange Goes from Hype to Happening

Salesforce.com's application marketplace emerges from its preview phase as part of the company's Winter '06 release with 160 listings.

NetSuite Launches a Developer Partner Program

Third parties can build applications on the company's NetFlex platform; customers get point products and vertical solutions.

Aspect Answers the On-Demand Call

Its new suite version extends contact center prowess to small businesses through hosting.

The Best Makers Take Pains to Monitor Quality

Leading manufacturers are integrating their processes to serve customers, and will seek to improve performance by focusing on data integration, analytics, and BI.

Connecting With Consumer ISPs

A report says the growing industry competes on features as well as price, providing customers with numerous access choices.

Safe Secrets

When is safe too safe? Establish reasonable guidelines and stick to them.

MarketScope: Manufacturing: CRM's Next Makeover

Analytics can reinvigorate the industry now that consumers are consuming again.

Promising That This Year Won't Be Like Last Year

Thirteen goals that businesses can actually hit.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

A travel-tech services broker taps digital contract management for e-signatures.

Marriott Vacation Club Time Shares Customer Data

Sensitive backup tapes go missing from a division headquarters in Orlando, exposing 200,000 people to fraud.

Onyx Is Pivotal's Quarry

The enterprise software vendor might be talking acquisition, but miscommunication has marred early efforts.

The FTC Cans Spam

The U.S. government is making progress against unsolicited commercial email, but there is a long way to go before inboxes are empty.

E-Gov Gets an E for Effort

Citizens are more satisfied with government Web sites than the entity that runs them.

RFID: Past the Hype and Poised for Growth

The technology needs to be applied correctly, but smart implementations will reap rewards.

Analysts Vary on the BlackBerry Suit

NTP's case against RIM is causing uncertainty, and creating opportunities for competitors.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 Goes Live

The long-awaited midmarket suite arrives with a hosted option and extensive language support, among key features.

CRM the Santa Way

ERP (elf resource planning)

From Sight to Insight

A vision-correction practice integrates with GoldMine for sharp results.

The Competitive Threat

SAP, Onyx, and others look to seduce leery customers.

The Year in (P)review

Looking back, and to the future: CRM trends and events to watch.

Offshoring Awimowehs to Africa

Botswana is emerging as an attractive location, according to a new report; telco costs and stereotypes are limiting factors.

Microsoft Mobilizes Messaging

The company's latest messaging and collaboration solution is hosted for SMBs; Magneto push technology and new features up the mobile device ante.

SAP Will Acquire Khimetrics

Consolidation continues as SAP strengthens its position in retail, finance, and consumer goods with the purchase of the demand management software developer.

NetSuite Goes Deep With E-commerce

Integrations with Google, PayPal, and UPS enhance the ability to serve online businesses; shopping cart closure and multichannel selling bring relevance to Web shoppers.

Google's Free Web Analytics--A Stalking Horse?

A rebranding, new features, and multiple language support challenges Web-analytics companies like WebTrends and Omniture.

Airlines Are Crashing on Service

A Zagat study shows air carriers achieved the lowest ratings in 15 years, with U.S. airlines trailing internationals; Web presence is the only bright spot.

Business Objects: Refocusing BI's Role?

An OEM partnership for predictive analysis and a new retail solution indicate positive implications for operational BI and upped emphasis on verticals.

IBM Acquires iPhrase Technologies

The search and content management software vendor, previously an IBM partner, joins that firm's herd to provide expertise in unstructured info wrangling.

CRM's High Wireless Act

Wireless immediacy allows enterprises to pursue CRM simplicity with powerful rewards for everyday functions.

Thanks for the Ammo

Customer relationship mismanagement gives us venal warm fuzzies.

Leads and Sales Hum for a Car Dealership

Lou Fusz Automotive Network turns to AVV from Autobytel.

What Is SOA?

The basics behind service-oriented architecture.

CRM Sticks to the Growth Track

New license revenue continues to rise in the industry, with marketing applications predicted to be the top performers through 2009, despite mergers and economic pressure.

When Disaster Strikes

CRM technology can help put the pieces back together.

Smart Cards: The Keys to Future Business Security

Businesses are becoming aware of smart cards as the corporate access-control solution of choice, but the high initial cost of deployment is limiting adoption.

On-Demand Marketing: The Way to Go for SMBs?

Hosted and on-demand marketing tools will be found in two-thirds of companies by 2008, with smaller businesses seeing the fastest uptake.

Sage's New Global Strategy

Restructuring Sage's CRM delivery strategy is part of an ongoing effort to rebrand and unify Sage's SMB products.

Nortel Appoints a New Chief

Mike Zafirovski replaces Bill Owens as president and CEO after just 18 months in office; the telecommunications company shakeup continues.

Salesforce.com Steps Up Service

Preannouncements for Winter '06 highlight on-demand support, a sign of the company's drive to expand customer service functionality.

Plumtree Opens New Suite Doors

The portal company announces evolving new suites, including an SOA, and vertical applications, with one for retail efficiency.

Where's the SOA Train Headed?

An AMR essay draws parallels between SOA and the client/server boom; ERP vendors have control of the aggregated services in the short term.

Master Data Management

Studies and service offerings point to the need for better information herding.

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 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 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.

CRM World News Reel(ing)

Spanning the globe to bring you freakish business reportage.

The Hot Skinny on Hackers

What do they know, and how do they find out?

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.

Vendors Offer Oracle Customers Migration Deals

Recent industry acquisitions have confused users about what the future holds, spurring two competitors' switch-to-us promotions.

Customer Intent: Profit by Understanding

Intent-driven business strategies look at combinations of product and service delivery over a buyer's lifetime.

Oracle Unveils Its First Fusion App

Product service and support for existing customers highlight Open World day 2, but challenges have emerged for Siebel customers' business.

Oracle's Fused Future: Support and Interoperability

The keynote address at Open World is confident and comprehensive, with targeted talk of growth.

Europe Orders Out for IT Jobs

The United Kingdom leads the way in outsourcing deals, Germany takes second place, but the market is changing and shrinking.

Salesforce.com's On-Demand Dream

Dreamforce '05: Marc Benioff details visions of 'the eBay of enterprise applications' with Appforce.

Distractions Cost Businesses Billions

Knowledge workers lose up to 2.1 hours of productivity per day to interruptions; managers should alter performance expectations to today's workplace.

Japanese SMBs: IT Security and Storage Opportunities

Newly enacted legislation will drive security spending growth among SMBs; owners and managers must protect employees' ID data.

Pitney Bowes Will Acquire Firstlogic

The mail and document manager's second data quality vendor acquisition may come as a surprise, and could strengthen its position while shaking up the market.

A Prescription for Ricohvery

Office automation meets SFA with ACT! and WiredContact.

Blogs Can Boost Sales

Use online journals to eliminate status calls and leverage team resources.

What Would Genghis Do?

CRM the Mongol way, and we ain't talkin' pencils.

Pioneering the Consumer Data Storage/Protection Market

With more digital information in the home than ever before, consumers' information is extremely vulnerable; businesses have an opportunity to secure it.

Internet Search Influences Mobile Service Purchasing

People using search engines to buy wireless services are more valuable customers; potential services revenue in 2005 is $12.6 billion.

Homegrown Sales Compensation Systems Fail to Fly

Purpose-built sales management apps could solve problems, but smaller businesses haven't caught on yet.

SOA Is Consulting's Bread and Butter

Service-oriented architecture is the core of professional services offerings, and more workers are needed to implement it.

Online Travel Reservations Are Missing the Boat

Marketers need to better understand and target the offline audience without trying to change its behavior.

Sage Taps Experience to Lead Its Midmarket Segment

Elvin Monteleone returns to manage the company's ongoing rebranding drive, but the reseller-only delivery model may stymie efforts.

Epiphany Is Snatched Up By SSA While Unica Goes Public

The companies have different customer appeal: Unica draws enterprises with complex needs, and Epiphany attracts firms that can use a solution out of the box.

The CRM Industry Is Here to Play

Customer-driven opportunities foster growth in the applications market.

Back From the Dead Lead Management

Rainmaker Marketing's Lazarus integration of ACT! resurrects a phone reseller's sales, relationship growth, and agent efficiency.

CRM in an Age of Legislation

Privacy laws have forced sales callers and outbound marketers to clean up their act and given them a chance to polish their image.

All Up in Your Business

Fixing business relationship problems, advice columnist style.

RFID: Beyond Concept

Radio frequency ID tagging is no longer a what-if question, but other questions remain.

Headsets Get Set

"If our phones are down for an hour, that's $20,000 in lost business."

Hospitals Are Buying IT

The healthcare industry will drive software spending growth through 2009.

Financial Services Sites Offer Shoddy Service

Most miss the minimum design standards for task-related help, human assistance, and readability.

Canadian Businesses Are Buying IT Security

SMBs in the Great White North are rapidly shoring up their electronic defenses, according to an AMI-Partners study.

IT Departments Are Caught in an Austerity Trap

Budgets expanded in 2004, but expectations still outstripped resources.

SFA and Marketing Automation Show Even Growth

The leading vendors attracted new customers in 2004; hosted options are in demand.

Email Authentication: A Report From 2005's Summit

Industry leaders meet in New York to discuss secure email measures.

Concerto Gains a New Aspect

The $1 billion merger will create the world's largest contact center solutions company as the market continues to consolidate.

The BPM Market Is Growing Faster Than Expected

Hyperion far outpaces its competitors in revenue share as the space continues to expand into different verticals.

Breaking Down the Silos

Get back to the roots of CRM with this refresher course on integration.

You Got Your PRM in My CRM

How are the changes that channel management systems and their providers are experiencing going to play out?

Whither WiMAX?

What a new standard for wireless data may mean for your business.

Sage Takes Its ACT! on the Road

The venerable contact-management and CRM software receives a remote-access facelift.

Cognos Faces Forward

Expanded services, best practices, and partnerships are showcased at the company's user conference.

Online Insecurity Is Eroding Consumer Confidence

About $1 billion was lost through phishing last year, and attacks are on the rise--e-commerce shoppers have grown cautious.

A Pay As You Go Software Suite

Airframe CRM Express allows companies to change the number of seats without altering contract terms or raising monthly fees.

Integration Still Leaves Some Users Confused

The sources of discomfort are service-oriented architecture and the enterprise service bus model.

Federal Health-Related Web Sites: Fit for Consumers

The NCI's cancer information portal leads this quarter's ACSI survey.

Nortel's Single Appliance for Contact Centers

The platform integrates voice and data for CSRs; a Nortel user survey reveals a high percent of respondents have 'started to converge.'

BI Tools to Manage Real-Time Response

Additions to Business Objects' operational BI platform still require integration, but address the trend of operational and tactical analytics.

Experian Delivers Small-B2B Marketing Intelligence

Business Owner Link tool helps marketers find business owners during their off hours.

Show Me Where It Hurts

The drug industry faces an uphill battle against counterfeiting, bootlegging, and eroding consumer confidence.

Fear and Loathing in the Database

A company's CRM system might make it vulnerable, but with risk comes opportunity.

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

Cingular B2B Gets Good

The wireless carrier is partnering with Good Technology to provide messaging services to business clients.

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

Research Cuts to the Heart of the CRM Market

Scorecards for enterprise CRM vendors and on-demand providers show shifts--and some surprises--in the past year.

Sizing Up Salesforce.com's New Partnerships and Product

The on-demand vendor is positioning for greater expansion into the enterprise market.

Best Software Yields Sage Insights

Insights '05: The company announces at its annual partner conference new initiatives and a name change to signal alignment with its international brand.

SMBs Shift Best Practice in Marketing Approaches

Community relations is now a crucial practice; Web sales remains a strong revenue stream.

Fiberlink and Skype Connect for Mobile VoIP

The communications partnership will provide secure, low-cost Internet telephony to the wireless workforce.

Location-Based Services Are Finding Their Place

GPS and similar technologies' versatility and power will help the segment see significant growth, despite slow consumer and business adoption.

Weighing In On Wireless

Industry leaders emerge, but performance as a whole lags behind typical customer satisfaction rates.

Microsoft Streamlines the Call Center

A new desktop environment--likely "productized" from a custom tool, according to one analyst--integrates desktop applications for call center workers.

The Way to Mendocino

Microsoft and SAP's first joint product will link a new platform to Microsoft Office applications; analysts say it's nothing new.

BlueRoads Interfaces With WebEx

Channel management and communications merge in the partners' new single-click integration.

AOL Tightens Its Phishing Net

The Internet service turns to financial security specialists to protect customers as fraud and online security issues continue to grow.

Salesnet Tries to Capture Developers

The vendor's new site allows developers to share ideas, and helps customers and partners understand the company's on-demand CRM platform.

Salesforce.com Gives It All Away

The Summer '05 release of Sforce toolkits will be open source, with partners sharing strategies; applications will strengthen links between resellers and clients.

Taking Bank Vaults Online

Security is a huge factor in consumers' online banking decisions; being a standout provider may bring greater loyalty and higher revenue.

Banks Are Failing to Cash in on Customers

Large retail banks allow chances to garner loyalty to erode; the purely service-call model misses sales opportunities.

April 7, 2005

ResponseTek teaches Aon Reed Stenhouse how to keep customers; Inforte and Cognizant link for CRM consulting; and more.

JetBlue Soars Again in Service Rankings

Low-fare carriers fill the top tier of a recent survey--industry performance declines overall, but more bodies are in the seats.

Onyx Pushes on With New Offerings

The features turn BlackBerry devices into mobile sales offices as the company expects to continue extending product lines.

Local Government Goes High-Tech

A new Web-based technology allows for paperless tracking of citations and other government services.

Wireless Conference Highlights Security and Opportunity

The needs of the field force will continue to drive wireless CRM solutions.

BlackBerry Devices Get Instant Messaging

Field sales and service agents stand to benefit from RIM's partnerships with AOL and Yahoo!