Biographical Information

Martin Schneider

Martin Schneider is head of product evangelism at SugarCRM. He is a former industry analyst covering CRM with 451 Research.

Articles for Martin Schneider

Flip the B2C Employee Value Chain with CRM

Arm employees with the tools they need to best serve today's consumers.

CRM Superstars

CRM initiatives need to be driven from the c-level, but it takes the daily efforts of those associates who use the systems to make CRM a success.

Samsung's Partner Portal Delivers a 30 Percent Sales Increase

Keeping in touch with a partner network of more than 110,000 resellers was the goal of Samsung Electronics America's Digital Information Technology Division as it launched its partner relationship management initiative.

ROI on the Rise?

Have CRM vendors identified what was so wrong with their systems, or have companies wised up and started to analyze business processes and establish metrics at the onset of their CRM initiatives? The answers fall somewhere in between.

News in Brief

Market Watch: Mobile Sales Is on the Move

Mobile sales solutions are a hot spot among CRM projects.

Breaking From Tradition

Perhaps the greatest impact on midmarket systems integrators has been the competition with vendors--SI firms are now battling with vendors over contracts.

New & Noteworthy

News in Brief

The Week in Review: February 27, 2004

The CDC Software takeover of Pivotal was completed on Wednesday; just 9 percent of U.K. firms believe they are fully able to monitor their business processes and be alerted to issues as they occur in real time; Willie Doyle has been named vice president of applications development at Walker Information; and more.

Credit Card Companies Are Not Driving Self-Service

Although 78 percent of respondents to the Forrester Research survey have access to the Internet, only 36 percent have enrolled for online credit card account access.

SMB Security Spending Neared $2 Billion in 2003

According to a new report by AMI-Partners, small- and medium-business (SMB) spending on IT security reached $1.8 billion in the United States in 2003.

The Week in Review: February 20, 2004

Verity announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the intellectual property, certain customer agreements, and other strategic assets of NativeMinds; ACCPAC International announced the availability of more than 50 add-on applications; Tellabs selected Salesnet's CRM solution; and more.

Customer Reference Programs Lack Resources

According to the study, 2004 could be the year that customer reference management is used more widely as an interactive tool between organizations and their customers.

The Week in Review: February 13, 2004

PeopleSoft announced this week that the antitrust staff at the Department of Justice (DOJ) has recommended that the Department file suit to block Oracle's proposed acquisition of PeopleSoft; KANA announced it has completed its acquisition of Hipbone; and Epicor Software announced that the NFL's Washington Redskins selected Epicor's midmarket hospitality enterprise solution.

Gartner Announces CRM CSS Magic Quadrant

Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service and Support Applications '04: In Gartner's recently released report, Siebel stands alone in the leader quadrant, while E.piphany and PeopleSoft are the two closest competitors in the visionary quadrant.

Omega Announces the 2003 NorthFace Scoreboard Awards Winners

Omega Management Group's John Maraganis says that those companies winning awards are going about customer service in such a way that builds strong customer loyalty.

The Week in Review: February 6, 2004

Rockwell FirstPoint Contact has named Stephanie Dietz regional vice president for the northeastern region of the U.S.; Sprint and IBM this week announced a five-year, multibillion dollar customer-service agreement between Sprint and IBM Business Consulting Services; and more.

Forrester Ranks Hosted SFA Solutions

TechRankings analyzed both the ability of the vendor to support the solution and its functionality, including the tools to manage the sales process and sales management--from managing opportunities, quotas, and forecasts, to assessing the results.

News in Brief

ROI Is Increasing Among CRM Projects

Successful implementations of CRM applications have yielded returns ranging from 16 percent to more than 1,000 percent, according to IDC's new study.

Using CRM to Compete--and Win--Against Larger Companies

TransACT's Onyx system provides the coveted 360-degree view of the customer, which includes instantly knowing customer location, products installed, products ordered, and history of usage.

Get Smart!

Analytics is increasingly a hot CRM trend, and vendors have been enhancing the tools that provide for wider deployments of predictive analytics capabilities with better results.

Merging for Midmarket Dominance

Will acquisitions now be the rule rather than the exception? Will larger firms like SAP AG and Oracle start a buying frenzy that will end up with an even more polarized CRM landscape? The answer is yes and no, according to many analysts.

Vertical Focus: Financial Services Firms Learn to Value Relationships, Not Transactions

Basics in the financial services world are the branch and the call center--analysts predict that most of the CRM spending in the financial services industry will be on the branch and on the tools to help call center agents make the most of their customer touch points.

The Week in Review: January 30, 2004

PeopleSoft posted record license revenue; Comergent has acquired Profile Systems; and more.

PeopleSoft Launches a Hosted Midmarket Edition

The new service includes database, storage, and hardware solutions designed for companies with fewer than $1 billion in annual revenues.

SAP and Teradata Partner to Drive Analytics

Teradata and SAP AG have announced a partnership to deliver analytical solutions to specific vertical industries with high data-volume requirements.

The Week in Review: January 23, 2004

Siebel Systems' acquisition of hosted call center company Ineto will boost its appeal among small and midsize firms; Teradata announced the launch of the Teradata University Network; and AGF is deploying PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM.

Siebel Gains Momentum in Q4

In a conference call with CRM magazine, company CEO Tom Siebel was cautiously optimistic about the company's future performance.

Companies to Spend More on Digital Marketing

A new survey finds that enterprises are relying more and more on digital marketing, and that B2B firms are using digital marketing solutions more than ever for lead generation, Web site traffic generation, customer education, and for cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

Online Customer Care Is Improving

Forty percent of respondents found their customer service experiences had greatly improved from those of 12 months ago.

The Week in Review: January 16, 2004

iPhrase Technologies has acquired Banter Systems, a provider of automatic classification software, in an all-stock transaction; Wausau Financial has chosen ServiceWare to provide the company with knowledge-powered customer support; and Surebridge announced it has appointed Paul Shorthose to its board of directors.

ERP Vendors Do Not Have Strong Brand Awareness

ERP vendors have a weak hold on their customers' hearts, minds, and wallets, despite significant investments in marketing and branding.

Sales Forces Not Meeting Expectations

CSO Insights, a research firm that specializes in benchmarking sales and marketing excellence, says in its 2004 "Sales Effectiveness Report" that more than 50 percent of sales reps are not meeting quota.

Onyx Eyes Profitability and Looks for a New CEO

Onyx Software announced preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2003, and announced that the CRM provider would be looking for a new CEO, as current chief Brent Frei says he plans to step down.

The Week in Review: January 9, 2004

Indian outsourcing to grow by 30 percent; Convergys expands in Canada; Dendrite makes acquisition in Japan; and more.

CRM to Stay Flat in 2004

Some sectors like outsourcing will continue to be hot spots, but Forrester says the CRM market will remain flat for the year.

JD Edwards' Customers Are Happy With PeopleSoft

A new IDC survey reports that more than 80 percent of former JD Edwards customers either have a more favorable view of PeopleSoft as a software vendor to do business with, or they have not changed their perception of the vendor.

KANA to Acquire Hipbone

The addition of Hipbone's online assisted service channel to the KANA iCARE suite combines Web-collaboration capabilities in assisting consumers with KANA's knowledge-powered approach to managing customer relationships.

The Week in Review: January 2, 2004

Gartner has presented its 10 must-do New Year resolutions for CIOs and IT Directors for 2004; MicroStrategy has announced that Trenitalia has deployed the MicroStrategy Business Intelligence Platform to analyze railroad ticket sales data; and Sharper Image has selected Coremetrics to provide detailed analysis of customer and visitor behavior on SI's Web site.

The Hard Sell

Even with commitment-shy executives and change-fearing employees, it is possible to sell CRM into your enterprise successfully.

Making Sense of Too Much Information

A recent study by UC Berkeley reports that since 1999 there has been a 30 percent increase in the amount of data in the world.

Market Watch: Guided Selling Tools Boost Sales Results

Guided selling tools can help reduce customer churn and can allow salespeople to adapt to customer lifestyle changes that may affect a sale in real time.

The Right Customer Data Boosts Sales and Marketing Effectiveness

Informatica's analytics solution gives HPshopping.com deep visibility into the effectiveness of promotions and other sales activity, as well as the ability to quickly act on anything that may cause sales to drop.

New Product Spotlight: December 31, 2003

Surebridge has released SureHost Managed Anti-Spam service; Genesis Global Technologies has released Advantage on Demand; Accenture and Acxiom> have joined together to help clients make better use of customer information to improve business results; and more.

Oracle Secures $1.5 Billion Credit Line to Acquire PeopleSoft

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Oracle said that it signed the agreement with ABN Amro Bank NV, Credit Suisse First Boston, and other syndicated lenders for the credit line.

M & A Roundup

At the end of the year several companies announced key mergers and acquisitions, which these firms hope will better position them for growth in 2004.

What's in Store for '04?

Industry pundit Barton Goldenberg, president and founder of CRM consultancy firm ISM, predicts a lot of positive momentum on the horizon for the industry.

Best Software to Acquire ACCPAC

This acquisition brings a number of strategic benefits worldwide, including an entry into Asia with a strong position in Singapore.

More Companies Are Going With the Grid

A single IBM mainframe compared with an Oracle grid built with inexpensive Intel-based blades will, according to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, result in a 30-to-1 cost savings for customers.

The Week in Review: December 19, 2003

Oracle saw a 15 percent rise in earnings to $617 million for its second quarter ended November 30; the Help Desk Institute recently released its HDI 2003 Salary Survey; and Witness Systems has added a new business optimization consulting offering to its newly branded Witness Consulting Network.

Salesforce.com to Go Public

Morgan Stanley will act as sole book runner for the offering, and comanagers will be Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Securities, Wachovia Capital Markets, and William Blair.

New Product Spotlight: December 17, 2003

Best Software this week announced enhancements to Dynalink for SalesLogix; FrontRange Solutions announced the availability of HEAT Plus Knowledge 8.0 and HEAT Asset Tracker 8.0; and RightNow Technologies and LiquidMatrix have forged a partnership to provide best-of-breed customer service solutions and best practices to universities and colleges.

IT Spending: No Instant Recovery

According to a weekly poll of IT decision-makers in small, midsize, and large public and private organizations, U.S. enterprises continued to spend below their budgeted levels.

PeopleSoft Integrates Its Product Line

Today PeopleSoft is announcing the first major series of integrations between PeopleSoft 8 and JD Edwards suites.

The Week in Review: December 12, 2003

Business with integrated sales, marketing, and customer services operations saw a 28 percent increase in customer satisfaction through CRM initiatives, according to market intelligence and advisory firm IDC; Aqueduct and ChannelWave Software announced that the two companies have merged and formed a new company called ChannelWave Inc.; and SAP AG has announced that Varian, a supplier of scientific instruments, vacuum technologies, and specialized contract electronics manufacturing services, has selected mySAP CRM.

Vendors Focus on Marketing

According to the latest report from META Group covering enterprise marketing portfolio management, enterprises are expected to focus more on the marketing component of CRM and to begin consolidating stovepiped marketing functions into marketing technology portfolios.

New Product Spotlight: December 10, 2003

Microsoft has released the first upgrade to its CRM suite, version 1.2; PeopleSoft has introduced a new ROI planning and measurement tool; and Gartner and Blue Pumpkin have teamed up to include benchmarking capabilities to Blue Pumpkin's performance management solutions.

Spam Laws a Waste?

Gartner research predicts that by 2005 there will be 16 billion emails sent daily, with 60 percent of those emails being spam.

Pivotal and CDC to Merge

Pivotal Software announced today that it will merge with Chinadotcom through its software unit, CDC Software (CDC).

The Week in Review: December 5, 2003

Oak declines upping offer for Pivotal; Siebel rolls out hosted CRM in UK; IDC charts analytics growth; and more.

Online Sales to Rise Despite Security Fears

The SPSS survey found that consumers plan to conduct 25 percent of their shopping online this year, an increase of 6 percent from 2002.

New Product Spotlight: December 3, 2003

Siebel has added a customer support module to Siebel CRM OnDemand, called Siebel CRM OnDemand--UpShot Edition; SAP AG has announced utility-specific functionality with the latest version of mySAP CRM; and Artisoft and Cynergy Software have announced an integrated solution that enables Artisoft's TeleVantage customers who are connected to Cynergy's Web-based help desk application; and more.

Keeping Your Eye on the Presents

Channel Intelligence has unveiled its Product Pinpointer to find gifts, while NetByTel has partnered with UPS for better customer visibility into gift tracking.

The Culture of Integration

Business process fusion will drive stronger alignment of IT with core business processes, and provide linkage of operational and management processes with a true end-to-end scope.

The Next Call Center Headache

The new law stipulates that if an unauthorized party gains access to customer data like a social security number or a credit card account number, the company must immediately notify any and all customers of the breach.

Suite Success

The logical choice for Waters Corp.'s large implementation was to stick with a vendor it knew.

News in Brief

The Year in Preview

Two thousand three was a year of rebirth for the CRM industry. Trends took shape--and then took hold. It became increasingly clear that they are not fads. In fact, what are hot trends now will likely be considered business as usual by the end of two thousand four.

New Product Spotlight: November 26, 2003

ACCPAC International has released a major upgrade to the company's CRM application for small and midsize businesses; SPSS introduced Predictive Text Analytics, its text-mining solution that can be customized for analytical CRM; and Quadstone has introduced its Wireless Number Portability offering.

Week in Review: November 21, 2003

RightNow doubles in size in Europe, SSA Global announces Baan roadmap, and more...

Treat Suppliers as Partners

The study found that companies that closely manage supplier relationships see greater results over time.

New Product Spotlight: November 19, 2003

PeopleSoft has unveiled a new portfolio of application hosting and management services; Salesnet has begun rolling out a private-label CRM program; and MicroStrategy has released its Report Services tool.

SAP Reinforces Midmarket CRM Push

SAP has teamed with more than 300 channel partners to offer highly verticalized versions of Business One.

Onyx Extends Its Pivotal Bid

The company will keep the offer on the table until Pivotal's next shareholders meeting, which has been postponed until November 21.

The Week in Review: November 14, 2003

Oak Investment Partners announced that it believes its current all-cash offer is superior to the unsolicited stock-for-stock proposal from Onyx Software to acquire Pivotal; online retail sales should reach roughly $60 billion in 2003, according to AMR Research; and Dendrite International announced that Clinitrac has selected Dendrite Clinical to provide telephone support for a study for one of Clinitrac's pharmaceutical customers.

The World Wide Wait

A Merchants Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report revealed that the average caller waits 29 seconds to have a call answered, compared to 24 seconds four years ago.

New Product Spotlight: November 12, 2003

PeopleSoft has released its latest mid-market CRM suite; iAnywhere Solutions has granted Salesforce.com the exclusive right to market and sell Mobile Sales for Salesforce.com; and E-Z Data has released SmartOffice for Agency Management.

Telco Customers Lack Loyalty

Distracted by massive industry consolidation, new technology, and changing infrastructure, it seems telecommunications providers aren't getting a clear signal when it comes to customer complaints

Salesforce.com Upgrades Its Flagship Products

Dreamforce '03: Salesforce.com today unveiled major upgrades to its two main products at its first annual Dreamforce user conference.

The Week in Review: November 7, 2003

Siebel closes UpShot deal, Datamonitor says more call center seats going offshore, GWI creates new services group, and more...

IBM's Front-End Outsourcing Plan

With these new services IBM is applying the same expertise that made it possible for the company to successfully take out costs from the back-end of IT systems for thousands of customers.

New Product Spotlight: November 5, 2003

QlikTech announced the release of version 6.02 of its QlikView business intelligence software suite; PeopleSoft has made available its User Productivity Kit; and Edocs has released a new version of its flagship product, eaSuite 4.0.

CRM Starts at the Top

One area where C-level executives can make an important difference is in getting marketing on board a CRM initiative.

The Real-Time Enterprise's Barriers

To surmount obstacles organizations need to be able to properly fuse business processes to enable real-time operations.

Driving Marketing Results

The new marketing method has resulted in close rates at the call center that are several times higher than prior to the implementation.

Vertical Focus: Consumer Packaged Goods

News in Brief

U.S. call center spending in the financial services industry between 1998 and 2003 increased by 118 percent; Customers are looking for better integration between applications, information systems, and portals; and companies are getting into offshore BPO, but enterprises should also examine the benefits from offshore "insourcing."

You Want Fries With That CRM?

A self-service pilot program using touch screen kiosks has allowed McDonald's to increase capacity, taking more customers' orders than before.

Week in Review: October 31, 2003

HDI and Microsoft team for agent certification, Salesforce.com extends charitable efforts, communications providers get into Web services, and more...

Information Overload

Key findings of the report include the fact that individuals are becoming more and more responsible for the increases in data output.

New Product Spotlight: October 29, 2003

Business Objects has announced the completion of integration between BusinessObjects Enterprise 6 and the PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management suite; Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories has introduced a new, hosted contact-center solution; and Remedy announced the release of Remedy Customer Support 5.0, an enhanced version of its customer service and support application.

SMB Vendors Should Eye the Channel

Market fragmentation makes it cost-prohibitive for most large vendors and service providers to sell directly into small and midsize businesses. Instead, they rely on local solution providers.

E.piphany Releases Version 6.5

Known for its deep analytics capabilities, E.piphany is fueling its CRM suite with the customer relationship backbone, a set of J2EE services that is designed to enable organizations to solve critical data and process integration issues.

The Week in Review: October 24, 2003

State and local government-IT outsourcing could grow from approximately $10 billion in 2003 to more than $23 billion by 2008; according to a new report by research firm Probe Group, hosted-CRM players have done their job saving customers money; and Dendrite also reported substantial gains in its third quarter ended September 30.

Earnings Roundup

Chordiant met its guidance for the third quarter ended September 30; was able to cut its net loss substantially this quarter; and Sento Corporation was also able to increase revenues and cut losses in its most recent quarter.

New Product Spotlight: October 22, 2003

Siebel Systems has joined forces with Accenture, Microsoft, and Proscape Technologies to deliver new pharmaceutical marketing capabilities; OneSource Information Services announced that it has released its CatalystSM/Account Intelligence Module for Word 2003; and NetSuite (formerly NetLedger) Tuesday announced that its hosted-CRM suite is now available in Australia.

The Next Hot Business Strategy?

Business-process fusion is the transformation of business activities achieved by integrating previously autonomous business processes; it is key to achieving integration.

PeopleSoft Expands Product Line

PeopleSoft announced the expansion of its Customer Loyalty and Retention program with IBM into the European telecommunications service provider market, as well as a new release of its Enterprise Supplier Relationship Management solution.

New Product Spotlight: October 15, 2003

Unica Corp. has launched Affinium 6; Salesforce.com's products are now available in Portuguese language editions; and Alcatel and HP have agreed to jointly develop and market a suite of advanced, integrated IT and communication solutions specifically designed for SMBs.

A Wireless World?

The number of wireless phone lines in Europe will soon surpass the number of landlines there.

Siebel Gets Analytical

Siebel Systems aims to bring deeper analytics functions to several key industries, including financial services, life sciences, communications, consumer goods, and high technology.

The Week in Review: October 10, 2003

SAS Institute has acquired Marketmax; Lumen Research Associates reports a sharp industry-wide drop in customer service representatives' performance; Inktel Direct has announced that it has been selected to provide inbound contact-center services for Business Matchmaking; and TeleSpectrum has announced that Michael Shrader has joined the company as president and CEO.

Pivotal to Merge With Talisma

Oak Investment Partners acquired Pivotal Corp. this week, and will subsequently be merged with Talisma.

New Product Spotlight: October 8, 2003

Genesys Telecommunications and Microsoft have announced the development of a packaged integration that links Genesys' call center suite with Microsoft's CRM applications; SPSS has released Clementine 8.0; and IBM and Callidus Software announced on Tuesday a global strategic alliance to deliver comprehensive incentive compensation management solutions for the insurance, banking, and telecommunications industries; and more.

PeopleSoft Is on the Upswing

PeopleSoft will exceed estimates for license revenue, total revenue, and earnings-per-share for the quarter ended September 30.

IT Spending Is Not About Costs

IT buyers are looking for long-term value in their purchases, not making decision based solely on cost.

The Week in Review: October 3, 2003

Salesnet has developed a new Business Partner Program; SmartPath has launched a Worldwide Channel Partner Program; and Cincom Systems has acquired CRM software provider Synchrony Communications.

Siebel Joins the Hosted Ranks

Siebel Systems and IBM have partnered to offer a hosted version of Siebel's CRM functionality called Siebel CRM OnDemand.

New Product Spotlight: October 1, 2003

SAP AG in partnership with Accenture rolled out its program to develop and deliver CRM solutions for banking and insurance firms on a global scale and its Powered by NetWeaver campaign; Teradata has released a new version of its analytics product for the retail industry; and Rockwell FirstPoint has expanded its SMB call center solution to include its Multi-Site Monitoring, Advanced Intelligent Router, Queue Optimizer, and Web Powered Agent applications.

News in Brief

Market Watch: Analytics

The trick for vendors is to make analytics more a part of the everyday workings of a CRM solution.

Stand By Me

Feature: Long after an implementation is complete a CRM project may still need adjustments and customization that can be beyond the grasp of an in-house IT team.

Connecting With Indirect Customers

Toshiba decided to put its product registration and warranty forms online using DataLode's RealConnect Marketing solution.

The Do Not Call List Stays Afloat

Bush said in a press conference Monday that Americans were fed up with intrusive calls, and that they had a right to stop those calls from coming in "at all hours of the day."

Salesnet Slims Down

Salesnet announced a slimmer, trimmer version of its standard CRM suite, aimed at small businesses.

The Week in Review: September 26, 2003

Cognos announced that Fist Citizens bank has chosen its new ReportNet product; outsourcing is the fastest growing technology segment within the federal government, according to a report released by INPUT; UpShot announced Monday that Arasys has selected UpShot's online CRM service; and Witness Systems has appointed Sandra Jimenez as managing director of the company's Latin American operations.

Salary Shakeup Needed?

The majority of companies polled is still dissatisfied with their plans and report that sales productivity goals are not being reached.

New Product Spotlight: September 24, 2003

SAP AG has released its newest version of mySAP CRM; Art Technology Group has released the latest version of its self-service solution, ATG 6.1; and ChannelWave and Novell are partnering with the intent to provide CRM systems that are faster and easier to deploy, configure, manage, and extend securely across multiple sales channels.

The End of the 30-Second Spot?

More and more people are purchasing personal video recorders; users of the technology have the ability to fast forward through commercials.

Salesforce.com Hits 100,000

Salesforce.com also reported that it gained a larger number of subscribers in the past quarter than in any previous quarter.

The Week in Review: September 19, 2003

To compete North American and Western European IT services vendors must shift their domestic resource mix to meet three criteria; Dendrite International announced this week that it has established a fully dedicated pharmaceutical CRM-effectiveness business unit; and Concerto Software announced the appointment of Peter Nicol as vice president of the company's European and African operations.

Insurance Firms Eyeing CRM

The report finds that many insurance firms opt to build out their own CRM systems rather than purchase CRM suites.

New Product Spotlight: September 17, 2003

Siebel Systems and SeeBeyond announced Tuesday the general availability of the Siebel Call Center Real-Time Integration Solution Powered by SeeBeyond; ePeople has launched ePeople Teamwork for PeopleSoft CRM Sales 8.8; and eAssist Global Solutions Monday announced the availability of eAssist NetAgent 6.1.

PeopleSoft Touts CRM and Product Developments

The company made note of added functionality across marketing, sales, and service to improve business effectiveness.

Stopping the Switch

When coupled with Convergys's real-time product bundling and discounting capabilities, which can be used to attract new customers, carriers using these Convergys billing solutions will be better positioned for the effects of WNP, according to the company.

The Week in Review: September 12, 2003

Business intelligence (BI) solutions provider Actuate this week announced an expansion of its UpTrade Program; Sprint has unveiled five regional executive--briefing centers; Chordiant has announced the appointment of R. Andrew Eckert to Chordiant's board of directors.

Oracle Unveils Grid Computing

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says the new server architecture can lower costs and provide increased reliability.

New Product Spotlight: September 10, 2003

ChannelWave Software has released ChannelWave 6; Kaidara Software introduced Kaidara Advisor 3.0; Surebridge announced new bundled pricing for CRM Online by Surebridge.

Cognos Launches ReportNet

During the product launch presentation Howard Dresner explained that Cognos's dedication to converging interactive-analysis capabilities with deep reporting functionality places Cognos in a leader position in the firm's Enterprise Business Intelligence Suite and Reporting Software Magic Quadrant.

ASPs Continue to Gain a Foothold

According to "Hosted CRM Popularity Continues to Grow," 35 percent of survey respondents said they already use hosted CRM products; 85 percent of respondents said they would evaluate hosting as they enter the market for CRM solutions.

The Week in Review: September 5, 2003

PeopleSoft Thursday held a meeting with analysts to discus the way the company will market products now that its merger with J.D. Edwards has closed; HP this week announced it will acquire Talking Blocks; Elix today announced the launch of an online benchmark study specifically designed for contact centers; and TuVox has appointed Christoph Mosing vice president of professional services.

Taking Financial Services CRM to the Next Level

Firms should be making investments in new functionalities like call center text-mining, event triggering, profiling, lead management optimization, marketing resource management, scenario planning, dynamic pricing tools, and partner relationship management.

New Product Spotlight: September 3, 2003

SAP AG today announced complete details on the new intellectual property management (IPM) capability included in the recently announced new release of mySAP CRM; Expertcity has debuted an online ROI calculator; and Positive Software Systems has announced the commercial availability of ContactQ.

Outsourcing on the Rise

Fewer than 10 percent will have the appropriate processes and governance structures by 2005 to effectively manage the multiple external service providers that contribute to common enterprise objectives.

The Week in Review: August 29, 2003

CRM analytics is expected to grow the fastest; new initiatives reinforce Siebel's commitment to corporate governance principles; enterprises should also examine the benefits from offshore insourcing, according to Gartner; Pivotal has announced the appointment of Bruce Kenny to senior vice president of products.

New Product Spotlight: August 27, 2003

NetLedger and Artisoft today announced the availability of an integrated Web-based phone support system for hosted applications; Best Software has released ACT! Link 2.0, which better integrates ACT! with Intuit's QuickBooks products; and Alinean has released ValueIT 3.0, a comprehensive ROI tool kit.

The 2003 Market Leaders (Part 1)

CRM magazine scrutinized CRM suite vendors and related categories to uncover the top-five leaders in each category: enterprise CRM, mid-market CRM, analytics, contact center outsourcers, and consulting firms. The results are based on a combination of weighted criteria, including revenue and revenue growth (last four completed quarters, ended March 30, 2003), market share, customer wins, and reputation for customer satisfaction.

The 2003 Market Leaders (Part 2)

CRM magazine scrutinized CRM suite vendors and related categories to uncover the top-five leaders in each category: enterprise CRM, mid-market CRM, analytics, contact center outsourcers, and consulting firms. The results are based on a combination of weighted criteria, including revenue and revenue growth (last four completed quarters, ended March 30, 2003), market share, customer wins, and reputation for customer satisfaction.

News in Brief

Demand for chief customer officers has surged; technology spending by North American banks will remain flat for 2003; mobile access to CRM solutions, not wireless connectivity, will see the most attention from systems integrators; and more.

You Can Take it With You

Millions of unhappy customers can shed the yoke of oppression and change carriers, while holding on to their phone numbers. This could create churn rates higher than the wireless industry could imagine.

Outlining The Changing Consumer

The report notes that consumer confidence in online security has fallen since its peak in 2001, and shows no sign of improvement in 2003.

Week in review: August 22, 2003

Teradata says identity theft worries rise, Vignette survey shows customers want more integration, Topcall reports that companies need better disaster recovery systems, and more...

ACCPAC Challenges Its Hosted Rivals

ACCPAC, a subsidiary of Computer Associates, has announced several new CRM products, including a new, hosted version of its CRM solution.

New Product Spotlight: August 20, 2003

PeopleSoft's WPS is designed to help customers tie together all the elements of organizational development; Sane Solutions, developers of NetTracker, and Best Software announced Tuesday that Sane has joined the SalesLogix Technology Partner program; and ChoiceStream has launched the MyBestBets Personalization Platform.

Gartner: IT Demand UP

According to a weekly poll drawn from a 20,000-member Gartner panel, U.S. businesses spent below their budgeted levels, recording a score of 95.1 on the GTDI for July.

The Blackout Should Have Been Prevented

The most immediate solution that needs to be put in place to safeguard against a repeat of these events is more active alerting systems.

Carlson to Acquire Peppers and Rogers

The companies say the deal was made to facilitate better end-to-end execution of their offerings.

New Product Spotlight: August 13, 2003

WebSideStory has released HitBox Enterprise 9; Pivotal has introduced new and enhanced functionality for its Pivotal Healthcare Insurance solution; Portal Software has added features to its convergent billing solution; and Initiate Systems has announced the availability of Initiate Identity Hub 4.0.

Government IT Contracts Come With Risks

The government sector, according to the report, is growing much faster than the private sector, but only in certain short-term areas.

The Week in Review: August 8, 2003

Datamonitor ranks European integrators, Ascential acquires Mercator, JMP says license sales to improve, and more.

Support for Your Support Staff

Industry veterans Bob Furniss and Scott Thomas have founded Call Center Ideas (CCI) to help call center operators improve productivity, update tools and technology, and increase employee morale in today's evolving call centers.

New Product Spotlight: August 6, 2003

Pivotal, Epicor, Icode, and others release new products.

BEA Debuts WebLogic Platform 8.1

BEA says its new integration platform, WebLogic 8.1 makes even more strides in alleviating the growing integration headaches facing many enterprises today.

SAP Adds to Its Vertical Offerings

SAP AG today announced it has released a new version of its mySAP CRM suite that has been specifically designed for the needs of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

News in Brief

Balancing Act

Is it possible to strike a balance between optimizing productivity and providing top-notch service and profit from it? Yes.

Quick Wins?

In CRM initiatives, faster may mean better--but not always.

The Week in Review: August 1, 2003

Etalk has opened a new office in Sydney, Australia, headed by Tom O'Sullivan, director of Asia Pacific channel sales; Answerthink has acquired Beacon analytics; Onyx reported revenue for the second quarter ended June 30 of $15.8 million, compared to $18.5 million in the second quarter of 2002; and Harte-Hanks has named Chris Stam its new managing director for direct marketing.

Have Number, Will Travel

According to market research, there is a strong link between agent performance and customer churn.

New Product Spotlight: July 30, 2003

Oracle has released the latest version of its E-Business Suite; UpShot announced its UpShot Dashboard and integration with Lotus Notes; Deltek Systems is releasing three new products: Deltek Vision 2, Deltek Costpoint 5, and Deltek Time Collection 5; and Pipkins has announced a new feature called the Real Time Intraday Optimization Suite.

MS CRM Gets Call Center Connection

AltiGen says it chose Convergion because of its nationwide reach and expertise in telecom, CRM, and contact centers.

Web Services Is a Priority

According to Gartner, 48 percent of North American enterprises surveyed said the economic slowdown has caused them to reduce spending on Web services development, but not so much as to discontinue these projects.

The Week In Review: July 25, 2003

Business Objects has acquired Crystal Decisions in a deal valued at $820 million; Hyperion announced this week its plans to acquire BI firm Brio; Art Technology Group turned its first profit; and Arthur D. Little this week announced that Thomas Manning will assume the managing director role.

New Product Spotlight

Interwoven has released Interwoven 6, which it says can boost the effectiveness of a company's CRM strategy; Pointsec Mobile Technologies has developed a new security system for sales and marketing professionals and their PDAs; Cognos has released Cognos Metrics Manager Version 2.

Earnings Round Up

Siebel Systems reported its sales and earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2003. Revenues for the second quarter of 2003 were $333.3 million; Chordiant reported revenues for the second quarter of 2003 ended June 30 of $17.1 million; Ascential Software saw some positive numbers for the second quarter ended June 30: revenue was $39.9 million.

Price and Service Are Keys to Winning Travel Customers

The survey indicates that price remains a major concern for business travelers; survey results also indicate that brand and reputation are significant factors when it comes to making business travel arrangements.

Oracle Keeping At It

Even after PeopleSoft announced Friday that it has completed its acquisition of J.D. Edwards, Oracle still insists it will complete its hostile takeover of the combined company.

The Week in Review: July 18, 2003

PeopleSoft has completed its acquisition of J.D. Edwards; Green Beacon Solutions announced that it has entered into a marketing partnership with Narragansett Technologies; SAP AG reported a slip in sales for the quarter ended June 30; and Salesforce.com has added Peter Gassner to the company's executive team as general manager and senior vice president for sforce.

Seeing the Doctor as a Customer

A major business-process shift is taking place, where sales reps are letting technology do the talking to doctors.

New Product Spotlight

Chordiant Software has announced the immediate availability of Chordiant Enterprise Contact Center; IPhrase Technologies has released One Step 4.5; and NetLedger this week introduced Marketing ROI Manager, a new capability that allows businesses to track marketing campaigns from lead generation through to customer billing.

Banking IT Spending Flat in '04

Spending for outsourced services and software, according to the new report, will see the largest increase; spending for consulting will decline, and hardware and network equipment spending will remain flat.

Salesforce Sues UpShot

Prior to filing the lawsuit, Salesforce.com says it privately challenged UpShot advertisements through the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc.

The Week in Review: July 11, 2003

No other company will compete with Oracle to acquire PeopleSoft, according to research firm Gartner; Demand for chief customer officers has surged 240 percent from January to June 2003; Epicor announced this week that it has completed its acquisition of ROI Systems.

Ellison: PeopleSoft Can't Survive

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison painted a grim picture of the competitive landscape, noting that SAP AG's dominance in the applications market would be hard to shake by any single vendor.

New Product Spotlight

Onyx Software has released CRMExpress; WebSideStory has introduced new campaign analytics and optimization capabilities for its HitBox Enterprise analytics service; Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories is extending its Internet Protocol (IP) family with the introduction of Enterprise IP Contact Center.

Mobile Integrators Focus on CRM

Integration in the mobile computing space will grow steadily in the next few years, particularly those engaged in mobility projects today that have identified specific mobile technologies or horizontal applications as areas of focus for the near future.

Siebel Announces Restructuring

Siebel Systems announced it would cut significant numbers of staff to keep operating margins high amid downgraded earnings estimates for the second quarter ended June 30.

The Week in Review: July 3, 2003

Yankee Group research report, "Enterprise Instant Messaging is All About Integration" finds that instant messaging as a form of communication within and between enterprises and their clients, prospects, and partners is growing steadily; Impact Information Technologies announced that it has expanded its software portfolio with the acquisition of Arcidea; Pivotal has added Eric Rosenfeld to its board of directors.

New Product Spotlight

SAS has released SAS Marketing Optimization, a new solution designed to enable direct marketers to improve their campaign management processes; Tigerpaw Software announced the release of its newest product, Tigerpaw Business Suite Enterprise 9; and Qualte today announced the addition of qChat.

Government CRM Is a Work in Progress

More than half (54 percent) of the respondents said their agencies involve customers in the development of customer services; only one third (34 percent) of respondents said they believe their agencies are effective at delivering tailored customer services.

Getting IT Together

Don't fall into the proprietary pitfalls when integrating. Just as packaged applications caused the scattered data silos and disparate operating systems, using proprietary software to integrate will open another Pandora's box.

Migrate or Merge?

In the best-case scenario customers often stay on their current product, requiring support in return for maintenance fees.

News in Brief

Vertical Focus: Financial Services

Salesforce.com, WebSideStory Partner to Provide Analytics

The two ASPs are partnering to provide clients with more detailed marketing capabilities.

The Week in Review: June 27, 2003

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison dared attendees at the company's Appsworld event in London to "spend less to know more;" Spherion Corporation announced it has opened a new bilingual contact center near Panama City, Panama; Skywire Software has announced that it has acquired iWave Integrator from NEON Systems; and WebSideStory announced the appointment of Rand Schulman as chief marketing officer.

CRM Market to Hit $17.7 Billion by 2006

Beneath seemingly sedate growth in CRM market--an average annual rate of 6.7 percent, according to a new report by Aberdeen Group--is a massive shift in how user organizations will acquire and pay for CRM solutions.

New Product Spotlight

Amdocs's Release 12 includes the Java-based Customer Interaction Manager; Oracle released updates to its Oracle Service CRM solution,saying the software includes better email integration between Oracle eMail Center and Oracle TeleService; KANA has announced the availability of KANA Service 8 software, its application for multichannel contact center management; and more.

State Attorneys General Are Looking Into Oracle Bid

Several state attorneys general, including Texas and California's, have scheduled a conference call to look into Oracle's hostile takeover attempt of PeopleSoft.

PeopleSoft Urges Oracle Rejection

As PeopleSoft's board of directors makes appeal to stockholders to reject Oracle's higher price, Oracle says it will provide longer support of PeopleSoft's products that PeopleSoft plans to.

The Week in Review: June 20

NetLedger and HP announced yesterday that they are working together to offer complete technology solutions; SSA Global Technologies yesterday announced it has acquired Ironside Technologies; FrontRange announced this week that Patrick Bultema has resigned as CEO of its subsidiary, FrontRange Solutions.

Oracle Ups Offer

Oracle says the current offer price is a 29 percent premium over the stock's price prior to Oracle's June 6 offer.

New Product Spotlight

Oracle said today at DCI's CRM Conference in Boston that is has released the latest Version of Oracle Marketing; PeopleSoft Monday released its Customer Profitability Management for Communications; Ascential Software has released version 7.0 of its Enterprise Integration Suite, as well as its Real-Time Integration Services.

J.D. Edwards' Team Effort

J.D. Edwards has announced Team J.D. Edwards, a joint sales-and-delivery strategy that combines the consulting, education, and implementation support services of J.D. Edwards with its Consulting Alliances partners.

The Week in Review: June 13

J.D. Edwards has filed suit with a California court asking it to block Oracle's unsolicited attempt to acquire PeopleSoft; the Business Internet Group of San Francisco encountered errors at 68 percent of the top-performing government Web sites; Blue Pumpkin has appointed Paul Bartlett and Raj Jaswa to its board of directors.

CRM License Sales Down 25 Percent in 2002

Siebel Systems topped the list in terms of market share this year with 24.9 percent share; SAP AG holds the second-highest share at 15.9 percent, which is a 5 percent increase over 2001.

New Product Spotlight: June 11

A flurry of new products from J.D. Edwards; Genesys calls you back; Silvon upgrades its EPM suite; and more.

A Web Services Blueprint

Service-based architecture is a discipline that advocates a no-barriers approach to securely and reliably sharing data in any software application or platform.

PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards Comment on Oracle Bid

PeopleSoft called to attention its market share gains against Oracle in a company statement, and noted that the intended J.D. Edwards acquisition is a positive move for all involved.

The Week in Review: June 6

Oracle today announced it has offered to buy PeopleSoft at a price of $5.1 billion.

The Real Source of Sour Sales

More predictive analytics are needed in organizations where sales effectiveness is lacking.

New Product Spotlight: June 4

Oracle says the first phase of the product integration will help companies better automate and manage telephone interactions; NetLedger says it's new tool can create Web sites on which products and prices are dynamically updated; RightNow Technologies has released a new hosting management platform.

Best Software's Slew of Products

Version 6.0 is a bundle that includes inline updates to ACT! 6.0, ACT! Link for Palm, and ACT! Link for Pocket PC.

BI Boost in 2003?

Over the next four years the BI industry as a whole could grow to as high as $11.6 billion, which equals an annual growth rate of 15 percent.

PeopleSoft to Acquire J.D. Edwards

The combined company would have annual revenues of approximately $2.8 billion, and employ about 13,000 associates.

Vertical Focus: High-Tech

Hosts With the Most (Partners, That Is)

News in Brief

A Slice of the Good Life: Philadelphia--Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Company

Sales in the City

The Week in Review: May 30

eAssist Global Solutions announced its acquisition of the divine brand of Customer Interaction Management Internet products; Extraprise announced the appointment of former Oracle executive Jeff Griebeler as practice director for its contact center business in the Americas; Arcplan has named Robert Koolen to the position of CEO.

New Product Spotlight: May 28

The Alexander Group has announced the release of SalesTime Maker Version 4.0; ScanSoft has released a new product called SpeechPearl XML 1.0; and ACCPAC International released ACCPAC Insight, an enterprise reporting-and-analysis software suite.

CRM Theory Outpaces Practice

Although few companies have achieved an across-the-board customer-centric philosophy, many are on the right track.

The Week in Review: May 23

Alinean recently released results of ongoing research on the merits of IT spending; SAS announced a three-year, $100,000 software grant to help the Ohio Department of Natural Resources; and Banter has announced the appointment of Christopher D. Brennan as president and CEO.

Are SAP Customers Happy with CRM?

The companies studied saw a median cash flow ROI of 55 percent over three years, with a breakeven of 22 months and considerable productivity gains across enterprisewide operations.

New Product Spotlight: May 21

Oracle releases a new sales tool; Alinean helps companies better gauge competition; Talisma and Primus partner; and more...

Are Companies Ready For Real Time?

For those companies attempting to make real time happen now, it is important to work closely with network service providers to determine what parts of the business can be updated into real time.

Why Companies Are Reevaluating ROI

One key finding revealed by the study is that many companies lacked the knowledge of how and what they should be measuring to determine the success or failure of an initiative.

The Week in Review: May 16

NetLedger to bring its hosted business management application, NetSuite, to Australia; KANA announced the results of two recent examinations of the state of online customer service; Oracle announced that software industry analyst Charles Phillips will leave Morgan Stanley to join Oracle.

Pay As You Go With Siebel

The new partnership has spawned a service called PhaseOne on Demand, which is essentially a utilitylike service for companies looking to quickly launch Siebel.

New Product Spotlight: May 14

ACT! on your Blackberry; ChannelWave hits the mid-market; Motiva makes largest upgrade in years; and more.

What Are Your Customers Worth?

The report examines the concept of the Life Time Value (LTV) of a customer relationship and the strategies, practices, and benchmarks used to maximize and measure customer retention.

Upgrade or Migrate?

Some executives may see themselves faced with an important decision: whether to spend IT dollars to upgrade systems that may become obsolete, or to invest heavily in CRM technologies based on new systems that may or may not take precedence.

The Week in Review: May 9

Salesforce.com has officially announced its first quarter of profitability; Kanisa, a provider of customer service applications, has appointed Bruce Armstrong as CEO.

Eight Brands, One Customer

Hilton's OnQ system integrates all the primary functions of the hotel, including front office, housekeeping, accounting, finance, human resources, night audit, groups and packages, revenue management, and forecast management.

CRM Is About People

Any CRM initiative is only as good as the people involved, and PeopleSoft is aiming to help companies hire the right people for the job with its new Recruitment Solutions 8.9.

New Product Spotlight: May 7

PeopleSoft's 170 enterprise software programs are now available in Linux versions; e-talk,'s new functionality, e-talk Recorder, is announced; and Answerthink has introduced Rapid Insight, a business intelligence solution designed to add decision making support and financial analytics to enterprise systems.

Tech Sector CEOs Staying the Course

Companies in general are looking to be more customer-centric than ever, and this will help many in the tech sector.

Knowledge Management Is a Key CRM Driver

The report, titled "The Case for Knowledge Management in CRM," says that KM has been slow to develop in CRM processes.

Week in Review: May 2

This week in CRM news: NetLedger gets vertical, Onyx expands financial services CRM, RightNow has great quarter, and more.

Technology Brings Marketing Challenges

One major problem with technology is that it will make marketing even more intrusive.

News in Brief

New Product Spotlight: April 30

Products and services that hit the market this week from Pivotal, Sprint, Gartner, and others.

PRM Scores High Marks

PRM scored the highest for sales deployments, with 66 percent of sales respondents saying they had received demonstrable ROI.

Week in Review: April 25, 2003

In the news of the week: Best Software realigns, Dendrite makes acquisition move, and Salesforce.com taps former Siebel executive for board of directors.

Siebel's Sales, Earning Drop

Siebel Systems posted an earnings drop of 92 percent and a revenue skid of more than 30 percent for the first quarter ended March 31. However, the dismal numbers were in line with what analysts and the company expected for the period.

New Product Spotlight: April 23

This past week Microsoft, Apropos, Firstlogic, and others announced new products.

The Siebel Factor

Aberdeen Group polled more than 325 customers of Siebel to gauge how effective they deem their CRM implementations.

CRM Success Tricky in Asia

CRM vendors seeking to enter or already in Asia must focus their limited resources on growing revenues in only one or two geographies where their product and pricing are a good market match, says research firm Datamonitor.

Week in Review: April 18

Microsoft Business Solutions announces significant revenue growth, and other CRM news from the past week

SAP Profits Up, Sales Down

SAP AG today announced a mixed bag of financial results for the first quarter of 2003, ended March 31. Revenue was down, but earnings were up in the quarter.

New Product Spotlight: April 16

A roundup of some of the hot CRM products hitting the market this week

Mexico to Lead Latin American Outsourcing

Mexico will be the most likely of all Latin American countries to see a call center outsourcing boom through 2007, due to it having the most stable government and economy in the region, says consulting firm Datamonitor.

Salesnet Goes Mobile

Salesnet has released Salesnet Offline, which allows sales reps to use the complete Salesnet suite when they can't connect to the Web

Week in Review: 4/11

A roundup of this week's CRM news

Canada is Tops in Government CRM

Canada tops the world in terms of its government's use of CRM to reach its citizens.

New-product Spotlight

Among other product announcements by companies, Teradata enhances Teradata CRM 5.0, SupportWizard announces a new CRM suite for the mid-market; and Pilot Software makes available Pilot BusinessMonitor.

Call Center Managers: Analyze This

Customers using etalk Recorder can now leverage their recording investment by using SpeechMiner Enterprise to automate, streamline, and improve their call center operations.

A CRM Growth Spurt in 2006?

New IDC research forecasts that combined worldwide CRM and customer care services revenue will reach $101 billion in 2007, with a 2002 to 2007 compound annual growth rate of 11.3 percent.

The Week in Review--4/4/03

Allied Business Intelligence projects the speech recognition market to increase to $897.8 million in 2003, up from $677 million in 2002; Oaktree Systems announced today it has hired a new CEO, Chris Lynde.

ADAPT and Toshiba to Market Wireless CRM

CSG, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, will preinstall ADAPTcrm CRM software on Toshiba Magnia(R) Z310 wireless servers, but simply going wireless will not advance the state of mobile CRM, says one analyst.

Product Roundup

A review of some of the hot new products hitting the market this week.

Epicor Partners to Better Target SMBs

Intensive training programs, access to sales resources for pre- and postsupport on product demonstrations and implementations, and marketing tools and programs for lead generation are a few of the resources available to Epicor partners through the program.

Show Report: Hot Issues at Two Key Conferences

News in Brief

Vertical Focus: Healthcare

CRM in Action: Providing Cost-Effective Global Support

Prove It

Vendors have begun to put in place structured ROI calculation tools to quantify value from the outset.

CRM Is Getting a Foothold in Retail

The report claims that retailers are looking for IT solutions that can streamline online and offline sales processes.

The Week in Review--3/28/03

A roundup of CRM news from the past week.

SAP Sharpens Its Focus on SMBs

SAP's new Business One is designed to aid smaller companies better access real-time data; company teams with American Express for distribution, service.

New Product Spotlight

Salesforce.com, Best Software, and SupportSoft are among companies introducing products that help workers more easily send and receive email messages, significantly increase database performance, and shorten help desk or customer service calls.

Onyx and IBM Team for On-Demand CRM

Onyx has teamed up with IBM to offer a new, hosted, "on-demand" CRM solution based on open architecture supporting multiple users from disparate platforms.

New Analytics for Hosted CRM

Synergex announced it has released a new CRM analytics subscription service called VisualSmart, intended to work with data generated by Salesforce.com.

Week in Review -- 3/21/03

A round up of CRM news from the past week

Putting Its Money Where Its Mouth Is

ePartners offers a money-back guarantee on its MS CRM implementations.

Oracle's Up and Down Day

Oracle reported revenue growth of 2 percent and earnings growth of 12 percent for the third quarter of 2003, ended February 28, 2003, but the stock took a 6 percent tumble.

Employer Branding is Key

An employer brand certainly begins with the consumer brand, but needs to include an internal brand message and thereby create a platform for alignment of employee, supervisor, and management behaviors.

Communicate Anytime in Real Time

PeopleSoft is integrating IM capabilities from IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo! in its enterprise software; also adding real-time collaboration to its new portal solution.

The Week in Review 3/14/03

Retail companies are realizing the importance of making CRM investments; more companies have stepped up to offer migration programs for customers of the now-defunct CRM vendor Xchange; and Dendrite International, BMC Software, and Saratoga Systems announce exec changes.

Braun to Give Pharm Aid

Global Product Performance Platform (GP3), fuses customer-centric strategies and user-focused design within a standards-based J2EE architecture.

Unica Bows Out of Xchange Bid

Unica has decided not to participate in tomorrow's auction of the company, because its main assets--the software developers--are no longer with Xchange, says Carol Meyers, vice president of marketing at Unica.

The Week in Review 3/7/03

A Gartner survey indicates that 42 percent of the total number of CRM software licenses bought by businesses goes unused; U.S. companies are spending their IT dollars more wisely than their European counterparts; Keynote created the Keynote User Group; Astea International has announced the appointment of Nicholas Remzi to the new position of sales and marketing director, Europe; and Sedona Corp. has appointed Victoria Looney to its board of directors.

Salesnet and Qualte to Partner

Salesnet announced that users of its hosted SFA solution will be able to integrate with Qualte's online customer service solution.

Firstwave Acquires Connect-Care

Firstwave Technologies announced Tuesday the acquisition of Connect-Care, a CRM software developer for the software industry, through a merger with a subsidiary of Firstwave.

BEA Preaches Integration

The number one challenge facing businesses today is the integration of old and new technologies, says systems integrator BEA.

Customer Choice Drives New Product

The product, called Customer Choice Platform, blends outsourced live support with the company's proprietary software solutions.

Is Real-Time for Real?

Are vendors truly enabling businesses to operate in real time? Or is there still a long way to go?

News in Brief

Blueprints for CRM Success

The Week in Review: 2/28/03

Merger and acquisition news for Cobalt Group and Cowboy Corp.; Sybase and AvantGo. Product announcements from Alinean; FrontRange Solutions;ServiceWare. Exec changes at Connextions and Curl Corp.

Witness Makes an Offer to Buy Eyretel

Eyretel, a U.K.--based provider of compliancy and recording solutions, would give Witness a much greater geographic scope.

Happy Employees Equal Good CRM

An effective employer/employee relationship will create various benefits, including lower employee training costs, higher levels of customer care and satisfaction, and enhanced synergy between a company's culture and the needs and desires of its employees.

India Is Still the Popular Choice for Call Centers

J.D. Edwards and ClientLogic are setting up shop in India; the news comes fast on the heels of a report by Datamonitor that claims that political and economic instability in India has American companies choosing Canada for offshore call center development.

SAP's Goal: Unseat Siebel

The company has given no exact target dates or hard numbers, but it may be looking to see U.S. revenues increase to about 50 percent of total operations.

Week in Review: 2/21/03

Microsoft announced this week that its Microsoft CRM solution has gained some traction with resellers and company partners; ChannelWave Software will introduce an updated version of its flagship partner relationship management product; IntelliCorp has appointed George D'Auteuil Jr. to the position of chief executive officer; Precision Response has announced the promotion of Miguel Ramos to vice president of strategic planning.

Top 15 CRM Products Announced

The top 15 CRM solutions are leading the pack by including features like wireless components, XML, Web services, and process-oriented architectures.

E-Commerce Stands Strong

Part of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which periodically rates customer satisfaction from zero to 100 in key market areas, the report includes scores for four categories of e-commerce.

The Week in Review--2/13/03

The HDI 2002 Salary Survey; Egain's new customer service--management software release; Epicor's Clientele Customer Support 8.1 is now available; Clear Technologies and Harte-Hanks announce exec promotions/appointments.

Call Centers Head North

Datamonitor's recent study found political instability and threats of terrorism worldwide make some countries less attractive; many companies are looking to Canada as an alternative.

SPSS Shows Gains in 2002

Revenues for the year were $209 million, a 12 percent increase over 2000; the company credits the gains to streamlining efforts.

Market Central to Acquire Convergion

Market Central anticipates closing the transaction during early March.

Portals For Dummies

The module allows companies to automatically update regularly changing Web content like service, support, product orders, shipping, and billing on their customer service portals.

The Week in Review

Oracle Corp. has tapped Robb Eklund, as its new vice president of marketing; Allant Group Inc. has announced the appointment of Michael Reynolds as executive vice president of business development; Convergys Corp. announced earlier this week that it has acquired Cygent Inc.

Study: Latin America Ripe for CRM Picking

Analytics, data-cleansing technology, and contact center platforms will be hot spots in Latin America.

Integration Spending to Grow

According to the report, the public sector is set to be the fastest growing sector, with a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 21 percent over the forecast period. The healthcare sector will also see significant growth.

Microsoft Dropping .NET

Microsoft Inc. has officially dropped the .NET from its latest large-scale product release. Formerly known as Windows .NET Server 2003, the final product name is Windows Server 2003.

Mover & Shaker

DCI's George Schussel: A True Entrepreneur

Clean Data Improves Integration

News in Brief

The Real (Time) Deal

The Week in Review

A roundup of the top stories in the CRM world during the past week.

Study Claims That CRM is Proving Fruitful

Many companies are seeing value from their installed CRM suites, according to a new study by Peerstone Research Inc., an IT consulting firm.

Smart Search Engines Equal E-Commerce Success

More and more shoppers are likely to come back to the Web as a shopping channel, which equals increased revenue and customer loyalty, says Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee.

Super Bowl Advertisers Drop the Ball

Report says that some advertisers' Web sites were ill equipped for the increased traffic during the big game.

Pharmaceuticals Neglect the Net

Study reveals that pharmaceutical companies are ignoring the Internet as a channel to reach customers

Week in Review

A quick review of some of the top news around the industry this past week.

Siebel Sees Sales, Earning Drop Amid Restructuring

Siebel Systems Inc. this week reported a loss of $38 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2002.

Good News From Wall Street

Pivotal Corp. and Witness Systems see strong revenue gains with licensing increases and cuts in net losses.

Reynolds and Reynolds Taps IBM Executive

The Reynolds and Reynolds Co. announced it has named former IBM executive Alan Chakra to the position of vice president of its car company solutions group; Networkcar Inc. this week announced that it has acquired the rights to a patent for a system that collects, transmits, and displays diagnostic and performance information.

Oracle: Back on Track?

Rod Johnson, vice president and general manager of the customer management strategies practice at AMR Research, sees reasons to believe that Oracle is poised to rebound in the second half of 2003.

Infrastructure Woes Halt Real-Time Gains

According to a recent survey by Appfluent Technology, companies want and need real-time data, but simply do not have the right corporate culture in place to achieve the real-time enterprise.

Executive Changes

With a new year come several executive changes in the CRM arena. The following are some of the major changes made in the executive teams of some vendors.

Have It Your Way

ADAPT says its new product, ADAPTsdk, enables consultants, resellers, and customers to develop customized versions of its ADAPTcrm solution without relying on writing programming code.

Vendors Focus on Retail

Self-service technology solutions are key for the retail industry, as they allow store managers to do a lot more than they could before.

News Roundup

Several companies announced news and personnel changes over the past week.

Pharmaceutical Industry Lags in CRM, Study Says

The most important way for companies to gain a better understanding of what their customers want is to shift focus from doctors to patients.

SAP Starts 2003 With Layoffs

The layoffs account for approximately three percent of SAP's total U.S. workforce; no additional layoffs are on tap for SAP.

PeopleSoft Releases New Solution

The solution is designed to reduce incentive management expenses by streamlining administrative processes and to reduce the burdens associated with complex incentive plans across diverse business units.

Real-Time Analytics Gaining Foothold

Just under half, 48 percent, of all companies provide real-time data feeds to decision makers, and nearly a third of respondents update their analytic databases hourly.

Study Highlights Data Storage Trends

As enterprises aim at systems integration, the data warehouse comes greatly into play.

Sybase Forms New Division; Names Volk Leader

Sybase has created a new Infrastructure Platform Group (IPG), and has named Hewlett-Packard veteran Thomas Volk as executive vice president of the group.

Nieman Marcus Uses Natural Language Search to Boost Online Sales

News in Brief

Study Reports Drop in Customer Satisfaction

A study released by ForeSee Results Inc. shows that more than half of online holiday shoppers were highly satisfied with their online experience this year, though the still-nascent e-retail industry earned an overall score of 69 out of a possible 100 points, an eight point drop from last year's rating.

Online Holiday Sales Up 19 Percent

A study recently conducted by comScore Networks reveals that in the final shopping week before the Christmas holiday consumer online spending increased 19 percent, to $1.9 billion over the previous year.

M&A Roundup

Sybase Inc., Adonix, ACCPAC International Inc., and SSA Global Technologies Inc. have kept busy in the final days of what was not the best year for software vendors.

Study Reveals Retail Web Sites Offer Poor Self-Service

ABG announced this week the results of an independent study, conducted as part of the firm's ongoing analysis of the state of Web self-service, of the search and navigation capabilities of 57 leading retail Web sites.

Study Reveals Retail Web Sites Offer Poor Self-Service

ABG announced this week the results of an independent study, conducted as part of the firm's ongoing analysis of the state of Web self-service, of the search and navigation capabilities of 57 leading retail Web sites.

Diversinet Enters CRM Arena Through Acquisition

Diversinet says that the addition of DSS's services suite enhances Diversinet's ongoing strategy to provide greater depth and breadth in its product/service offering.

Blue Martini Powers Up With IBM

Blue Martini Software Inc. announced that it experienced a 40 percent increase in performance results during a test run of Blue Martini's 5.5 CRM application operating on a single IBM eServer p650.

Thomson, Merrill Lynch Team on Wealth Management Platform

Merrill Lynch's Wealth Management Technology Platform will combine market data, news, and portfolio management tools from Thomson Financial.

Study Says End-User Adoption Key Cause of CRM Failure

AMR Research found that even among top CRM vendors, 47 percent of companies reported serious challenges with end-user adoption that often put projects in jeopardy.

Consulting Firms to See Growth in 2003

Consulting firm META Group Inc. this week released what it calls its METAspectrum evaluation, covering the CRM consulting services market. The report indicates an expected growth in CRM services of 5 to 6 percent in 2003.

Go Real-Time or Go Home

Keynote speakers at DCI's premier Real-Time Enterprise Conference held this week in San Francisco said that companies must be able to access vital information in real time to compete in a changing business atmosphere.

The (Real) Time Is Now

PeopleSoft has announced the release of PeopleSoft CRM 8.8 and has introduced three new vertical solutions: CRM for High Technology, CRM for Insurance, and CRM for Energy.

Top Brass on the Move

Art Technology Group Inc. and Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc., an Alcatel subsidiary, select new CEO and CTO, respectively.

J.D. Edwards Reports Fourth Quarter Results

License fee revenue up 35 percent; EPS also rises

Company Created to Serve CPG Industry

The newly formed company offers a suite of three products tailored specifically to help CPG companies solve this problem of data quality, including InfoLync (category management software); ItemLync (product management and supply chain products); and TradeLync (trade promotion and deduction software).

Call Centers Crucial for Customer Loyalty

The survey provides evidence that 92 percent of U.S. consumers form their image of a company based on their experience using their call center.

Vignette Acquires Epicentric

Vignette Vice President of worldwide marketing Nolan Rosen says there are two driving forces behind the acquisition and Vignette's attempts at offering real-time solutions: Companies needing to access and deliver valuable content in any context, and the shift away from huge, monolithic applications towards smaller, custom-built data-delivery models.

Field Service Investment a Low Priority

CRM solutions provider Astea International Inc. found that of the nearly 1,900 CEOs surveyed, 56 percent view field service as playing a vital role in their sales and marketing mission, but only 42 percent expected to expand their field service budgets in the coming year.

New Key Executive Announcements

Willow CSN Incorporated and HomeSphere get new CEOs, while Motive Inc. appoints two vice presidents.

Epicor To Drive Corillian's Call Center Solution

Corillian was looking for a call center solution that ran on Microsoft's .Net platform and could create a comprehensive view of a customer for customer service representatives.

Epicor To Drive Corillian's Call Center Solution

Corillian was looking for a call center solution that ran on Microsoft's .Net platform and could create a comprehensive view of a customer for customer service representatives.

Will PDAs Help Drive CRM Adoption?

A recent survey found that due to lack of access to CRM systems in the field, CRM and sales force automation programs were not entirely successful.

A Roller-Coaster Ride For CRM Stocks

Many CRM vendors and related companies saw their modest gains stripped away in Friday's early-morning trading, but research firm IDC expects the $875 billion dollar IT industry to recover from this low point, with a 2003 growth rate of more than 5 percent.

CRM on the Cheap

Most recently, two companies have surfaced offering complete CRM software at a fraction of the competitors' prices.

CRM on the Cheap

Several smaller vendors are now offering low-cost CRM suites to SMBs

Siebel, Lockheed Martin Align

The partnership formalizes ongoing efforts between the two companies and will target federal agencies looking to improve operational effectiveness and productivity.

Talisma Names New CEO

Dan Vetras has been appointed president and CEO, succeeding founder and current CEO Pradeep Singh, who remains as chairman of the board.

Epicor Ships First. NET-based Self-Service Portal Solution

Vice president and general manager of Epicor's Clientele Group, Doug Berry, says the integration between the portal and the complete .NET suite can help provide end-to-end management of the customer lifecycle.

Study: Satisfaction Does Not Guarantee Loyalty

According to a recent study, companies that strive to satisfy customers may not necessarily retain them.

SAP and Genesys Align For Greater User Support

Genesys Telecommunications Inc. and SAP AG are aligning their internal organizations so that either company can serve as a single point of contact on technical support calls for combined solutions.

Two Studies Offer Oddly Conflicting Findings

Framingham, MA-based research firm IDC found that more and more vertical markets are deploying mobile solutions, but another recent IDC study showed that sales of mobile devices slipped 6 percent in the third quarter of 2003.

Reynolds and Reynolds Acquires Boat Ventures

Reynolds and Reynolds announced Wednesday that it has made its first foray into servicing other markets with the acquisition of Boat Ventures.

Siebel: No New Layoffs

Goldman says that Siebel Systems Inc. is seeing improved buying patterns from its customers.

Pumatech and Oracle Announce Synchronization Solution

A new solution, called Intellisync for Oracle, uses Pumatech's Intellisync engine to provide two-way synchronization of appointments, business contacts and to-do lists between the Oracle E-Business Suite and either Microsoft Outlook or Palm OS handhelds.

Firstlogic Gets PeopleSoft Nod of Approval

Firstlogic Inc. announced that its new Data Quality Link for PeopleSoft CRM, which allows for complete integration between Firstlogic's data-quality platforms and PeopleSoft CRM 8.4, has been certified by PeopleSoft.

Infogain Completes Global Technologies Acquisition

Infogain Corporation has completed its acquisition of Global Technologies; partners say the move will help them gain a stronger presence in Europe.

Worldwide Financial to Acquire ISD

Worldwide Financial Holdings has executed a letter of intent to acquire privately held Israeli mid-market CRM software producer International Software Development (ISD).

Nortel's New Enterprise Strategy Eyes Convergence

Nortel says its new network, "One Network. A World of Choice," offers end-to-end voice, data, multimedia, and converged Internet Protocol solutions to businesses of all sizes.

Best Software Launches SalesLogix 6

SalesLogix version 6.0, Best Software's latest version of its mid-market CRM platform, operates, according to the company, on an entirely new architecture for faster deployment and open development.

Apropos to Power JD Edwards' CRM Suite

Apropos will embed a private-label version of its Multi-channel Interaction Management Suite within the J.D. Edwards CRM application suite.

Pivotal Retrenches for 2003

Mid-market CRM software developer Pivotal Corp. today said that cost-cutting measures helped narrow its net loss in light of sluggish sales in the first quarter of fiscal 2003, ended Sept. 30, 2002.

Support Staffers Get Help

SSPA Connect will link more than 2,200 of the SSPA's member call centers through its Web-based platform.