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Avanade Leverages Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0
Avanade Inc., (news - alerts) a technology integrator for Microsoft enterprise solutions, has announced the availability of its Enterprise CRM solutions for Health Plans, Financial Services and Customer Care, leveraging the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 product. Avanade has integrated the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 technology to allow it to tailor solutions to meet the specific demands of the customer's business, with the customer's existing application investments. The goal is a more cost-effective CRM solution that works the way employees expect it to, supports the way companies do business, and runs the way IT staff expects technology to run. Avanade's new health plan solution and the release of the financial services and customer care solutions on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 are aimed to capitalize on the enhanced product capabilities including marketing automation, reporting and analytics. Avanade Enterprise CRM for Financial Services supports industry- and company-specific business processes, workflow, policies and security requirements, and provides a comprehensive view of high-value clients. Avanade pairs its expertise designing and integrating Microsoft systems for the enterprise with partner GaleForce Solutions' focus on the financial services industry, to deliver customer relationship management systems expressly for companies in the sector.

SugarCRM Introduces Sugar Suite 4.0
Open-source CRM provider SugarCRM Inc. (news - alerts) recently announced the beta release of its Sugar Suite Version 4.0. Sugar Suite 4.0 introduces new functionality such as advanced reporting and customizable dashboards, campaign management, workflow management and access control, e-mail processing and enhanced lead sharing. The company states that new functionality was added based on input by customers, and that its pace of innovation is driven by the SugarCRM community of 3,000 developers and 10,000 members, which provides product direction, testing, translations and modules to Sugar Suite. Sugar Suite 4.0 offers complete CRM functionality, flexible deployment options and an open architecture that allows companies to customize, deploy and integrate SugarCRM more efficiently than proprietary software vendors, according to the company.

Siebel And BEA Systems Announce Joint Solution
Siebel Systems, Inc. (news - alerts) and BEA Systems, Inc., (news - alerts) a provider of enterprise infrastructure software, recently announced the general availability of Siebel Component Assembly for J2EE-based BEA WebLogic Server 9.0. The combined offering is designed to help customers significantly simplify and speed the development of custom CRM applications, enhance organizational decision-making and increase end user productivity. The solution also represents a milestone in an ongoing partnership between BEA and Siebel Systems to deliver on a common vision for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) via their respective Services Infrastructure and Customer Adaptive Solutions software. BEA's Services Infrastructure vision promotes the free flow of business processes, information and services to help organizations more rapidly compose, configure and reuse technology assets to more efficiently meet evolving business needs. Siebel Customer Adaptive Solutions deliver CRM applications that allow companies to understand and anticipate a customer's needs; rapidly design and implement customer-centric processes; continually realign those processes for systemic, consistent improvements; and direct the right actions across organizations to help maximize customer satisfaction and profitability.

Sigma Dynamics Announces New Applications
Sigma Dynamics (news - alerts) has announced four new applications designed to bridge the operational and analytical worlds of CRM: Strategic Routing Analytics, Predictive Cross-Sell, Real-Time Customer Satisfaction and Six Sigma Customer Process Management. Based on Sigma Dynamics' real-time predictive analytics platform, the new applications combine customer insights with business logic to help make the best decisions for every customer across any channel. The goal is to create a more immediate, effective way for businesses to achieve customer satisfaction, improve customer retention and drive revenue growth. Unlike traditional analytics-only offerings that simply provide customer insight, the Sigma Intelligence Platform delivers this information to automatically adapt processes to customer needs inside the context of each interaction. The Platform measures each customer interaction to identify important trends early on in the interaction, and self-adjusts to make recommendations that drive business goals, such as increasing revenue or improving customer satisfaction and retention targets. Built on a pure J2EE Services-Oriented Architecture, the new application templates can accelerate implementations, ensure best practices and integrate with existing applications, processes and databases.

PAR3 Acquires EnvoyWorldWide
PAR3 Communications, Inc., (news - alerts) a provider of enterprise customer communication solutions, announced recently its acquisition of EnvoyWorldWide, (news - alerts) a provider of high-availability notification services for business continuity and emergency communications. The union of the two companies was forged to create a single source for notification solutions that meet the growing needs of the enterprise, from collections and customer service to the communication of unplanned events that threaten the continuity of business operations. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The newly combined entity with 200 employees and offices in Bedford, MA and Seattle, WA boasts customers such as Bear Stearns, Duane Reade, Medco, Nextel Partners, Progressive Insurance, Symantec, Strohl Systems and US Airways.
www.par3.com, www.envoyworldwide.com

Alliance Systems Selects Smart Catalog
Alliance Systems, Ltd., (news - alerts) a provider of communications and computing infrastructure solutions, and Endeavor Commerce, the developer of Smart Catalog, recently announced Alliance Systems' selection of Smart Catalog. Smart Catalog is a tool that ensures accurate quotes, which translate into more error-free orders, improved revenue and increased customer satisfaction. Alliance Systems has committed to the Microsoft (news - alerts) Dynamics platform for both their front-office CRM needs and back-office business management application with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, respectively. Smart Catalog features integration with Microsoft CRM to add guided selling, product and pricing configuration, quote and proposal delivery, order entry and e-commerce features.

IEX Introduces TotalView InSight Performance Manager
IEX Corporation, (news - alerts) a Tekelec company, recently introduced the TotalView InSight Performance Manager. Advanced features were designed to improve performance by providing contact centers with a unified view of operational metrics, helping everyone gain a clear understanding of performance goals and results. Using InSight, agents can more easily see how they are performing to operational objectives such as average handle time and adherence goals. Executives receive benefits from information supplied by InSight dashboards. They can quickly see what is happening across a broad range of key performance indicators to identify and resolve problems before they escalate. Supervisors can also use InSight to improve mentoring and agent recognition while workforce planners benefit from the root-cause analysis capabilities it supplies through full-featured online analytical processing (OLAP) reporting. InSight is an advanced feature of the IEX TotalView Workforce Management system, providing a performance management solution that can be deployed quickly. A predefined set of KPIs is supplied along with standard dashboards and reports for agents, supervisors and executives. Additionally, up to six predefined metrics can be imported from another contact center system such as quality monitoring, e-learning, human resources or other solutions. The center also has the ability to customize the predefined dashboards and reports and can add more without requiring professional services or vendor programming. As a TotalView advanced feature, InSight comes with built-in support for multisite management. This allows the center to view information and perform analysis at any level, from the entire operation to individual sites, contact types and queues. With a thin-client Web interface, the InSight solution is quick to deploy and easy to maintain. In other news, contact center and performance management solutions provider Merced Systems (news - alerts) recently revealed that TotalView InSight Performance Manager is built on Merced Systems technology.
www.iex.com, www.mercedsystems.com

OutStart In Learning Management Systems Magic Quadrant
OutStart, (news - alerts) a provider of software solutions for learning and knowledge-sharing, has announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the visionary quadrant in the 'Magic Quadrant for Learning Management Systems report'. According to the report, 'visionaries' are vendors that have a strong market understanding and ability to anticipate shifting market drivers. Each year, Gartner evaluates the LMS market and includes the top vendors in its LMS Magic Quadrant. To quality for consideration, vendors must develop their own LMS products and services, be in the space through a public go-to-market strategy, have at least $5 million in LMS software license and related service revenues and be regularly referenced by Gartner prospects or clients as a focused player in the market.

Study Shows Americans Are Most Impatient Customers
Preliminary research from Dimension Data's (news - alerts) annual worldwide contact center survey shows that Americans are impatient when waiting in queue and are quicker to abandon calls than consumers throughout the rest of world. More than 360 contact centers worldwide were surveyed over the past nine months, reporting that callers in North America were more likely to abandon calls more quickly than their counterparts throughout the world. Contact centers in North America report that Americans are impatient ' willing to wait an average of only 37 seconds for their calls to be answered. The rest of the world exhibits greater patience ' consumers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa are willing to wait 67 seconds before abandoning a call. People in Asia-Pacific are the most patient at 72 seconds.

Acxiom Hires Privacy Officer
As part of its continuing efforts at protecting data privacy and security, Acxiom Corporation (news - alerts) has made several significant leadership appointments, with Chief Privacy Officer Jennifer Barrett being named Global Privacy Officer. Other privacy leadership appointments include that of Sheila Colclasure, Acxiom business leader for privacy practices and solutions, who will assume the role of privacy officer for North and South America; Barbara Sullivan, Acxiom privacy leader for Australia and New Zealand, who has been named chief privacy officer for Asia; and Acxiom consultant Sachiko Scheuing, who will be privacy leader for Europe. Acxiom provides privacy consulting to some of the largest organizations in the world to help them with compliance strategies and to guide them in establishing best practices in privacy and security.

e-Glue Business Technologies Announces e-Glue Direct For Quality
e-Glue Business Technologies, (news - alerts) a provider of real-time adaptive solutions for customer interaction, has announced the release of e-Glue Direct for Quality, a new solution designed to deliver improvements in the quality of customer service by providing agents with active, relevant support during live interactions with customers. e-Glue's approach leverages agent quality scores from quality monitoring systems and real-time information from the call to decide the type of support an agent needs. Direct for Quality's real-time reminders appear at the right time in the call to deliver relevant information that's tailored to the needs of each agent. For example, agents who forget to update customer contact information will receive a real-time reminder whenever caller information is missing. e-Glue helps close the natural variation gap among agents; as agents master particular quality areas, their quality scores improve and they no longer receive prompts for those areas.

Nuasis Launches IP Migration Incentive Plan
Nuasis (news - alerts) has revealed that it will migrate call centers currently using outdated Aspect, Nortel, Avaya or Cisco ACD systems and apply $1,000 per agent license to the purchase of a Nuasis NuContact Center. For companies that require a multiple site migration to IP, the software-only, IP-based architecture of the Nuasis system integrates with legacy ACD equipment and other call center infrastructure. In addition, Nuasis will integrate the IP-based NuContact Center with any CRM database that is currently integrated with the legacy ACD switch at no cost. In addition to 'future proofing' their infrastructure, Nuasis customers who have replaced outdated ACD systems with the IP-based Nuasis NuContact Center can gain significant business benefits. Nuasis has indicated that customers are reporting productivity gains, improved ease-of-operation management and significant cost reductions. The switch-independent, standards-based, software-only system supports single call centers and enables multiple contact center sites to be managed as a single center. The built-in CTI capability and simple workflow tool allow the integration of CRM applications, homegrown and hosted services, workforce management applications and quality monitoring applications to be done in a matter of days versus weeks to months. The company states that this capability has also resulted in quick and easy deployments of CRM- enabled screen pops that do not require costly professional services.

New EasyRun Release Unveils Universal Queuing
Easyrun, (news - alerts) a provider of contact center solutions and CTI integration, recently announced a new Universal Queuing feature as part of its new EPICCenter release, in addition to other enhancements at every level and in every aspect of the solution. The enhancements were added to increase the productivity of call center workers and improve their customer service levels. Universal Queuing is now fully available with EPICCenter. With the release of V4.6 and the improved EPICEmail components, call center managers can more easily prioritize customers and incoming connections regardless of the media used for the contact. The same set of business and routing rules can be applied to voice calls, chat calls and e-mails. Designed in open architecture, EPICCenter was created to offer smooth and quick integration with any e-mail server supporting the standard protocols of POP3 and SMTP and requires minimal changes to the business IT environment. Completing the Universal Queuing, the new EPICCenter release introduces enhanced reporting capabilities and real-time presentations. These new enhancements were added to help enable managers and supervisors to differentiate between, and to accurately quantify, the voice, chat and e-mail activities from every perspective.

Data Collection Resources Upgrades CEMS
Data Collection Resources, (news - alerts) a provider of affordable quality monitoring, call center recording and e-learning management solutions for call centers in North America, has announced the general availability of its CEMS Release 5.2. CEMS 5.2 offers new features designed to make managing and reporting agent performance less complex and more robust. New features include easier management of pre-recorded events, additional agent management protocol, added real-time capabilities and the addition of new management report templates to the CEMS' management reports library. DCR offers mid-market solutions designed to provide customers with affordable, flexible and reliable alternatives to enhance and improve the customer's experience without the high cost of owning a legacy quality monitoring and call center recording system. CEMS is DCR's core offering for organizations requiring a complete quality monitoring and call center recording solution that is collectively more affordable and budget-friendly. CEMS can be cost-effectively configured and implemented for total recording, random recording, record on demand, customized agent evaluation, real-time monitors for agent screens, synchronized audio video, e-learning management and management analysis and reporting.

Avidian Technologies Announces Prophet 3.0
Avidian Technologies (news - alerts) recently announced the launch of Prophet 3.0, the newest version of its Outlook-based sales software solution. Avidian also announced that Prophet will be available for the first time for enterprises with Prophet Enterprise Client and Prophet Enterprise Server. Prophet 3.0 includes the following new features: tighter and more seamless integration inside Outlook to provide a faster load time and allow users to manage sales information from their Outlook Inbox or Contacts; Sales Assistant to allow users to send pre-set, timed e-mails to their contacts; Workflow Engine to allow users to customize automatic sales cycle actions and create consistent sales processes to make sure critical tasks get accomplished for every prospect or sale; and Groups and Permissions' features to support unlimited hierarchical sales structures so that the right people see the right information. Other features new to Prophet 3.0 include increased customization, advanced reporting options and additional Opportunity Manager and Contact Manager features.

inQ's Live Chat Turns Online Visitors Into Qualified Sales Leads
inQ, (news - alerts) an online marketing company utilizing live chat to put salespeople on the Web, has announced the addition of leadQ to their live chat marketing solutions for businesses. leadQ is a lead generation solution that can be used to qualify site visitors and capture personal information for immediate or future contact. leadQ is typically deployed on b-to-b or high ticket consumer product Web sites (such as automotive, financial services, real estate) in verticals where products are primarily sold by phone, or face-to-face by a broker or sales representative. The leadQ Live Agent engages online visitors in a live chat dialog, qualifies their purchase intent and the revenue potential they represent, and arranges a phone appointment with a sales representative. A 'click2chat' box is built into the page, or a live chat is automatically initiated based on onsite behavior such as the amount of time a customer spends on the Web site, on a particular product page, or the number of visits to the site. When a chat is launched, the live agent will introduce himself or herself as a customer service agent from the site and may ask a few questions to better understand the customer and his needs. The agent will then explain the value of talking directly to a sales representative and will collect a name, phone number and a call-back time through the chat dialog. The lead is immediately transferred to the client's sales team and a hot transfer from the chat to a sales representative on the phone can be arranged. leadQ can also be implemented as a customer begins the 'contact us' form-fill process, a standard procedure for many online businesses that are selling their products or services through a direct sales model. Here leadQ can increase the accuracy of the data collected as well as the form completion rate.

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