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Intercom Connections Aid $6M Funding Round
June 21, 2013
Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Some prominent tech players have attached their names to Intercom, including Twitter founder Biz Stone and Facebook exec Paul Adams.
Thunderhead.com Smooths Out the Wrinkles in Customer Communication
June 17, 2013
Almost a year after launching its ONE Correspond for Salesforce, Thunderhead.com rolled out version 2.0. A part of the company's flagship ONE Engagement Platform, ONE Correspond for Salesforce allows users to create communications for customers. Via Salesforce's Chatter, it also has strong collaborative features that give users a way to review, edit and approve documents internally.
New Tools Play Up Twitter Games, Polls for CRM
May 02, 2013
Fan Appz provided more tools for digital marketers Wednesday when it added a suite of Twitter features to its real-time customer feedback platform. The new features help brands interact with followers by running polls, hashtag games and loyalty-based reward activities on the social network. Those interactions can help build a brand's database.
Salesforce.com's New Mobile Chatter Expands the Conversation
March 22, 2013
Salesforce.com has rolled out the latest iteration of its Chatter app designed specifically for the mobile environment. "With this version, we are taking [it] to a new level, allowing users to really drill down into accounts and take many different types of actions while in the field," said Michael Peachy, senior director of solutions marketing at Salesforce.
Let's Hear It for The Ecosystems!
March 06, 2013
Could we have a moment of sustained loud noise for all of the companies that form the various ecosystems around major product lines? I mean it. The ecosystem -- and maybe not even social -- is the story of the last five years. While many of us have been talking up social, the ecosystems have been adding immeasurably to the customer experience.
Sage Made a Wise Decision
February 20, 2013
I liked what Sage did last week in agreeing to sell off some non-core assets to partners, and I am most interested in the decision to sell ACT! and SalesLogix. The move reduced Sage's bullpen of CRM solutions from three to one -- and that's the right number for this market.
3 Bad Habits to Unlearn for SCRM Success
February 14, 2013
For the better part of six years, we pundits have been urging businesses to get social. Social CRM even has its own Gartner Magic Quadrant, and while the entries in that document are all over the map in terms of what they do, vendors serving aspects of SCRM are well established. Gartner itself said that sales of software for SCRM topped $1 billion in 2012.
Zoho Digs Deeper With Marketing Campaigns
August 17, 2012
Zoho has been speedily turning out applications to complement its core platform. Earlier this spring, for instance, it introduced Zoho CRM. Now, it is rolling out Zoho Marketing Campaigns to buttress the marketing functionality it introduced in the CRM app. "We had marketing and campaign features in that app, but the functionality wasn't deep enough for our satisfaction," said Zoho's Raju Vegesna.
Fixing Customer Complaints in a World Gone Social
August 16, 2012
Henry David Thoreau's quiet wisdom is best exemplified by sayings like, "in all things, simplicity." That's a nice credo to live by -- but it may be a hard one to fully embrace if you're trying to provide great customer service these days. After all, if you work in service, you have customers coming at you through a wider variety of channels than ever before.
Awareness Helps Social Marketers Know the Score
August 10, 2012
Awareness has enhanced its social marketing automation suite, Social Marketing Hub, with a new feature called "social scoring." The feature allows marketers and brands to identify, store and rank prospects across all the major social networks based on scoring criteria they define. It is a deliberate change from the fluffy metrics typically associated with social marketing.
Do You Remember All the Cool Things Your CRM App Can Do?
August 03, 2012
If you mention a certain brand of lower-priced, assemble-it-yourself furniture of Scandinavian heritage, you stand a pretty good chance of getting a response that dwells at some length on how hard it is to put it together. I've never felt that way -- in reality, I actually like putting stuff together. It's not that I'm good at it -- I've just learned to follow the directions. If only CRM were as simple.
SAP Lets Enterprises See What Customers Really Feel - in Real Time
August 02, 2012
SAP on Wednesday unveiled a rapid-deployment solution for marketers. It lets users analyze customer sentiment from social networking sites, communities, wikis, blogs and other sources. Users can combine the information with CRM text data and, if they so choose, business intelligence applications to get results in real time. The results are displayed on mobile devices or desktops.
Pinning for Business: Pinterest as a CRM Tool
July 26, 2012
WORX, a power tool company, has a unique Pinterest board: one devoted entirely to tools that aid in zombie defense. The WORX JawSaw, for instance, has a pin that tells consumers to "accessorize before they rise, and protect yourself now!" The board's sense of humor makes it especially effective on the social pinning site.
Fiitfu Puts Follow-Up Front and Center
July 24, 2012
When Mary-Jane Mehlenbacher left the corporate world to have her daughter, she didn't realize she would be leaving behind network marketing software that worked. Mehlenbacher had decided to form her own home-based network marketing company but couldn't find an appropriate CRM software application that fit her needs and single-proprietor company size. So she decided to build her own application.
Tweeting CRM
July 16, 2012
Most businesses recognize the need to be on Twitter to post about their latest products, services and recommendations. In addition to such marketing uses, however, it can also be used to manage customer relations. "To remain competitive, businesses have to figure out how to acquire, serve and retain customers through social channels," said Justyn Howard, president and CEO of Sprout Social.
Votigo Ventures Into Full-Scale Social Marketing
July 12, 2012
Votigo has debuted a full-fledged social marketing suite that builds around its original core functionality of social promotions. The 6-year-old company is offering a price point that is reasonable for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as functionality that can scale to enterprise level fairly easily, said Mike La Rotonda, co-CEO and founder.
Salesforce.com Adds Another Brick to Social Media Edifice
July 10, 2012
Salesforce.com is acquiring GoInstant, reportedly paying $70 million for the startup. The news generally fits the "another day, another Salesforce.com acquisition" story line. The CRM cloud vendor has been on an acquisition binge -- it bought at least six companies in 2011 alone.
Tools for Crafting Social CRM Connections
July 09, 2012
Adaptu serves people in all stages of life, from young people just getting married and buying a home, to more mature investors planning for their children's educations or their own retirements. "Tracking our more public users allows us to create content, crowdsource ideas, and offer solutions that we wouldn't normally get the chance to talk about," said Jenna Forstrom, Adaptu's community manager.
The Brass Tacks of Social Media
July 03, 2012
This week Esteban Kolsky and I launched a research initiative aimed at better understanding how businesses across the world are adopting social media for their business processes. There has been anecdotal evidence over the last five-plus years about social's efficacy as a business tool, and there have been about as many stories of companies that have failed to see any benefit.
Nimble CRM Ties Up All the Loose Social Ends
June 25, 2012
A year ago, Nimble CRM launched with a simple idea: If one application could bring together a contact's social media profile, online comments, company information and other relevant data, the sales and marketing process would be much easier. The hardest part -- bringing in social media conversations -- has also been the most elusive, said Nimble CEO Jon Ferrara.
Yammer May Get Microsoft Into the Social CRM Club
June 15, 2012
Microsoft is in discussions to acquire Yammer, a social media and communication platform for businesses, according to a report in Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous sources. Microsoft is prepared to acquire the company for a $1 billion purchase price, the report said, and the deal could be reached as soon as Friday.
Salesforce.com Chatter Unlocks Doors to Enterprise Collaboration
May 25, 2012
Salesforce.com is adding more functionality to its Chatter tool -- in this case, real-time communication capabilities. The two new features soon to be available are Chatter Messenger and Chatter Screensharing. Chatter Messenger is an instant messaging application to be used within the Chatter application. When it launches as part of Salesforce.com's Summer release in a few weeks, it will give users live chat functionality.
The Salesperson's New Toolbox
May 23, 2012
Last week was like the fireworks on the Fourth of July. You know how at the end they fire off a huge flourish of explosives, and if you live in Boston for some reason the Boston Pops play "The 1812 Overture?" It was like that minus the Pops. SAP, NetSuite and Xactly, just to name a few, all had conferences.
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Are you looking forward to self-driving cars?
You bet -- I'd love to have a built-in chauffeur.
Yes -- self-driving cars will save lives.
Kind of -- I'd like some self-driving features, like parking.
No -- self-driving cars are too dangerous.
No -- I don't want to give up another freedom.
Absolutely not -- I saw Terminator and I'm not letting some robot take me for a ride!