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Salesforce1 Paves Way for Internet of Customers
January 10, 2014
Salesforce on Wednesday kicked off its Salesforce1 world tour in New York, touting the allure of the social, mobile and cloud customer platform to clients. Launched in November at Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce1 drove a 96 percent increase in mobile app active users and a 46 percent increase in active users of custom mobile apps, Salesforce maintained.
9 CRM Companies to Watch in 2014
January 08, 2014
I'd like to say it's going to be a good year in CRM, and I firmly believe it, though I can't offer a single, all-encompassing reason for my optimism. There are plenty of small things that begin to add up, however -- in an earlier time, the metaphor might have been "straws in the wind." So what are they? First, the economy is looking better -- but that's faint praise.
It Was a Very Good Marketing, Partners and Platform Year
December 11, 2013
We are nearing year-end, and that means it's time for my annual year in review -- my assessment of things that will matter in the long run. From my spot, it looks like marketing took a big step toward greater relevance in 2013, the importance of being a partner in an ecosystem increased -- as did the significance of software platforms -- and reports of CRM's demise were greatly exaggerated.
CRM's Frayed Ends
December 06, 2013
The buyer-seller relationship we most often think of is one in which all the responsibility is loaded on the seller. The seller convinces the customer to buy, then provides support and further marketing to keep the customer loyal. Not every selling relationship works this way, however. When both ends of the sale have a responsibility, things get a little cloudier and more complex.
Salesforce.com Drops $1M to Make Hackathon Results Fair
December 03, 2013
Salesforce.com has taken an interesting step in stemming the fallout from its recent hackathon by deciding to award a second prize of $1 million to another team of developers. At the Dreamforce software conference last month, Salesforce.com held a Salesforce1 Hackathon, in which more than 4,500 developers were encouraged to build apps using the company's customer relationship management platform.
The Class of '14
November 20, 2013
The story of this year's Dreamforce might best be told through the partner community and AppExchange, and that makes it a story about the platform. Appropriately enough, Salesforce teed up the platform topic in Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff's Tuesday keynote and the press conference immediately following it, where he announced Salesforce1.
Fall Roundup
October 24, 2013
There's a lot going on right now that bodes well for next year. It's amazing to even say this in October, but the evidence I've seen points to a busy new year. Companies are spending money on marketing and sales like they have not in several years. Venture capitalists are putting their capital to work, and some emerging companies are telling me they didn't actually need the cash they've taken.
A Last, Lingering Look at Oracle OpenWorld 2013
October 02, 2013
The ghost of Anthony Lye presided over Oracle OpenWorld's third-day customer experience keynote. For CRM and related things, it was the moment I'd been waiting for. Lye is in robust health as far as I know, but he has been gone from Oracle for about a year. He was the architect of Oracle's CRM strategy that resulted in the acquisitions of RightNow Technologies, ATG, Endeca, and other brands.
Oracle Revs Its Cloud Engines for a Better Customer Experience
September 26, 2013
Oracle has upgraded its Customer Experience cloud-based application with enhancements throughout the platform, including the sales, marketing and service modules, the company announced on Wednesday at its Oracle OpenWorld event. From a 30,000-foot view, the Oracle CX improvements can be summed up as offering deeper social integrations, more mobility and streamlined and more intuitive interfaces.
IT Solutions Navigator Cuts Through Choppy Procurement Waters
September 25, 2013
Vendors seeking to obtain federal information technology contracts are regularly challenged to deal with a variety of complex factors. These include negotiating special IT security requirements, tricky service level agreements, and a growing number of government contracting vehicles that have been developed over the past few years to facilitate IT contracting.
Commence CRM 5.5 Brings Chat Into the Fold
September 23, 2013
Commence earlier this month debuted version 5.5 of its CRM application with key enhancements including a new internal chat system, new Microsoft Word and calendar integrations, and a click-to-dial feature on mobile phones. Commence provides an array of CRM tools, including salesforce features and, for a unique twist, a project management component as well on its platform.
Bislr Brings a Bunch of New Tools for Easier Marketing Automation
September 16, 2013
Early this year Bislr launched with an impressive goal for a startup: It wanted to do for marketing automation what Steve Jobs and Apple did for mobile. That is, it wanted to take an arguably still clunky, expensive and difficult-to-use piece of enterprise software and transform it into something that people would actually want to use. It rolled out its version of that vision with the company's launch.
The Shift to a Subscription Economy, Part 2
September 13, 2013
Marine liability insurer The Shipowners' Club has signed up to get IT service management from Axios Systems on a Software as a Service basis. It is going with the subscription solution to remove the cost and complexity of security, backups, implementation and upgrades while retaining full ownership of its data. That, in a nutshell, is why companies are moving to a subscription-based economy.
Qualtrics Aims to Make Surveys Mobile-Friendlier
September 09, 2013
It's a fact of life in market research that the success of any survey will depend at least in part on its accessibility to the intended respondents. Toward that end, Qualtrics has released Qualtrics Mobile, a new app designed to help reach respondents on the go. Qualtrics Mobile works alongside the company's existing marketing survey Software as a Service application.
Investors Toss $50 Million Zuora's Way
September 06, 2013
Zuora, which offers a billing, commerce and finance PaaS for businesses using a subscription-service model, has raised $50 million in E series funding from some major players. Next World Capital, Vulcan Capital and Northgate Capital are the latest additions to the company's crowd of believers. Zuora will use the money to expand into new markets and geographies and invest in R&D.
Stalking the Fortune 500
September 05, 2013
Prognosticators love to look at Salesforce.com and imagine an impossibly tall edifice about to fall in the next stiff breeze. Maybe it could. I am not a finance guy, so what do I know? For now, though, the party continues -- and the party within the party is the one full of the doubters. What do they know? I don't think they understand the power of subscriptions.
CRM Evolution Notes
August 28, 2013
One of the more interesting aspects of CRM Evolution, held in New York last week, is how many emerging companies attended and appear to be doing well. The big guys were there too -- either with booths or through attendance by senior people. You can get a false sense of the marketplace if you only attend Salesforce.com's Dreamforce, Microsoft Convergence, SAP Sapphire, or Oracle OpenWorld.
Echopass Revs Its Engines for Enterprise Contact Centers
August 26, 2013
Echopass recently unveiled a new enterprise edition of its software for corporations that use the cloud to manage their contact center operations. The offering consists of more than 40 applications and services aimed at centers that support between 500 to 20,000 agents. One early adopter typifies the type of company for which this application was developed, said the company's Rob Farris.
Google Apps Integration Arrives in Zurmo 2.2
August 22, 2013
The makers of the Zurmo CRM platform have released a new version of the technology, a refresh focused on third-party app integrations that allow users to streamline their various Web applications with the Zurmo software. Launched on Tuesday, Zurmo 2.2 comes equipped with Google Apps integration, allowing users to synchronize information between their Google and Zurmo accounts.
Federal Cloud Megadeals Spur Competition and Litigation
August 21, 2013
The U.S. Interior Department has embarked on a major transition to cloud technology that could result in its spending $10 billion on the program over nine years. DOI selected 10 vendors to participate in the program last May, and since then the vendors have been announcing definitive contracts with the department. "This move is central to transforming our overall IT capabilities," said the department's Andrew Jackson.
Wireless Customers Warm Up to Online Buying
August 19, 2013
Wireless customers are generally much happier with the quality of service they receive from providers via the companies' self-service websites than through other outlets, a new survey from J.D. Power reveals. In addition, they're happiest with AT&T among service providers, the study found. The semiannual report was split into two parts, focusing on full-service and noncontract purchase experiences.
BroadVision and SugarCRM Join Hands for Closer Integration
August 16, 2013
SugarCRM and BroadVision have teamed up to integrate their respective products -- SugarCRM's namesake CRM app and BroadVision's Clearvale enterprise social networking platform -- to give users a fuller view of what is happening in the enterprise, the companies announced this week. This is not a full-bore integration between the two products, however.
Millennial Buys Rival Jumptap in Mobile Ad Push
August 15, 2013
Millennial Media announced on Tuesday that it will acquire competitor Jumptap in a stock transaction worth approximately $225 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Jumptap shareholders will receive approximately 24.6 million shares of Millennial Media. The combined company will be able to offer a number of services in this space that will be able to run across a variety of different screens.
Colosa Sweetens SugarCRM With 2 More Spoonfuls of BPM
August 05, 2013
After several months in beta, SugarCRM and Colosa have made generally available a new Sugar module that lets users design business process workflows inside SugarCRM. The application, Colosa's flagship BPM and Workflow Suite called ProcessMaker, was launched into beta in April, but the companies have added two new features and introduced a new pricing model since then, said Colosa CEO Brian Reale.

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