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Marketers, Start Your Engines
March 13, 2014
The connected car may be zooming into the mainstream: Apple has officially entered the market. The debut of CarPlay comes nearly a year after Apple first previewed iOS in the car, tweaking the platform to move Siri, Maps and other services to the dashboard. Apple showed off CarPlay and announced new partners Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo early last week at the Geneva International Motor Show.
Salesfusion Bumps Up Lead Scoring in New Marketing Automation Release
March 10, 2014
Salesfusion has released a new version of its marketing automation platform enhanced with the lead-scoring capabilities it acquired with its purchase of LoopFuse. The end result of this newly integrated product is a marketing automation application that has predictive lead scoring and is priced and configured to be used by mid-market companies, said Salesfusion CEO Christian Nahas.
Microsoft Beats the Customer-Centricity Drum at Convergence
March 04, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday kicked off its Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 conference with a keynote address by Executive Vice President Kirill Tatarinov, whose running theme was the need for the companies to be customer-centric to stay competitive. "Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect and interact with one another," Tatarinov said.
Pega's Next-Best-Action Marketing Learns on the Job
March 03, 2014
Pegasystems has rolled out Next-Best-Action Marketing 7.1. Built on Pega 7, it aims to provide marketing executives with the best customer service strategy -- the next best action -- for any given scenario, based on customer data captured by the system, along with rules configured by the user. The differentiator between this and other platforms is its self-learning functionality.
Clarus Offers Etailers a Prime-ish Loyalty Platform
February 24, 2014
If you were to administer truth serum and ask a retailer how it really felt about Amazon Prime, chances are the response would be that it's pure genius -- or pure evil genius, perhaps. Why? Because Amazon Prime encourages shoppers to come back and back again to browse and buy, and it's all based on an incentive that online consumers hold very dear: free shipping.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gets a Fuel Injection
February 18, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a set of Microsoft Dynamics CRM features that will be generally available in the second quarter of this year. There are three main areas of change in this latest iteration: new marketing functionality; enhanced customer service options; and the introduction of a unified service desk for call centers. There are also additional social listening features.
Epicor Aims to Ratchet Up Loyalty
January 27, 2014
Epicor Software has announced the general availability of Epicor Retail CRM 7.0. The updated platform reflects a complete shift to .Net and SQL reporting services and includes a number of new features in analytics, reporting and security As a whole, 7.0 "gives a more granular view to the retailer about a customer's behavior," said Sarah Barron, Epicor Retail product manager for CRM.
Nextbee Gives B2Bs CRM Integration Links
January 20, 2014
NextBee has spent the last several months developing integration links to connect its referral and customer service products to the major CRM applications, including Salesforce, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics. The general idea of the integration is to combine NextBee's ability to track activities and provide incentives with the CRM system's customer service touchpoints.
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.
Interactive Tool Helps Companies Find the Right Social Software
January 03, 2014
Software Advice recently unveiled an interactive tool designed to help companies navigate the complex and confusing social media software market. Called "Social App Map," the tool is designed to serve as a guide for potential software buyers as they start to evaluate the many different vendors and options in this sector, which has a problem with definitions, the company said.
Kana Smooths the Wrinkles Out of Back-End Administration
December 27, 2013
Kana recently released an upgrade to its enterprise application, equipping it with new multinational knowledge management and other enhancements that make back-end administration easier. Another release earlier this year targeted the end user, but "our focus this time around was on a different set of users," said Scott Hays, Kana's senior director of product marketing.
Moxie Stitches Together Social Enterprise Options
December 09, 2013
Moxie Software, a provider of enterprise social software, has updated its Spaces by Moxie suite of applications with new features in its Chat Spaces, Email Spaces and Knowledge Spaces modules. Moxie Software's user base tends to be large B2C companies that have high-volume interactions with their customers, said Chief Marketing Officer Tara Sporrer.
TreeHouse Brings Content Marketing Into Its CRM Fold
December 02, 2013
TreeHouse Interactive recently updated the core functionality in its Marketing View marketing automation platform by adding a new tool called "Content Marketing Manager." Marketing automation -- along with TreeHouse's other play in the CRM space, partner relationship management -- is one of the company's raisons d'Ítre. "We shipped our first marketing automation platform in 1997," said CEO Erich Flynn.
Dreamforce Debriefing
November 26, 2013
OK, we survived Dreamforce and that has enabled us to limp home exhausted by all the information we accumulated and the parties we attended just in time for the holidays. I have a lot of thoughts about the show. If I try to share most of them, the result will be a stream-of-conscious rant that will make little sense, so some discipline is in order.
Zoho Sets Its Sights on Large Businesses
November 25, 2013
Zoho recently deepened the functionality in its CRM suite and upgraded Zoho Support with high-end and high-capacity telephony and mobile-app features for large businesses. The moves are part of the company's strategy of migrating upstream to service a larger customer base. "Zoho started off marketing our CRM application to small businesses," said Zoho evangelist Raju Vegesna.
Dreamforce 2013 Notebook
November 22, 2013
There's always a lot to digest after Salesforce.com's annual bacchanalia, Dreamforce, which drew 135,000 registrants this year. Some of it is about Salesforce's announcements, but a lot more of it is about the implications of those announcements, the people who attend, and what goes on around the show. Despite its peculiar name, Salesforce1 is an important step for Salesforce.
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.
Salesforce1 Takes Flight
November 19, 2013
Salesforce.com on Monday unveiled Salesforce1, as it kicked off its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The Salesforce1 platform allows software vendors, developers and customers to integrate third-party services using application programming interfaces and sensors. Salesforce1 reportedly will be equipped with a far larger number of APIs than previous versions of Salesforce software.
Demandbase Puts a B2B Spin on Retargeting
November 18, 2013
Building on the B2B targeting and personalization ad platform it launched about a year ago, Demandbase last week debuted a new ad tool called "B2B Retargeting." Like the Company-Targeted Advertising solution Demandbase launched in 2012, B2B Retargeting is a rare breed of online ad software in that it focuses specifically and solely on businesses -- not consumers -- as customers.
Salesforce Automation Tops CRM Buyers' Software Wish Lists
November 15, 2013
Ask prospective buyers of CRM software what they're most interested in, and you'll probably get a mix of variations on the following three themes: "I am not sure about the deployment model yet, although I have heard good things about the cloud"; "I know about the benefits of using an integrated suite, but frankly I would like to investigate some best-of-breed offerings too"; and "Is it salesforce automation related?"
Nimble Spreads Its Social Wings
November 11, 2013
Before speaking with a reporter recently about the latest upgrade to his company's CRM platform, Nimble CMO Eric Quanstrom ate his own cooking, so to speak: that is, he used Nimble to learn as much about her as possible. A few keystrokes later, he knew where she went to school, her hometown, other business affiliations and that she was an avid tweeter.
ZipRealty Brings CRM to Real Estate Agents on the Go
November 04, 2013
ZipRealty recently released a mobile CRM app that complements its custom-built Zap online CRM system. While the mobile version, dubbed "mobile Zap," has the same functionality as its online desktop counterpart, it was designed with an eye to accommodating real estate agents' on-the-go schedules, said Jamie Wilson, the company's senior vice president of technology.
Apple Takes a Bruising in Tablet Market
November 01, 2013
Android tablets outsold iPads in the calendar quarter ending in September, according to IDC. Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market also declined compared with the same period in 2012, the firm said. Although Apple sold slightly more units into its retail channel during this year's third quarter compared with last year's, its market share slipped to 29.6 percent from 40.2 percent a year ago.
SalesAgility Sweetens CRM With Open Source Sugar
October 28, 2013
SalesAgility last week rolled out SuiteCRM, an application that's designed to offer a fully open source alternative to SugarCRM Professional Edition. Built upon the latest release of SugarCRM Community Edition, the software includes reporting, workflow, quotes, products, security and portal extensions designed to deliver functionality previously found only in the proprietary, paid-for editions of SugarCRM.

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