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Join the Power BI team at Microsoft Build

Microsoft Build is returning to Seattle in May. Build is the ultimate annual Microsoft developer event, where the most innovative minds in tech meet under one roof to get inspired, create tomorrow, and code the future. The conference takes place May 7–9, 2018, at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.

The Microsoft Business Application Platform allows you to customize, extend, and build all the apps you need. Build with PowerApps or on top of Dynamics 365 or Power BI to transform the way business gets done and provide everyone with actionable insights.

Building on last year’s success, the Power BI team is expanding the content for this year’s event to include sessions for Power BI, Power BI Embedded, and Custom Visual developers:

Three breakout sessions

  • End to end business intelligence with Microsoft Power BI: Bring your applications data to life with Microsoft Power BI advanced data modeling and visualization capabilities. Learn how to load data and build semantic data models which can scale to massive size. Use those models to bring insights to your organization and the users of your application with interactive report and dashboard visualizations.
  • Supercharge your app with Power BI Embedded analytics: Help your customers turn insights into action with Power BI Embedded, a service that empowers ISVs and developers to put decision making power directly into their customers’ hands by embedding interactive visuals and analytics into their applications while avoiding the overhead of building analytics from scratch.
  • Grow your business with custom visuals for Power BI: Learn how the unique open source visualization platform of Power BI can enrich your BI solution and delight your customers with stunning visualizations in their report and dashboards, tailor-made to your customer’s needs. Learn how Power BI custom visuals generate a competitive edge for your business, empowering you to create best-of-breed solutions to your customers. Get up to speed with what’s new and what’s coming up for custom visuals.

Four instructor-lead-labs

  • Develop a real time Power BI dashboard: In this lab, you will use a pre-developed application—designed to explore many Power BI REST API methods—to produce a real-time dashboard.
  • Explore JavaScript API for Power BI and Power BI Embedded: In this lab, you will explore the sample web application and many Power BI JavaScript API operations. You will then add client-side filtering to the EmbedReport.aspx web form to enable filtering by region and context menu.
  • Develop with Power BI/Power BI Embedded REST API: This lab focuses on development practices for embedding Power BI reports, dashboards and the Q&A experience.
  • Develop a Power BI Custom Visual: In this lab, you will develop a Power BI custom visual named Circle Card to display a formatted measure value inside a circle. The Circle Card will support customization of fill color and thickness of its outline.

Three Theatre sessions

  • Common Data Service for Analytics capability in Power BI: Learn about the new Common Data Service for Analytics capability in Power BI that was recently announced.  Understand the opportunity ISVs and developers have to build Power BI apps that deliver added analytical value to customers using CDS for Analytics capability.
  • Growing your datasets beyond 1 GB with Power BI Premium: Enable your users to build larger in memory Power BI datasets then they ever could before with Power BI Premium. Learn how to incrementally load only the new data as it becomes available and break through the 1 GB barrier.
  • Power BI Workspace Collections migration: Learn where to get migration support and details for the retirement of Power BI Workspace Collections

Two Expo Stations

  • Find us in the Business Applications expo sector and in the Data expo sector. Get your questions answered, see demos of the latest features, and pick up a comic book or two.

We hope you’ll join us at the Microsoft Build in Seattle this May 7-9. Be sure to register today as space is limited and filling up quickly!

afdaec46 e073 495d bb14 81e225166514 Join the Power BI team at Microsoft Build

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Four new partners join NetSuite partner program to drive growth, customer success

og image Four new partners join NetSuite partner program to drive growth, customer success

ERA Consulting Group, Smartbridge, Softengine and Vibrant to Build Cloud ERP Practices with NetSuite

SUITECONNECT—NEW YORK, N.Y.—February 13, 2018—Oracle NetSuite, one of the world’s leading providers of cloud-based financials / ERPHRProfessional Services Automation (PSA) and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced that four new partners have joined the NetSuite Solution Provider Program. ERA Consulting Group, Smartbridge, Softengine and Vibrant Inc. have teamed with NetSuite to launch new cloud ERP practices to help clients accelerate growth while improving efficiency and insights into business operations. The new partner relationships come amid continued strong demand for cloud-based business management as organizations unshackle themselves from outdated legacy applications and costly in-house infrastructure to improve performance and profitability with the greater business agility of cloud systems. With consulting, implementation and optimization services spanning a range of industries, the new partners are positioned to rapidly expand their client base while enjoying the high margins and recurring revenue available through the NetSuite Solution Provider Program.

“Our four new partners deliver deep industry-specific expertise and a proven track record of excellence in helping their clients meet and exceed business objectives,” said Craig West, Oracle NetSuite Vice President of Alliances and Channels. “We’re delighted to welcome them aboard and look forward to long and prosperous relationships that help customers grow, realizing the transformative advantages that NetSuite offers.”

ERA Consulting Group Targets Growing Cloud Opportunities in Canada

ERA Consulting Group (www.groupe-era.com), an IT services firm based in Montreal, Quebec, is launching its NetSuite practice to address rising demand for cloud-based business management solutions among Canadian organizations. ERA Consulting, created in 2004, is expanding its long-term relationship with Oracle around the JD Edwards ERP system by adding NetSuite to its technology portfolio. The firm, with 100 clients, is focused on the manufacturing, distribution and services industries, making NetSuite an ideal fit for ERA’s target of small to midsized customers. ERA employs 40 ERP specialists with subject matter expertise in areas ranging from finance to HR, inventory, planning, manufacturing and logistics. With NetSuite’s offerings for unified commerce, ERA Consulting also sees opportunities in the retail industry as it looks to build on its continued growth.

“As a cloud solution, we’re able to implement NetSuite faster so that clients can focus on optimizing and growing their business,” said Benoit Gagnon, ERA Consulting CEO. “Canada has been traditionally a bit behind the U.S. in cloud adoption, but we have seen a shift as more organizations are rapidly embracing cloud solutions, and it will only go up from here.”

Smartbridge Expands on Oracle JD Edwards Expertise by Adding NetSuite

Smartbridge (www.smartbridge.com), a Houston-based services firm that simplifies business transformation, is introducing cloud ERP into its broad portfolio through its NetSuite partner relationship. The 15-year-old company views NetSuite as aligning with its focus areas of ERP and supply chain, as well as systems integration, business intelligence, advanced analytics, enterprise mobility and digital transformation. In addition, NetSuite fits well with Smartbridge’s key industries of manufacturing, distribution, food service, oil and gas, and facility services. An Oracle JD Edwards partner, Smartbridge is expanding its Oracle relationship by offering NetSuite cloud ERP along with ongoing support and enhancements for JD Edwards. With NetSuite, Smartbridge will provide food service operators and Houston-based SMBs with the agile and flexible solutions they need to grow and innovate. Smartbridge’s core customer base, including some of the largest global restaurant chains and Fortune 500 facility services businesses, are also seeking the simplification of cloud ERP solutions for acquisitions, divestitures and managing franchises.

“Our intention is to provide cloud-based enterprise solutions to help our customers succeed by growing our ERP practice around NetSuite with BI, integration and enterprise mobility as natural extensions,” said Sanat Nileshwar, Director, Enterprise Systems at Smartbridge. “NetSuite’s single database and real-time information has generated a lot of interest in the market for modern, innovative companies that want to get out of managing infrastructure and application hairballs.”

For more information about Smartbridge’s NetSuite practice, visit http://www.Smartbridge.com/NetSuite.

Softengine Broadens Solutions Portfolio with NetSuite Cloud ERP

Softengine (www.softengine.com), an ERP and business process solutions provider based in Woodland Hills, Calif. has joined the NetSuite Solution Provider Program to broaden its portfolio and meet growing customer demand for cloud-based business management. Founded in 1996, Softengine is a longtime SAP Gold level partner. The company has expertise in a range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing, food production, retail, apparel and nonprofits. Softengine will align that industry expertise with the NetSuite SuiteSuccess methodology and its tailored vertical offerings to deliver impactful industry-specific solutions. With many fast-growing businesses among its hundreds of clients, Softengine views NetSuite as a good fit to help companies accelerate growth while improving business efficiency and visibility. The firm will focus on NetSuite cloud ERP, and offer implementation and optimization services in areas including CRM and ecommerce.

“We’re continually looking at growing our business and we felt we could make even more progress by creating a NetSuite practice. We want to offer the best platforms as we see them on the market, and NetSuite is one of them,” said Gil Lasman, General Manager at Softengine.

Vibrant, Inc. Aims New NetSuite Practice at Fast-Growing Companies

Vibrant, Inc. (www.vibrantinc.com), a full-service IT provider based in Princeton, N.J., is focusing its new NetSuite practice on growing companies that need the scalability, agility and on-demand data access that cloud business management solutions deliver. Founded in 2000, Vibrant has extensive experience implementing such enterprise solutions as Oracle PeopleSoft, Oracle JD Edwards, Oracle eBusiness Suite and Microsoft Dynamics. The company, with operations across the U.S. and in India, chose to join the NetSuite Partner Program after evaluating other solutions including Workday and SAP Business ByDesign. Key targets for Vibrant’s NetSuite practice include fast-growing companies, and organizations in the life sciences, retail and manufacturing industries. Seeing strong market recognition of NetSuite’s leadership in cloud business management, Vibrant’s services will cover financials / ERP as well as ecommerce, CRM, and HR to deliver a complete end-to-end cloud environment.

“Looking at our target segment of growing companies, NetSuite is a perfect fit as a cloud solution with low up-front investment that grows as the business grows,” said Pannala Suresh, Vibrant founder. “NetSuite’s multi-functional scope and tight integration means a company could start with financials and scale into supply chain, sales, marketing and HR as they grow.”

Launched in 2002, the NetSuite Solution Provider Program is the industry’s leading cloud channel partner program. Since its inception, NetSuite has been a leader in partner success, breaking new ground in building and executing on the leading model to make the channel successful with NetSuite. A top choice for partners who are building new cloud ERP practices or for those expanding their existing practice to meet the demand for cloud ERP, NetSuite has enabled partners to transform their business model to fully capitalize on the revenue growth opportunity of the cloud. The NetSuite Solution Provider Program delivers unprecedented benefits that include highly attractive margins and range from business planning, sales, marketing and professional services enablement, to training and education. For more information about the NetSuite Solution Provider Program, visit www.netsuite.com/partners.

About Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution in 1998, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the internet. Today, it provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), HR and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of companies in more than 100 countries.

For more information, please visit http://www.netsuite.com.

Follow NetSuite’s Cloud blog, Facebook page and @NetSuite Twitter handle for real-time updates.

About Oracle
The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Connect to tens of thousands of datasets on data.world with the new connector for Power BI Desktop (and join the webinar!)

Microsoft Power BI strives to connect you to the data that matters most to you, whether that’s Excel spreadsheets, on-premises data sources, cloud services or even web tables. Late last year as part of the December Power BI Desktop release, we launched a new connector for data.world – aka the social network for data nerds.

data.world is a platform where people can find, use, share and collaborate with a vast array of high-quality open data. The platform is secure, respecting privacy of sensitive data, so that users can decide to share their data publicly or privately with select users under their control. Think of data.world like a social network, where you can converse, add context to data and collaborate with others (but only if you want to).

With access to tens of thousands of open datasets spanning all sorts of subject matter, the new connector helps you go from data to insights in minutes. And you’ll never have to worry about having the latest and greatest data, because the data connector syncs directly with data.world, so that you’re always using the freshest data.

Join us for the upcoming webinar on February 22nd that explains more about this! Skip ahead to the webinar registration here.

Getting started with the data.world connector

Sign-up or sign-in to data.world

First, you will need to sign up for a data.world account (free or paid) to use the connector in Power BI. Once you have a data.world account, you can browse the site for interesting data sets.

When you’ve located a data set you’d like to explore or analyze with Power BI, take note of its URL, which is comprised of an Owner and Dataset ID.


The Foreign Exchange Rates data set published by the Associated Press has a URL that looks like this:


In this case, the Owner would be associatedpress, and Dataset ID would be foreign-exchange-rates.


Launch Power BI Desktop

Note: the connector supports Power BI Desktop December 2017 release or greater. Don’t have it yet? Download Power BI Desktop for free here.

1. Open Power BI Desktop.

2. From the Get Data dialog, select Online Services, and then Data.World – Get Dataset (Beta).

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3. On the connector prompt, enter the Owner and Dataset ID values from data.world (outlined above) and click OK.

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4. The first time you connect to data.world, you will be prompted to authenticate with the service. The connector provides two authentication options – OAuth v2 (recommended) and API Token.

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a. Using OAuth v2 (recommended)

By clicking the Sign in button, a dialog box will pop up asking you to enter your data.world credentials and authorize the Power BI application.

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b. Using API Token

This authentication method uses a fixed API key associated with your account, which you can find on the data.world site. You can locate your API Token on the Advanced page of your Profile Settings in data.world. Copy and paste your Read/Write token into the Account Key dialog in Power BI.

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Load data

5. After providing your data.world credentials, the Navigator window will list all tables/files within the dataset. Selecting an entry will display a preview, which you can load into your Power BI model, or click Edit to bring up the Power Query Editor to further refine and shape the data.

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For example, the Foreign Exchange Rates data set is pivoted, which is not ideal for analytics. By editing the query, you can quickly unpivot the data and add some simple date calculations, leveraging Power BI’s built-in support for Date/Time visualizations.

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Clean, model, visualize and analyze the data set

From here, it’s business as usual with Power BI Desktop. You can clean, model, visualize, and explore your dataset. Check out the Power BI Guided Learning resources for more.

Publish your report to the Power BI service

Once you have built your Power BI report, you can publish it online, and even add it to your blog or website. Publishing your report to the online Power BI service will allow you to configure a scheduled refresh for your data.world queries.

To publish to the Power BI service, follow these instructions. If you don’t already have a Power BI service account, you’ll need to create one (it’s free to sign up).

After publishing your report to the Power BI online service, you can configure scheduled refresh for data.world queries. Check out the Configuring scheduled refresh page for more information.

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Want to share your report on the web?

Once your report is published in the Power BI service, you will have the option to make it public. When you publish your report, it will retain all its interactive functionality so users can still filter and interact with the visualizations. It can also be embedded into your website with the generated embed code that can be resized.

Follow these instructions to learn how to create this embed code and publish the report to the web.

Bonus! If you want to share your insights back to the data.world community, you can use the Power BI report URL to add to a project on data.world.

Interested in learning more?

Join us for a webinar on February 22, 2018 at 10am Pacific. Register here.

More resources

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Join us for Happy Hour!

hh min 300x225 Join us for Happy Hour!

As our team expands, we’d like to meet our neighbors! Join us for a networking happy hour at our headquarters in Minneapolis to get to know our team, enjoy pizza and drinks, and learn what sets PowerObjects apart.

Event Details:
Thursday, June 15
5:30-8:30 pm
718 Washington Ave Minneapolis, MN 55401


Learn what it’s like to be partners with PowerObjects:

Learn about PowerObjects’ unique company culture:

We hope to see you there!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Join us! Driving Omnichannel Customer Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365

personal vs 300x225 Join us! Driving Omnichannel Customer Engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Today’s customers expect a seamless and consistent experience across the growing number of channels they are using to interact with companies. What we are seeing in the marketplace, is that although organizations promote that they support a multi-channel or omnichannel service model, in reality, very few actually do and most have siloed business units that handle each channel so that data does not pass between them. To customers, this is not acceptable, and they will leave to find an organization that will support them in the way they want.

To stay on top of providing true omnichannel service, you need to prioritize the adoption and mastery of new and emerging channels and refine your existing ones. In order to accomplish this goal, your company needs the right tools.

Join PowerObjects, and CaféX, a leading provider of real-time communications software that transforms digital engagement, on June 21 to hear what’s driving the demand for omnichannel engagement. Learn about a new, integrated solution that provides your customers with immediate personalized support while improving your staff’s productivity and leveraging your investments.

With CaféX Live Assist for Microsoft Dynamics 365 you can create omnichannel customer experiences with in-app support via chat, co-browse, document share and more. Hosted in the Azure cloud, and co-developed with Microsoft, this solution embeds real-time customer interaction channels within Unified Service Desk and web clients for Dynamics 365.

During our webinar you will:

  • Learn how CRM can help support an omnichannel approach, and deliver proactive, predictive, and repeatable interactions with your customers
  • See Microsoft’s preferred omnichannel solution for Dynamics 365 in action
  • Learn how to engage your customers proactively and resolve customer issues faster
  • Hear how PowerObjects, an HCL Company and CafeX can help you deliver high performance omnichannel experiences to your customers

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how you can empower your organization to deliver true omnichannel engagement. Register Now!

If you can’t make the webinar, you can still register and we’ll send the recording. Hope to see you there!

Happy CRM’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Join Alberto Cairo at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit to Explore the Different Dimensions of Data Visualization

Known for his award-winning global achievements in infographics and multimedia as a professor, author, journalist and designer, we are excited to welcome data visualization expert Alberto Cairo back to the Microsoft Data Insights Summit, taking place June 12-13, 2017 in Seattle. This year Alberto will provide a special guest keynote focused on the different dimensions of data visualization and how to entice your audience to engage with your information.

AlbertoPhoto Join Alberto Cairo at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit to Explore the Different Dimensions of Data Visualization

Alberto serves as the Knight Chair in Visual Journalismat the School of Communication at the University of Miami (UM) and author of The Functional Art: an Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (2012), andThe Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (2016). With more than 15 years of experience in news organizations, as a journalist, designer, and team manager and praised for his ability to explain in clear terms how to work with data, discover the stories hidden within and share those stories with the world, Alberto transforms elementary principles of data and scientific reasoning into tools that can be used in daily life.

At the Data Insights Summit, Alberto will enlighten attendees on how data visualization can be used to explore data, communicate results and engage people with compelling information. In addition to discussing the three dimensions of exploration, presentation and engagement, Alberto’s keynote will provide takeaways for how you can let your audience interact with data and grow their interest in your story.

If you want to learn more about the different dimensions of data visualization and how to captivate your audience when telling a data story, register to attend the Data Insights Summit. The conference will be filled with technical content, hands-on workshops, and a great lineup of speakers. Plus, attendees can meet 1:1 with the experts behind Microsoft’s data insights tools and solutions, including Microsoft Power BI, SQL Server BI, Excel, PowerApps, and Flow.

Additionally, you can get a sample of Alberto’s teachings in action with his Power BI Data Storytelling and Visualization Courses. We look forward to Alberto’s keynote and hope you’ll join us at the Data Insights Summit!

Register today!

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Join the Ask a Partner Anything live event today!

We’re celebrating the launch of the Video Gallery with our first Ask a Partner Anything Event, featuring Critical Path CEO and video instructor Ted Pattison. Ted has authored an hour-long video on Developing Custom Visuals for Power BI, now available in the Video Gallery.

Over the last week you’ve watched his video, and now it’s time to join Ted in the community today, Thursday, April 6, 2017 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. PT, for a live Q&A event! This is your opportunity to ask questions and share feedback directly with Ted and learn from his extensive history with custom visual development, Power BI, and training.

Join us in the the Q&A forum at 11 a.m. PT for this live event, and don’t forget to Kudo Ted’s video by end of day today for a chance to win an official Power BI t-shirt.

Critical%20Path%20Event%20Social%20Graphic Join the Ask a Partner Anything live event today!

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The CRM Minute: In Case You Missed it – Join Genya to Learn about Microsoft PowerApps

CRM Min PowerApps Still 800x600 1 300x225 The CRM Minute: In Case You Missed it – Join Genya to Learn about Microsoft PowerApps

If you haven’t had the chance to hear PowerObjects’ Genya talk about Microsoft PowerApps, you’re missing out! But don’t worry – today’s your chance to make it happen! PowerApps is Microsoft’s brand new service for creating custom business apps that connect to your data WITHOUT the need for custom software development – hooray! PowerApps connects to Dynamics 365, OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, SharePoint, Excel, Google Drive, and Dropbox, to automatically generate meaningful business apps for your business. You can instantly publish apps via web and mobile including laptops, tablets, and phones (Android, iOS, and Windows). It also allows you to work in a visual designer to customize a fully-functional app and build apps that use device capabilities including cameras, GPS, and pen control. Join Genya in today’s CRM Minute to learn more!

Want more? Watch Genya in this PO TV Webcast, where he dives into PowerApps in more detail and demonstrates how it all comes together.

We hope you enjoyed learning about PowerObjects and as always, thanks for watching, The CRM Minute!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

Luke James, Aisha Hinds, And Letoya Luckett Join Cast Of USA Networks New TUPAC/BIGGIE Pilot

 Luke James, Aisha Hinds, And Letoya Luckett Join Cast Of USA Networks New TUPAC/BIGGIE Pilot

Luke James, Aisha Hinds and LeToya Luckett have joined the previously cast Marcc Rose (as Tupac) and Wavyy Jonez (who will play Biggie Smalls) in USA Network’s scripted true crime potential anthology series “Unsolved” which will be based on the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.

The series is based on the experiences of former LAPD Detective Greg Kading, who led multiple law-enforcement task forces investigating the murders.

“The People. v. O.J. Simpson’s” Anthony Hemingway is set to direct the pilot, and will serve as an executive producer, alongside Mark Taylor and Kyle Long, who is penning the script.

Luke James will play Sean “Puffy” Combs; Aisha Hinds will be Voletta Wallace, Biggie’s mother; and LeToya Luckett will play Sharitha Golden, the estranged wife of Death Row records CEO Suge Knight.

The cast also includes Bokeem Woodbine, Josh Duhamel and Jimmi Simpson – all 3 playing playing the detectives who were integral in the cases surrounding the highly-publicized murders.

It’s one of at least 2 projects in the works (that we are aware of) on the Tupac/Biggie murders; the other is the feature film “LAbryinth” which will also tackle the 1990’s investigation into the unsolved murders, unfolding through the eyes of the Los Angeles detective – Russell Poole – who was in charge of the inquiry; Johnny Depp is attached to star, with Forest Whitaker also on board.

HBO’s Issa Rae Lands Role In New Film Titled ‘EMPRESS OF SERENITY’!

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The Humor Mill

OpenMethods, Next Caller Join to Streamline Call Routing

OpenMethods, which offers an omnichannel optimization platform that lets companies integrate their telephony platforms into Oracle CRM, on Tuesday announced integration with
Next Caller’s Advanced Caller ID database.

contact center OpenMethods, Next Caller Join to Streamline Call Routing

The integration will let contact centers on the Oracle Service Cloud use real-time contextual data for more than 500 million landline, mobile and VoIP numbers to personalize and simplify their agent and customer interactions.

OpenMethods integrates interactive voice response and telephony data into the CRM package call center agents use, saving customers from repeating who they are and why they’ve called, which can take about 30 seconds.

However, many calls are from prospects or customers who don’t have data in the CRM, noted OpenMethods CEO Gerrit Lydecker.

“In these cases, Next Caller helps identify these prospects and customers utilizing their databases and tools,” he told CRM Buyer.

The integration “will help decrease overall time-to-resolution and improve the customer service experience,” said Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“The value is in the [Next Caller] data and the ability to augment customer records in the CRM for richer analytics and correlation of services data to sales opportunities,” she told CRM Buyer.

What the Integration Entails

Typically, a call comes into a contact center through the interactive voice response system. Customers input their account information and the reason for their call, which then is routed to an agent, who often uses a CRM package, OpenMethods’ Lydecker said.

“The IVR and telephony data doesn’t get passed through, leaving the agent to once again ask for the customer’s account information and why they called,” he said, but OpenMethods integrates the IVR and telephony data into the CRM, saving customers about 30 seconds.

The integration lets contact centers on Oracle CRM use OpenMethods’ PopFlow Studio to quickly integrate Next Caller’s data and tools into the CRM package to repopulate data from the caller, automate workflows, and pop up the appropriate screens, said Lydecker.

Deploying the integrated solution in production takes a few weeks, but some OpenMethods customers “realize an ROI immediately,” he added.

Call center agents are trained to handle data from their existing CRM. There’s no learning curve required for agents to manage data that comes from Next Caller, Lydecker pointed out.

Oracle CRM customers are likely to benefit tremendously, suggested Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Oracle “has an extensive base from its acquisition of Siebel,” he told CRM Buyer.”These are the toughest and gnarliest use cases of CRM in the contact center.”

Possible Privacy Issue

Contextual information provided by Next Caller’s Advanced Caller ID includes a caller’s name, address, income, demographic breakdown, fraud potential and social profile.

That may raise questions about privacy, long a bone of contention for digital marketers. The issue has gained importance in the wake of the EU’s
scrapping of the U.S. Safe Harbor agreement in 2015.

“The information Next Caller provides is already publicly available,” noted Jeff Kirchick, the company’s VP of enterprise sales.

“Next Caller aggregates this data in real time using an algorithm that accounts for the veracity of different sources,” he told CRM Buyer.

However, data sets like Next Caller’s Advanced Caller ID database “are pulled together from all manner of sources unrelated to identification and authentication,” said Steve Wilson, a principal analyst at Constellation Research.

“It’s highly unlikely that individuals ever had a chance to consent in any meaningful way to having their information surface in different call centers,” he told CRM Buyer.

The data does raise privacy concerns, said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

However, “it’s hard to argue that a person can disclose his life history on a social site,” he told CRM Buyer, and “then is allowed to contest its use.”
end enn OpenMethods, Next Caller Join to Streamline Call Routing

Richard%20Adhikari OpenMethods, Next Caller Join to Streamline Call RoutingRichard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology.
Email Richard.

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