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RightNow's Defense Contract

Bozeman, Montana-based RightNow Technologies has unveiled new "defense-ready hosting capabilities" designed to support both the Department of Defense and other civilian government and intelligence agencies, according to company officials, who add that "two commands within the DoD have made the decision to move ahead" with this new offering.

"Our new secure hosting capabilities will help our DoD clients to tap into the cloud... The DoD requires a more intense level of security than most civilian agencies," says Greg Gianforte, CEO and founder, RightNow

RightNow has been working government contracts for over ten years, and today counts clients in over 155 public sector clients, including nearly every US cabinet-level agency as well as the Army, Marines, Air Force, members of the Intelligence Community and DoD.

RightNow officials say they expect their DoD contracts to furnish the same benefits of SaaS, "such as lower cost of ownership, fast deployments and exceptional scalability" as civilian users find: "Because the DoD requires an unparalleled level of security, RightNow's new hosting capabilities use DITSCAP/DIACAP to ensure compliance with DoD Instruction 8500.2, meet US Federal security standard FISMA (NIST 800-53) and include a 24x7 dedicated security and information assurance team," company officials say, adding that civilian contracts with extraordinary security needs can have "a second secure hosting environment" to meet their needs.

"In the last year, our North America public sector sales grew 66 percent, showing the demand for cloud based CRM is growing among government agencies," says Kevin Paschuck, vice president, public sector, RightNow.
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So you think everything's moving into online social community? Not so fast there. Research into the attitudes of youth towards technology "has exploded some of the myths about the technology consumption and media choices of young people today," according to officials of the British organization A Beta Life - Youth.
The organization "examined how technology affects all aspects of young people's relationships," officials say, concluding that "the offline world is still the primary influence and driver of young people in how they conduct their lives, including interactions with friends, family, entertainment media, communication technologies, advertising and brands." The research was conducted in the UK, US, Germany, India and Japan between September and December 2008 among 8,000 "technology-embracing" 12 - 24 year olds.

The research, conducted by OTX in association with Nokia, MTV Networks, 20th Century Fox, Fox Mobile Group, and Channel 4, shows that digital technology "plays two main functions in young people's lives -- as a means of improving their enjoyment of and access to traditional offline behaviors, but more significantly in the creation of commutainment -- a hybrid of communication and entertainment where the act of communicating itself becomes a form of entertainment."

With up to eight digital gadgets in their bedroom -- yes, your teens are normal -- and access to four more in their household, the popular perception is that young people are immersed in gadgets and technology for their own sake. However, A Beta Life's research finds that young people's immersion in these devices, and the time spent on them, "is not due to an obsession with the technology per se, but largely due to the gadgets' ability to facilitate communication and to enhance young people's enjoyment of traditional pursuits."
For most, in fact, it's a pretty sensible approach: "The focus of their passion is not so much the device itself, but more about how it can help them connect, relax or have fun. The technology itself is invisible to the young consumer -- despite the millions of widgets they download from Facebook, young people are not even comfortable using widespread technology terminology such as 'widgets'."
Graham Saxton, Managing Director, Media and Entertainment Insights, OTX, scoffs at the notion that young people's obsession with digital technology is due to a fascination with the technology and gadgets. "In fact," he says, "they are only interested in technology as a means to an end. The traditional world remains the go-to destination for meeting their friends and entertainment and real, offline destinations and pastimes still rate higher than the online space."
Think about it, of course he's right -- do you consider yourself in love with your cell phone, or its ability to bring you contact with people? It's the same for your kids.

Fifteen years ago, most teenagers would have had access to just one communications device -- their household phone. Today, despite being involved in what the study finds are an astonishing 48 digital communications every day, the average young person "remains most engaged by traditional behaviors -- of their overall top ten favorite activities seven are still offline." Traditional activities such as hanging out with friends, listening to music, and seeing boy/girlfriends dominate the top three favorite pastimes of young people, while digital behaviors such as creating user generated content have a much lower penetration than commonly perceived  -- quick, how many young people have written a blog?  How many have filmed and uploaded a clip to a site like YouTube? The answers are 16 and 21 percent respectively. Surprised?
Even when engaged in digital communications, young people prefer activities with a social context -- "texting friends" and "sharing video content with friends" both score much higher than watching video alone on their handheld device.

The study also found distinct differences in attitudes to digital technology on a gender level: "Female early teens are much more active communicators compared to males," something which has been true since, oh, the Garden of Eden, technology notwithstanding. This then reverses in late teens, as anybody with teenage daughters knows -- "How was school?" "Mmph."
And if you think texting is ubiquitous, you're right -- the study found that 34 percent even text the group of friends that they are physically with. Okay, that's kinda weird.
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Optimus Technology, a Middle East technology provider, and on-demand CRM and ERP vendor Aplicor have completed an international business partner agreement whereby Optimus will market, distribute, implement and support Aplicor's CRM and ERP hosted application through its channel network across the Middle East, Asia and Northern Africa.

According to Managing Director at Optimus Technology, Meera Kaul Sawhney, "we look forward to working with Aplicor to increase visibility and market share in this region."

"It is important to our company and our global client base to expand our presence in Asia and the Middle East," says Chuck Schaeffer, CEO at Aplicor. "We reviewed the Middle East market for a partner with a strong channel network and demonstrated market expertise."

Headquartered in the Jebel Ali Freezone in Dubai, Optimus provides sales, marketing, channel acquisition, channel management, implementation services and support services bundled with its core operation of supply chain and inventory management of technology and telecommunication products in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Regions.
Aplicor officials claim to be "the only CRM and ERP hosting provider with a 100 percent system uptime history."
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The Go2Group , which sells Software Production Line Automation, has announced the availability of the Go2Group Free CRM Plugin, a free version of its CRM Plugin providing integration between Atlassian JIRA and SugarCRM or Salesforce.
The Go2Group Free CRM Plugin is a basic version of the Go2Group CRM Plugin -- both products allow sales, support, and development teams to remain in sync without the need to consolidate individual different systems.

Basically it lets users connect a project in Atlassian JIRA to a SugarCRM bug or a Salesforce case, keeping customer information in sync. This providing a syncing mechanism between different teams is seen by Go2Group officials as a benefit helping "keep customer management processes flowing by providing these users with information."

Brett Taylor, CEO of Go2Group, said the introduction of a basic version of the Go2Group CRM Plugin is for customers "interested in strengthening the collaboration between teams using different systems for different needs... while basic, the Go2Group Free CRM Plugin provides the power for a Salesforce user to coordinate customer activities with their JIRA counterparts."

The Go2Group Free CRM Plugin is compatible with Atlassian JIRA, Professional and Enterprise Editions: v3.12 and later, SugarCRM v5.0 and later and Salesforce, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited Editions.

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