CBM News: Lockheed Martin Brings Warfare Expertise to IRS Customers


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Good morning and welcome to Radio KCBM 98.6, the Bay Area’s greatest air for customer care, all Coldplay all the time, and first up on the agenda this morning: Are you an engineer suddenly put in charge of a small, growing software company, and wondering not which fork to use at the VC lunch but whether you should use a fork, spoon or your fingers?

Help is here, my friend. Louis Testa, Senior Engineering Manager at Galois, has written a book, Growing Software, published by No Starch Press, for engineers who suddenly have to deal with other human beings at work.

“Engineers promoted to management are often used to coding by themselves,” says No Starch Press founder William Pollock. “They’ve got the technical side of things down, but they don’t necessarily know how to effectively manage a small team, or define processes to ensure the release of high-quality software.”

The book’s author says it provides “practical, hands-on advice for software managers,” with “advice on how to define and sell products, build and lead an effective team, bathe regularly, work with customers, knot a necktie, choose effective development tools and interact with other human life forms ignorant of Dr. Who and Star Trek or who might actually be females of the species.”

Topics include “Thinking Before Speaking,” “Other People: Necessary Evils of Management” and “Not Throwing Small Objects At the Illogical Clueless Cretin in the CEO Chair Who Can’t Code Italics In HTML Without Screwing It Up.”

Looking for your next great outsourcing bargain? It could be Sri Lanka, that little teardrop at the bottom of India, my friend. It has India’s low cost of labor, pool of educated and English-speaking workers, high literacy levels and a legal system based on a Western model.

Cleverly, Sri Lanka’s not trying to be India Redux, but is concentrating on just a few domain areas, including finance and accounting BPO, and knowledge process outsourcing. Finance is their competitive advantage – according to the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, approximately 50,000 Sri Lankans qualify as accountants each year.

So they’ll slug it out with China, Mexico, the Philippines and the Czech Republic, among others, for your outsourcing buck. The future looks bright – well, once they get that pesky civil war, death toll 70,000 and rising, under control.

In politics, President Obama recommended buying stocks again, saying “Hey, you never know, maybe you won’t lose your shirt if the stock’s, uh, profit to earnings ratio is, um, good.” In response to his bold and innovative leadership the Dow tanked yet further.

We know – you didn’t have enough reason to get an iPhone yet. So Espoo, Finland-based Cermster has released Relations Manager, a social CRM business app which tracks your iPhone’s calls and reminds you when you should contact the people who are important to you according to how you classified their contact details.

“Categories are like intelligent alarm clocks. Relations Manager reminds iPhone user to contact a person that has not been called for a certain time period,” says Erkko Skantz, the founder of Relations Manager. It costs five bucks on Apple’s App Store.

The product keeps track of all your calls and reminds you when you should call your important contact again.

“The need for this type of application came from my personal needs. I have several hundred contacts stored in my iPhone. I was not able to keep up with all my contacts,” says Skantz. “Remember when the U.N. picked that Korean guy for the new Secretary General? When I got around to making a few calls they said ‘Erkko, we never knew you were interested, we hadn’t heard from you.’ Boy, my bad on that one, huh?”

In sports the Dallas Cowboys released prima donna wide receiver Terrell Owens. Club sources said owner Jerry Jones brought in a team of exorcists from Holy Name Cathedral to help clean out Owens’s locker. President Obama immediately authorized a bailout package for the troubled receiver, giving Owens 52.8 billion more reasons to live.

This is one you really have to see to believe, so hit this link for the Content Technologies Vendor Map produced by CMS Watch, accurately described as a subway map of how 100 major vendor “stations” sit astride eight different technology “lines.”

“Technology buyers often spend extraordinary amounts of time wandering around different marketplaces trying to figure out just what different vendors do,” said CMS Watch principal, Theresa Regli. “This map should save people some valuable time, except if they’re trying to figure out how to get to Lincoln Center. Then it’s pretty much useless.”

Lockheed Martin has won a three-year, $39-million Integrated Customer Communications Environment task order from the Internal Revenue Service to run interactive voice processing systems and Internet-based customer service.

These interactive applications “allow taxpayers to place toll-free telephone calls to the IRS, using touch tone or voice responses, to navigate through integrated systems to resolve basic to complex IRS account information without human intervention,” according to IRS officials, proud of maintaining the IRS’s perfect record of never having any sort of actual human interaction with taxpayers.

That’s the show for today, we’re off to ask Melinda Gates how much she enjoys her Zune.

David Sims
David Sims Writing
David Sims, a professional CRM writer since the last century, is an American living in New Zealand because "it's fun calling New Yorkers to tell them what tomorrow looks like."


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