France Telecom swims multichannel with Firepond

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France Telecom (FT), the former state-owned French telco, has today announced that it is selecting SalesPerformer Configurator technology from Firepond, a provider of online selling and customer relationship software, to spearhead international capacity sales to other global carriers.

Claiming a presence in nearly every country in the world, France Telecom’s Long Distance division sells capacity to international carriers, including other major telcos, Internet service providers and GSM operators.

Given the fragmented and demand-based nature of most of its overseas sales, where carriers might request usage of FT’s capacity for a period of weeks or months, FT has long sought to combat the contractual challenges and skills shortfalls thrown up by its business model.

An FT spokesman today said that adopting a CRM solution will allow the telco to both manage its short-term contractual problems and increase sales productivity in the medium to long term by minimising the need for retraining.

* German air carrier Lufthansa yesterday announced that it is implementing PeopleSoft 8 to manage its own international business.

* UK-based Electrolux Outdoor Products, manufacturer of the Flymo and other gardening hardware brands, today announced that its successful rollout of Talent CRM from Computer Software Limited has accomplished tighter integration between front- and back-office systems. As a result of the limited implementation to date, Electrolux says that it will move to a much broader rollout across its marketing, supply chain, accounts, procurement and IT departments to improve productivity and customer service levels.

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