ACCPAC RESELLER NEXTLEVEL BUYS CRM SPECIALIST: Long-time Accpac International reseller NextLevel Information Solutions has finally realized plans to expand into customer relationship management services with its acquisition of Chicago-based CRM specialist Apex Business Solutions.

“It’s important to stay ahead, particularly in CRM, and I don’t have enough expertise here to handle the demand,” said Manny Buigas, vice president of sales and marketing at NextLevel. “It’s a mutual exchange where we supply marketing expertise and they bring us the technical expertise we are short on.”

Buigas also noted that his 24-person firm has collaborated with Apex in the past. With the Best/Accpac acquisition complete, he saw it as a good opportunity to help Apex “get to the next level.”

He said that Apex is already working on a few “significant-sized” Accpac CRM deals in the Caribbean, specifically the Bahamas, Curacao and Dominica. Apex and its personnel will remain in Chicago as part of NextLevel. NextLevel also has offices in Miami, New Orleans, New York and Tampa, Fla.

DISCOUNTED WEB, AUDIO CONFERENCING FOR AICPA MEMBERS: American Institute of CPAs members can now get discounts of up to 60 percent off standard Web and audio conferencing rates, thanks to a new partnership between the institute and conferencing services provider Netspoke.

Standard conferencing rates are 32 cents per minute, per person for Web or audio conferencing.

Netspoke will give AICPA members access to tools for reviewing information online with colleagues and clients in a shared, secure environment; for distance learning initiatives; and for internal collaboration within geographically disparate organizations.

AICPA members can also access all Web and audio conferencing features with one number, schedule conferences, or hold impromptu conferences. In addition, members can track all usage and participation and use codes to match certain jobs with specific calls for billing purposes.

INTERFACE ENHANCES INTERACTION’S CRM FUNCTIONS: Interface Software has released three optional, market-specific add-on modules that enhance InterAction’s core customer relationship management functionality. These modules include InterAction Matters, InterAction Opportunities and InterAction Engagements.

The InterAction Engagement module automates internal business processes related to managing matters, engagements, deals, distribution lists, sales pipelines and other core functions, and in doing so enhances a firm’s relationship intelligence by providing insight into people, relationships, corporate social networks, experience and expertise.

InterAction Matters consolidates relevant information and combines it with relationship intelligence already captured about people, companies and relationships. This module also supports distribution list management and maintenance.

InterAction Opportunities tracks and manages referrals or acquisition candidates, enabling users to identify strategic relationships and focus efforts on those that bring business to the organization. It also estimates and forecasts revenues or deal potential, and monitors the opportunity pipeline.

ONLINE TOOLS HELP NONPROFITS WITH ACCOUNTABILITY: Innovation Network Inc., a Washington-based nonprofit assistance organization, has launched the Evaluation Engine, a new Internet-based platform designed to unify and upgrade the organization’s free online measurement product, which assists nonprofits with evaluation processes and overall accountability.

The upgraded system features three modules: the Organizational Assessment Tool, which produces a snapshot measurement assessment of an organization that can provide a comparative picture over time; an enhanced Logic Model Builder that clarifies a program’s components, purpose and results; and the Evaluation Plan Builder, which integrates evaluation into a program from the onset, allowing ongoing measurement and reporting of results.

With the addition of the Evaluation Engine, Innovation Network expects to roll out new advanced product features on a regular basis for the benefit of their registered users.

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