The recent marketing push to integrate both small and medium sized businesses by large IT hardware and software vendors makes strategic sense. Both business groups are plagued with similar issues including small IT budgets and limited technical resources. Frequently SMBs target their IT acquisitions either in the hope of lowering costs or solving problems. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog topic has revisited Agresso’s post-implementation agility capabilities (as to accommodate businesses living in a change — so called BLINC’s), and its devised growth strategy via in-house developments, complementary acquisitions and/or partnerships. Most recently, Agresso expressed the intent to acquire the United Kingdom UK-based competitor CODA, but the analysis of this potential merger deserves a blog post on its own. For now, some other blog posts, such as these one from AccManPro on the merger and on CODA’s recent software as a service (SaaS) forays, should do.
As for the future customer relationship management (CRM) offering, I could quite understand Agresso’s initial temptation for leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM [evaluate this product], whose latest version, formerly code-named “Titan” has been completed and released to manufacturing in December 2007. The new version is offered under two product names: Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 for on-premise and partner-hosted deployments and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Live for Microsoft-hosted deployment. Read the rest of this entry »
E-mail, Internet access, and collaborative tools (whether a phone system’s conferencing capabilities, or document-sharing applications) are “must-haves” for most businesses today.
But by now many managers know that you shouldn’t stop at just implementing these tools and then going ahead, footloose and fancy-free, with using them. As with any other asset, you need to protect not just the technology that enables these tools and applications, but also the information that these tools allow users to share.
To ensure the confidentiality of private information—and help ensure compliance with regulations and internal policies—information security software is now also a “must have.”
One renowned vendor seems to have contributed to the 2007 holiday shopping season. That would be Irvine, California, the United States (US)-based Epicor Software Corporation (Nasdaq: EPIC). With over 2,500 employees worldwide and with projected 2007 revenues of $414.5 million (not including the pending acquisition), Epicor is the global leader in the mid-market, serving over 20,000 customers worldwide.
With more than 20 years of operating history (since 1984, including a number of acquisitions and name changes), Epicor today delivers comprehensive enterprise software solutions with a sophistication and maturity that competes with Tier One vendors, but typically at a fraction of the cost associated with these bigger brethren solutions. Namely, these large enterprise systems, though highly functional, have traditionally also been quite complex and expensive to purchase, install, integrate, and maintain. Read the rest of this entry »
TEC has just released the second generation of its flagship software comparison tool, eBestMatch, which allows users to compare enterprise software side-by-side, down to the minutest level of detail.
This version (see below to find out how to snag a free trial) provides immediate user responsiveness, giving you the feeling you’re leveraging a slick desktop app rather than a Web page. Read the rest of this entry »
So you’re well on your way in terms of deploying the enterprise software. With great care and diligent planning you have assembled your team and despite your best efforts in securing resources and communicating schedules and responsibilities your Project Schedule is falling behind. You wonder if only I had selected the other vendor I wouldn’t have to be preparing this project update for first thing tomorrow morning.
Not so long ago (or, back in the early ’90s, when I was a first-year college student) there were two ways to get a post-secondary education: by attending classes at a university or college with hundreds of other coffee-stoked students, or by signing up for what used to be called “distance” learning (or even before that, “by correspondence,” as though courses consisted of a series of letters exchanged between the student and the professor, and delivered by the Pony Express). Distance courses still exist, of course, but increasingly, even these programs are undergoing drastic change because of their use of technology.
Over the past decade or more, a new style of education has been emerging for traditional in-class college and university programs as well, changing the ways instructors and professors teach and students learn. Humanism—the philosophy originally espoused by universities—has always held that technology could and should be used, along with rationality, ethical philosophy, and universal morality, towards improving the human condition. However, it seems that the balance is being tipped increasingly towards a privileging of technology over other means to that end.
Sure, anyone observing the enterprise applications market and still naysaying the bright future of the software as a service (SaaS) on-demand deployment model and closely-related Web 2.0 technologies, is in serious denial or similarly delusional. He/she would sound similar to those lost souls that deny even a remote possibility of a global warming and climate changes, but, oops, this is not a political blog…
Anyway, recent predictions for 2008 by the two ZDNet bloggers, Phil Wainewright and Dion Hinchcliffe summarize well the reasons why these phenomena are not only here to stay, but to even take more slices out of the entire applications market pie. At this stage, I am still reluctant to believe that these advancements will render the traditional on-premise integrated (packaged) applications deployment mode completely obsolete any time soon.
In fact, as I have pointed out some ongoing drawbacks of SaaS applications in my recent series of articles, many comments on these two blog posts talk about similar lingering SaaS concerns. Most notably, there is still a discomfort among some users about their hosted data security and integrity, and what these SaaS vendors (and their hosting providers) can do about being more secure and compliant.
Further, in some malfeasance prone areas like managing sales and partners/channel compensation data, there is a pressing need to ensure higher levels of security and process controls for the purpose of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) compliance. For that reason, most publicly traded companies and other large-scale enterprises initially rejected the idea of SaaS because they thought they needed to take greater responsibility for their own SOX compliance. Read the rest of this entry »
The white paper—a wonderful little piece of literature chock full of thought provoking insight and informative prose—got its start many years ago, long before there were computers in every office and home around the world. Back then, the white paper was a way for individuals to discuss their positions on a specific topic, but was predominantly used by the government. Today, white papers are a staple for many technology websites around the world—including ours.
When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Software Selection Pitfalls
Quick, what’s the number-one pitfall of the software selection process? Read the rest of this entry »
Through the implementation of enterprise wide systems many organizations have experienced success in transforming their enterprise from a reactionary task driven environment into a modern proactive, cohesive organization which can provide visibility to Senior Management and to customers and suppliers alike. ERP implementations are usually large, complex projects, involving large groups of people and other resources, working together under considerable time pressure and facing many unforeseen developments. Not surprisingly, many of these implementations turn out to be less successful than originally intended. Read the rest of this entry »
Writing about failed partnerships in the enterprise applications market is like writing about the sun setting in the evening and to the west, given almost daily occurrences of vendors announcing alliances that never materialize. However, it doesn’t happen every day that a potential high-profile alliance gets called off at the 11th hour and in favor of an overlooked in-house solution.
The protagonist of the story is enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor Agresso, which reported approximately US$225 million in revenue in 2006. Agresso is the primary operating business of the Netherlands-based Unit 4 Agresso (Dutch Stock Exchange EURONEXT-U4AGR) and has subsidiaries selling its ERP platforms (Agresso Business World and others) around the world. In aggregate, Agresso is one of the top five providers of ERP solutions for people-based businesses, i.e., professional services and public sector organizations (besides SAP, Oracle, Infor and Lawson Software). Read the rest of this entry »
What Is CRM?
CRM is more than a software application. It is a set of strategies, processes, and associated software systems designed to improve the interactions and engagement of customers. Read the rest of this entry »
The Part I of this blog topic concluded with SAP’s supremacy in the upper-end of the regional market. What also helps SAP ERP [evaluate this product] is a number of well-established value added resellers (VARs) that cover the entire former Yugoslavia region, some of which have a few dozen renowned installation sites (customer references) and a roster of experienced consultants. Some of these are the earlier mentioned S&T Group from Austria and Croatia-based B4B.
While one can always be doubtful about the success of implementations and users’ adoption in those divisions/plants where the implementation mandate came from the HQ office abroad and without any due selection process and users’ involvement (buy-in) in selecting it, some implementations at certain life science companies were apparently successful. That was in part because of implementing corporate-wide best practice templates, such as for current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs). Read the rest of this entry »