Hi, my name is Kurt, and I am a new member of the Research Analyst Group at TEC. Before contributing anything else to this blog site, I’d like to briefly introduce myself.
Part 1 of this blog topic analyzed IBM’s rationale to acquire ILOG to bolster its service-oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) platforms. Eventually, with ILOG fully integrated, IBM hopes to establish the following:
In addition, as hinted in Part 1, IBM is expected to leverage ILOG’s presence in optimization and visualization, which are also of relevance to BPM, Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) & analytics, and Complex Event Processing (CEP) opportunities. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog topic introduced the notion of how complex and tricky it can be to manage and govern enterprise applications’ service oriented architecture (SOA). That blog post also tackled Progress Software’s recent acquisition of Mindreef in order to round out its SOA governance solution for distributed information technology (IT) environments.
Mindreef joined the Progress Actional SOA Management product family that provides policy-based visibility, security, and control for services, middleware, and business processes. This acquisition continues Progress’ expansion of its burgeoning SOA portfolio and strengthens the company’s position as a leader in independent, standards-based, heterogeneous, distributed SOA enterprise infrastructures.
Prior to being acquired, Mindreef decoupled some plug-in features from its previously all-in-one SOAPscope Server suite. Read the rest of this entry »
While my two separate blog post series about workflow automation and Business Process Management (BPM) and about the long tails of supply chains were coming to their respective ends, one event that is curiously pertinent to both topics has meanwhile taken place in the market.
Namely, at the end of July 2008, IBM acquired ILOG, a specialized software provider with headquarters in France and the US. Over 3,000 direct corporate customers in over 30 countries currently “make better decisions faster” with ILOG’s technology.
Also, more than 500 independent software vendors (ISV’s) rely on embedding ILOG’s business rule management systems (BRMS), optimization, and visualization software components into their products. These ISV customers, some of which are leaders in their respective markets, embed ILOG’s software engines to create their own differentiating products and services and improve their competitive edge. Read the rest of this entry »
In this blog post, I’ll examine how growth-oriented organizations will build their IT infrastructure around ERP, and then integrate systems in other related areas to optimize their ERP capabilities.
In the Beginning There Was ERP
The recent TurtleSpice ERP series featured on the TEC blog features a fictionalized company within the process industry going through the decision process to determine what ERP system would best meet its needs. In the case of Turtle Spice, it was deemed that an integrated process ERP system would be the logical starting point to create a technology infrastructure—the premise being that as a growing concern, production and sales volumes are increasing, and clients are placing increased demands which cannot be met without a system by which planning and order execution can be organized. Read the rest of this entry »
Certainly, I admit to not being a programmer or a techie expert (not to use somewhat derogatory words like “geek” or “nerd”) per se. Still, my engineering background and years of experience as a functional consultant should suffice for understanding the advantages and possible perils of service oriented architecture (SOA).
On one hand, SOA’s advantages of flexibility (agility), components’ reusability and standards-based interoperability have been well publicized. On the other hand, these benefits come at a price: the difficulty of governing and managing all these mushrooming “software components without borders”, as they stem from different origins and yet are able to “talk to each other” and exchange data and process steps, while being constantly updated by their respective originators (authors, owners, etc.).
At least one good (or comforting) fact about the traditional approach to application development was that old monolithic applications would have a defined beginning and end, and there was always clear control over the source code. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ll get to the downloadable SOX segregation of duties matrix in a moment, but first let me address a question from one of our readers. Read the rest of this entry »
Part II of this blog series explained ToolsGroup’s value proposition for achieving service level excellence in distribution environments. The point of the Service Optimizer 99+ (SO99+) suite’s name is that a “99+ percentage” represents the gold standard in customer service levels, and it takes a product purposely built to achieve service level excellence and to support such a high standard.
ToolsGroup’s latest version of software continues to build on the functionality needed to reach this goal.
Back to Mitigating Long Tails
Having put the necessary pieces in place, over the past year ToolsGroup has turned a particularly keen eye toward how to succeed in environments with a “long tail” demand. The long tail theory originally held that in an environment such as the Internet-based retailers (so called “e-tailers”), which is less affected by physical manufacturing, product and distribution constraints than so-called “brick-and-mortar” retailers, demand will spread across a huge array of items (a.k.a., stock-keeping units or SKUs). Read the rest of this entry »
Manufacturing organizations are under pressure to anticipate customer requirements and to quickly respond to an increasing array of changing market demands. Such organizations are meeting these challenges by implementing a variety of production strategies across multiple product lines. In doing so, they aim to maintain market share through growth and acquisition of companies that will complement their existing product offerings. As a result of this strategy, companies that have tried to integrate their legacy discrete ERP systems across their newly acquired organization have found this approach to be akin to the popular expression “like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”
Part 1 of this blog series expanded on some of TEC’s earlier articles about companies’ need for better pricing management and optimization practices. It also introduced the FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt) notion about how appropriate these solutions might be in a down market. It appeared that at least the service sector (including spare parts pricing) remains largely impervious to the economic climate (if not even bolstered by a downturn).
So, What’s in Store for Pricing Management Solutions?
Given that the way the manufacturing suppliers position their products and pricing changes with the economy, natural question is whether pricing solutions providers will suffer or blossom these days. Namely, during good times positioning is about increasing revenue, and that case has been proven by pricing optimization solutions. However, in bad times it is rather about lowering costs where pricing doesn’t seemingly help, but rather procurement-oriented applications. Read the rest of this entry »
One reader recently wrote in with this question:
“… I wondered if you can point me at any related sites/groups/publications for more established users that discusses, for example
Just wanted to thank all the readers who voted and gave us this shortlist of ERP vendors for TurtleSpice:
TEC’s Vendor Showdown series is the most popular regular feature that we run here at TEC. So far, we’ve run quite a few Showdowns, and usually things go smoothly, but sometimes there’s more that goes on than meets the eye—and then it’s usually problems, as you’ll see in a moment. I should know, I’m the person who writes TEC’s Vendor Showdowns.
For those who’ve never seen one, Showdowns compare three software solutions (it could be ERP, or CRM, or BI, or HR, or any of the over 20 different kinds of software that we cover) on the basis of pure functionality. We publish a series of charts based on the latest RFI data we collect from the three vendors, provide a bit of commentary, and let the reader see who placed first, second, or third, both overall and by main modules. (Here’s a link to the latest ERP Vendor Showdown featuring Infor, Epicor and Lawson, and you’ll see what I mean.) Read the rest of this entry »
Part III of this blog series introduced Webcom ResponsAbility, the on-demand workflow automation and business process management (BPM) solution. Anyone interested can take the product for a free trial test drive here.
Other Real Life ResponsAbility Use Examples
In addition to the examples described in Part III, another example of the ResponsAbility software in use can be found in Grayhill, Inc. an electronics manufacturer from Lagrange, Illinois (US), servicing industrial and government customers. While the company has been a long-term WebSource CPQ user for sales configuration purposes, the ResponsAbility sibling was later introduced for managing several processes, among them for product returns or return merchandize authorizations (RMAs). Read the rest of this entry »