You’re a North American software vendor. You’re considering setting up shop in China. You know that the risks are formidable, but so are the potential rewards. Read the rest of this entry »
Claiming the “Catch us if you can” movie mantra, the quiet Infrastructure Lifecycle Management (ILM) leader Meridian Systems, based in Folsom, California (US), and now owned by the billion-dollar global positioning system (GPS) giant Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB), is going on the offensive with competitors and industry analysts in its newest round of marketing announcements. To the large bastion of technology vendors, reporters, and research analysts reporting on market requirements for what once was simply the realm of Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) – the company’s somewhat shy, but technology-precocious, management is issuing a hearty challenge: “Catch up (with us)!” Read the rest of this entry »
GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, have long defined the standards for accounting and related practices in the US. GAAP ensures that companies can produce documents that auditors can verify according to standardized accounting practices. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog post introduced some mixed feelings and doubts that we might still have about the noble concepts of talent management and human capital management (HCM). This skepticism lingers in spite of the many indicators of the usefulness of these concepts in mitigating some imminent global workforce challenges, which were outlined in Part 1.
Accommodating “Generation Y”
Let us not forget about the looming demographic shifts, given that the baby boomers are on their way out. One group that has been receiving a lot of attention is the so-called Generation Y: the group mostly in their 20s that has recently entered or is about to enter the workforce. These dudes and dudettes haven’t just adopted the use of the Internet – they have grown up with it, and they rely (live and breathe) on it.
A key characteristic of basically all Gen Y candidates today (which might belong to earlier generations, like the Gen X) is that they are keen consumers of Internet technology. They are accustomed to using websites such as Amazon.com, Google, Facebook, Ask, LinkedIn, Twitter, Travelocity, and eBay (to name but a few), often on a daily basis, to buy what they want, go where they want, stay in touch with their friends and family, get their work done, and do it all and more with ease. Read the rest of this entry »
The proliferation of “big box” retail outlets across the suburban landscape has been part of the retail environment for more than a decade. As population target demographics have shifted away from urban centers into suburban areas, retail organizations have capitalized on this trend. Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to our “Made in USA” poll! Here at TEC we’re firing up our analyst engines to take an in-depth look at outsourcing and related issues over the coming months, so I thought I’d kick things off by seeing what you think.
Part 1 of this blog series concluded that Microsoft would not converge all of its diverse Microsoft Dynamics product lines into a single enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Rather, the vendor has been attempting to leverage the best practices and technologies across all of the products, where possible.
The idea is to deliver applications that have the following characteristics: are familiar to users within their organizations, fit with existing corporate systems, fuel business productivity, and enable confident and informed decision making processes. Read the rest of this entry »
The old software selection “how-to” horse may not have been beaten to death yet, but it’s certainly received a few good whacks. As you already know, particularly if you peruse the TEC site or subscribe to TEC’s newsletters, there are myriad articles on the challenges of software selection from various sources, offering advice to everyone from worried delegators at the top of the corporate food chain to beleaguered cubicle-serf managers closer to the bottom.
So maybe by now you know the key steps necessary for a detailed, accurate, and well-planned software selection project (or at least, that software selection is not a haphazard process needing no forethought or plan of action).
But another topic has received less attention. Have you ever considered the importance of your employees’ skills in the successful outcome of a project? Not the just their hard skills—those are inarguably important—but also their “warm-and-fuzzy” soft ones? Believe it or not, these soft skills can make or break a software selection and implementation project.
When I first learned that Lawson had acquired the product lifecycle management (PLM) software division of Freeborders, the Oracle-Agile acquisition came to mind. Ten months prior to the Lawson-Freeborders deal, Oracle President Charles Phillips said “the addition of Agile, which will serve as the foundation of our PLM offering, will further Oracle’s strategy of delivering industry-specific enterprise applications and allows us to offer yet another strategic application to SAP customers.” By completing the acquisition, Oracle was able to jump to 5th place in 2007 in terms of PLM revenue, according to a report released by CIMdata. Read the rest of this entry »
Part IV of this blog series further analyzed 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. The vendor just released the ResponsAbility p4 release.
Competitive Offerings Do Exist
Still, Webcom’s first-to-market (or close to) BPM on-demand advantage has already been challenged by the solutions from Skemma, Appian [evaluate this product], Lombardi [evaluate this product], Colosa ProcessMaker [evaluate this product], Pipevines, and The Process Factory (powered by Cordys), to name only a few. Read the rest of this entry »
TEC reader Martin K. recently wrote in with these questions:
What kind of data is handled by ERP systems and how it is done? How does the interface work? Which departments normally use it? And who is the recommended team that should choose the ERP system? Read the rest of this entry »
In the discrete manufacturing sector, the bill of materials (BOM) is a fundamental piece of product data that exists throughout the major stages of a product’s life cycle. According to Wikipedia, BOM is the term used to describe the raw materials, parts, subcomponents, and components needed to manufacture a finished product. Simply speaking, BOM is just a list of all materials needed to be assembled together into a product. The concept is clear and simple, and it doesn’t seem to be a difficult task to manage BOM, especially when we have a powerful tool—software—in hand. However, this is true only when the product structure is so simple that not much collaboration is needed to develop the product, when consumers are delighted to have the same products that everyone else has, and when design, engineering, and production are performed under the same roof. The truth is, during the past few decades, the landscape of the manufacturing sector has changed dramatically, and it is still changing at a rapid pace. Read the rest of this entry »
I can partly understand analysts’ temptation to beat up on Microsoft’s forays into the enterprise applications space. To be fair, “the empire” has had its share of strategic and tactical miscues, as if it had wanted to give these naysayers some ammunition. For one, many analysts and market observers first criticized the giant for not having a unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) product line, but rather several diverse ones, coming from acquisitions of former Great Plains Software and Navision Software a/s.
Today, we are talking about the following four Microsoft Dynamics ERP product lines:
Part 2 of this blog topic continued to analyze IBM’s rationale behind acquiring ILOG to bolster its service oriented architecture (SOA) and business process management (BPM) platforms, in part due to the capabilities of archrival Oracle.
What About ILOG’s SCM Products?
Whether as a sort of “collateral damage” (given IBM’s foremost interest in beefing up its SOA/BPM infrastructure product) or maybe not, the acquisition also leaves IBM with the supply chain management (SCM) applications business that ILOG has recently been developing in pursuit of a more profitable custom solution strategy. This strategy was going to complement ILOG’s tried-and-true “technology & platform” strategy of providing business rules management system (BRMS), optimization engines, and visualization tools. Read the rest of this entry »