As economic conditions worsen, organizations are stumbling on variety of customer demands ranging from superior services to lower costs. These extra requirements not only cause added strain on the organization’s supply chain, but makes achieving financial goals difficult. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series outlined the first three suggested “winning strategies” by JDA Software Group Inc. that manufacturers (especially of consumer goods) could instantly deploy to drive up margins and protect shareholder value in the current economic climate (malaise). I also took the liberty of mapping, with the help of some current and former employees of JDA Software and former Manugistics (now part of JDA), the appropriate current JDA solutions to each suggested strategy.
The second and final part of this blog series continues with the remaining three pieces of advice, and with my analysis. Read the rest of this entry »
The title of this blog post might sound like a no-brainer: as clear and indisputable as the “motherhood and apple pie” adage. Yet how many times have you dealt with a seemingly not-really-knowledgeable call center person over the phone or a clueless technician that showed up at your door? To be fair, maybe those folks were knowledgeable in principle, but were still ill-informed about your particular problem, previously explained at a great length to someone else within their company.
Why on earth then did the call center agent ask you to repeat all those personal and problem-related details, or why did you have to explain yet again the problem and symptoms to the field technician, who then had to go back to the office to bring the (hopefully) correct part? In the do-it-yourself (DIY) self-service scenario, how many times have you had to plow through numerous pages, pesky hyperlinks, and/or an abundance of annoying questions (that endlessly branch into more questions)?
And all those attempts only to eventually give up on the self-service diagnostic adventure, and to yet again be put on a lengthy hold (with “sleepy elevator” Kenny G’s music being periodically interrupted with the annoying “please hold the line, as your call is important to us” mantra) in order to talk to a human being? And as Murphy’s Law would have it, the solution often turns out to be as asinine as you just needing to plug the machine into the wall or removing a lost sock from the filter. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week my peer, Russell Cooper and I completed a successful certification of Oco Software’s business intelligence (BI) solution. Oco was represented by Jacques Hebert, the senior technical business analyst and marketing representative.
Heh heh. The Global Language Monitor (GLM) has released its Top 10 Most Confusing High-tech Buzzwords of 2008.
Meh. You won’t find any buzzwords on the TEC site, I thought to myself. We run a clean shop here. But then I thought I’d match GLM’s list to actual buzzword occurrences on the TEC site. Read the rest of this entry »
I have done blog posts lately on how some supply chain management (SCM) applications could fare in a down economy. One was about pricing optimization solutions while the other one was about how sourcing and procurement can help enterprises in a down economy. But in the meantime the global credit crunch has dawned with a vengeance.
This has not only promoted the economic downturn and recession into possible prospects of a depression, but has also recently had economics and/or political pundits ranting and raving all over the cable news, pro or contra the governments’ rescue (or bailout) measures (the two terms have been used depending on how someone views those state intervention measures). While I personally was not particularly in favor of rescuing via Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) those Wall Street crooks and inept misfits (and I’ve never been fond of the $20 martini drinks and $40 valet parking prices in New York City), it is difficult to neglect the other side that needs help.
Namely, it was appalling to watch the politicians’ inability to initially explain the true burning issue: the financial market’s unavailability of the short-term lines of credits that companies use regularly to make payroll, procure stuff, keep inventory, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
2008 seemed to be the year for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the world of enterprise software—with companies like Oracle picking up Primavera Software’s project and portfolio management (PPM) offering, and Symantec grabbing up MessageLab’s messaging and web security offering. But it was also a year for some software firms to see their latest solutions shine.
With 2008 nearing its end, Technology Evaluation Center’s (TEC’s) research analyst team takes a brief look at 10 of the newest vendors to join its research roster, as well as some of the more noteworthy enterprise software solutions to hit the market this past year. Read the rest of this entry »
Visiting the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) web site, I came across this 143-page PDF file, which deals with XBRL. As a gung-ho proponent of automation, I’m calling attention to it here to show that the head of the SEC (Mr. Christopher Cox) and I are on the same wavelength when it comes to promoting cost saving automations. Here is some interesting stuff from the PDF, together with my comments. Read the rest of this entry »
Asprova, Japanese developer of production scheduler/advanced planning and scheduling (APS) solutions, is eager to break into the US market. The company is curious, however, and perhaps a bit puzzled by the fact that there seems to be hesitation in the US market about buying Japanese-made software. Considering the popularity of Japanese-made consumer electronics and computer accessories, (in 2007, the US imported from Japan $5.4 billion in computer accessories, and a total of $14.4 billion in various consumer electronics), this does seem rather surprising. The US also recognizes the high quality of Japan’s electrical and electronic equipment.
So, what’s causing this hesitation? Or is there even any hesitation on the part of consumers—is it simply that they’re unaware of the Japanese-made solutions that are already available? Does the apparent lack of success thus far have to do with other less visible or obvious factors? Read the rest of this entry »
Part 2 of this blog series analyzed the ActiveBatch architecture and evolution in terms of enterprise job scheduling and workload automation functional capabilities. This was done for the three older product releases. Particularly impressive was the ActiveBatch V6 release that introduced a few noble concepts like Job Library and Virtual Root. Read the rest of this entry »
According to the proverb “calamity is the touchstone of a brave mind,” in these tough times some supply chain management (SCM) vendors have been trying to take stock (no pun intended) of their offerings and how best to offer these to customers, to mutual benefit. In fact, I have recently seen some intriguing (if not bizarre) press releases (PRs), which read like some type of whitepapers or presentation transcripts.
They were certainly different (and therefore refreshing) from the customary dry and fluffy PRs that most communications folks use (especially during ordinary times). One such “educational” PR came this past summer from the spend management vendor Emptoris, and was analyzed in my blog post on five procurement commandments in a down economy.
A more recent similar PR came from JDA Software Group Inc., a provider of integrated merchandising and supply chain and revenue management planning, execution, and optimization solutions for the consumer-driven supply chain and services industries. The PR came on the heels of the worldwide economy continuing to struggle and going into a tailspin, whereby new orders in the manufacturing sector are falling at record rates.
What does the “P” in PLM really mean? The question seems ambiguous since PLM may refer to many different things (such as an airport, a university, a railway company, etc.). Okay, so let me clarify what I mean. The PLM I’m talking about here is product lifecycle management. Now, the answer seems quite simple. However, my purpose is not to trick you with this silly question, but to explore the true meaning of “product” under the PLM setting.
So, what is a product in the light of product lifecycle management? Read the rest of this entry »
Recently I attended a product lifecycle management (PLM) seminar hosted by PTC and its North American Windchill Partner of the Year award-winner BRT Solutions. The main topic of this seminar was about how small & medium businesses (SMBs) can start and advance their PLM practices. After the seminar, I kept thinking about what the PLM industry can offer for SMBs. PLM used to be a luxury for large enterprises. Is the PLM industry ready to accommodate the increasing demands from SMBs?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is more than a technology. It’s a business strategy that aims at identifying customers and their needs and then creating sales and service strategies that are unique to them.
Here is a quick look at CRM—from buzzwords to trends, to some recommended solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Lawson Software has hardly ever been associated with flamboyance and ostentatious behavior, let alone in these murky economic times. Still, its chief executive officer’s (CEO’s) recent dismissal of the software as a service (SaaS) market’s prospects will have drawn some consternation in the vendors’ and analysts’ community. However, a somewhat amended and clarified stance on SaaS recently came from Lawson’s senior vice president (SVP) of product development and strategy, Dean Hager.
Like the vast majority of enterprise applications vendors, Lawson concedes the tough economic milieu, which was recognized in its sloppy fiscal Q109 performance. Prospective customers are simply slowing down the “looking and decision-making” process, and also the negotiations are admittedly much more involved. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors’ competition is getting dirtier, with everyone fighting very hard over what looks like fewer deals.
Still (at least not yet), Lawson has not given the impression of despair or panic, despite recent cost-cutting (read: layoffs) measures. Such measures appear to be in line with the economic climate and the measures of other peer companies. Read the rest of this entry »