What Is a DMS?
When one talks about a DMS, people usually think about a document management system, a data management system, or even a destroyer mine sweeper. But very few people know that it’s also the acronym for “dealership management system,” which is a product or package of several products which is created specifically for the automotive industry. Read the rest of this entry »
In over a decade of covering the enterprise application space, I’ve repeatedly lauded and advised vertical focus (i.e., someone’s proven expertise in some particular industry and market segment), but not that much vertical integration per se. My beliefs were recently confirmed by what I learned while pursuing my APICS CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) title.
Namely, Module One of the APICS CSCP Learning System, entitled “Supply Chain Management Fundamentals” teaches that companies have generally pursued one of the following two types of supply chain management (SCM): either vertical or lateral (also known as horizontal) integration. Vertical (supply chain) integration refers to the practice of bringing the entire supply chain inside a single organization.
In fact, vertical integration, or the ownership of many or all the parts of a supply chain, has been around longer than the term “supply chain.” By bringing many supply chain activities in-house and putting them under centralized corporate management, vertical integration solves the problem of who will design, plan, execute, monitor, and control supply chain activities. Read the rest of this entry »
The role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in society cannot be underestimated—indeed, many think SMEs are the most important sector of a nation’s economy due to their creative and innovative abilities, as well as the flexibility they execute in order to survive in our competitive world. Yet, as editor Ruth Hillary explains in the collection of essays in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Environment, their day-to-day activities aren’t always positive. Read the rest of this entry »
“Come gather ’round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth savin’ then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin’.” – Bob Dylan
The Global Recession
Re-ces-sion \ri-se-sh?n\ “a period of reduced economic activity”1
Recession: it’s an ugly word, but unfortunately a fact of life—especially these days. The current economic crisis not only affects individuals and businesses in North America, but those around the globe as well.
Nearly every day during the last six months when I’ve opened up the newspaper, there’s been some story about a company that has laid off its employees. The sad truth is that many of these layoffs are targeted toward individuals who have been working for the same company for many years and now are finding themselves looking for work in a job market for which they may not possess the skills required.
So what are these individuals and businesses doing to weather the storm? Well, I guess you could say it depends on the individual and what business he or she is in. Some industries have been harder hit than others (e.g., construction and manufacturing), but one thing is certain—the recession’s effect is being felt by everyone everywhere.
The worn-out saying about how we learn new things every day applies to this blog topic too. Namely, my interest in Progress Software Corporation has long been due to its renowned OpenEdge development platform. Indeed, many enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other applications providers leverage (embed) OpenEdge as Progress Software partners. Sure, I also follow and have recently written about the company’s forays in the service-oriented architecture (SOA) space with its two respective offerings: Actional for web services management and Sonic for enterprise service bus (ESB) and messaging.
But in late 2007, out of mere courtesy, I accepted a briefing about Progress Apama, the company’s platform for complex event processing (CEP), algorithmic trading, and whatnot. Given the overwhelming nature (“rocket science” of a sort) of the offering’s concept, I now admit that I could not wait for the briefing to end.
Actually, I felt bamboozled like those ordinary mortal FBI agents in CBS’ primetime hit show “Numb3rs.” In that show, time and again the whiz kid math genius (the brother of the FBI team leader) tries to explain to these action-rather-than-theory agents how some complex and arcane math theory can be applied to make sense out of seemingly chaotic and unrelated events. Eventually, complex math solves some important crimes, often by detecting patterns that are not obvious to the naked eye.
Well, fast forward to early 2009, where at Progress’ Analyst Summit (a traditional Boston winter fixture event) we could all find out that Progress Apama is possibly the best performing and growing part of the company. OpenEdge, while still contributing to over 60 percent to Progress’ total revenues, is a mature business that is now sold mostly to independent software vendors (ISVs). In addition, the recent financial markets (and consequently the overall economic) crisis and related cases of high-profile frauds (”white-collar crimes”) have made me conduct my own study of Apama and become familiar with its underlying concept. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series explained Deltek’s ebullience despite a hostile and depressed environment, and also analyzed the recent developments (and anticipated future developments) at Deltek’s Professional Service line of business, which is largely represented by Deltek Vision [evaluate this product]. Part II then analyzed the recent developments (and anticipated future developments) at Deltek’s Government Contractors (GovCon) line of business, which is represented by Deltek Costpoint [evaluate this product] and Deltek GCS Premier [evaluate this product].
This final part will focus on Deltek’s Enterprise Project Management (EPM) line of business, which helps companies deal with the ever-growing reporting regulations being imposed by government agencies. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series went through the first three generations of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product, which at the time was called Navision and was owned by the formerly independent namesake company. How has new parent Microsoft treated the product since acquiring it in 2002? Read the rest of this entry »
When speaking to our smaller customers, they are continuously expressing how they are evaluating their options in establishing the best type of relationship with their solution provider as trusted advisors to facilitate the success of their software projects. Buyers in the SMB arena are looking for the right mix between industry expertise, local support and pre-defined product capabilities. The question remains whether this can be delivered directly by a software vendor or through its indirect partner channel. Read the rest of this entry »
In the two previous blog posts (What Does the “P” in PLM Really Mean? and What Does the “L” in PLM Really Mean?) I discussed the object being managed within the product lifecycle management (PLM) methodology. Now, it is the time to move on to the last word—“management.” Management is such a general term nowadays, that simply looking at it won’t give you much idea of what it is about in the PLM context. If your organization is looking for a PLM solution, investigating the functionality that various PLM solutions can provide will help you better understand what a PLM system should be handling. However, I’d suggest establishing some high-level ideas about what a PLM system should be able to manage before you are overwhelmed by the functionality flood. Read the rest of this entry »
When Nietzsche declared in 1882 that “God is dead,” I’ll bet he had no idea that ERP system vendors were already queuing up to fill the gap.
He just wasn’t the practical, forward-thinking kind, that was his problem (Nietzsche, I mean, not God).
Now, in heaven, they take the long view. So when they started casting around for a replacement to their legacy system, they took the time to conduct a thorough software evaluation process. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series presented Microsoft’s official position on its recent notable change in business intelligence (BI) product strategy, whereby the company is breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling on (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve been to the TEC Vendor Showcase recently, you’ve probably seen this symbol.
If you wondered what it means, you might have clicked it, and read this:
“TEC Certified Vendors have met the stringent requirements set forth by our analysts. Associate vendors have taken the first step toward their TEC certification by completing our extensive request for information (RFI).”
Concise, yes. But maybe a little light on detail. So here, to shed some light on the nature of RFIs, stringent requirements, and “associate vendors,” is a short explanation of what TEC certification is all about.
The first week of February 2009 was marked by two notable product launches, from vendors touting their respective simplified, more flexible, and intuitive products as exactly “what the doctor ordered” for the current economic malaise. While the unveiling of SAP Business Suite 7 has caused a flurry of media articles and blog posts like the ones from Ray Wang and Brian Sommer (and one of mine might still come down the track when all the dust settles), it is interesting that the North American launch of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 a day later went with comparably much less buzz.
There were related Dynamics NAV 2009 events in some other world regions, but I cannot say much about their attendance and noise level. Despite the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 launch in the US proceeding somewhat quietly (the replay of the event can be seen here), I think it might have as much future impact in the market as SAP’s mega-counterpart.
Namely, the clout SAP Business Suite [evaluate this product] has in the upper end of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market, Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly called Navision and Attain) [evaluate this product] has in the lower end of the market. Read the rest of this entry »
So, you’re the guy/gal who’s been put to the task of choosing your companies next enterprise software solution? Well, if you’re reading this, you’re most probably well on your way to choosing that software by now. You’ve made your proposal to your stakeholders; you’ve gathered your requirements and prioritized them; you’ve gotten a handful of software vendors to complete your RFI. So now what? Well, there’s still one very important step that needs to be taken: seeing the shortlisted products in action!
Part 1 of this blog series introduced the need for knowledge management (KM) software applications as part of a more comprehensive and strategic service management (SSM) suite. One such broad SSM suite has been advanced by Servigistics, and Part 2 zoomed into the capabilities of one particular part of the Servigistics SSM suite: Service Knowledge Management (SKM). Read the rest of this entry »