The last day of the conference is different in three ways: there is no general session today; we have plant tours in the afternoon; and the exhibitors are gone (which is too bad, because for IBM only you could spend hours talking with all the vendors in their booth). Read the rest of this entry »
How many different systems does a bank employee use when changing a customer’s contact information? The last time I moved and had to change my address, the bank employee used two systems, asked three or four of her co-workers for help, and took about 15 minutes to do it because the information from one system did not transfer right away to the other system. It goes without saying that this was not my best experience dealing with banks, but not the worst either. Actually, having implemented business solutions in the past, I find it quite amusing when it happens because it reminds me of the “good old days” when I used to get blamed for faulty systems. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series depicted the differences and some subtle similarities between the well-established enterprise applications giant SAP and up-and-coming vendor Endeca Technologies. The post ended with the new fundamentals for the future of enterprise applications that were outlined at the Endeca Discover 2009 conference.
Part 2 of this blog series explored how SAP is adapting to the new fundamentals outlined in Part 1, especially with respect to the notion of BT or “business technology,” which denotes a pervasive technology in use by casual users and end users alike, increasingly managed outside the direct control of IT departments. I also explained the architecture of the recently unveiled SAP BusinessObjects Explorer product.
Part 3 continues with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer’s traits and areas for improvement, especially in terms of the user experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s general session showcased people from around the world (Mexico, China, Italy, South Africa, Poland, India, Egypt, US, etc.) and their stories about what work in manufacturing and supply chain means to them. The idea behind this was to show us how supply chain concepts are being embraced worldwide—and the presenters did it by showing media clips and images from different continents. Read the rest of this entry »
The conference really started today, with a general session featuring guest star speaker Jason Jennings, business thought leader and best-selling author. And quite a showman, we might add. Read the rest of this entry »
Arrived in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to attend the APICS international convention and expo—hats off to the Canadian weather (cold!!!!!!!). This first day is dedicated to the development and organization of APICS members and partners. We gained an understanding of the APICS footprint, internationally speaking, through the general session.
Microsoft recently acquired four vertical solutions that target process manufacturing (Fullscope Inc.), professional services (Computer Generated Solutions Inc.), and retail industries (To-Increase and LS Retail ehf).
These acquisitions are no different from any other software industry vendor acquisition, as each player in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space is trying to expand its reach of features and functions in a variety of vertical industries.
What’s different here is that Microsoft Dynamics’ aim Read the rest of this entry »
“Truth is one; paths are many.” - H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda
Buddhism and software selection. Say what? Yes, you read that correctly. As an “aspiring Buddhist,” I’ve come to learn that Buddhist philosophy can find its way into virtually every aspect of one’s life. While ancient Buddhism still remains a mystery to many, it could certainly help shed some light on a few modern-day dilemmas! Choosing enterprise software for your business is one that comes to my mind.
Within the product lifecycle management (PLM) arena, there is a category of solutions with a very specific industry focus: fashion and retail PLM solutions. For example, Lectra calls its solution Fashion PLM; at PTC, its FlexPLM solution is created for retail, footwear, and apparel; TradeStone Software names its solution Merchandise Lifecycle Management (MLM) (instead of PLM) and focuses on helping retailers to design and develop private label merchandise. No matter how vendors describe their solutions, it seems certain that now PLM manages not only “trees” but also “grass.” Read the rest of this entry »
This insightful case study from SageCircle talks about how a vendor almost missed out on a $35M deal because it was left off an RFP shortlist. Although the case study is geared toward software vendors—focusing on the importance of an active analyst relations team—it also illustrates important points applying to software selection projects. The case study is in some ways a cautionary tale for organizations engaging an analyst firm’s guidance in a software selection. Read the rest of this entry »
PLM Boot Camp ’09 is coming in one week. As one of the committee members for this event, I’m delighted to provide three tips to those who are planning to attend this two-day virtual conference.
Tip #1: Prepare to See a “Different” PLM
PLM Boot Camp ’09 is obviously focused on product lifecycle management (PLM). However, it also has vertical foci: the fashion and consumer products industries. If a couple of years ago I had been told there would be such an event, I wouldn’t have believed there would be a large enough audience. However, things are changing significantly in these specific PLM fields. In the fashion sector alone, there are over 40 software solutions that serve specific PLM needs from this vertical. Although the methodology of PLM stays the same, when it comes to applying PLM in the fashion and consumer products industries, the business cases, adoption strategies, and functionality priorities are likely to be different than in industries such as aerospace and automotive. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog post series followed the progress of Manhattan Associates from its inception in 1990 throughout the mid-2000s. During this time, Manhattan Associates was the epitome of an immaculate supply chain management (SCM) software company in terms of market share, growth, profitability, and its products’ capabilities. Indeed, the company was the industry standard for the supply chain execution (SCE) space and the envy of competitors.
But lately, the two competitors that had long looked at Manhatan from behind, RedPrairie Corporation and JDA Software, have been posting much more upbeat news in terms of growth in contrast to Manhattan’s declining revenues. This post analyzes the possible reasons behind that occurrence. Read the rest of this entry »