With 2009 behind us, Technology Evaluation Center’s (TEC’s) research analyst team takes a brief look at some of the newest vendors to join its research roster.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions – Aleksey Osintsev
Pronto Software Pty. Ltd. is mostly recognized in Australia (the country where it is headquartered) and in South Asia. It is currently putting a significant effort into gaining recognition in the North American market as well. The company has catered to the midsized ERP market for over 30 years, and has undoubtedly a deep and clear understanding of its customers’ business needs and challenges. It established a perceptible base of customers in medium-sized businesses with strengths in manufacturing, importer distributors, integrated retail, facilities and services, mining, and mining supply businesses.
Pronto Software has focused on its strengths with its Pronto Xi system designed for mid- to large-sized organizations. Its new Phase 6 release is highly flexible and customizable without changing core code. Pronto has also maintained its strong consulting practices, implementation services, and customer support.
Based on TEC’s product research during the product certification, TEC’s research analyst team considers this product to be well-established and reliable. In some situations, Pronto’s software is also capable of competing with tier-one vendors. Financials, discrete manufacturing, inventory management, purchasing, sales, quality management, and point of sales (POS) modules are all closely rated in comparison to the highest-rated competitors in the ERP space.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions – Gabriel Gheorghiu
In arithmetic, one plus one usually makes two, but Navigator is able to add several “ones” to SAP Business One and the result is much better. Navigator created the following standard products by adding to the core SAP Business One functionality: Project One, Service One, Retail One, Distribution One, and Production One, plus advanced products such as Configure One, Mobile One, Data Collect One, etc.
We certified the Navigator One Suite in 2009 for the ERP Discrete and Accounting ERP for small and medium businesses (SMB) Evaluation Centers and we were pleasantly surprised by the product. Everything Navigator created is very SAP-like and a great supplement to the functionality provided by Business One. Stay tuned for the certification report, which will describe the product, its strong points, its weak points, and compares Navigator with an average of all solutions listed in our ERP Discrete and Accounting for ERP for SMB Evaluation Centers.
Business Intelligence (BI) Solutions – Jorge Garcia
Powerful, elegant, and solid, Edge BI from SAP business objects is an ideal solution intended for midsized companies. With a neat combination of BI and business performance functionality, it creates a powerful tool that enables midsized companies to confront their BI and business process management (BPM) needs together.
Edge BI application combines performance power, ease-of-use, and an attractive design for delivering crucial information to decision-making teams. An enterprise Web portal enables centralized control and secure administration. Its powerful reporter and dashboard application offers a wide variety of data delivery solutions such as appealing dashboards, static and dynamic reports, and integration with Microsoft Office applications.
Its Web Intelligence tool enables ad-hoc reporting and a very business oriented data visualization ideal to encourage end-user report design, online analytical processing (OLAP) analysis capabilities and a very powerful and flexible Web interface. If this is not enough, the SAP BO native keyword search is included to enable users searching all types of objects within the application.
It is also worth mentioning that Edge BI includes scorecard functionality, along with forecasting and planning processes. This will enable midsized companies to take advantage of business performance functionalities under the same product package. We welcome SAP BusinessObjects Edge Business Intelligence to our certified vendors group.
Business Process Management (BPM) Solutions – Kurt Chen
The economic downturn has brought decreased sales revenues to many software vendors. Lombardi Software is one of the few exceptions because the company continued revenue growth in 2009 in spite of the economic downturn.
Founded in 2000, Lombardi provides BPM software and services to its customers and partners around the world. A recent product certification for Lombardi Teamworks 7.0 convinced me that this solution delivers comprehensive functionality with high usability. We also noticed that while providing explicit and intuitive business process design and execution capabilities for regular users, this product supports advanced users with enriched tools in more complicated tasks such as business rule definition, multiform creation, and process performance analysis and improvement.
Another reason for choosing Lombardi is due to the recently announced acquisition. For IBM, the acquisition will not only add more functionality to the existing BPM product portfolio but also help IBM address customers’ business process problems in a faster way—the expertise that Lombardi has in the BPM area is the biggest asset that IBM is about to acquire.
Human Resource (HR) Solutions – Sherry Fox
At first glance, Spectrum iVantage 5.0 provides a very pleasant and user-friendly experience. The screens are configurable for all types of users. The home page can be customized to include such items as company links, weather forecast, news, or announcements.
It is a highly flexible and scalable solution for the mid-market business. With its robust personnel management and benefits modules, iVantage is a good solution for businesses that view these elements as high priorities.
Spectrum takes its customer’s opinions very seriously and as such continues to enhance and develop the iVantage solution with its customer’s needs in mind. Its primary focus is on the user experience. Eric Greenburg (Spectrum’s Director of Sales), told TEC’s research analyst team during the certification meeting that it’s important to understand the system’s design because it will “make it worthwhile logging in everyday.”
The fact that the application is offered in both a subscription (license) and software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, makes it much more readily available to the market.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) – Khudsiya Quadri
As product demands have been in a violate state across industries, many businesses require a means to predict and adjust forecast. This year, in the demand management space we got to see firsthand offerings of Demand Solutions product suite. Since 1985, Demand Solutions has provided a range of supply chain management (SCM) focused solutions. Its solutions focus on inventory planning, sales and operations planning (S&OP), demand forecasting, collaboration, inventory optimization and replenishment, advanced planning and scheduling, and retail planning.
During the briefing and product demonstration it was clear that Demand Solutions’ products are easy to implement, to use, and to integrate with customer’s current applications. TEC’s research analysts got to see in-depth functional capabilities of the forecasting and sales and operations planning (S&OP) modules. The algorithms within the demand forecasting module were been developed in conjunction with customer’s feedback and understanding of how the industry and market vertical approach affects the demand. The organizations using the module are able to view and manage the demand at any level of detail. With the help of the demand forecasting module, organizations are able to connect to S&OP and requirement planning modules. This enables purchasing, and sales and manufacturing to be validated over the entire supply chain.
Demand Solutions’ main focus is to develop the requirements needed by industry and vertical specialization rather than focusing on everything in the supply chain space.
Also TEC Certified in 2009
Here is a list of some other vendors that were TEC Certified this past year.
To conduct your on-line software comparison, go to TEC’s Evaluation Centers.