Part 1 of this series analyzed the late-March acquisition of long struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility. The blog post then discussed Logility’s acquisition history to set the stage for the current offerings that Optiant will join.
The 2004 acquisition of Demand Management, Inc. (DMI) and its Demand Solutions brand was particularly valuable as it provided more than 800 active customers in the growing small and midsize enterprise (SME) market for Logility. Today, Logility’s customer base encompasses about 1,250 companies located in more than 70 countries.
These facts give Logility the largest installed base of supply chain planning (SCP) customers among application software vendors. Logility is possibly the only SCP vendor that can meet the needs of SMEs, large companies (i.e., from US $200 million to US $1 billion in revenues), and Fortune 1000 markets (with over US$1 billion in revenues).
In almost every organization’s internal meetings and corridors, there’s a lot of chattering about whether cloud computing is an option that can bring tangible benefits or not, and if it’s time for moving to the cloud. In this brief post, I will point out some issues why you should consider moving your business’s IT resources to the cloud.
Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog post series started with my invitation by UNIT4 (formerly Unit 4 Agresso), the second largest business applications provider in continental Europe, to attend its UK 2010 users conference. Frankly, I was a bit skeptical about what new and exciting I might see and hear about at this event in light of the vendor’s analyst tour in Boston in late 2009.
The post then discussed the recent development that preceded both the UK user conference and the Boston analyst tour (but which was not the topic of either gathering). Namely, in the fall of 2009, UNIT4’s on-demand venture, CODA 2go, evolved into FinancialForce.com, backed by both UNIT4 and Salesforce.com.
Part 2 then focused on FinancialForce.com’s strengths and potential challenges and on its step-sibling CODA-Financials’ recent developments. This final part of the series will present my observations of the recent UNIT4 user conference in the UK.
Last week, I attended a supply chain management (SCM) user conference in Florida.
The main objective of the user conference was to help users learn and share experiences to eliminate business pains faced either due to lack of technology or business processes. MS Excel, was proudly mentioned in many of the conversations I had with supply chain professionals. It felt like SCM professionals were married to Excel, and their supply chain and operational activities cannot function without it. Read the rest of this entry »
[Editor’s note: Frank is a real person, employed at a real company. However, I’ve changed certain identifying particulars for a variety of reasons. This interactive series is an exercise in what-if analysis based on ongoing interviews with Frankie as well as your feedback. You may find Frank’s use of language a little colorful. I have toned it down. It’s still colorful.]
Part 1 of this series established that service supply chains have many planning levels and time horizons, which can be roughly divided into the following: the immediate period around the day of service, and forecasting and planning for the day of service. My post then expanded on the various approaches to tame the challenges on the actual day of service.
The most advanced approach is to use service chain optimization algorithms that balance customer satisfaction and operating costs. But, as in any business environment, the catch is that conflicting forces pull any company’s service scheduling optimization decisions in opposing directions.
[Editor’s note: Frank is not a composite character. He is a real person, employed at a real company. I’ve changed certain identifying particulars at his request. This interactive series, created and published with his permission, is an exercise in what-if analysis based on interviews I am currently conducting with him. You may find Frank’s use of language a little colorful. I have toned it down. It’s still colorful. Previously: Episode 1] Read the rest of this entry »
This year I was invited to SCOPE East, a peer led conference focusing on supply chain issues from strategic, tactical, and operational points of views. At this conference, I was able to attend multiple educational tracks ranging from retail to consumer goods. One of the tracks that got my attention was about vertical integration in the retail supply chain presented by luxury goods retailer and manufacture Tiffany & Co. Read the rest of this entry »
The mergers and acquisition (M&A) market seems to be coming back slowly. One evidence of this could be the late-March acquisition of long-struggling inventory optimization (IO) provider Optiant by long well-performing supply chain management (SCM) provider Logility.
Now, I certainly wasn’t surprised by Optiant’s acquisition per se. After all, it was only a matter of time before Optiant would be acquired (or simply go out of business).
The recent three-part series entitled “Navigating Between Service Management Scylla & Charybdis” analyzed the phenomenon of service economy, or the increasing importance of the service sector in industrialized economies. But while the vast customer service software market’s opportunity was examined there, the series also pointed out the treacherous complexity of planning and executing service supply chains.
Compared to manufacturing and distribution supply chains, which are already complex on their own, service supply networks add a few more complicating variables. The series introduced the notion of the “perfect response” in service chains (vs. the “perfect order” in manufacturing and distribution) or how to get the right person with the right part and knowledge at exactly the right time to solve a particular customer’s need. And all that perfect response has to repeatedly and continually happen for almost every customer while maintaining a financially viable service business.
Every service business is ultimately measured by its performance on the day of service, and ensuring that the company has the right resources in the right places at the right times is critical. But the ability to deliver service on the day it is actually required is only the last link in a long chain of decisions that must be made weeks or months before the day of service.
Warren Weaver, an American mathematician known for his work on machine translation and his support for science in the United States, defined the complexity of a system as “the degree of difficulty in predicting the properties of the system if the properties of the system’s parts are given.” Read the rest of this entry »
A recent press release from Dassault Systèmes about its newly signed strategic relationship with BMW in the area of sustainable innovation caught my attention and made me think of its meaning. As usual, I went to Wikipedia but found that this term didn’t exist. The closest term I could find was eco-innovation, which is related to sustainable innovation but not the same in my opinion. So here’s my own definition: sustainable innovation refers to the methodology and practices that lead to the increased capacity to endure within the environmental, societal, and economic surroundings that an organization operates through optimized and valuable changes that…okay, okay, I have to stop here since confusing you is not my objective. Let me simplify it: sustainable innovation means: 1) innovating toward sustainability; and 2) sustainable process for innovation. If this is still not clear, bear with me. I’ll provide a little more explanation. Read the rest of this entry »
Last year, I met an analyst from another firm, and asked him what he thought about quote-to-order (Q2O) solutions, given the relevance between Q2O and the conference that I was attending. Not quite surprisingly, the answer I got was, “this kind of application doesn’t have a future.” The conversation didn’t go any further due to limited time but I could imagine that his reasoning might have sounded like this: even though activities from quoting to ordering may be taken care of by multiple systems, there’s no need to have another system (if there’s good integration in place), which makes the already complicated enterprise information landscape even more complicated. Certainly, this statement can be true if there is good integration in place. However, the truth is that today’s integration amongst various information systems is far from perfection. Let’s take a look at the reality of many companies’ Q2O process. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series started with my invitation by UNIT4 (formerly Unit 4 Agresso), the second-largest business applications provider in continental Europe, to attend its UK 2010 user conference. Frankly, I was a bit skeptical about what new and exciting I might see and hear about at this event in light of the vendor’s analyst tour in Boston in late 2009.
My post then talked about another important development that preceded both the UK user conference and the Boston analyst tour (but which was not the topic of either gathering). Namely, in the fall of 2009, UNIT4’s on-demand venture, CODA 2go, evolved into FinancialForce.com, backed by both UNIT4 and Salesforce.com. The spin-off joint venture combines CODA’s 30 years of designing and building financial applications with Salesforce.com’s cloud computing development platform, Force.com.
The creation of the new entity and expanded relationship with Salesforce.com avails FinancialForce.com (and indirectly UNIT4) of many practical go-to-market and operating benefits, from branding and lead-generation to Salesforce.com providing hosting and the first-line customer support for the new offering (so that clients only have one number to call).
If you do a search on the famous phrase “You can’t handle the truth!” from the movie A Few Good Men, you will find it in a list of useless movie quotes. Ironically, it was also voted as the twenty-ninth greatest movie quote of all time by the American Film Institute. Read the rest of this entry »