Supply chain management (SCM) software is a key part of a successful global business. With it, companies can monitor transactions between suppliers, manufacturers, shippers, retailers, and a host of other partners. They can anticipate problems, eliminate bottlenecks, and avoid expensive delays. Without SCM, companies lose visibility, and control, of anything outside their four walls, and risk losing time and money to frequent supply chain disruptions.
But despite the advantages SCM offers, many companies have been slow to adopt it—particularly service providers who view SCM as being mostly for manufacturers.
That perception seems to be changing, though. At TEC, we’ve seen a surge in the popularity of our SCM Evaluation Center as companies of all sizes look for ways to be more competitive in a harsh economic climate. So to help IT decision makers navigate the SCM landscape, we’re hard at work preparing the 2012 SCM Buyer’s Guide.
Being able to manage unstructured text is no longer a “nice to have,” as companies and individual users alike have to deal with increasing amounts of unstructured text, work with it, and gain knowledge by interpreting it. Cirilab is a company that provides software products to search, retrieve, and categorize information from unstructured text sources. Read this interesting interview with Ron Carrière, chief executive officer (CEO) of Cirilab, and get his take on the role of Cirilab in the software industry and the company’s approach to the unstructured content management space.
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My blog post earlier this year discussed IFS AB’s (OMX Stockholm: IFS) continued market success in spite of the tough economic milieu. The IFS Applications suite is positioned as the intelligent Tier 1 enterprise resource planning (ERP) alternative choice for customers seeking efficient return on investment (ROI). The company’s “agile ERP alternative” message is well received by the market and interest in its product remains high. Read the rest of this entry »
Social media provides data to the enterprise on how its customers are interacting. Even though most decision makers understand that gathering and analyzing this data is important, it’s not always easy to know how.
Astute Solutions was founded in 1995 to offer call center and issue management software, which later became a full customer service solution. The acquisition of RealDialog from LiveWire Logic in 2006 added knowledge management to the offering. In 2010, Astute acquired Gamma Engineers for its social media management technology. This has evolved into today’s Astute Social Relationship Management (SRM) solution, with the ambition to offer functionality not just for managing social data, but for using the results in the cross-channel customer relationship activities of a company. Read the rest of this entry »
TEC is offering a new report profiling the software vendor MODX and its Revolution WCM system. This report is now available to download (free) from TEC’s library of reports.
The MODX Web content management system is a relatively new commercial open source offering. It’s designed with an emphasis on customizability. Although MODX has a large community using its systems in small and medium-sized deployments, it’s targeting higher traffic deployments with its latest versions of Revolution.
To find out more about MODX’s commercial services, support, and partners, as well as some analysis of its Revolution product, read the complete report.
I attended the Lean Accounting Summit in Orlando in September, and I’m still struck by the totally different attitudes of companies that choose lean transformation versus conventional non-lean companies.
Lean thinking certainly isn’t new to the business community, but many managers and business influencers still have no clear understanding of lean. They typically pick and choose their lean manufacturing tools, and ignore other lean principles that contribute to success, if not playing an even more vital role. One example of such overlooked principles: lean accounting. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series described the genesis and current state of affairs of Workday – a novel company that was founded in March 2005 and launched in November 2006 by two great IT minds and notable PeopleSoft alumni: Dave Duffield and Aneel Bhusri. For a few years now I’ve been listening to a slew of otherwise hard-to-please analysts and bloggers raving about this software company that has purportedly finally overcome the traditional shortcomings of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems of the 1990s.
One of Workday’s earlier marketing slogans said that it was the first new business management solution to come to market “since the Web turned 2.0, Sarbanes met Oxley, and the world became flat.” In fact, Workday is a younger company than Facebook. The vendor says that its biggest distinguishing factor over traditional ERP platforms is its inherent flexibility, most notably its ability to logically reorganize personnel in a global organization on the fly as required.
Openbravo ERP is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution on the less expensive side of the spectrum, which is valued by distribution and retail industries as well as by manufacturing, services, public-sector, and nonprofit organizations.
I caught up with Openbravo’s John Fandl recently about the company’s latest iteration of its ERP solution (version 3). In the past, we’ve mostly mentioned Openbravo as a peer to other open source ERP vendors, but it deserves to be considered in its own right. Read the rest of this entry »
My recent post Why don’t Potential Benefits of Spend Analysis Come by Easily? described typical challenges of comprehensive spend management solutions. On one hand, there are difficulties associated with massive spend data acquisition and subsequent classification and enrichment, and on the other hand, with presentation and analysis when done using rigid business intelligence (BI) tools over predefined database schemas. I analyzed some examples of automated spend analysis process improvements via expert systems and search engines, but they might also come with different shortcomings.
I concluded my post with hints of some solutions that leverage dynamic on-demand databases and easy-to-use Google-like analytic tools (dashboards) to overcome many of the challenges that previous generation spend analysis and data classification solutions fail to address.
Day two of the 2011 HR Technology Conference & Expo was an 8-hour marathon of talking with software vendors and attending various conference learning sessions. Here’s a brief look:
Naomi Bloom (Managing Partner at Bloom and Wallace) and Jason Averbook (Co-Founder & CEO of Knowledge Infusion) kicked off the day with The Great Technology Debate on the topic of HR technology—what we’re seeing and where we’re headed.
Over the past several years, salesforce.com’s annual user conference Dreamforce has become a highly anticipated and entertaining end-of-the-year fixture for enterprise applications market observers. Well, Dreamforce 2011 was somewhat different as it took place in late August and early September 2011, but the vibrant feel of the event was no different. Indeed, in these prolonged times of bad economic news with businesses and government cutting spending across the board, one could again enjoy the unusually high attendance (45,000, for what it’s worth) and upbeat and “never a dull moment” atmosphere of the multi-day event, courtesy of salesforce.com’s CEO Marc Benioff and his executive team.
While Dreamforce 2009 was mostly about the continued growth of the vendor and the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s quickly maturing social platform and collaboration cloud (covered in my mid-2010 blog series), the overall Dreamforce 2010 theme was cloud proliferation as well as salesforce.com’s further diversification and expansion in new frontiers (see my blog series for more details).
Dreamforce 2011 continued with the cloud proliferation theme (with new clouds such as Data.com and Heroku for Java), in addition to the theme of continued growth: salesforce.com is the first cloud company to exceed US$2.1.billion run rate and over 100,000 customers (ironically knocking on the door of the “evil empires” elite club). There have also been some acquisitions since Dreamforce 2010, most notably DimDim and Radian6. Post-Dreamforce 2011, salesforce.com has already acquired Assistly, a customer service social software startup in the lower end of the market.
Hundreds of industry experts have descended on Las Vegas for the 2011 HR Technology Conference & Expo (and for other things, such as networking and maybe just a wee bit of gambling), which has been billed as “the world’s best conference on HR Technology.”
It’s my second time attending this conference, which is the largest North American gathering of HR professionals, experts, and technology vendors of its kind. Everyone who’s anyone in the field of HR is here: HR bloggers, CEOs, industry thought leaders, leading software vendors, consultants, and more.
Here’s a brief behind-the-scenes look at day one of the event: