British cosmetics company Badgequo selects Epicor ERP
Industry tags: Manufacturing, distribution
“Aggressively growing cosmetics manufacturer/distributor Badgequo is in need of corporate software to offer single-truth data, eliminate manual data re-entry, and provide full visibility into its extended supply chain. This organization is a real-life example of a small company with less than 30 employees but complex and extended business processes that require reliable and modern ERP software. Among specific functions that Badgequo required was remote access to ERP from any type of mobile device. The company was also very excited about the system’s available-to-deliver and real-time inventory functionality. It’s worth noting that Badgequo will receive a complete set of functional modules that it has never used before but is planning to leverage too, such as HR management, product development workflow, and others.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed the positive impressions from my attendance of the AribaLIVE 2012 user event. Still, while it might appear that Ariba is firing on all cylinders, as is typically the case, Ariba is not all things to all people and no company is without issues. Thus this post will discuss some challenges and related rooms for improvement.
In addition to the recently certified iVP software, the Solarsoft applications that have been certified by TEC now include Tropos ERP. The certification process is complete and I’m currently in the process of writing the full TEC Certification Report on the product (access full list of certification reports). Here is my preliminary report of Tropos ERP. Read the rest of this entry »
Loudoun County Sanitation Authority selects SAP ERP
Industry tags: utilities
“According to the plans of both the client and its system integrator, Sparta Consulting, the entire project is supposed to take only 14 months, which is a pretty intensive timeline considering a level of the solution selected and the company’s size. The modules to be implemented are financials, utilities billing, customer service, human resources, engineering, and enterprise asset management. But what caught my attention specifically is that although the solution to be implemented is the latest SAP for Utilities enhancement package (which is specifically tailored to the utilities industry, preconfigured, and includes best industry practices), about 20 percent of the functionality is supposed to be custom developed, which is a lot. Industry-specific versions ideally shouldn’t imply any customization at all. Anyway, it will be interesting to see the output of this project at the projected go-live stage.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
GINAF selects QAD On Demand for corporate-wide rollout in The Netherlands
Industry tags: industrial machinery
“QAD On Demand has lately been quite the growth engine, and the subscription-based recurring revenue is reaching about five percent of QAD’s total revenues. The reasons why companies opt for this offering vary but typically revolve around the speed theme. In GINAF’s case, the manufacturer wanted to support its growing business and to streamline and consolidate its IT department as part of the company’s new corporate lean strategy in which all non-core business activity is outsourced. QAD On Demand gives GINAF the power to focus on its core manufacturing and distribution business and leave the management of its ERP system to QAD.”—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst
Bangalore-based bank selects IBM Cloud for core banking solutions
Industry tags: cloud computing
“IBM SmartCloud has been selected as the private cloud provider for Sree Charan Souharda Cooperative Bank. SmartCloud will be used to deliver core banking solutions, and to help the bank better align its business processes, project scaling, and rely on analytics to improve the decision-making process. The private cloud continues to grow by providing an interesting combination of services and technologies for enhanced security and reliable service.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst Read the rest of this entry »
Vertical integration occurs when two companies in different parts of the supply chain merge to capture a larger share of the market. Such mergers often lead to operational cost reductions, increased entry barriers to competitors, and expansion of core competencies. Vertical integration strategies are a key consideration for organizations looking to expand and control more of the supply chain. For example, consider a shoe manufacturer that merges with (or acquires) a chain of shoe retailers in order to minimize its own costs and adversely affect its competitor’s costs. A more recent example is Microsoft’s foray into the tablet market, with the hopes of dampening Apple’s current stronghold.
Software capabilities, among other things, need to be reassessed whenever any type of merger takes place. Vertical mergers specifically pose a number of challenges owing to widely different business processes that span the vertically integrated firms. Some of these processes will naturally overlap between the two firms, but others will be completely new. Read the rest of this entry »
KANA Software is a global provider in customer service solutions delivered on-premise or in the cloud, and these solutions unify and maintain context for customer journeys across agent, Web, social, and mobile experiences. The vendor’s solutions have reduced handling time, increased resolution rates, and improved net promoter score (NPS) at more than 850 enterprises, including half of the Global 100 and more than 250 government agencies.
The KANA Service Experience Management (SEM) platform combines the realms of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Process Management (BPM), Knowledge Management, Text Analytics, and Social Media to support the delivery of good experiences on brands and on budget across multiple customer interaction channels. Most recently, at the IQPC 2012 Call Center Week event, the vendor introduced new capabilities in its enterprise customer service solution, designed to support the new strategic imperative in Web Customer Service (WCS) — customer acquisition. Read the rest of this entry »
A recent blog post talked about my attendance of the AribaLIVE 2012 user event and outlined the main premise of the event: Ariba has become a public cloud commerce network provider first and foremost, while also offering additional related spend management software as required. The vendor is striving to become a business-to-business (B2B) commerce version of Amazon.com and eBay to enable painless transactions by providing a behind-the-scene universal business translator. For more details, see the keynote presentation by Ariba’s president Kevin Costello.
This is what cloud commerce is all about: leveraging the power of a network to make business commerce as easy as personal commerce. And this is the direction that Ariba will continue to take. The vendor has gone all out to expand the Ariba Network (and the cloud-based solutions delivered within it) and extend its position as the world’s largest and most global business network. And these moves are apparently paying off.
Everyone wants their business to grow, to broaden its operations within a territory or country and, eventually, across borders to other countries and continents. However, business expansion abroad entails a great deal of forethought, especially with regard to enterprise software applications. In fact, the differences in business environments may not only affect corporate business strategy, but also pose various hurdles to an organization’s software extension strategy and strategic information technology (IT) decisions overall. Such hidden issues should be researched ahead of time so that the necessary allowances and adjustments can be made to your plans for growth.
Companies need to consider numerous aspects when planning their expansion. I’ve identified four major types of possible problems that have a direct impact on IT and corporate software decisions. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeanswest selects Manhattan Associates
Industry tags: Fashion/retail
“Manhattan Associates once again shows the strength of its SCALE platform; Jeanswest was in much need of a supply chain solution that could help them streamline logistics across and between three continents. Jeanswest will now be able to better manage its operations across its branded stores and distribution center, while establishing a more efficient framework to support its extended supply chain.”—Philippe Reney, TEC Research Analyst
Another instance of UNIT4-based ERP shared service goes live for several UK local authorities
Industry tags: Public administration and defense
“Since I am already a bit familiar with UNIT4’s shared-services projects and have spoken to few key people from client’s side, I realize how challenging they can be. The issues have less to do with the technology (which is impressive), or the hardware, than with challenges that are internal to the clients themselves, whether it be political/economic hurdles, or even end users’ and top management’s psychological readiness to use shared back-office software. In view of all this, my congratulations to UNIT4’s team and, certainly, to the local authorities in the UK that made this project a reality.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
Standby Screw Machine Products Co. replaces five old systems with IQMS ERP
Industry tags: Manufacturing
This contract parts company, which owns two manufacturing facilities in the US and China, will replace its five disparate and aged applications with a single modern system that should help it consolidate all company data and eliminate difficulties caused by multiple systems. Another consideration was that the company wanted to acquire industry-specific ERP software that included industry best practices. Among eight vendors, IQMS was judged by Standby Screw Machine as offering the best fit for its needs.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
The recently held RedShift 2012 user conference was reportedly a huge success for RedPrairie, a vendor of supply chain management (SCM), workforce management (WFM), and multi-channel retail solutions. (I could not attend the multi-day event in person, but I was kindly debriefed by RedPrairie after the event). The business world has lately been transformed by a host of phenomena such as digital commerce, mobility, demand volatility, empowered consumer, multi-channel retailing (buy anywhere, fulfill anywhere), social, cloud, big data, fuel cost volatility, supply chain segmentation, and so on.
UNC Charlotte selects BRG and Syclo
Industry tags: public sector, education, facilities management
“SAP’s recent acquisition of Syclo reportedly did not play a role in the selection of Syclo or BRG for this project. UNCC was an ARCHIBUS IWMS customer that already knew BRG as an ARCHIBUS specialist. There were no real options for a mobile version of ARCHIBUS. Going with Syclo and BRG meant the university was able to leverage a leading mobile technology provider with apps ready to go rather than build a solution on its own, which would have been expensive and much riskier.”—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst
Spontech Spine Intelligence AG selects Aras
Industry tags: hi-tech, electronics
“What Workday has been to SAP and Oracle in the non-manufacturing ERP realm, Aras has lately been to the ‘Big PLM’ establishment—an opponent that will not necessarily kill the leaders, but will certainly annoy them. Reportedly, the open source PLM provider Aras has won nearly 70 new deals in 2012, many of which were PLM system replacements.
In this selection process, Agile PLM and Siemens Teamcenter were the competition, and Aras was selected due to its system’s flexibility and the high-tech electronics (HTE) expertise of Minerva Group (Aras’ reseller in the Nordics). Minerva has created an add-on solution template (other PLM companies sometimes refer to these as ‘accelerators’) for Aras Innovator, which is specifically designed for the processes in HTE.”—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst
Back in April, I wrote about a consulting firm whose excellent service had earned it rave reviews from a client.
The secret to the firm’s success, it turned out, was pretty simple. Its consultants made sure they understood the client, they committed to the project, they kept their promises, and they followed up. In other words, that firm displayed a genuine commitment to excellence that can be hard to find.
So hard that some of our readers began to wonder how, if you wanted to build a similar consulting firm, you would go about finding the best, brightest, and most committed consultants.
When I asked TEC’s HCM analyst Sherry Fox, she identified seven things you can do to start building a smart, committed talent pool for your consulting firm.
I’m pleased to announce that the PROMYS project portfolio management for professional service automation (PPM for PSA) solution is now TEC Certified.
TEC Certification is an impartial review that verifies a software product’s ability to address real-world business processes. This review includes a formal product demonstration, which gave me the chance to see the product up close and in depth.
Part 1 of this blog series started with the assertion that product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions are becoming increasingly important to enterprises in a strategic sense. However, not all PLM products are created equal, especially in light of their different origins. Read the rest of this entry »
We recently certified SimplyDigi’s learning management suite (LMS) , and I wanted to share my first impressions of the product with you. SimplyDigi was founded in Delaware (US) in 1999 and offers two products: SimplyDigi LMS/LCMS (Learning Content Management System) and DigiCast (for live classroom and meeting events). Both solutions were developed entirely in-house by SimplyDigi, and the company prides itself on being entirely independently financed. Read the rest of this entry »