SmartOps Corporation is a quiet provider of supply chain planning (SCP) solutions that right-size inventory and capture more sales (by way of managing demand) for global enterprises that compete in complexity and uncertainty of their global supply chains. Deploying SmartOps’ solutions has dramatically improved supply chain performance at more than 50 Fortune 1000 and global 2000 companies in discrete manufacturing, consumer durables and packaged goods, technology, pharmaceutical manufacturing, distribution, chemicals, and retail industries. SmartOps is an SAP-endorsed software solution and technology partner with many joint sales efforts and customers, but its solutions also integrate with all leading enterprise application platforms.
For a long time the company’s bread-and-butter product has been SmartOps Enterprise Inventory Optimization (EIO), which is a comprehensive suite of software modules that enables organizations to plan and manage inventories across global supply chains. EIO modules allow companies to analyze crucial inputs and signals, model the impact of decisions on global inventories, and help ensure balanced inventory levels while respecting service levels and minimizing risk. Read the rest of this entry »
As we all know, many unique and time-sensitive activities occur in all areas of business, government, or even research. Those activities, regardless of their specific nature, can be managed using the project management approach with its associated tools and techniques. This approach is generally intended for assessing the progress of projects and using the necessary and relevant resources of an organization to ensure project effectiveness and completion within planned timeframe and assigned budget.
A software implementation initiative, particularly an enterprise-wide ERP implementation, is a very good example of such a temporary assignment that is usually treated as a project.
For more than 40 years, project management has been recognized as a detached set of techniques that can be applied to any area or discipline. As such, it has been used by hundreds of thousands of project management professionals to manage all types of projects.
However, problems arise when using this approach for ERP implementation. Working with the software end-user community, we here at Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) often see a number of practical issues with ERP selection and implementation projects. We find that when professional project managers with limited knowledge of complex software, business issues, and industry-specific requirements are assigned to manage ERP implementation projects, those projects usually take longer, cost more, and are more likely to fail. Read the rest of this entry »
SOFTWARE SELECTIONS & IMPLEMENTATIONS
Seaspan selects IFS Applications to support its shipbuilding projects
Industry tags: manufacturing
“Seaspan is an association of companies primarily involved in multiple sea transportation businesses. Many such activities are project-based, which is IFS’ focus. No wonder that IFS was selected to provide an ERP system for Seaspan’s shipbuilding and repair facilities. Plus, it has a long track record of projects in the same industry, which is definitely a point in the vendor’s favor. Seaspan has also specifically mentioned that integration with its existing CAD system was a very important factor.” — Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
GIS Federal chooses Deltek First GovCon Essentials
Industry tags: US government contractors (GovCon)
“This win is yet another proof that Deltek really has hardly any competition in this space. Deltek is differentiated by its deep GovCon functionality that hardly anyone can match combined with an easy-to-implement, easy-to-use software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model. The vendor is reportedly selling its Deltek First GovCon Essentials solution like gangbusters since it was introduced at the Insight 2011 conference. Well over 200 customers have already purchased the solution in a little more than a year. It’s been quite a success story and validates Deltek’s move to the SaaS model.” — P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst
AVEVA, a computer aided design (CAD) pioneer, opened its doors under the name CADCentre in 1967 as a breakaway of a research initiative of Cambridge University. Its history is closely related to the Silicon Fen phenomenon, which is the UK equivalent of the high-tech and information technology (IT) hub Silicon Valley.
Important milestones in the history of the company include the release of the world’s first plant design management system (PDMS), in 1976, plant visualization system, in 1988, and Internet-based solution for plant design, in 1998. These innovations, plus a series of acquisitions, make AVEVA one of the most important players in the plant design space, with more than 1,300 employees on all continents and more than 2,000 customers.
Why “The Future of Plant Design”?
“The Future of Plant Design” began as one of AVEVA’s projects, which took more than 18 months to complete and launch. It all started with a vision for a new era in plant design, but as many vendors tend to speak about new eras in their sector when releasing new solutions, I wanted to know what specific changes in the plant design industry this entailed. So I asked Simon Bennett, senior product business manager at AVEVA to tell me more about the new benchmarks in plant design and how their “Future of Plant Design” initiative can address them. Read the rest of this entry »
It doesn’t take an exceptional industry analyst or market observer to realize that SAP HANA has become one of the pillars of SAP’s future strategy (possibly even a “bet the farm” move). HANA is a major part of SAP’s goal of being a next-generation database management provider, and SAP now has a number of relational database assets, both developed on its own and from the Sybase acquisition. In fact, according to IDC, SAP has been the fastest growing database provider of late, although still smaller than the traditional leaders – Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft.
SAP has recently unveiled new analytics features for some of its business intelligence (BI) portfolios that are aimed at enhancing access to and manipulation of big data. The feature pack 3.0 for the 4.0 solution release of SAP BusinessObjects includes SAP BusinessObjects BI [Evaluate] and SAP BusinessObjects BI Edge edition [Evaluate].
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS
Oracle buys Skire
Industry tags: capital management
“Oracle is buying to acquire all the assets of Skire, a provider of capital program management and facilities management applications both in the cloud and on-premise. With this acquisition, Oracle expects to complete a set of management tools for all phases of project management, having a complete enterprise project portfolio management platform. Finally software vendors are tying together all the different aspects of the project lifecycle into a single platform to provide extensive coverage.” — Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst
SOFTWARE SELECTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATIONS
Kinnerton Confectionery selects Aras Enterprise PLM
Industry tags: PLM, CPG, food & beverage
“Reportedly, this customer had been kicking the PLM tires for several years. Aras was selected over Siemens Teamcenter after the prospect was able to validate that the malleable open source system was going to work for its users.” — P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst
Nautech Electronics selects Epicor ERP after 6-month selection project
Industry tags: manufacturing
“Nautech Electronics is a New Zealand company that operates in the market of electric and electronic equipment design, manufacturing, and installation. Because the legacy ERP software it uses is limited in many areas, the decision was made to switch to a new ERP application. The company picked Epicor’s solution for its capabilities in bill-of-materials (BOM) management, SCM, and extensive and comprehensive reporting and data intelligence. In addition, there was an ‘extra something,’ according to Richard Scott, IT manager. That ’something’ includes both additional features and user interface usability.” — Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
We wrote previously on the jerk effect and how it can sabotage your software selection project.
Office politics can wreck IT projects too.
The rapid development of information technology and all types of business software yields a lot of possibilities for businesses and other organizations that were previously unavailable or even unimaginable. The positive effect of the mass adoption of business software is clearly visible and well known, and I am not going to pursue that subject here. Negative consequences, however, also exist.
In reality, businesses have become so congested and dependent on enterprise software applications that they are often not able to function outside the templates provided by software applications and their embedded so-called “best-practices.” Moreover, while software can resolve certain business issues, in doing so it can create other restrictions and limitations for companies. Read the rest of this entry »
The multi-channel customer experience management software market represents an attractive US$5 billion-plus market opportunity, which IDC recently forecast to grow at between 5 to 12 percent through 2015 (a 6 percent compound annual growth rate [CAGR]) within the larger overall customer relationship management (CRM) space. To that end, in July 2012, KANA Software, a longstanding customer service software provider, which has lately been on an impressive comeback and acquisition trail, announced that it has acquired the upbeat and innovative contact center customer service company Ciboodle from the Sword Group.
The official press release cites that this move creates a more powerful independent provider for multi-channel customer service solutions across agent, web, social, and mobile experiences. The acquisition is further evidence of consolidation in this attractive sector, as marked by Oracle’s acquisitions of RightNow, InQuira, and several smaller social computing companies, and salesforce.com’s acquisitions of inStranet, Radian 6, and other smaller companies. Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Yammer might also have some relevance to this CRM segment. Read the rest of this entry »
International distributor of high-tech metals and alloys selects Epicor ERP
Industry tags: Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail Trade, Warehousing
“The relatively small but geographically extensive company Datum Alloys made its choice based on a few underlying premises: a need for multicurrency operations in conjunction with local accounting standards, high-quality analytical data to support decision making process, and a wide range of out-of-the-box functionality. Datum Alloys also needed to move away from home-grown and custom-made systems in favor of commercially available software, to resolve ongoing problems of support, documentation, and development. Another important selection factor was Epicor’s built-in and flexible flow management mechanism. The company staff was impressed overall with the solution’s support level in many areas.”— Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
Drake & Scull International PJSC selects Oracle JD Edwards ERP
Industry tags: Engineering and Architecture, Construction
“UAE engineering and construction company Drake & Scull International PJSC is planning to implement the following Oracle JD Edwards functionality: financials, SCM, project management, HCM, BI, and enterprise performance management. Unfortunately no selection criteria were communicated by the company’s representatives, but here’s the typical run-down for any industry, considering a system of this tier: functional depth, scalability, complete integration, flexibility in deployment options, and—also an important factor—the vendor’s reputation.”— Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst
A. Schulman selects Infor10 ERP iEnterprise (LX)
Industry tags: Manufacturing
“Infor’s Flex Exchange program was started back in 2009, and allows existing customers to upgrade their legacy applications at preferential terms, such as reduced or no license fees, untouched maintenance costs, quick implementations, and so on. For a large company such as A. Schulman, completely replacing its ERP software is potentially extremely costly and time-consuming. As a result, A. Schulman has chosen to leverage the Flex Exchange program to replace its multiple ERP packages with one Infor10 iEnterprise application, formerly known as Infor ERP LX. The core objective of the upgrade is to promote common business practices, global data visibility, and seamless integration throughout all 30 company plants, technology centers, and remote offices.”—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst
If there’s any doubt as to whether the potential of big data could be exploited via the cloud, Kognitio has put that to rest. The cloud analytics database provider has announced the immediate availability of its in-memory analytics platform in Amazon Web Services (AWS), via the AWS Marketplace. Read the rest of this entry »
You have two major options if you’re looking for a place to live: own or rent. The pros and cons are fairly straightforward and break down as follows: Read the rest of this entry »
In the software industry, at least in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) segment, there is an implicit understanding of what is meant by tier 1, 2, and 3 vendors. Though the distinction may seem obvious, definitions of software vendor tiers are sparse. Those that exist vary from source to source and are mainly based on the vendor’s clients’ company size, the number of the vendor’s remote business units, and the vendor’s annual revenue. Nonetheless, it seems that the very short list of tier 1 ERP vendors is always easy enough to identify. Or is it? Read the rest of this entry »
What TEC’s recent in-depth article Waking Up to a “New Day” at Infor hinted, my attendance of Inforum 2012 in late April confirmed. Namely, Infor started out as a traditional acquirer and market consolidator, but that is old news now.