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 »
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 »
Kronos is one of the most important players in the human resources (HR) software market, with a global presence (serving 100+ countries), $820 million (USD) in annual revenue, more than 3,500 employees, and 30+ million users worldwide.
Until recently, the vendor had mostly focused on large enterprises, with its flagship product, the Kronos Workforce Central suite. This changed with the recent acquisition of SaaShr, a software-as-a-service provider specializing in workforce management for small to medium businesses (SMBs).
The solution has been rebranded as Kronos Workforce Ready, and I had the opportunity to learn more about it from Bob DelPonte, product line director for Workforce Ready. Here’s what I found out, along with my commentary on the new solution. 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 »
Tecnomatix became part of the Siemens PLM family of products in 2007, having been created in 1983 in Israel to offer manufacturing process management (MPM) solutions. It acquired Unicam Software (a provider of software to manage the production of printed circuit boards) in 1999 and USDATA (a provider of the production control solution FactoryLink and manufacturing execution system Xfactory) in 2003. In 2007, USG Corporation acquired Tecnomatix and combined its products with their MPM solutions.
Version 10 of Tecnomatix was released in 2011, and Siemens PLM recently announced the release of version 10.1 at their annual user conference for the Americas, Siemens PLM Connection. During the event, I had the chance to talk with Shaun Ennis, strategic communications and analyst relations (AR) manager, as well as with other Siemens PLM executives. Read the rest of this entry »
I recently had the opportunity, during Epicor’s global customer conference, to talk with Chad Meyer, director of product marketing, and he shared with me some of the highlights of Epicor’s vision and strategy for cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP). Read the rest of this entry »
Vendors of customer relationship management solutions, and the companies that use those solutions, praise the advantages of having a 360-degree view of the customer. The approach is meant to provide a company with a full picture of its customers in order to enhance the customer experience, provide better customer service and support, and improve the company’s sales and marketing initiatives to better target those customers.
One problem that many companies face in using their 360-degree view stems from having focused on only one or two of these objectives. But as its name implies, a 360-degree view demands a holistic approach. Read the rest of this entry »
There are five stages that usually make up the lifecycle of a product: introduction, growth, maturity, decline, and termination.
During introduction, companies typically focus on the success of the product. Maturity is the stage when their focus is to take advantage of momentum and sell as much as possible. Only during maturity or decline do they start worrying about product end-of-life—which may be too late, as the transition from maturity to decline can happen very quickly (not to mention that there is no clear delimitation between stages, which means that a product can move from maturity to decline in its lifecycle without the manufacturer even noticing). Preparing for a product’s end of life should definitely start earlier, but the question is when and how they should approach it.
In order to understand that, let’s take a look at some basic concepts of product end-of-life, as well as the most important challenges that companies face when managing it. Read the rest of this entry »
Sugar CRM announced the latest version of its customer relationship management (CRM) solution at Sugarcon 2012, its annual conference. After the event, I had a very interesting conversation with Jan Sysmans, senior director of product marketing, and Chris Bucholtz, editor-in-chief of CRM Outsiders, and would like to share the most interesting findings here with you.
Read the rest of this entry »
It used to be the case that PLM was perceived as being principally about CAD tools and 3D drawings and complex technical specs that no one really understood except the geekiest of PLM geeks.
This perception was justified, to an extent. After all, PLM and CAD tools can be complicated, engineers and designers tend to operate in highly specialized environments, and there’s a common misconception that PLM addresses execution rather than innovation.
But after attending the PLM Innovation 2012 conference two months ago, I realized that PLM is starting to gain a reputation as an enabler of collaboration and innovation. Read the rest of this entry »
The market for contact center solutions is divided between customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and call center solutions, typically from different providers. On top of that, business intelligence (BI) vendors offer tools and add-ons to analyze contact center data.
This means that if you require “the complete package,” you’ll need two or three different solutions. Naturally, these solutions will not always integrate well together, resulting in extra deployment costs and an increase in the complexity of company activities.
But by partnering with SAS Analytics to offer the Intelligent Contact Center [PDF download], Scotland-based Sword Ciboodle aims to offer all the functionality required to manage and analyze contact center interactions and the data generated by these interactions. Read the rest of this entry »
The 13th Vendor Shootout for ERP is a great opportunity for companies looking for a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to evaluate some of the important players. Previous editions featured Oracle E-Business Suite, IFS, Sage ERP X3, SYSPRO, and others.
The 13th edition features eight vendors specializing in discrete manufacturing, with one exception (SAP Business ByDesign, which focuses on services). Read the rest of this entry »
Editor’s note, December 19, 2012: According to the vendor, the product discussed below did not become available.
Exact Software has recently released a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering in the cloud. Headquartered in the Netherlands and with offices in North America serving 100,000 customers worldwide, Exact offers two global ERP products (Globe and Synergy), as well as other local products (Macola, MAX and JobBOSS for the Americas, Exact Financials for the Netherlands, etc.). The company exclusively markets its products for small to medium businesses (SMBs) spanning many industry segments, with a focus on manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and professional services.
Having just had the opportunity to discuss the new offering with the product manager for the Macola line, Michael McPherson, I recap that conversation below. Read the rest of this entry »
Many experts are talking and writing about how collaboration can improve the relationship between a company and its customers, but most of them assume that employees collaborate naturally and are willing to work together for the success of the company.
This is not always the case. Read the rest of this entry »
Not as well known as the JRocket Marketing Grape Escape but still highly effective (and entertaining), the analyst road show organized by Judith Rothrock every year in December brings together C-level executives from SYSPRO and UNIT4 and analysts from the most important firms in the field, including Technology Evaluation Centers.
I had briefings with both SYSPRO and UNIT4. They highlighted some of their accomplishments for 2011, and made some interesting announcements. Here’s a summary of the conversations I had with the two vendors: Read the rest of this entry »