Part 1 of this blog series introduced VAI (Vormittag Associates Inc.) — an award winning software developer and an IBM Premier Business Partner. For more information, also see VAI’s profile in TEC’s Directory here.
The article described both the vendor’s genesis since its founding in 1978 and its current state of affairs. Part 2 will feature my recent conversation with VAI’s top management team.
These days, amid the austerity, cuts, and general malaise, it is refreshing to hear about the whopping annual growth of a manufacturing-oriented enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. Sure, one can discount the magnitude of this upbeat news—this particular vendor is still budding, if you compare it to SAP, Oracle, or Infor—but I welcome this it(and so should any ERP vendor). More impressively, the vendor in case, xTuple, has also been tirelessly delivering new features for customers, and all the tinkering in the lab isn’t keeping it from ringing the cash register.
Part 1 of this blog series started by expressing the “New Infor” sentiments (backed up with concrete examples and rationale) following my recent attendance of Inforum 2012. Then the article provided some historical background and described the lineage of the products that currently form the Infor10 HCM portfolio.
The article also detailed some technical and organizational issues on both the former heritage Infor and Lawson Software’s human resource (HR) and talent management products’ side. In light of these issues, which were discussed in Part 1, it is small wonder that some market observers have wondered whether Infor can make sense out of this daunting inheritance of a portfolio. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite my nearly two decades of covering the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market, every now and then I am still surprised to come across a lesser known and yet well run ERP software player. One such vendor is VAI (Vormittag Associates Inc.)–an award winning software developer and an IBM Premier Business Partner. Founded in 1978, VAI is headquartered on Long Island, New York, with US branch offices in Florida, California, and Illinois.
The vendor designs enterprise management software for IBM Power Systems, a platform that accommodates a number of popular operating systems (OSs). These software solutions allow VAI to offer a cost-effective business system to the midrange market. VAI’s solutions have always run on IBM midrange servers, and these multi-tier solutions run on multiple platforms in a variety of infrastructure configurations.
In the mid-2000s there was a beginning of public discussions and a surge in market awareness about support & maintenance (S&M) alternatives for users of enterprise applications. Companies in the market for enterprise software S&M services, like nearly every other market in the world, has responded to monopolistic-like pricing and profit margins by seeking choice. Enterprise software licensees now have a choice of annual support providers. Read the rest of this entry »
August 2012 started with the announcement of the merger of Consona Corporation and CDC Software under the name Aptean. The new brand, announced on August 7, signifies the coming together of two leading enterprise application software companies.
At first glance, this merger looks like a mini Infor (reminiscent of Infor’s aggressive consolidation days) or a mini Sage. After finally getting out from under the delinquent and bankrupt former parent company, CDC Software needed to be part of a bigger company. On the other hand, Battery Ventures and other investors have put so much cash into Consona over the years that unloading it was the only way out in this economy (some might even be wondering whether they broke even on the deal). Somewhat ironically, Onyx and Pivotal CRM products are apparently meant to be together after all (you might remember the unsuccessful hostile Onyx Corporation takeover saga by CDC Corporation several years ago). Read the rest of this entry »
It appears that Reflexis has been aggressively bundling/cross-selling its newer WFM modules into its traditional breadwinning task management deals to try to achieve a wider market acceptance. The Reflexis platform of integrated task management, key performance indicators (KPI)-based compliance, time and attendance (T&A), and labor scheduling (including budgeting and forecasting) solutions enables retailers to align store labor activities to corporate goals and institute best-practice response to real-time metrics.
We might still want to note that what may appear to be 22 new customers is “only” 22 new brand logos that belong to 6 existing retail holding corporations that Reflexis has had for a while. Now, it’s certainly possible that some of these deployments have been extended over time, but these are not necessarily a dozen brand new retail customers.
But this is still the logical way for Reflexis to compete and achieve great results down the track, given that one third of the total count of retail logos on the vendor’s website use Kronos for WFM. Reflexis is currently number 3 in market share for retail labor scheduling in North America, with 14% compared to 17% for Kronos, according to IHL Research. As for task management, Reflexis is the leader with 54% market share, compared to #2 RedPrairie at 24%, again according to IHL.
For more background on Reflexis, see http://blog.technologyevaluation.com/blog/2011/07/20/talking-to-and-learning-from-a-retail-store-execution-software-leader-–-part-2/
The recently held PlanetPTC Live 2012 conference espoused the following two mantras – “Systems are Today’s Products” and “Product and Service Advantage.” Look for an exhaustive report from the conference and on PTC’s Winchill PLM (product lifecycle management), Creo CAD (computer aided design), and MKS Integrity application lifecycle management (ALM)/system engineering strategies.
Most recently, on August 8, 2012, PTC doubled down on its latter mantra by announcing it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Servigistics, Inc., developer of a broad suite of service lifecycle management (SLM) software solutions, for approximately US$220 million (USD) in cash. Pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary conditions, the transaction is expected to be completed in September 2012. The Atlanta, Georgia-based privately held company has roughly 400 employees worldwide and generated approximately $80 million (USD) in revenue in the last 12 months. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed a snapshot of the SAP HANA offerings’ achievements at the time of the product’s first anniversary in June 2012. SAP is now a de facto database provider that intends to become the #2 database vendor by 2015. The company’s recently unveiled real-time data platform combines the SAP HANA platform, Sybase data management offerings, and SAP BusinessObjects solutions for enterprise information management (EIM). The combination is being touted as an answer to handling the data abundance (the so-called “big data” phenomenon) with near-zero latency.
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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 »