At the recently held Inforum 2013 conference, many ears pricked up at the announcement of Infor Sky Vault, a big data initiative that leverages Infor’s ION middleware, micro-vertical expertise, and visually appealing dashboards developed by Infor ION business intelligence (BI) experts and designed by Hook & Loop, Infor’s recently incubated Manhattan-based in-house design agency. Infor Sky Vault is planned to launch in the second half of 2013 with predefined content for sales finance, and production. Additional functional areas and industries will be added in subsequent iterations.
IQMS, a manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution system (MES) software provider for the repetitive, process, and discrete industries (automotive, medical, packaging, consumer goods, etc.), announced that Rebling Power Connectors has selected IQMS EnterpriseIQ as its new unified manufacturing solution. For more than four decades, Rebling Power Connectors has been manufacturing high current battery receptacles and disconnectors for the aviation sector and defense land vehicles, in addition to its custom thermoplastic and thermoset moldings for the medical, consumer products, and automotive industries.
Coincidentally or not, my industry analyst career started at about the same time that salesforce.com was founded, back in 1999. And boy, has the vocal cloud software company had an amazing transition over the years—once dismissed as a fad-like niche sales force automation (SFA) vendor with glorified contact management capabilities, salesforce.com is now a $3 billion (USD) enterprise software powerhouse. Whether one likes salesforce.com CEO and founder Marc Benioff’s bluster or not, the vendor is now indisputably a member of the elite enterprise applications club, joining the likes of SAP, Oracle, Infor, Microsoft Dynamics, Dassault Systemes, Autodesk, and Sage Group. What more poignant example of the “old school” vs. “new school” contrast could be pointed out than the fact that Obama’s 2012 campaign used salesforce.com to monitor voters’ inquiries in real-time in the cloud while Romney’s 2012 campaign used an on-premises Oracle solution (that famously erroneously predicted a landslide victory for the Republicans).
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During its ACE 2013 user conference, Aras, an open source product lifecycle management (PLM) software provider, announced a computer-aided design (CAD) to 3D PDF converter to be embedded in a PLM vault server and included for all Aras PLM subscribers. Now, with the addition of the converter, Aras can support 3D, 2D, Microsoft Office, images and scans, and other data types in a single open format—compressed PDF. This will enable users across the extended enterprise to view a variety of formats of product data in a single common user interface (UI) without buying additional software.
Serendipity, in addition to actual qualifications and experience, plays a major role in a job search. Indeed, scoring an interview increases one’s chances of impressing (or not) a potential employer. But how do you win that face time? Candidates struggle to distinguish themselves, while recruiting managers wade through the hundreds of cut-and-dried resumes they receive each day.
In the interest of “giving serendipity a nudge,” JobProx is a novel smartphone app that connects recruiters and employers with job seekers when they are near each other physically—putting a face on the endless stream of digital resumes. Using the app’s proximity feature, job seekers and recruiters or hiring managers are alerted when they’re nearby one another. Read the rest of this entry »
In its quest to become an ever more global enterprise software company, IFS recently announced a partnership with Infosys, a global provider of consulting and technology services. The global partnership covers joint sales activities toward targeted industries in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, as well as development of skills in the IFS Applications software suite within Infosys, which should aid in the delivery of successful projects.
The slew of product announcements at the recent Inforum 2013 conference was underlined by the announced general availability of Infor 10x, an enterprise release that in Infor’s view marks a major step forward in achieving its vision. Infor 10x unites a multi-purpose middleware platform featuring social, mobile, analytical, and cloud capabilities with Infor’s suite of solutions.
All major applications feature a reinvented HTML5 user experience, the new Infor Ming.le platform for social collaboration, business process improvement, and contextual analytics, and pervasive in-context analytics embedded throughout workflows that are packaged within the Infor ION integration framework for managing business process flows, workflows, and alerts. Read the rest of this entry »
According to an ABC News/Time magazine/Washington Post poll, in very large US urban and metro areas, the average commuter spends US$16 and 52 minutes going 32 miles round trip to work each day. Long solo commutes can cost employees and their organizations in lost productivity, wasted resources, and additional expenses. In addition, many of these miserable commuters spend the rest of their workday without much interaction with their coworkers.
To that end, SAP recently introduced TwoGo by SAP, a mobile and cloud carpooling annual subscription solution that allows companies to engage their employees in ride-sharing to work. Read the rest of this entry »
The days of companies making serious investments in general purpose social networks and collaboration tools seem to be numbered. The true value of collaboration tools comes only via enabling particular best practices and helping solve certain issues and situations. To that end, Moxie Software, a provider of customer-centric enterprise social software, recently announced the availability of its Collaboration Spaces for free. Enterprises of all sizes can benefit from Moxie Software’s functional collaboration application (with activity streams, groups, ideation, projects, discussions, wikis, blogs, user profiles, mobility, branding, etc.), which connects employees, customers, and trusted partners to engage in business, share knowledge, and collaboration.
Dassault Systèmes, a provider of 3D design, 3D digital mockup, and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, is expanding its footprint in the energy, process, and utilities segments. This industry set is expected to grow rapidly to meet the needs to expand energy production, both to grow the global economy and to support demographic changes in view of the depletion of natural resources.
The industry needs to change its game: Read the rest of this entry »
For a long time, PROS Inc. was a prominent pricing management software provider for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) industries. Lately, however, the vendor has been leveraging its decades-long experience in handling large volumes of data to provide big data applications for sales effectiveness (pricing being only a part thereof). In other words, PROS now delivers prescriptive analytics and data science to help customers identify sales opportunities, develop offers, and set prices.
PROS has announced that it has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with SAP to embed the SAP HANA platform with its big data apps. SAP HANA is a real-time in-memory database platform that streamlines analytics, planning, predictive, and sentiment assessments to allow business to operate in real time.
Based on a recent slew of announcements by Epicor, both in terms of customer wins and product releases (across the original Epicor business as well as in the former Activant and Solarsoft businesses), I expect the upcoming Epicor Insights 2013 conference will be an interesting multiday event. Most recently, Epicor announced the general availability of version 12.11 of the Epicor Prophet 21 wholesale distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Prophet 21, which came from former Activant, is a broad solution for wholesale distributors, particularly in the electrical, fastener, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), industrial, plumbing, and janitorial industries. Read the rest of this entry »
Retailers are vital to the global economy, responsible for 18 percent of the US GDP while supporting more than 41 million jobs in the US alone. It’s no secret that Microsoft Dynamics AX has marked retail as one of its focus industries, and early in 2013 Microsoft announced the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail that offers new capabilities to help retailers deliver a complete shopping experience through search-based e-commerce, new point of sale (POS) capabilities, and an omni-channel commerce engine.
But many important functional pieces will still have to be delivered by partners. Most recently, EdgeAX, a unit of Visionet Systems, Inc., announced the general availability of its apparel product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that is embedded in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and harnesses the underlying technology.
Conventional wisdom would imply that a software company that changes its owners and CEO in the same year might be in some kind of trouble or facing stormy waters. But, Deltek vigorously claims that nothing is farther from the truth. Quite the contrary, in fact—via its 2012 acquisition by Thoma Bravo, Deltek believes it has found a dedicated and committed financial backer. In addition, there was nothing sinister in Deltek’s CEO change in late 2012. After a transformational seven-plus years with Deltek, former CEO Kevin Parker left the company under his own volition. Seven-and-a-half years is a nice run at an enterprise software company, and Parker felt that it was the right time for him to step back a bit after accomplishing a lot of the goals he set out to accomplish back in 2005 (plus, he might have begun to miss the US West Coast where he hails from).
After a recent win at Rice Packaging Solutions, Epicor AVP has been chosen by another New England specialty packaging company, Volk Packaging Corporation, for corrugated packaging manufacturing. Volk Packaging Corporation is a third-generation family-owned and -operated company based in Biddeford, Maine, that designs, manufactures, and distributes corrugated and specialty packaging products. Since 1967, the company has grown to serve more than 1,000 customers throughout New England and Canada, and it manufactured more than 28 million boxes in 2012.