Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the 11th Vendor ShootoutTM for ERP event, which took place in Boston in mid-August 2011. I was able to experience this co-opetitive gathering of eight solution providers and several dozen end users seeking new solutions first-hand as a neutral (and yet very active) observer (for the inner workings of the event, see my article Demystifying “Vendor Shootout for ERP” events).
My blog post then mentioned the following four enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions (based on my partial attendance of their scripted demos): Infor ERP SyteLine, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Epicor 9, and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. Part 2 of this blog series will conclude with the remaining four products that I had the chance to see at great length.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about the major (blockbuster of a sort) announcements at PTC’s PlanetPTC Live 2011 annual user conference, which was held in mid-June 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, US. These announcements were as follows:
But there were a number of other announcements that were seemingly not that earth-shattering. Still, these announcements indicate the ongoing PLM/computer-aided design (CAD) market trends and will likely have significant implications on other product development software market players’ moves.
Part 1 of this series introduced Saba Software, a public provider of the Saba People Cloud, which constitutes a new class of business-critical software that combines enterprise learning management, talent management, and social and real-time collaboration technologies. My post first described the vendor’s slew of industry rewards and accolades at the recent 2011 Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston and related events.
Then, the post discussed the need for the “People Cloud” that transforms people-driven enterprises and analyzed a number of social software use case scenarios. The blog post ended with a description of Saba’s current state of affairs. Part 2 analyzed the individual modules of the Saba People Cloud Applications.
This final part will analyze the underlying product architecture that enables the rich functionality of the Saba People Cloud Applications described in Part 2.
Over the last few years I have repeatedly seen ads for the Vendor ShootoutTM for ERP event appearing in TEC’s website banners and newsletters. In addition, I would come across mentions of the event in other industry magazines, press releases (PRs), social media feeds, Web site banners, and so on and so forth.
Needless to say, I was curious (and dismayed by my lack of information) about the event that even carried the “Moderated by TEC” tagline on its official logo. Even more, every now and again various software vendors’ staff and other industry contacts would ask me about the event (probably expecting my in-depth knowledge), and I would somewhat embarrassingly have to pass them on to my selection services colleagues in the Montreal HQ office (who have been directly involved with the event).
Well, in mid-August 2011, the 11th Vendor Shootout for ERP event took place in my neck of the woods, Boston, and I was able to experience it first-hand as a neutral (and yet very active) observer. What follows now is my report on the event and my take on several vendors’ demos that I attended. Read the rest of this entry »
For years (if not decades) now, but especially during tough economic times, companies have been trying to better analyze their enterprise spend over their comprehensive pools of sourcing categories (and individual items and commodities within these categories) and suppliers.
The idea here is to find room for improvement and savings by pinpointing strategic centralized (consolidated) procurement opportunities for a better negotiating power, discovering better (and worse) performing contracts and their individual terms and clauses, by eliminating costly maverick spending, and by dealing only with the best and most reliable suppliers. For more information, see my previous blog series entitled “Are Spend Management (or SRM) apps Suited for the Mid-market?” and TEC’s article entitled “Thou Shalt Manage (and Cherish) Thy (Best) Suppliers.”
While many companies have experienced significant benefits and improvements by deploying spend analysis solutions from specialists such as Ariba, BravoSolution, Emptoris, Oracle, Proactis, SAP, SAS, and Zycus, those benefits do not come by easily or cheaply. Namely, every comprehensive spend analysis implementation is, in fact, an implementation of a sophisticated business intelligence (BI) solution.
Living in close proximity to the headquarters of PTC (NASDAQ: PMTC) in the Boston metropolitan area, and given numerous contacts and interactions with the vendor in the past, it might sound surprising that only this past summer I attended the vendor’s annual PlanetPTC Live conference for the very first time. Well, at least my former colleague Kurt Chen did attend PlanetPTC Live 2010, and based on his report from the time, there were no major earth-shattering announcements.
Part 1 of my recent blog series, Filling the Holes and Breaking Down Artificial Walls in a Process PLM Solution Set, established that the product lifecycle management (PLM) software market for process industries (i.e., food & beverage, life sciences, chemicals, paints, consumer products, etc.) has not been well-defined as compared to its counterparts in the discrete widgets manufacturing and fashion (apparel) industry segments.
Indeed, the process PLM solution market is currently a mosaic of established generic PLM providers and a plethora of specialized vendors with solutions that cater to only a part of the entire process PLM scope. The recent acquisition of Enginuity (mostly for its formula management capabilities) by Dassault Systemes only proves the point and the need for some consolidation in the market.
My post then analyzed typical workarounds to solve the puzzle of integrating these specialized solutions, most of which focus on structured data, which is insufficient for creating adequate multi-media product specifications in this day and age.
Part 2 of the series analyzed other typical constraints of generic PLM solutions that claim process PLM expertise, such as the level of these process PLM vendors’ global enterprise support as well as available solution configuration options and ongoing change capabilities.
The series ended with the promise of separate future posts talking about some concrete process PLM add-on products that are already generally available (or that will be available soon). This post is the fulfillment of that promise.
Part 1 of this series introduced Saba Software, a public provider of what it calls “People Cloud,” which constitutes a new class of business-critical software that combines enterprise learning, talent management, and collaboration technologies. The post first described the vendor’s slew of industry rewards and accolades at the recent 2011 Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston and related events.
Then, I discussed the need for the “People Cloud” that transforms people-driven enterprises and analyzed a number of social software use case scenarios. My post ended with a description of Saba’s current state of affairs: 700 employees, 1,600 customers, and 23 million users worldwide (its solutions have been deployed in 195 countries in 30 languages). Read the rest of this entry »
My recent attendance of the PlanetPTC Live 2011 event was a great learning experience. Look for an article with my impressions on the conference and on PTC’s strategy with regards to the novel PTC Creo suite of design applications leveraging both the direct and parametric modeling (and in the wake of the release of nine Creo 1.0 applications), embedded software lifecycle management (with the MKS Integrity acquisition), mobility, etc. coming soon.
This blog post, however, will discuss handling configurable products in both the back-end engineering/design & manufacturing departments and on the front-office/sales side (including direct sales, resellers and the indirect channel, and consumer self-service).
The 2011 Enterprise 2.0 conference’s expo floor in Boston in late June featured many of the “usual suspects,” such as Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Adobe, SuccessFactors, Jive Software, SocialText, OpenText, Yammer, and Cisco Systems, to name only a few well-established providers (in addition to the plethora of innovative startup companies that one could encounter there). There were also some notable absentees, such as SAP (StreamWork), salesforce.com (Chatter), and Atlassian (Jira).
But my attention was drawn to one vendor that has not been discussed as much as it deserves: Saba Software.
The recently held SAPPHIRE NOW 2011 event in Orlando, Florida had many newsworthy items with regards to SAP’s solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). For one, the much publicized and anticipated multi-tenanted software as a service (SaaS) SAP Business ByDesign product has reached a milestone of 500 customers and availability in a dozen countries or so (after initial hiccups and faltering). For its part, the proven lower-end SAP BusinessOne offering has reached a whopping 30,000 customers worldwide.
The upper-end product for SMEs, SAP Business All-in-One, which packages functionality from the flagship SAP ERP product (i.e., the two products have the exact same DNA), continues to do well in its target markets. The product has lately been bolstered by 22 (and many more coming soon) SAP Rapid Deployment Solutions (SAP RDS), which are fixed-scope and fixed-price add-on (tuck-in) sets of focused functionality that can be deployed with SAP Business All-in-One, including those in the realm of supply chain management (SCM), sales & marketing, product development & manufacturing, and finance.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Reflexis Systems, whose task execution solutions have helped over 110 retailers and their suppliers worldwide execute their strategies and increase profits. The article analyzed Reflexis’ genesis and evolution from a task management specialist to an integrated retail workforce management (WFM) platform provider.
Reflexis’ Retail Execution Management platform features labor budgeting/forecasting/scheduling, time and attendance (T&A), task management, and key performance indicator (KPI)/compliance solutions to enable retailers to align their store labor/activities to corporate goals and institutionalize best-practice responses to real-time metrics. As mentioned in Part 1, Reflexis’ customers, many of which are Top 250 global retailers, have reported improvements in store-level compliance with corporate strategies; higher productivity of merchandising, field, and store management; and increased sales and profitability. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series presented the opportunity of service economy and associated complexity of providing consistently an experience of customer service excellence. The article then introduced KANA Software, a provider of Service Experience Management (SEM) solutions. Although KANA has focused on enabling superior customer service for its enterprise clients since being founded in 1996, it has experienced periods of ups and downs.
Having been acquired and taken private under Accel-KKR in late 2009, the vendor has since regrouped and come out with its renewed value proposition. Part 1 concluded with KANA’s SEM approach and accompanying solutions that blend customer relationship management (CRM), business process management (BPM), business intelligence (BI), and knowledge management (KM), social media monitoring, and many other parts.
One of the reasons why Infor, despite its over 70,000 large customer base, hasn’t been regarded as a serious enterprise applications contender has been the company’s spotty relationship with its channel partners. Partners currently contribute only about 25 percent of Infor’s license revenue (except for Latin America, where that ratio is 50 percent).
My recent post (Software and Human) Help Wanted in Overwhelmed Retail Stores talked about how much attention (and IT investment) retailers pay to their merchandize planning and supply chain optimization processes as compared to their store-level task execution, even though this is where “the rubber meets the road.” I concluded my post with the fact that there are dozens of retail workforce management (WFM) vendors and solutions, but not many have the required store-level task management capabilities.