While it may not be surprising that IFS has lately had a streak of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and enterprise asset management (EAM) wins in its traditional asset-intensive industries, it is interesting to note that some recent wins and expanded project footprints are in the realm of field service management (FSM). IFS has tackled this attractive software category via the recent acquisitions of Metrix and 360 Scheduling (see the related article for more details).
In late 2012, IFS won an Asian telecom company. In January 2013, IFS announced that the seventh largest Pepsi-Cola franchise company in the US is expanding its footprint with the IFS Metrix Service Management Mobile solution. Read the rest of this entry »
After engaging in a soul-searching exercise a while back, which has lately resulted with more coherent strategies in some regions, and with the recent public statement of its commitment to making customers happy, Sage Group announced at the opening of trading at the London Stock Exchange on February 15, 2013, that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell Sage Nonprofit Solutions to Accel-KKR, and ACT! and SalesLogix to Swiftpage. Accel-KKR has extensive expertise in accelerating the growth of software companies in vertical industry segments, KANA Software being one example. The investment firm brings a wealth of operational best practices and strategic insight to its portfolio companies and is a good partner to help these businesses reach their full potential.
Informatica Corporation, an independent provider of data integration software, recently acquired Active Endpoints, a private business process management (BPM) provider.
As a public company with over $800 million in annual revenue and over $500 million in cash, Informatica seems to be a great new home for Active Endpoints’ technology and customers. Not only will Active Endpoints technology be integrated throughout Informatica’s product line, but Informatica pledges to continue to support every ActiveVOS BPM customer and partner (although the jury is still out on whether Informatica can deliver, given that BPM has not been its core competency). Read the rest of this entry »
After a very good 2012, IQMS, a manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and manufacturing execution systems (MES) developer with an ongoing and proactive commitment to its product and relationships, continues 2013 with new customer wins—most recently, Airlite Plastics Co. has selected IQMS.
Airlite Plastics’ legacy software was a combination of commercial and custom-built applications that were creating numerous challenges. Difficulties supporting custom-built applications and integrating many different versions of the software encouraged Airlite Plastics to seek out a new ERP system. According to the press release, Airlite reviewed 10 to 12 ERP packages, but it would seem that many of them were not robust enough to make the final cut. Read the rest of this entry »
As part of its ongoing quest for innovation, Intuit recently announced that QuickBooks Online is now available for mobile devices. QuickBooks Online for iPad (the name is somewhat deceiving given that the product runs on multiple mobile devices and not only on the Apple iPad) is the newest addition to the QuickBooks Online suite. Through a single QuickBooks Online account, a business can access and interact with its data from a computer, tablet, or other mobile device. There are native apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones (but no native Android tablet app yet). Data automatically syncs between devices and users, so small businesses can manage their finances anytime, anywhere.
2012 was a whirlwind year of influences on the business landscape—some of them good and some of them not so good. The fiscal cliff, the U.S. presidential election, an anemic economic recovery, the debt ceiling and proposed sequestration cuts, along with Hurricane Sandy’s effects on business are a few things that come to mind. But despite the ever-changing business landscape, one central tenet always rings true: keep your customers happy.
Sage’s professed focus has for some time been the customer experience, and the company has done a number of things in the last year to further its goals in this regard. We talked to Joe Langner, executive vice president of mid-market solutions at Sage North America, about what Sage has learned in this arena, and what the company is planning for 2013 to continue following this mantra. While Sage is a large company with over 6 million customers worldwide, many of the lessons it has learned can easily be applied to any business—small or large, in services or manufacturing, bricks-and-mortar or ecommerce.
In many service industries, such as financial, insurance, utilities, healthcare, government, and others, case management is the lifeblood of the business. These highly unstructured (dynamic or adaptive, if you will) processes where the next process step’s best action depends on the outcome of the previous step require apt human process stewards, a.k.a. “knowledge workers.” These knowledge workers, characterized as workers whose main capital is knowledge, are aided by a multitude of tools such as sophisticated business rules engines, knowledge bases, predictive analytics, etc. in executing tasks exactly when, where, and how they are needed to achieve customer satisfaction, while maintaining corporate governance and compliance requirements.
Yet, Eccentex Corporation, a provider of AppBase platform-as-a-service (PaaS) applications for dynamic case management (DCM), just announced the results of a recently conducted survey, which found that companies are failing to equip their employees with the tools they need to thrive in today’s work environment. Survey results, which included responses from knowledge workers in a variety of industries, pointed to widespread demand for mobile and cloud-based access to business-critical information systems and platforms needed to do their job.
While most of Epicor’s recent wins revolve around its flagship Epicor 9 (a.k.a., Epicor ERP) product suite, the vendor recently announced that North Carolina Mutual Wholesale Drug Company has selected Epicor Trading Partner Document Exchange (TDX) as its electronic data interchange (EDI) application, replacing the company’s previous EDI solution provider. Mutual Drug is based in Durham, North Carolina, and is a wholesaler for pharmacies in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Formed as a cooperative, Mutual Drug is owned and managed by its member stores and sells only to independent pharmacies.
In a well-established upper-range product lifecycle management (PLM) market total platform replacements are a rare occurrence. Brazil-based Embraer, one of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, has recently selected PTC’s Windchill PLM technology solutions to “help bring new innovative aircraft to market faster, more efficiently, and with the highest levels of quality.” With the switch from its legacy PLM provider to PTC, Embraer says that it is preparing for an expected increase in demand for new aircraft in the next few years.
Embraer’s objective in the overhaul is to modernize its technology infrastructure and business processes in order to meet accelerated delivery schedules while maintaining the company’s commitment to quality and safety. Embraer’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform is SAP, and while the company did attempt in the past to use the SAP PLM suite, it was not up to scratch for Embraer’s needs. Perhaps the latest SAP PLM 7.x series could have stepped up to the plate, but that would have required the ERP platform’s upgrade too, which Embraer reportedly wasn’t ready for at the time. Read the rest of this entry »
It is not surprising to hear that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not particularly beloved by their users. Indeed, companies are not exactly infatuated with their pricey enterprise system “toys” the way some consumers love their tablets or smartphones (not to mention the unconditional way my 5.5-year-old loves her teddy bear). So the recent InformationWeek piece on users being frustrated with their ERP purchases could have been just another article on that theme. But, what caught my eye here were the words “the UK” and “public sector.” Reportedly, more than 60 percent of IT decision makers in British local government feel their ERP investments haven’t delivered, according to a recent poll.
NetSuite was seemingly on a roll at the end of January 2013. A day after its win at the Zicam maker, NetSuite announced that CallidusCloud, a leading provider of cloud-based sales performance management (SPM), training, hiring, and marketing software solutions, has transformed its global business and information technology (IT) efficiency by implementing NetSuite OneWorld. The newly deployed cloud enterprise suite has reportedly improved end-to-end cross-enterprise business visibility and performance for the fast-growing software company to replace an “IT nightmare” of 14 disparate business applications, including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Read the rest of this entry »
Autodesk, the leader in cloud-based design and engineering software, continues with its cloud software investments. Most recently, it acquired (for an undisclosed sum) technology and a development team from Allpoint Systems LLC, a small Pittsburgh, PA–based developer of software and solutions for collecting and processing LiDAR (light detection and ranging) point cloud data. The Allpoint Systems team and technology, which offers software and data processing solutions for collecting and processing LiDAR data to the roadway and building markets, will help Autodesk expand the development of cloud-based reality capture software and solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
SAP has announced plans to acquire Ticket-Web GmbH & Co. KG, a provider of ticketing solutions and niche customer relationship management (CRM) software for sports and entertainment promoters. Ticket-Web employees will become part of SAP, and the deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013. The move is expected to pave the way for SAP to offer enhanced solutions to help promoters, venues, and teams market events over the Internet and better support arena management. Based in Wildau, Germany, Ticket-Web is established in Europe with its main product, ENTREE-tickets, an online ticketing service. The company also has niche complementary solutions for customer financial process management and CRM.
Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium-sized companies, with over 6 million customers and more than 13,500 employees in 24 countries covering the UK and Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Brazil. After recently streamlining and rebranding its ERP and CRM offering in North America, Sage recently announced the formation of a new organization to drive its growth across the European mid-market. The organization, which is in place from January 2013 and is led by Christophe Letellier, will be aligned behind Sage’s flagship solution, Sage ERP X3, and other local mid-market offerings.
NetSuite announced that Matrixx Initiatives has accelerated its financial processes, improved business analytics and visibility, and reduced its IT costs since implementing NetSuite OneWorld. Matrixx, headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey, is the maker of Zicam brand cold remedies. After it was acquired by H.I.G. Capital in 2011, Matrixx faced a costly upgrade to its outdated Oracle JD Edwards client/server enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Rather than undertake a painstaking upgrade, it evaluated several other solutions and selected NetSuite over Microsoft Dynamics GP and Sage 300 ERP (formerly Sage ERP ACCPAC). The company has reportedly significantly reduced its software licensing costs and eliminated its in-house servers and the need for a full-time information technology (IT) employee to perform data backup since transitioning from JD Edwards.