SAP has rocked the e-commerce/digital commerce world this week with the announcement of its intention to acquire hybris. Whether you believe that this is a strategy to specifically address the competitive threat of Salesforce.com or not, SAP is not shy about its intention to use this acquisition, together with its HANA technology, to attack the retail sector. As “omnichannel” has become a hot button for several converging retail trends, the e-commerce and digital commerce space has become a hotbed of innovation. The SAP and hybris partnership seeks to raise the ante.
hybris is a Switzerland-based “commerce technology company” founded in 1997 that has recently reported terrific growth—a compound annual growth rate of 83% since 2009. It now claims some 500 customers, a reported 650 employees, and annual revenues in excess of $100 million. hybris will become an independent business unit of SAP.
SAP’s vision for hybris is ambitious. It intends to marry the hybris technology with the HANA platform into a B2B2C offering, and, SAP says, “are going to totally unleash our will like never before on the CRM marketplace and the competitors that decide to go against us.” Read the rest of this entry »
UNIT4, the Netherlands-based ERP company, has announced the appointment of a new chief executive officer (CEO), José Duarte, and plans for the current CEO Chris Ouwinga to move from the corner office to the position of non-executive director and chairman on a new single-tier board governance structure. José Duarte joins UNIT4 after having spent considerable time at SAP, most recently as president of global services and corporate officer from January 2011 to May 2012.
Mr. Duarte joined SAP in 1993, and was country manager of Portugal for a time, before rising to the position of president of SAP Latin America from 2006 to 2008. Prior to SAP, Jose Duarte has worked with, among other companies, Unilever Group, and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Read the rest of this entry »
Demand Management Inc. has been very busy as of late, with a recent flurry of new products and features. In a series of press releases, Demand Management has recently announced the availability of the Demand Solutions platform as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering; configurable workflows that provide alerts for exceptions and escalations; a new predictive lead time capability; and new industry-specific business intelligence capabilities. With more press releases in the past five weeks than in all of 2012, TEC decided we should check in with Demand Management’s president, Bill Harrison, to find out what this is all about. Read the rest of this entry »
Epicor held its Insights 2013 conference in Nashville last week, attended by 2,900+ customers, 500+ employees, 300+ partners, and 100+ exhibitors, and with more than 700 sessions. Clearly Epicor has a lot to talk about. TEC’s Aleksey Osintsev and I covered the event and, in numerous one-on-one meetings with Epicor managers, executives, partners, and third-party consultants, received an up-close look at Epicor’s corporate, product, and technology strategies.
Epicor Corporate Strategy
Epicor continues to espouse its “Protect, Extend, Converge” strategy of using application and technology investments to support current solutions and harvest more value from older solutions: Read the rest of this entry »
It’s a busy conference season and quarterly results reporting period. TEC is chugging down the coffee, keeping up with happenings in the supply chain space. Descartes has announced another acquisition this past week, and we share a few insights from our conversation with them. We also found ourselves on the phone recently with DCRA’s Jon Kirkegaard. TEC’s new Supply Chain Management (SCM) Market Survey Report is out, just before we head to AspenTech’s OPTIMIZE2013 this week. Lastly, the tragedy in Bangledesh should probably be a wake-up call to the importance of supply chain risk management. Where are you headed this week? What’s capturing your supply chain attention? Drop us a line.
Descartes has announced the acquisition of KSD Software Norway AS, a vendor of electronic customs filing solutions for countries in the EU, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Israel, the United States, and Canada. Descartes’ Chris Jones indicates that this is one of the larger of the half-dozen or so acquisitions that it has made in the past 3 years. Descartes obviously covets the additional users to the Descartes Global Logistics Network (adding 1,300 onto the currently cited >8,000 figure), as well as the $10 million in additional recurring revenue. Descartes also believes that, with this acquisition, it become the largest supply chain vendor in Scandinavia, and one of the largest in Europe. (Descartes’ presence in Europe has grown from perhaps a couple of dozen people in 2009 to more than 300 people today.) Descartes will have more to say about this acquisition in its next quarterly call scheduled for May 30. Read the rest of this entry »
The issue of forecasting intermittent demand has been one that has plagued companies forever. Many very smart people have tried to tackle it; many vendors like to say they focus on it. Few vendors make it as singular a focus as Massachusetts-based Smart Software. Principals Charles Smart, Nelson Hartunian (Ph.D.), and Thomas Willemain(Ph.D.) have been studying the issue for almost 30 years, have perfected their own proprietary forecasting method (the Smart-Willemain method), and won numerous grants to study the issue of intermittent demand.
Forecasting demand when the demand history has been a consistent level of X units per period of time is not particularly difficult; neither is forecasting demand when there has been a consistent and steady growth in the level of demand. This is not to say that forecasting is easy, but forecasting steady demand, or steadily growing demand, is relatively straightforward.
Volatile, intermittent demand is another matter altogether. Read the rest of this entry »
ToolsGroup continues to carve out a space for itself in supply chain. Not satisfied with being the last remaining independent multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) vendor, ToolsGroup is pushing forward with broader supply chain capabilities centered around a core statistics-focused demand forecasting capability. While many will argue the virtues of “top down” vs. “middle out” vs. “bottom up” forecasting (or a mix of these approaches), ToolsGroup has maintained a focus on bottom-up forecasting, particularly suited for fast, slow, erratic, and intermittent demand. Read the rest of this entry »
LLamasoft, long known for strong supply chain design expertise, says that “supply chain design, modeling and analytics” is the more appropriate way to think about this Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm. Now the last independent supply chain network design firm, LLamasoft focuses on the supply chain execution (that is to say, not planning) side of things. Toby Brzoznowski (co-founder and executive vice president) reports that the company is continuing to grow very fast, broaden its product lines, and invest heavily in R&D. Which is, after all, what you would expect from a vendor promising to deliver a full end-to-end view of all supply chain activities down to the last operational detail. Read the rest of this entry »
In this week’s Shorts, we talk about JDA’s release of JDA eight; Retails Solutions’ value proposition; and a recent visit to Oz Development. What have you been up to this week, supply chain-wise? Wandered off the beaten path and happened upon something interesting? Drop us a line or give us a call.
JDA has released JDA eight, as expected, which should be a terrific new platform—product, and marketing—for JDA. With its several acquisitions, and storied history, JDA has become a conglomeration of technologies. With this announcement (which TEC will have more to say about in the near future), JDA brings 30 different solutions onto a common, cloud-based platform. JDA has certainly had the breadth of supply chain capabilities to make it a leader; now it potentially has the underlying platform to make its solutions—and its marketing message—a more integrated one.
JDA’s John Kopcke, executive vice president and chief technology officer, who had been RedPrairie’s (first ever) CTO from 2011–2012, seemingly jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire, going from tackling the rationalization of RedPrairie’s architecture to being the face for the platformization of JDA Software, to integrating the RedPrairie-JDA solutions. Read the rest of this entry »
The companies that managed this week to take our minds off of our broken NCAA brackets and the only slightly less broken Red Sox were Epicor, Logility, ProcessWeaver, Quintiq, and Security Engineered Machinery. We also tell you about a few events on our calendar that you might want on your calendar.
About the only thing that gets us more excited than analytics is predictive analytics, and so when we saw an IBM press release entitled “IBM Introduces Predictive Analytics Software and Services that Forecast Asset Failure,” we knew we had to ask some questions about a new IBM offering called Predictive Analytics Optimization (PAO). TEC went right to the source, and spoke with IBM’s director of business analytics strategy, Erick Brethenoux, to find out more. Read the rest of this entry »
This week TEC brings you news from Manhattan Associates, Descartes, TXT e-solutions, United Technologies, Agilent, and a company called Oz Development.
Registration has opened for Manhattan Associates’ Momentum 2013, happening May 19–22 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Industry events (see RedPrairie and JDA) have made the future even more interesting for Manhattan Associates; TEC continues to watch Manhattan’s strategy with considerable interest. TEC has written before about growth opportunities for Manhattan in manufacturing and in the retail space. We expect to hear more about Manhattan’s cloud strategy. What do you think will be the focus at Momentum 2013? Read the rest of this entry »
The Plex Systems team was in town recently. TEC’s P.J. Jakovljevic and I took the opportunity to sit down with the new Plex CEO, Jason Blessing, as well as V.P. of Corporate Strategy Jim Shepherd, and V.P. of Marketing Patrick Fetterman. Read the rest of this entry »
Order management and fulfillment has gotten more complicated. We all know that. At one time, the order management process might have been as simple as taking the order, applying the lead time, meeting the desired order delivery date, tracking the order status, invoicing the customer, and handling any subsequent returns. Multichannel commerce has changed this, while customers have become more demanding. Read the rest of this entry »
Yet another of our weekly news round-ups from the world of supply chain. This week, we bring you some brief (and not so brief) news from SAP, TradeCard, Apriso, TECSYS, Epic Data, Waterloo Software, and Fishbowl Inventory. His Eminence, Pope Benedict XVI, may be going off duty to hide from the world, but we aren’t. The office is open, the phones are working, and the Wifi is running. We are ready to talk supply chain.