One impression from the recently held SuiteWorld 2013 conference was that NetSuite’s partner ecosystem is becoming extensive – Autodesk and ClickSoftware Technologies being only some of the company’s novel high profile alliances. On the conference expo floor I was able to note several existing configure, price, quote (CPQ) or quote to order (Q2O) partners such as CallidusCloud (which acquired Webcom Inc. in late 2011), Experlogix, and Configure One.
Selectica, a public provider of software that both accelerates sales cycles of configured products and streamlines contract processes, announced at SuiteWorld 2013 the integration of Selectica CPQ with the NetSuite cloud computing platform. Selectica CPQ for NetSuite brings a constraint-modeling interface, patented product and sales configuration engine, and guided selling capabilities to NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Built using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud development platform, the combined solution aims to give sales teams the power to configure more accurate product and service offerings and build faster and more intelligent quotes for customers. Epec Technologies was the first publicly announced joint customer, with many more in the works.
Plex Systems, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider of the Plex Manufacturing Cloud (formerly Plex Online), has announced its collaboration with Insequence Coporation, provider of manufacturing sequencing technology. The joint capabilities should improve the process of delivering components to the manufacturing supply chain in an efficient fashion.
SAP is taking fierce steps towards expanding its cloud presence. Major moves from the German software company are reshaping its approach to a market increasingly willing to move to the cloud and an increasing number of big competitors wanting to rule this market.
After having acquired Ariba and SuccessFactors, SAP is taking a logical step by taking its flagship offering HANA to the cloud. Read the rest of this entry »
A common myth in the enterprise applications space is that ongoing support and maintenance are only about “keeping the lights on.” Rather, support and maintenance should be innovation enablers to help companies become agile real-time enterprises, by more quickly deploying new capabilities and business models. Innovation cycles are becoming shorter, so the ability to maintain a competitive edge often depends on quickly implementing the latest technology advancements.
SAP has recently launched a new control center approach for “premium engagement” customers (currently about 300 enterprises). Delivered by the SAP Active Global Support (SAP AGS) organization, the control center approach aims to help companies achieve effective and efficient implementations and optimize ongoing operations (by deploying innovations such as the SAP HANA platform as well as cloud and mobile solutions).
IBM has announced that IBM Watson will be put to work towards improving customer satisfaction, as part of its Smarter Commerce initiative.
The artificially intelligent computer is well known for its ability to win Jeopardy and for its advances in assisting medical institutions. More recently, IBM has decided to exploit Watson for its capacity to learn, adapt, and understand a company’s data rapidly. Customer relationship management is a perfect scenario for testing this ability.
Sporting a brand new stock symbol (NYSE: DATA), Tableau Software, the Seattle-based analytics and visualization software provider announced the pricing of its initial public offering of its 8.2 million Class A shares. At a public price of $31 per share, 5 million shares are being offered by Tableau Software and 3.2 million shares are being offered by other selling stockholders. Acting as lead joint book-running managers for the offering are Goldman, Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley & CO, with other important financial organizations also involved. Read the rest of this entry »
Internet company Yahoo! has entered into an agreement to acquire the Tumblr social blogging service. According to the official press release:
Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.
Or, in other words, Tumblr can go on being Tumblr, if it’s not distracted by Yahoo! adds. Read the rest of this entry »
Senior supply chain analyst Bob Eastman was at the Epicor Customer Conference, Insights 2013, in Nashville last week.
Epicor invited Bob to share his insight into current technology trends in the supply chain space. Check out that conversation on YouTube.
In this almost 9-minute video, Bob talks about the acceleration of the business cycle and some of the enabling trends (such as cloud and mobility) that address the challenges the speed of business presents to the supply chain.
Bob also discusses the pursuit of supply chain excellence—how strategy and technology must go hand in hand—and identifies three key requirements for success today: visibility, sales and operations planning, and metrics.
SAP is undergoing a makeover with some structural changes to certain segments of its extensive software portfolio. Just before its annual SAPPHIRE conference, SAP re-baptized its Visual Intelligence product as SAP Lumira, its new data analytics offering. Read the rest of this entry »
The recent Epicor Insights 2013 conference highlighted how the 2012 Solarsoft acquisition strengthens Epicor’s presence in the lumber and building materials, wholesale distribution, print and packaging, and automotive sectors. In addition, Solarsoft gives Epicor new presence in process manufacturing (i.e., food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, mills, metals, and chemicals), whereas Epicor has traditionally focused on discrete manufacturing.
One byproduct of Solarsoft’s acquisition was Epicor Mattec, a standalone manufacturing execution system (MES), for which there reportedly is growing customer demand among manufacturing organizations worldwide. The product is also creating new opportunities for Epicor as an integrated solution with its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Epicor ERP (a.k.a., Epicor 9).
Autodesk recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tinkercad, an easy-to-use browser-based 3D design tool. The addition of Tinkercad to Autodesk is aimed at helping broaden the consumer-oriented Autodesk 123D family of apps and supports Autodesk’s vision to help anybody (students, makers, and designers) imagine, design, and create anything. The acquisition will also revive the Tinkercad service and community, despite a previously announced shutdown by its founders and creators. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the major themes at the recently held SuiteWorld 2013 conference was that NetSuite has been aggressively building a cloud partner ecosystem, the Autodesk alliance being one resounding example. During the conference, automated mobile workforce management (WFM) and optimization solutions provider ClickSoftware Technologies announced that it has partnered with NetSuite to build the ClickSoftware SuiteApp using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud Computing Platform.
The “little” SAP Business One solution is an unsung hero of sorts at SAP. Indeed, more than 38,000 customers worldwide in nearly 30 languages and over 630 partners are often ignored as less newsworthy by market observers. The business management solution for small businesses (with 10–20 users, on average) can be deployed on premises or in the cloud, and is accessible via mobile devices.
During the SAPPHIRENOW 2013 conference, SAP announced the general availability of the 9.0 version of the SAP Business One running on Microsoft SQL Server (which is the product’s original database). With more than 50 new features, the latest version offers enhanced capabilities for warehouse management, infrastructure, and inventory management, as well as improved systems performance.
If you are a small or medium business and you haven’t heard of Zoho yet, you should check it out—the company might have an app for you, perhaps even for free. The name alludes to small office, home office, i.e., SOHO, although some products are suited to larger companies.
The Web-based mini apps of the Zoho Office Suite are a great example of the trend of the atomization of user experience. This is in tune with the Long Tail Theory, according to which companies will compete on ever-smaller and more specific product footprints and capabilities to satisfy ever-smaller niches, and all in a plug-and-play manner. Forrester has also noted a “business technology (BT)” trend, describing pervasive use by casual users in lines of business (LoBs) of technology that is increasingly managed outside the direct control of IT departments.
Certainly Zoho is fulfilling a demand for easy-to-use cloud and mobile apps for productivity, collaboration, and communication that aren’t bogged down by the need to customize and manage this functionality within an enterprise-wide system. Read the rest of this entry »
NetSuite is on a roll with whopping growth and expansion (16,000 customers, 2,000 employees, and 700 partners) and is even now talking about profitability, positive cash flow, and a hefty cash position (contrary to the popular belief that cloud software vendors are not profitable in general). The company’s third SuiteWorld annual conference brought about 5,000 attendees, which is significantly higher than the 3,000 and 1,200 attendees respectively for the previous two years’ events. While retail and multi-channel e-commerce was the main theme at SuiteWorld 2012, SuiteWorld 2013’s main theme was that manufacturing is ready for cloud computing too.
NetSuite for Manufacturing
This week’s release of NetSuite Manufacturing Edition brings to the marketplace a solution for manufacturing and product-centric companies that includes a portfolio of capabilities such as production routings and scheduling, financials for manufacturing with standard cost and work in progress (WIP) accounting, inventory management with available-to-promise (ATP), and supply chain integration. While previously NetSuite mainly targeted outsourced offshore manufacturing, NetSuite Manufacturing Edition now caters to manufacturers that make their own products. The offering is still a fairly generic discrete manufacturing solution, but it is likely that NetSuite will make it more vertical, in part based on tuck-in acquisitions and partner offerings.