Part 1 of this blog series started by expressing the “New Infor” sentiments (backed up with concrete examples and rationale) following my recent attendance of Inforum 2012. Then the article provided some historical background and described the lineage of the products that currently form the Infor10 HCM portfolio.
The article also detailed some technical and organizational issues on both the former heritage Infor and Lawson Software’s human resource (HR) and talent management products’ side. In light of these issues, which were discussed in Part 1, it is small wonder that some market observers have wondered whether Infor can make sense out of this daunting inheritance of a portfolio. Read the rest of this entry »
What TEC’s recent in-depth article Waking Up to a “New Day” at Infor hinted, my attendance of Inforum 2012 in late April confirmed. Namely, Infor started out as a traditional acquirer and market consolidator, but that is old news now.
What is EAM?
As the acronym implies, EAM is used to manage assets in a company, which can be a module in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution or a standalone product. EAM is also known as computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), or computerized maintenance management information system (CIMMS), and it is a software package used to plan, control, and monitor assets from acquisition to obsolescence.
A couple of weeks ago, I published a blog post called Customer Relationship Manufacturing. In this blog post, I described the symbiosis between the sales and production departments within a manufacturing company, mentioned some customer relationship management (CRM) vendors that seem to have adapted their products for the manufacturing industry, and I also promised I would get back to you with more information on these products. Read the rest of this entry »
A couple of weeks ago, we started a series of blog posts product lifecycle management (PLM) about how TEC defines different types of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and what sets them apart. We will continue with a detailed description of process manufacturing ERP, and we will introduce some of the top-rated vendors in this domain. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog series introduced the burning issues of food safety and the resultant need for a holistic and proactive safety strategy (rather than to reactively recall plagued products). The previous post also talked in more detail about Lawson Software’s holistic approach entitled The “4Ps” of Food Safety.
In this part, Rory Granros, process industry and product marketing manager at Infor, also strongly opines that in order to protect product safety, companies need a holistic and proactive Product Compliance Strategy. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series revisited Agresso’s post-implementation agility capabilities as a major tenet for the vendor’s continued growth in a hostile and depressed environment. The continued organic growth has been complemented by in-house developments, acquisitions, and/or partnerships.
More important, however, is the issue of whether Agresso has become a legitimate force to replace larger (and better known) competitors’ installations. Read the rest of this entry »
Sadly, it is not difficult for so many of us to concede that, except for maybe the historic elections in the US and the successful Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008 was a terrible and somber year. It felt long-drawn-out, and many of us will have trouble sinking it easily into oblivion.
Without even talking about our retirement funds and investments being slashed by about 40 percent (as part of a potentially more far-reaching financial crisis) or about 2.6 million jobs lost in the US only, just look at mushrooming late 2008 layoffs news at even the biggest and typically impervious enterprise applications vendors. For example, both Bruce Richardson of AMR Research and Frank Scavo of Enterprise Systems Spectator have reported in their respective December 2008 blog posts about Infor’s deliberate preparations for a downturn.
Along similar lines (although about some vendors there have been rumors rather than a public acknowledgement by the vendor) were the recent cost-cutting and restructuring moves by Sage, Consona, Lawson Software, Oracle, and Epicor Software. The market leader SAP has not yet been plagued by major layoffs per se, although there have been rumors/reports about the recently enacted stringent internal corporate-wide cost-cutting policies, such as restricted traveling, training, events, and so on.
I am indeed aware of the fact that there was no traditional SAP Influencer/Analyst Summit this past fall/winter, after several years of being a major winter event solely for industry analysts and media. Thus, trying to think positively, I am happy to report about coming across at least one vendor with upbeat news and upright posture in these dreary days.
In fact, how often have we heard about a mid-market enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider’s quarterly global results in late 2008 revealing a 37 percent increase in revenue and sales (with 30 percent growth in North America), with the company claiming many significant new orders worth over US$ 1 million? Read the rest of this entry »
When I first learned that Lawson had acquired the product lifecycle management (PLM) software division of Freeborders, the Oracle-Agile acquisition came to mind. Ten months prior to the Lawson-Freeborders deal, Oracle President Charles Phillips said “the addition of Agile, which will serve as the foundation of our PLM offering, will further Oracle’s strategy of delivering industry-specific enterprise applications and allows us to offer yet another strategic application to SAP customers.” By completing the acquisition, Oracle was able to jump to 5th place in 2007 in terms of PLM revenue, according to a report released by CIMdata. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog post introduced the burning issues of food safety and the ensuing need for traceability. To the end of providing entire food supply chain traceability and information visibility, mid-March, during its CUE 2008 annual user conference, Lawson Software announced the availability of Lawson M3 Trace Engine 3.0, the first version offered within the US market.
The application is designed to help companies in the food and beverage (F&B) industries improve product quality and help prevent and manage potential food safety and quality risks. It specifically helps companies strengthen and simplify the process of tracking ingredients and finished products through complex global food supply chains. Read the rest of this entry »
Besides the ongoing (seemingly never-ending) presidential campaign and celebrity scandals/gossip, food safety is very much in the news. Indeed, incidents of outbreaks, contamination, product recalls and whatnot flood TV channels as breaking news every now and then. Consumers, governments and the various members of the food supply chain are rightly concerned about food safety, and there has been increasing pressure for food and consumer product goods (CPG) supply chain traceability, in a pervasive manner.
Consumers and governments (both becoming ever-more educated and informed on one side, but still confused on the other side) are concerned about the safety of the food supply and protecting the public. While demanding more product choice and delivery speed, consumers have been voicing fears over food safety in the wake of recent salmonella outbreaks (remember the contaminated spinach or major chocolate recall cases?), cases of pet deaths due to poisonous imported pet food, lead-tainted imported children’s toys, anti-freeze tainted imported toothpaste, and so on…
The ever-longer and global food supply chain (often called “from farm to fork”) includes crop farmers/growers (utilizing fertilizers and pesticides), feed processors, livestock farmers (that might feed and treat animals accordingly [or not]), manufacturers (primary and value-add food processors), packaging and labeling sites, distributors, retailers, and food service companies (restaurants and cafeterias).
These supply chain member companies have to be concerned about the consumer safety issues, plus the potential negative and even fatal impact on their brands and businesses. For instance, high-and-mighty retailers customarily want ever higher service levels from suppliers (without any negative publicity), while the overall industry itself wants to protect “brand” value and reduce recall costs. Read the rest of this entry »
Part II of this blog topic analyzed Epicor’s forays into the attractive retail sector via the CRS Retail acquisition two years ago. Most recently, with the acquisition of NSB Retail Systems, Epicor has further expanded its functional footprint, market share and geographic presence in the sector. Namely, NSB added over 200 specialty retail logos, thereby more than doubling Epicor’s retail install base.
While many analysts like Gartner, AMR Research or Aberdeen Group have quickly come up with their customary brief alerts, the usual-suspect bloggers have not seemed that interested in this event, with the notable exception of Frank Scavo in his Enterprise Systems Spectator blog post.
I concur with the assertion coming from both Epicor and the above analysts and bloggers that the retail sector is much more promising and with many more “greener pastures” than Epicor’s traditional overcrowded manufacturing and distribution sectors. The retail applications market is indeed large (AMR Research is predicting its size to be over US$10 billion by 2011 from US$8 billion today), growing (at an estimated 7.1 cumulative annual growth rate [CAGR]) and quite fragmented (whereby Top 5 vendors accounted for only 33 percent of the market in 2006, and no vendor currently has over 10 percent market share).
Epicor also cites some favorable trends in the sector, such as that (as with other industries) the adoption of packaged software will become the common technology approach, and that retailers too have become more interested in acquiring an integrated set of applications from a single vendor. Read the rest of this entry »
Lawson Software (NASDAQ: LWSN), headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, the United States (US), and with offices around the world, provides software and service solutions to about 4,000 customers in manufacturing, distribution, maintenance and service sector industries across 40 countries. Its solutions include Enterprise Performance Management (EPM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and industry-tailored applications.
Lawson has not lately been accused of being too exciting, glitzy or so, at least not compared to a decade ago, when its erstwhile slick marketing machine was crafting catchphrases like “self-evident applications (SEA)”, “drill-around”, “web-addressable applications” and so on. Some recent attempts in touting corporate social responsibility (CSR) and a witty marketing spot on YouTube have been noted (even acknowledged by the competition), albeit with mixed reviews/reception.
Nevertheless, according the “still water runs deep” adage, Lawson’s relative quietness certainly does not mean that the vendor has not been active in the field and in its research and development (R&D) labs. I’ve been made aware of many recent moves to execute on the roadmap that was outlined at the vendor’s CUE 2007 conference. Read the rest of this entry »
Writing about failed partnerships in the enterprise applications market is like writing about the sun setting in the evening and to the west, given almost daily occurrences of vendors announcing alliances that never materialize. However, it doesn’t happen every day that a potential high-profile alliance gets called off at the 11th hour and in favor of an overlooked in-house solution.
The protagonist of the story is enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor Agresso, which reported approximately US$225 million in revenue in 2006. Agresso is the primary operating business of the Netherlands-based Unit 4 Agresso (Dutch Stock Exchange EURONEXT-U4AGR) and has subsidiaries selling its ERP platforms (Agresso Business World and others) around the world. In aggregate, Agresso is one of the top five providers of ERP solutions for people-based businesses, i.e., professional services and public sector organizations (besides SAP, Oracle, Infor and Lawson Software). Read the rest of this entry »
The launch of TEC’s blog has somewhat coincided with my visit to Belgrade, Serbia (what used to be Yugoslavia and then Serbia & Montenegro) for personal reasons. Those several days spent in my homeland in late October/early November (whereby I missed my beloved Boston Red Sox’ winning the MLB World Series ’07 Championship, darn it!) I at least used this time to also learn about the enterprise applications market in that region, and maybe even in the entire Balkan region. I have never seen any such market report from any other analyst house about this (possibly obscure) region, and I thought this topic might be of interest to our (curious) readers as well as to me. To be fair, I’ve seen other similar trip reports, such as this recent one about the Australian enterprise applications market. Read the rest of this entry »