Retailers are vital to the global economy, responsible for 18 percent of the US GDP while supporting more than 41 million jobs in the US alone. It’s no secret that Microsoft Dynamics AX has marked retail as one of its focus industries, and early in 2013 Microsoft announced the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail that offers new capabilities to help retailers deliver a complete shopping experience through search-based e-commerce, new point of sale (POS) capabilities, and an omni-channel commerce engine.
But many important functional pieces will still have to be delivered by partners. Most recently, EdgeAX, a unit of Visionet Systems, Inc., announced the general availability of its apparel product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that is embedded in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and harnesses the underlying technology.
Just after having acquired MarketingPilot, Microsoft Dynamics has announced its acquisition of social listening and analytics vendor Netbreeze. Key features of the Netbreeze technology include the ability to identify influencers, buzz analysis, topic analysis, tonality/sentiment analysis, the ability to compare current to historical postings via data archives, and independent adjustment of search configuration.
Snippets of recent supply chain news…
Quintiq, dually headquartered in the Netherlands and Philadelphia, announced this week that Republic Steel has selected Quintiq for campaign planning, order promising, finite capacity planning, inventory optimization, detailed scheduling, and sequencing optimization. Read the rest of this entry »
Canali, word-famous Italian men’s clothing brand, has selected Microsoft Dynamics AX for its US operations. Business in North America must be going quite well, as the company has decided to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software application that would serve the entire region.
All Canali’s factories are in Italy (and the fact that it has not moved its manufacturing operations to lower-wage countries is worth some respect). Since Canali does not conduct any manufacturing in the US, the software selection case was limited to coordination of distribution channels and retail and wholesale operations. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
Microsoft recently held its annual Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) in Redmond, Washington, where news about the company’s Windows 8 platform (see Part One of this blog series) and Microsoft Dynamics products (see Part Two of this blog series) was released. Among the demos and tours was info on some of the lesser-known data platforms and business intelligence (BI) capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics.
I recently attended the Microsoft Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) 2012 in Washington state, which started with a tour of a local Microsoft Store (see Part 1 of this blog series, Microsoft Analyst Event Part One: What’s New for Fall 2012). At the company’s Redmond, WA Microsoft headquarters, Kirill Tatarinov, President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division (MBS), gave us the 2012 year-end review. One major point that he made was that he and the entire MBS department have been promoted into a full-fledged Microsoft division (no longer folded together with SharePoint and Office), and that the division has been recruiting new executives and rank-and-file employees. I take this as a sign of the company’s serious investment in Microsoft Dynamics.
The traditional Microsoft Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) 2012 started with a tour of the flagship Microsoft Store in an opulent mall in Bellevue, WA, where Windows 8 and Surface were all the rage. Read the rest of this entry »
Those folks who might have been led to believe that Microsoft Dynamics has lately been focusing solely on one or two particular products (with a global enterprise appeal) at the expense of the others (that are more local and niche) will have been disabused of their notions in early October 2012. Specifically, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 in 15 markets. With deep investments in significant new capabilities and improvements across the product, this launch was hailed as the most significant release yet of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Read the rest of this entry »
Microsoft has acquired the marketing automation software company MarketingPilot. According to the press release, the new acquisition will be integrated into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM suite. MarketingPilot specialized in software that addresses marketing management demands ranging from insight into customer needs to automation of multi-channel marketing campaigns. MarketingPilot appears to provide strong analytics capabilities that can reveal the return on marketing investment for each campaign. This appears to be the key motivation for the acquisition. As more and more customer relationship management (CRM) products are aspiring to become social and benefit from these new channels of communication, Microsoft is hoping to assess the effectiveness of each campaign as well as its medium of delivery.
A recent blog post talked about my attendance of the AribaLIVE 2012 user event and outlined the main premise of the event: Ariba has become a public cloud commerce network provider first and foremost, while also offering additional related spend management software as required. The vendor is striving to become a business-to-business (B2B) commerce version of Amazon.com and eBay to enable painless transactions by providing a behind-the-scene universal business translator. For more details, see the keynote presentation by Ariba’s president Kevin Costello.
This is what cloud commerce is all about: leveraging the power of a network to make business commerce as easy as personal commerce. And this is the direction that Ariba will continue to take. The vendor has gone all out to expand the Ariba Network (and the cloud-based solutions delivered within it) and extend its position as the world’s largest and most global business network. And these moves are apparently paying off.
Sugar CRM announced the latest version of its customer relationship management (CRM) solution at Sugarcon 2012, its annual conference. After the event, I had a very interesting conversation with Jan Sysmans, senior director of product marketing, and Chris Bucholtz, editor-in-chief of CRM Outsiders, and would like to share the most interesting findings here with you.
Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this series analyzed the transformative events during the last few years at Sage Group, Plc (LSE: SGE) and its Sage North America subsidiary. These changes have led to its analyst day in Boston in February 2011, where Sage took a giant leap towards clarifying its position in the market. The analyst day started with Sage Group’s CEO Guy Berruyer’s and the outgoing Sage North America’s CEO Sue Swenson’s reports on their respective companies’ current state of affairs.
Part 2 talked about the subsequent presentation by Himanshu Palsule, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Marketing of Sage North America’s Business Solutions, on Sage North America’s strategic “Extend, Connect, Grow” framework and related Web strategy. In this presentation, Sage espoused somewhat differing cloud computing approaches for the small business and core mid-market segments.
But how do Sage customers and partners fit within the “Extend, Connect, Grow” strategic pillars?
Part 1 of this series analyzed the transformative events during the last few years at Sage Group, Plc (LSE: SGE) and its Sage North America subsidiary. These changes have led to the company’s analyst day held in Boston in February 2011, where Sage took a giant leap towards clarifying its position in the market.
The analyst day started with Sage Group’s CEO Guy Berruyer’s and outgoing Sage North America’s CEO Sue Swenson’s reports on their respective company’s current state of affairs. As the summary of both leaders’ presentations, Sage remains passionate about its customers and has been expanding connected (cloud-based software) services and online solutions to provide choices. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series introduced ClickSoftware Technologies (NASDAQ: CKSW), which until recently has focused solely on workforce and service optimization software solutions for large field service companies. Gradually, via both internal development and a few appetizing acquisitions in 2009, the vendor has added a few important growth engines, such as mobile computing solutions, shift planning (rostering) solutions, and solutions for small to medium businesses (SMBs).
Part 2 then analyzed the individual modules (in a price list manner) and logical bundles of the vendor’s flagship Service Optimization Suite as well as a number of original concepts that have differentiated ClickSoftware in the field service workforce optimization market. One of these concepts is the so-called real-time service enterprise.
Part 3 analyzed ClickSoftware’s Mobility Suite, as the major enabler of the real-time service enterprise as well as the vendor’s existing customers and go-to-market strategy. One of the major tenets of the vendor’s expansion into new markets has been the strategic alliance with SAP. This final part will recap the company’s strengths and point out its still outstanding challenges.