Enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations are mainly business projects rather than IT projects, so a lion’s share of efforts and, consequently, costs of ERP adoptions belong to the business side—for example, business process changes and master data preparation. However, ERP systems can’t just be acquired and started to be used overnight, so a system’s deployment itself and its fine tuning to certain business processes and practices is still a significant part of a deal. These processes are often interchangeable so it’s difficult to draw a fine line between system-related or business-related tasks—in some areas we have to change the system setup while in others we optimize processes because the software requires it. Sometimes clients need to modify both in parallel. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series introduced Epicor Software Corporation’s set of tools called the Epicor Productivity Pyramid. The Pyramid enables one of Epicor’s main business strategies: to extend the value of several of its mature enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications by making enterprise data readily and easily available to all stakeholders.
My blog post then zoomed on to the Epicor Portal solution, a cross-platform querying tool that empowers business workers to find and share information within and across Epicor’s diverse line of business (LOB) applications. Epicor now provides the database schemas for most of its ERP applications to allow business workers (a.k.a. information workers and end-users) to easily create queries or views and communicate their findings.
About two years ago, Epicor Software Corporation launched its next-generation converged product Epicor 9 (a.k.a. Epicor ERP [evaluate this solution]), which was covered at great length in my 2009 series. Over 250 customers have thus far gone live on Epicor 9, with roughly 1,700 units shipped in 21 months.
If these numbers are not overly impressive to some, they are not too shabby either in light of the current sluggish economic milieu. Epicor has shipped more than 50,000 seats to over 50 countries and has Epicor 9 customers live in every region of the world. I believe there are not too many vendors that have had such success in this global downturn.
Meanwhile, the vendor also launched a later product release, Epicor 9.05, in early 2010. Epicor 9.05’s new features can be classified into the following three general categories:
I suspect that at the upcoming Epicor Perspectives 2010 user conference there will be much talk about the recently released Epicor Express [evaluate this solution], Epicor 9’s cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) edition, which is a true multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS) offering oriented to job shops and small manufacturers, with subscription pricing.
In addition, there will likely be some sneak previews of what is coming in the next Epicor 9 release (dubbed 9.1, I assume), especially in terms of the so-called Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 social software enablement. But Epicor 9 is only the latter part of Epicor’s overall “Protect, Extend, and Converge” approach of incrementally catering to its existing client base on current individual product lines (without forcing a wholesale “big bang” upgrade). Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series outlined Oracle’s recent (and seemingly genuine) change of heart and approach towards partnering and catering enterprise applications to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The analysis then moved onto the Oracle Accelerate program, which was launched about three years ago to allow partners to sell more of smaller projects in a fixed time and price manner.
Oracle Accelerate is not only a partner program but also Oracle’s go-to-market approach to provide business software solutions to midsize organizations. Part 1 described the main constituent parts of the approach, while Part 2 talked about the program’s current state of affairs. Part 3 of this blog series analyzed the program’s latest partner-enablement developments as well as the inevitable room for improvements.
This final part will analyze the offering that Oracle Accelerate is most likely to face in the market, which is SAP Business All-in-One. The series will end with analyzing mid-market enterprise resource planning (ERP) incumbents with an innate industry focus (i.e., without the need for templates and pre-configured approaches) as well as with general conclusions and recommendations.
Part 1 of this blog series outlined Oracle’s recent (and seemingly genuine) change of heart and approach towards partnering and catering enterprise applications to small and medium enterprises (SME’s). The analysis then moved onto the Oracle Accelerate program, which was launched about three years ago to allow partners to sell more smaller projects in a fixed time and price manner.
Oracle Accelerate is not only a partner program but also Oracle’s go-to-market approach to provide business software solutions to midsize organizations. Part 1 described the main constituent parts of the approach, while Part 2 talked about the program’s current state of affairs. Part 3 of this blog series will analyze the program’s latest partner-enablement developments as well as the inevitable room for improvements.
Part 1 of this blog series outlined Oracle’s recent (and seemingly genuine) change of heart and approach towards partnering and catering enterprise applications to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The analysis then moved onto the Oracle Accelerate program, which was launched about three years ago to allow partners to sell a greater number of smaller projects with fixed time and price.
Oracle Accelerate is not only a partner program, but also Oracle’s go-to-market approach to provide business software solutions to midsized organizations. Part 1 described the main constituent parts of the approach, while Part 2 will talk about the program’s current state of affairs.
The blogosphere and other media outlets might still be raving about major announcements at Oracle OpenWorld 2009, such as the one about Oracle’s professed strategy of “gently” and thoughtfully assimilating Sun Microsystems. The impending merger (subject to somewhat more difficulty than previously expected, due to regulatory hurdles in Europe) should make Oracle not only the world’s largest business software company, but also a major hardware player. References to Apple Computer and its ability to successfully design and offer both hardware and software were cited several times during the event.
Basically all other major highlights from the “ginormous” user event revolved around Oracle’s “complete, open, and integrated” product strategy across the board. Some of these highlights would be the Specialized Oracle Partner Network (OPN) Program for 25,000 OPN partners, or the quite anticipated Larry Ellison’s explanation of the upcoming first generation of Oracle Fusion Applications.
Still, my special interest at this overwhelming multi-day event (with over 40,000 attendees, it likely made San Francisco residents feel sort of besieged) was about Oracle’s continued efforts to become more attractive and appetizing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). My recent blog post featured Oracle’s VAD Remarketer program targeted at the low-end of the market. The current figures are over 1,200 recruited Remarketers and over 2,000 placed orders for the (primarily technology infrastructure) products that fall under the ORACLE 1-CLICK ORDERING program since its launch over three years ago.
Part 3 of this blog series analyzed the ever-evolving user interface (UI) and visualization technologies, and related approaches of Microsoft and other independent software vendors (ISVs). Lawson Smart Office and IFS’ Project Aurora (including the first Project’s delivery, IFS Enterprise Explorer [IEE]) were described.
Shedding Some “Northern Star” Light on IEE
For IEE IFS uses Microsoft ClickOnce, which is a technology designed to perform web-based deployment of rich applications. Basically the authorized user clicks on a link and the application loads straight from the web server without needing to be installed and distributed via CDs (like traditional client/server applications). It works similar to the counterpart Java Web Start or Adobe Flash technologies. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 2 of this blog series analyzed Microsoft platform parts that are slated for shared use within the Microsoft Dynamics family of products. Particular attention was given to Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, and parts of Microsoft .NET Framework.
What About Visualization and User Interface (UI) Technologies?
However, what has somewhat intrigued me is Microsoft’s not-so-vocal touting and promoting of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), although it is an intrinsic part of the .NET Framework. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the tool has not yet been used within the Dynamics set in earnest, although Lawson Software and Verticent would be the two independent software vendors (ISV) that I am aware of deploying it. Read the rest of this entry »
Generally, I would venture to say any website that uses a little more interactive and dynamic technology (i.e. not just publishing “flat” HyperText Markup Language [HTML] pages) and supports some kind of online commerce, community, or other value-added activity that is enabled by the network would have Web 2.0 traits. But, is it still more buzzword than anything else, and is it being used to put “lipstick on a lot of pigs” even now?
Or, is Web 2.0 a genuine set of technologies that can even provide the “richness” of traditional desktop applications (read Microsoft Office) to the Web-based applications, without all the price and/or performance pitfalls/traps that are often associated with Office Business Applications (OBA)? At least we need to keep a close eye on how the next generation of office workers are using social networking sites/communities like Tagging, Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messenger (IM), etc., as they can give us a clue how effective collaboration should be driven into next generation of enterprise applications (of course, provided the security and privacy standards have been met). Read the rest of this entry »