Part 1 of this blog series started with the assertion that cloud computing is reaching mainstream adoption in the enterprise applications space. Indeed, virtually all renowned independent software vendors (ISVs) already offer or plan to offer some or all of their products as a service (on-demand software).
My blog post then expanded onto some cloud computing definitions and nuances, to establish that enterprise resource planning (ERP) ISVs have a few different ways to take the cloud plunge. Possibly the most viable approach is to partner with an established platform as a service (PaaS) provider.
Finally, my post concluded with the recent symbiotic relationship (and mutual endorsements) between Microsoft and Infor. During its annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2010, Microsoft (as expected) continued to emphasize that it was embracing the cloud at the core of its current and future product strategy. For its part, Infor announced the launch of Infor24, its blueprint for delivering cloud versions of its enterprise applications. Infor is also working closely with Microsoft to enable its key applications on the Windows Azure Platform.
Anyone that is still vociferously doubting and denying the future of cloud computing and its near-mainstream nature will sound as strange and nutty as some US Senate hopefuls that still proudly deny evolution and climate change (while admitting to “dabbling with witchcraft” in the not-too-distant past). In fact, can anyone name a renowned enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor that has not yet at least announced its cloud computing plans and strategy (if not already delivered actual cloud products)?
During the Grape Escape 2010 event this past summer, the common theme in all four featured vendors’ announcements was getting the “cloud religion.” I am still amazed to see how some of these vendors’ mantras have transformed from “Our customers do not ask for it!” to “We are in the cloud too!” in just a couple of years.
Part 1 of this blog series explained Plex Systems’ ebullience and growth despite a hostile and depressed environment, especially in the discrete manufacturing sector. While the software as a service (SaaS) model is now mainstream in many functional areas of business, the article concurred with Frank Scavo’s recent assertion that, for the time being, there is only one true SaaS enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for manufacturing companies: Plex Online [evaluate this product].
Part 2 then zoomed into Plex Online’s capabilities in terms of technology, customer size, international capabilities, and so on and so forth. The article ended with an analysis of Plex Online’s traceability capabilities that are critically important to medical devices manufacturers.
The final part of this blog series will peer into Plex Systems’ future, and will conclude with a brief question and answer (Q&A) session with the company’s top executives. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series explained Plex Systems’ ebullience and growth despite a hostile and depressed environment, especially in the discrete manufacturing sector. While the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model is now mainstream in many functional areas of business, the article concurred with Frank Scavo’s recent assertion that, for the time being, there is only one true SaaS enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for manufacturing companies: Plex Online [evaluate this product]. Read the rest of this entry »
The software as a service (SaaS) model is now mainstream in many functional areas of business, quite outperforming its on-premise counterpart in this tough economic environment. Consider customer relationship management (CRM), transportation management, talent management, payroll processing, travel and expense (T&E) management, strategic sourcing and procurement, and many other point (or departmental) solutions in many sectors.
Part 1 of this series began to analyze the recent merger of Progress Software Corp. [NASDAQ: PRGS] and Savvion Inc. With this acquisition, Progress has made a large leap into the business process management (BPM) space, from which has been notably absent. The article asserted that Savvion BusinessManager 7.5 [evaluate this product] is one of the most mature BPM suites in the market, with the ability to handle high volumes of workflows that coordinate people, data/documents, and enterprise systems.
The product’s architecture is standards-based, multi-tiered (i.e., with separate presentation, business process, and integration flows), service-oriented, and with well-documented application programming interfaces (APIs). Thus, like its Progress siblings, Savvion is relatively easy to interface to existing infrastructures and development environments, and even to embed into partner products.
Late 2009 and early 2010 were characterized by a number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the vibrant and buoyant business process management (BPM) space. The merger of Progress Software Corp. (NASDAQ: PRGS) and Savvion Inc. drew my attention in particular. Why? Because, to my mind, Progress has thus made a large leap into the BPM space, a market where it has been notably absent.
Namely, from Progress’ analyst event two years ago, I vividly remember its displayed “federated wheel” of solutions, which ranged from an application development platform (Progress OpenEdge), a service-oriented architecture (SOA) management and governance product (Progress Actional), enterprise service bus (ESB) and messaging middleware (Progress Sonic and subsequently acquired IONA), and data integration products (Progress DataDirect), to a complex event processing (CEP) platform (Progress Apama), and so on and so forth. Lombardi Software was pegged there as a strategic partner solution for missing BPM capabilities, but I am aware of only a few common clients that have come from Progress and Lombardi’s joint effort since (although some companies might have coincidentally deployed both products).
Part 1 of this blog series depicted the three evolutionary phases (or waves) of software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing adoption. The post ended with some glimpses into the future and the likely implications for SaaS users.
Part 2 then explored the apparent opportunities and accompanying challenges (and painstaking soul-searching exercises) that SaaS aspirants face in their endeavors. Some concrete examples of vendors and their new strategies and solutions were presented, most notably SAP Business ByDesign.
Part 3 of this blog series analyzed recent SaaS initiatives by mainstream mega-vendors. Some concrete examples of vendors and their new strategies and solutions were presented, most notably Oracle’s Platform for SaaS and SAP’s recently unveiled on-demand strategy for large enterprises.
Coming back to the company that has inspired this series, Progress Software, the vendor believes that most mega-vendors, based on their nascent and budding SaaS offerings described in Part 2 and Part 3, have been slow to market with SaaS offerings. Thus, the window of opportunity for Progress’ partners is still open. Read the rest of this entry »
At the time when my recent “SaaSy Discussions” series was already being published, I had an update briefing and great discussion with Colleen Niven Smith, vice president of software-as-a-service (SaaS) initiatives at Progress Software. Smith and Progress Software’s findings on SaaS industry dynamics concur with my assertions that growth of SaaS-based offerings is expected to outpace traditional on-site enterprise applications business in the not-so-distant future.
Combined competitive, organizational, and technological factors are expected to fuel SaaS solution growth, and many industry analysts project the SaaS market to be in the range of USD$14 billion to USD$17 billion within the next three years. Indeed, as mentioned in my 2008 blog post on Progress Software’s SaaS forays, 20 percent of Progress Software’s independent software vendor (ISV) partners that leverage the Progress OpenEdge platform for SaaS applications saw their businesses grow by over 40 percent in 2008.
In addition, there has been a much higher market valuation lately of on-demand SaaS providers as compared to their on-premise-software peers. There are also more optimistic expectations about SaaS companies’ performances and long-term growth prospects as compared to traditional “perpetual license” application businesses. Read the rest of this entry »
Undoubtedly, the recent major event at Epicor Software (despite concurrent unfortunate occasional and distracting shareholder power struggles, takeover bids, and CEO departures) was the launch of the next-generation Epicor 9 product suite in late 2008. Epicor hails Epicor 9 as an entirely new generation of business application that “redefines how enterprise systems are both built and used.”
For one, Epicor 9’s functional footprint is based on the best of everything Epicor has developed (and acquired) since its inception. Read the rest of this entry »
The first part (Part II) of this blog series described the opportunities for software as a service (SaaS) or on-demand applications, especially in the current difficult economic milieu. Part IIa then analyzed the top five SaaS assumptions (misconceptions) recently outlined by Gartner.
Before any vendor can embark onto delivering a SaaS offering, it must thoroughly consider a number of harrowing SaaS technology choices and their implications. Thus, Part IIa also analyzed the decision’s impact on the functional footprint (scope) of the future SaaS product, after which the aspiring SaaS vendor must identify gaps within its in-house skill sets and define how to fill them.
This part continues with the other major remaining technical considerations before any vendor can embark on delivery of a SaaS offering. Read the rest of this entry »
The worn-out saying about how we learn new things every day applies to this blog topic too. Namely, my interest in Progress Software Corporation has long been due to its renowned OpenEdge development platform. Indeed, many enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other applications providers leverage (embed) OpenEdge as Progress Software partners. Sure, I also follow and have recently written about the company’s forays in the service-oriented architecture (SOA) space with its two respective offerings: Actional for web services management and Sonic for enterprise service bus (ESB) and messaging.
But in late 2007, out of mere courtesy, I accepted a briefing about Progress Apama, the company’s platform for complex event processing (CEP), algorithmic trading, and whatnot. Given the overwhelming nature (“rocket science” of a sort) of the offering’s concept, I now admit that I could not wait for the briefing to end.
Actually, I felt bamboozled like those ordinary mortal FBI agents in CBS’ primetime hit show “Numb3rs.” In that show, time and again the whiz kid math genius (the brother of the FBI team leader) tries to explain to these action-rather-than-theory agents how some complex and arcane math theory can be applied to make sense out of seemingly chaotic and unrelated events. Eventually, complex math solves some important crimes, often by detecting patterns that are not obvious to the naked eye.
Well, fast forward to early 2009, where at Progress’ Analyst Summit (a traditional Boston winter fixture event) we could all find out that Progress Apama is possibly the best performing and growing part of the company. OpenEdge, while still contributing to over 60 percent to Progress’ total revenues, is a mature business that is now sold mostly to independent software vendors (ISVs). In addition, the recent financial markets (and consequently the overall economic) crisis and related cases of high-profile frauds (”white-collar crimes”) have made me conduct my own study of Apama and become familiar with its underlying concept. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, the ERP Graveyard blog might sometimes be slightly deceiving, since not all enterprise resource planning (ERP) products necessarily die there. Some of them might even be resurected under a different name and ownership.
To that end, Infor might even seem like old news today. It’s been five years since its formation (no pun intended here, given its subsequent acquisition of former Formation Systems, with the Infor Optima PLM product as a result). Also, many articles have meanwhile been written on our web site about Infor’s collection/arsenal of once all but deceased ERP products, such as:
However, 2007 has seen the emergence of two brand new names in the space — Consona Corporation and Solarsoft Business Solutions. Read the rest of this entry »