One of the major announcement sets at the recently held joint SAPPHIRE NOW and SAP TechEd event in Madrid, Spain, November 13-16, 2012, was about SAP’s plans to infuse SAP innovations into the world’s most powerful business network, Ariba Network. Through the recent combination of SAP and Ariba, close to 1 million companies are now connected to the Ariba Network—more than any other trading network. The introduction of SAP innovations in social, mobile, and cloud and the in-memory technology of the SAP HANA platform should logically drive global business-to-business (B2B) collaboration and achieve even higher levels of efficiency in sales, procurement, invoice, and payment processes as well as insights through the business network.
Social media provides data to the enterprise on how its customers are interacting. Even though most decision makers understand that gathering and analyzing this data is important, it’s not always easy to know how.
Astute Solutions was founded in 1995 to offer call center and issue management software, which later became a full customer service solution. The acquisition of RealDialog from LiveWire Logic in 2006 added knowledge management to the offering. In 2010, Astute acquired Gamma Engineers for its social media management technology. This has evolved into today’s Astute Social Relationship Management (SRM) solution, with the ambition to offer functionality not just for managing social data, but for using the results in the cross-channel customer relationship activities of a company. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series introduced TAKE Supply Chain, a supply chain management (SCM) division of TAKE Solutions, Ltd. The parent TAKE Solutions is a global technology solutions and service provider, which focuses on two principal business areas – life sciences and SCM (the company is listed on the Indian Stock Exchange).
My first post described TAKE Supply Chain’s genesis since its inception in 1994 as BPA Solutions, through its ClearOrbit phase from 2001 to 2007, and finally from TAKE Solutions’ ownership on. Throughout all these changes, the company’s mission has remained intact: “To improve the speed, visibility and control of extended manufacturing and distribution value chains.”
Part 1 also analyzed TAKE Supply Chain’s current product lines, starting with Demand-Driven Supply Network (DDSN) solutions. The first DDSN offering was OneSCM, which is an online supplier relationship management (SRM) platform that features multi-tier, multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) architecture and is designed for mid- to large-sized manufacturers and distributors.
Part 2 continued with the analysis of TAKE Supply Chain main product lines, in particular the Xtended Process Control (X.PC) SRM suite within the DDSN product line and the Enterprise Returns Management (ERM) suite within Demand-Driven Distribution & Fulfillment solutions (TAKE’s second major SCM product line). The final part of this blog series will now address TAKE Supply Chain’s remaining product line: Mobile & Auto-ID Solutions, and will discuss the company’s competitive landscape.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced TAKE Supply Chain, a supply chain management (SCM) division of TAKE Solutions, Ltd. The TAKE Solutions parent company is a global technology solutions and service provider, with significant focus across two principal business areas – life sciences and SCM, with an almost even breakdown of revenues between these divisions (the company is listed on the Indian Stock Exchange).
My blog post first described TAKE Supply Chain’s genesis since its inception in 1994 as BPA Solutions, through its ClearOrbit phase from 2001 to 2007, and from the TAKE Solutions ownership on. Throughout all these changes, the company’s mission has remained intact: “To improve the speed, visibility and control of extended manufacturing and distribution value chains.”
Then, the article analyzed TAKE Supply Chain’s current product lines, starting with Demand-Driven Supply Network (DDSN) solutions. The first DDSN offering was OneSCM, which is an online supplier relationship management (SRM) platform that features multi-tier, multi-tenant software as a service (SaaS) architecture and is designed for mid- to large-sized manufacturers and distributors.
Part 2 of this blog series will continue with analysis of TAKE Supply Chain’s main product lines, in particular looking at the rest of the DDSN products and at its Demand-Driven Distribution & Fulfillment solutions (the second major product line).
Over the past several years I’ve repeatedly heard of a supply chain management (SCM) software and professional services company called ClearOrbit that was recently renamed TAKE Supply Chain. I admit to initially being in a quandary how to figure out the company’s exact value proposition and differentiation, given that its corporate Web site and press release (PR) messages as well as webinar topics seemed to be all over the SCM map: from labeling, printing, and package visibility, via reverse logistics, warehousing, radio frequency (RF) and RF Identification (RFID) mobility, to procure-to-pay (P2P), and supplier relationship management (SRM).
After a while, I finally had my “a-ha!” moment of epiphany and realized the company’s mission: “To improve the speed, visibility and control of extended manufacturing and distribution value chains.” There are indeed many business problems encountered in managing globally extended supply networks.
My recent article entitled “Why Should Enterprises Manage their Contracts Closely?” analyzed the importance of enterprise-wide contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions and stated that many enterprises still use inappropriate makeshift tools to manage their important contractual terms and conditions. The article concluded with the fact that enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems handle transactional details of an organization whereas CLM systems handle contract and commitment management. In other words, there is room for both systems in an organization to work in tandem.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced PROACTIS, a UK- and US-based specialist vendor of spend control and e-procurement solutions with accredited partners worldwide. I had the chance to meet the company during my attendance of UNIT4’s UK user event in early 2010, where PROACTIS was an exhibiting partner.
The article then expanded on the company’s history, its procure-to-pay product offering, customers, and partners. Part 2 will analyze recent events, starting with the latest product developments.
In this day and age of news flying fast over the Internet and tweets reaching every nook and cranny of the world, it still took physical attendance at an overseas event for me to learn about a lesser-known successful software vendor. Namely, during my attendance of UNIT4’s user event in the UK in early 2010, I encountered PROACTIS as UNIT4’s exhibiting partner for spend management and e-procurement solutions.
PROACTIS Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of PROACTIS Holdings Plc, was founded in 1996 under the name Get Real Systems Ltd. The company’s first product release was called the Dream Suite and was launched in 1997. The next product’s generation was named PROACTIS 2 and launched in the late 1990s as a PowerBuilder-based client-server software suite.
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my impressions following an upbeat and constructive business update meeting at Emptoris’ headquarters. Under its new investors’ wing, with a new customer-focused CEO, and with the former Click Commerce’s contract and service management (CSM) business as a new major capability, Emptoris has charted a new course recently.
Good news is scarce these days across the board, and I am always keen on reporting on rare bullish enterprise applications businesses, especially if the company is in my neck of woods. Recently, I had an upbeat and constructive business update meeting in person at Emptoris’ headquarters.
The Burlington, Massachusetts, US-based company was founded in 1999 as a strategic sourcing software company, pioneering the use of optimization in strategic sourcing of both direct and indirect materials.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced some common supply chain challenges and resulting spend management opportunities for companies of all sizes. The article then went into the philosophical and functional differences (if any) between the “spend management” and “supplier relationship management (SRM)” monikers.
Further discussion was about what exact functional parts of this software category small and medium enterprises (SMEs) might need. To that end, Part 2 focused on typical Sourcing and Procurement capabilities that cover most of the spend control needs for mid-sized enterprises.
Part 1 of this blog series introduced common supply chain challenges and resulting spend management opportunities for companies of all sizes. The article then went into the philosophical and functional differences (if any) between the “spend management” and “supplier relationship management (SRM)” monikers. Further discussion was about what exact functional parts of this software category small and medium enterprises (SMEs) might need.
The real question should always be, “Do we manage spending and, if so, what solutions do we use to do it?” To my mind, sourcing, procurement, and spend analysis capabilities cover most of the spend control needs for midsized enterprises. Read the rest of this entry »
My previous blog entry about procurement commandments in a down economy also made me think about whether there are different priorities for the chief procurement officer (CPO) during prosperous economic times. Or, how different are (or should be) the CPO’s strategies in good versus bad times?
Well, the CPO’s fundamental objectives do not change: procure the physical goods and services needed by the company at the best possible mix of price and performance (non-price features). The focus can shift at times from operational streamlining to new product introduction (NPI) to supplier rationalization.
In lean times, however, there will be pressure to do even more with less, postpone large expenditures, and get additional concessions from suppliers (e.g., better shipping rates, rebates, discounts, or better payment terms, etc.). Amid all of this, the CPOs must provide high-quality service guidelines to their employees to encourage the proper use of systems and policies, and to reduce maverick purchasing practices. Read the rest of this entry »
As is the case with white papers, vendors’ press releases (PR) can range from blatant bragging about the “latest-and-greatest” product capabilities (and other marketing “fluff”) to tastefully asserting competence and educating the market about specific issues.
One example of the latter would be Emptoris‘ April 2008 PR on the findings of a panel of financial and procurement experts that have worked and consulted with leading Fortune 1000 companies. These experts offered their advice to chief procurement officers (CPOs) on actions to take to weather, and even excel in, a potentially uncertain economic environment.
The expert panel participated in a brainstorming session with leading financial, technology and procurement consultants to offer a list of immediate and intermediate steps that companies can take to gain greater control over spending and effectively reduce costs. Read the rest of this entry »
Part I of this blog post introduced the common software deployment models and Consona CRM’s approach in that regard. To the end of enabling Total Customer Management (TCM) via an adaptive CRM offering, Consona CRM is built with a superior core infrastructure (customer data model, BPM, BI, SOA) and a holistic, best-of-breed product portfolio.
Consona claims to be one of the market’s rare CRM offerings that is both operational and collaborative, with many years of a broad range of consulting, technical, and business process services that have created the related methodology and blueprint.
Consona CRM Portfolio
The vendor believes that it offers the best value for price in the market due to the extensive product’s flexibility and adaptability, ease of customization, configuration, integration and upgrades, and due to the depth of the product’s extensibility.
These capabilities come from the combination of Onyx Adaptive CRM (i.e., BPM, BI, SFA, customer service, customer data management and customer data integration [CDI]), KNOVA (i.e., self-service and knowledge management [KM]) and the partnership with Million Handshakes (part of Portrait Software) for marketing automation. Read the rest of this entry »