Often I get asked the question why people refer to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system as a true “enterprise resource planning” solution if it doesn’t entail human resources management (HRM)—after all, every organization needs to manage its people, its products and services, and its finances. It seems that open source manufacturing and distribution ERP provider xTuple aims to offer true ERP, having recently announced a new technology integration partnership with a popular open source HRM software, OrangeHRM. Read the rest of this entry »
In the final days of 2012, xTuple, a commercial open source enterprise resource planning (ERP) company that works with a global community of tens of thousands of professional users, reported its second consecutive record quarter of sales for 2012. Due to a surge of new customers in manufacturing and distribution, revenue was reportedly up 74 percent over the third quarter last year—and sales in the first three quarters of 2012 were up 59 percent overall from the same time period in 2011.
These days, amid the austerity, cuts, and general malaise, it is refreshing to hear about the whopping annual growth of a manufacturing-oriented enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor. Sure, one can discount the magnitude of this upbeat news—this particular vendor is still budding, if you compare it to SAP, Oracle, or Infor—but I welcome this it(and so should any ERP vendor). More impressively, the vendor in case, xTuple, has also been tirelessly delivering new features for customers, and all the tinkering in the lab isn’t keeping it from ringing the cash register.
Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services selects WebFOCUS
Industry tags: cross-industry
“To solve its reporting requirements, Oklahoma DHS has selected Information Builders’ WebFOCUS business intelligence platform. With massive reporting requirements, the state government institution will rely on (among other things) a reporting application for child support services and a compliance reporting system for its child welfare department. The reporting solution will be used by an estimated 6,000 users or more, and it’s a clear case of BI being put to good use.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst
Peugeot Netherlands selects QlikView’s Business Discovery Platform
Industry tags: cross-industry
“By using QlikView’s proof-of-concept method (i.e., “seeing is believing,”), QlikView partner OnLine Zuid was able to enable Peugeot Netherlands to view, experiment with, and ultimately select QlikView Business Discovery Platform for data analysis related to Peugeot’s vehicles and parts. QlikView continues to increase its global presence within large corporations.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst
Part 1 of this blog series talked about Consona Corporation’s recent acquisition of leading open source and cloud computing enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider Compiere. After reading a slew of speculative blog posts (including the one from TEC’s free and open source [FOSS] buff and advocate Josh Chalifour), I had an incisive briefing with Consona’s CEO Jeff Tognoni, to give the company a fair chance to explain its strategy and the rationale behind the acquisition.
In Part 1, Tognoni first dispelled any idea that Consona’s intentions were to to copy the much larger and also acquisitive vendor Infor, as suggested by the related ERP Graveyard blog post. Thereafter, he explained that his interest in Compiere’s cloud platform coincided with (and was validated by) the recent launch of Consona’s CRM Cloud leveraging Amazon Web Services (AWS) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) for the server infrastructure and platform.
In early June Consona Corporation’s analyst relationship (AR) contact forewarned me about the company’s upcoming acquisition of a “leading open-source and cloud computing enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor” and asked about my availability for a briefing once the acquisition was closed. After consultation with TEC’s free and open source software (FOSS) buff Josh Chalifour, we quickly identified Compiere [evaluate this product] as the most likely target (not to say prey).
Namely, this open source software vendor had been eerily quiet for a while (and ignoring our repeated calls for update briefings) and lately there had been much less activity within its once vibrant FOSS user community. The rumors about Compiere running out of “dough” and looking for a white knight had also floated occasionally. Once the acquisition was made official on June 16, 2010, Josh was swift with his blog post that mostly talked about the abovementioned observations prior to the merger and gave some speculations about Compiere’s future under Consona.
In Part 1 of this blog series I admitted to being a late adopter of a sort, in part for not immediately jumping onto the social media bandwagon. In particular, my initial reaction to Salesforce Chatter (a.k.a. Collaboration Cloud) was tepid when it was introduced at the Dreamforce 2009 conference.
However, a few months have passed and this period has helped salesforce.com craft the much clearer cloud computing evolution message that was analyzed in Part 2. The article then also went on to explain my change of heart and discussed Salesforce Chatter’s current state of affairs (in terms of the current number of beta users and third-party solutions).
Salesforce Chatter became generally available (GA) as of June 22, 2010. Salesforce.com is even entertaining the idea that Chatter could be a general enterprise platform on its own. One Chatter-based application was recently announced by FinancialForce.com and is called Chatterbox.
Chatterbox comes within the FinancialForce Accounting product but the idea is to also sell it to accounting departments as standalone. For more information on the product, see the company’s press release (PR), a related blog post from WebCPA, and the product’s dedicated Web page.
The final part of this blog series will explain many design principles and possible use of Chatter and Chatterbox from my dialogue with Jeremy Roche, FinancialForce.com CEO and President, and UNIT4 CODA chairman.
In Part 1 of this blog series I admitted to being a late adopter of a sort, in part for not immediately jumping onto the social media bandwagon. In particular, my initial reaction to Salesforce Chatter (a.k.a. Collaboration Cloud) was tepid. To be frank, Marc Benioff, salesforce.com’s flamboyant and engaging CEO, gave an atypically incoherent and dry keynote speech when he introduced Chatter at the Dreamforce 2009 conference.
However, a few months have passed and this period has helped salesforce.com craft a much clearer message. In addition, Chatter has reportedly been used within salesforce.com’s own organization (as the largest beta site/tester), which has given the vendor much more time and experience to improve and tweak the product.
Let me start this blog series with one disclaimer: I am not an early adopter and I do not easily fall for any vendor’s slick marketing. At a recent large user conference, a vendor’s staffer asked me why I wasn’t already using an iPad tablet computer.
That question cracked me up, since I still use an Apple’s discontinued iBook notebook (besides the fact that I might only start using the latest tablet bestseller when it begins to feature computer multi-tasking, an USB flash drive port, and a CD/DVD drive). My laptop computer seems quite ancient now, but it still works and seems indestructible like a Volkswagen Beetle, in spite of all the abuses it has endured at airports, airplanes, and cafes for years.
With all this personal background laid out, I now have to admit that for all these years I have also cast a skeptical eye on Salesforce.com. Sure, the company has been growing admirably for all that time while even achieving modest profits, but I have also been aware of it constantly announcing (i.e., creating buzz about) new concepts and products well before they were generally available (GA). Salesforce.com would then have to actually deliver on these products’ hyped promises, which would be another opportunity for buzz creation (in a “we told you so” manner).
In a call yesterday with xTuple’s Ned Lilly, we had a chance to catch up on the open source ERP vendor’s current business. I wanted to say a word about the company’s recently launched xChange online store, which I think is a smart way for an open source enterprise software vendor to provide clients convenient access to community and partner innovations. It may also be a cost-effective means for acquiring specific ERP-related functionality and services as needed. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series introduced the SAP-sponsored expert panel discussion that explored reasons to maintain IT investments even during difficult economic times. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) article by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson entitled “Investing in the IT That Makes a Competitive Difference” was the main supplement and starting point of the discussion.
As I mentioned in Part 1, in a nutshell, the panel logically (and not surprisingly) argued that enterprises should use IT tools to innovate and create differentiation, especially during a difficult economy. Moreover, a long-term SAP analyst relationship contact privately solicited my opinion on the extent to which these esteemed academics understand our industry.
According to the “you asked for it” motto, here is the continuation of my thoughts that was parlayed into a blog post to be shared with our readers too.
After almost a decade of following the enterprise applications market via insightful, sometimes exhaustive (and exhausting) free research articles (which will continue to go on in earnest and continue to be rated by our readers), the time has come for me to be in tune with the Web 2.0 and related social networking. In other words, the time has come for my blog at TEC, and the dilemma was then what to start with.
Well, given that facilitating impartial software selections has always been TEC’s “raison d’etre”, then the first topic should logically have something to do with that. To that end, as discussed in our now ancient article “Do You Know How to Evaluate Your Strategic Technology Provider?” , best practices drawn from TEC client organizations that have completed internal technology selections suggest that project teams should examine six key criteria groupings. The first three criteria sets should examine product specific capabilities, while the second three should investigate the software vendor’s overall corporate capabilities.
One of the later three criteria is Vendors’ Corporate Viability, defined in the above article as Read the rest of this entry »