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Announcing Agilisys (Formerly SCT’s Process Manufacturing & Distribution Business) - Finally Fully Focused On Process Manufacturing

Written By: William Sheppard
Published On: June 26 2002

Announcing Agilisys (Formerly SCT's Process Manufacturing & Distribution Business) Finally Fully Focused On Process Manufacturing
Featured Author - William Sheppard - June 26, 2002

Event Summary

May 30, 2002 was a busy day for Agilisys. The buyout from SCT to form Agilisys was closed and they announced their new name. Formerly a division of SCT, Agilisys is now a stand-alone, private company. Agilisys was formed under ownership by Golden Gate Capital, Parallax Capital Partners and management see iProcess.sct Enters Golden Gate Opportunity).

Jim Schaper will be the company's new president and CEO effective. He claims over 20 years of software and technology experience including a history of positions at Primis Inc., Per-Se Technologies, Dun and Bradstreet Software and Banyan Systems. Schaper states he will focus Agilisys on increasing market share through accelerated delivery of Supply Chain, ERP, Internet Commerce and Collaboration solutions to the process industries.

Focused on Process

Agilisys' Steve Salvitti, the VP of Sales states, "As Agilisys, we intend to continue our focus on the process markets, specifically Food, Beverage, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, or related process industries." This strong focus has been an asset of the company and will continue to be so.

Full Product for Process

Agilisys comes to market with a broad and deep product line. The product line includes Supply Chain, ERP, Internet Commerce and Collaboration solutions. Reflecting its process focus, the products reflect the detailed functionality required by process companies without the compromise of trying to serve all markets (discrete, auto, etc.) with one product.

With the company name change from SCT to Agilisys comes an added challenge. The product suite was called iProcess.sct forcing the new company to also use a new product name. The company has decided to brand the Agilisys name for both the product and the company. Beyond the suite name of Agilisys, the parts of the suite will be named after the business function provided. For example Agilisys Advanced Planning, Agilisys Demand Planning, Agilisys ERP etc. A summary of the product offering includes:

Demand Planning Demand Analytics
Collaborative Replenishment Market Analytics
Advanced Planning Enterprise Resource Planning
Advanced Scheduling Remote Order Management
Supply Chain Web Internet Customer Assistance
Business Analytics Applied Relationship Technology

These products are sold as a full suite, a functional suite (Supply Chain Planning for example) or as components (Demand Planning for example). The products are packaged such that a customer can buy a spot solution (Demand Planning) and let it grow into an integrated suite (Supply Chain Planning) as the needs of the company evolve.

A major marketing thrust, internally referred to as Catalyst, is targeted at selling add-on components and functional suites to the existing users of other ERP backbones. The Catalyst program includes products, services and prepackaged integration to a company's existing ERP backbone.

Customers

Agilisys customer base features a strong selection of both large and mid-market companies. It includes household names like Coca Cola Fountain, Molson Brewing, Glaxo Smith-Kline, Safeway Inc. and a selection of smaller companies like Horizon Organic, Spraylat and Basic American Foods.

The company's new president has been aggressively visiting the existing customer base in an effort to reassure customers, understand their needs and to learn the business. We see this increased focus on customers as a positive sign, helping Agilisys better match the needs of their target markets.

Our discussions with these customers and others reveal a positive reaction to the new company. Karl Bruce, CIO at Horizon Organic (www.horizonorganic.com) reflects the sentiments of the customer base, "We are very positive about the future of Agilisys and their ability to continue to provide us with the products and support we have become accustomed to. We feel the forming of Agilisys is a good move for us and other Agilisys customers."

Financial Future

Agilisys is now a private company resulting from the buy out from SCT by a group of private investors. Since it is a private company, full financial details are not known and will not be known in the future.

The new independent company will certainly benefit from having control of its own financial destiny, being able to make decisions based upon its own needs and objectives rather than being a small part of the much larger entities needs and objectives.

We believe that the new owners, who are sophisticated investors, understand the financial needs of the new company and would not have undertaken the transaction without a strong and committed funding program, giving Agilisys access to additional capital as required. We also believe that Agilisys now has access to the general capital market beyond the pockets of the existing investors. Of course, the access to any and all capital is depended upon the ability of Agilisys to prove its financial viability over the short and medium term. A positive sign is the signing of an additional customer, Sun Chemical, during the transition from a SCT division to a stand-alone company.

Management has indicated its intent to extend an ownership opportunity to employees. Since this type of transaction holds the potential of some employees choosing not to make the transition with the company, this program is a positive sign that company both recognizes the importance of the current employees and has a plan to retain them.

Recommendations

End Users Existing customers should be encouraged but should continue to watch Agilisys to see what the future holds. With this fresh start, customers should expect either a continuation of the past or improvements. Existing customers contemplating future investments in Agilisys' solutions need to meet with company executives and understand the management team, the company's financial picture and how Agilisys plans fits with their future. Process companies in the Agilisys target markets, looking for a full solution or add-on functions should place Agilisys on their short list.

Agilisys The new name is a blessing and a curse. The market does not know what Agilisys is or what it does. The company must launch a name recognition program in its target market, media and analysts. As a division of SCT, it never fully addressed its marketing needs, now is a time to prove the past is not an indicator of the (marketing) future.

Agilisys' new president, Jim Schaper, needs to continue to meet with and communicate to his customers, prospects and employees. He needs to communicate his vision for the future.

About the Author

William Sheppard is a well-known and respected industry observer. He has assisted many suppliers of technology create and leverage products, services and messages to better serve the marketplace and continues to do so today.

He can be reached at BSone@cox.net.

 
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