AspenTech Launches e-Business InitiativeFinally

  • Written By: Steve McVey
  • Published: November 17 1999

AspenTech Launches e-Business InitiativeFinally
S. McVey- November 17, 1999

Event Summary

Aspen Technology, Inc. recently announced an e-business initiative, Aspen e-Business, which is the first in a planned series of business-to-business e-commerce applications. As part of the initiative, AspenTech will partner with business-to-business application vendor Extricity Software, Inc. The proposed solutions will build on Aspen's existing Aspen MIMI and Aspen PIMS supply chain management software. In the future, Aspen plans to integrate Extricity's workflow modeling, e-commerce and process execution technologies with its own process plant modeling, automation and optimization systems. The integration aims to help customers form closer relationships with its partners that may have disparate ERP and supply chain systems.

Market Impact

Refusing to be left behind in the e-commerce gold rush, $220 million Aspen has finally announced an offering of its own, predictably dubbed Aspen eBusiness. The unimaginative name notwithstanding, Aspen may be successful with its new initiative that follows those of almost every other major vendor including SAP, J. D. Edwards, Manugistics, and i2. Unlike the other vendors, Aspen can exploit its strong position in the process manufacturing industries, which is generally less penetrated by e-commerce than the more crowded electronic and high tech industries. (One notable exception is SAP, which recently announced an accelerated chemicals solution with IBM.) Additionally, Aspen is taking a broad approach to the initiative by leveraging areas of strength within its streamlined suite for plant design, control, and optimization. The Aspen eBusiness solution will support simple buy/sell transactions as well as help automate higher-level processes such as collaborative forecasting, planning and replenishment, production scheduling and inventory management. However, Aspen will have to work hard to convince customers that its late entry into the e-commerce arena does not imply a lack of vision.

User Recommendations

In spite of its potential success, the eBusiness initiative is a long way from becoming reality. Until more details are available, few meaningful conclusions can be drawn. Existing users of Aspen MIMI or PIMS should contact their long-term partner and inquire about the proposed offering, including its development schedule, details of the Extricity collaboration, targeted completion date, and pricing. Also, no users should make a move until Aspen and Extricity have developed a sound strategy for implementing the new offering.

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