EXE Latest Vendor to Join IBM Supply Chain Club

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

EXE Latest Vendor to Join IBM Supply Chain Club
S. McVey- November 17, 1999

Event Summary

EXE Technologies recently announced an agreement with IBM to combine strategy, marketing, sales, and development forces. The Dallas based supply chain execution (SCE) vendor is the latest in a growing number of IBM global partners that includes i2 Technologies, Industri-Matematik International, and SynQuest. EXE's flagship products, Exceed warehouse management and eFulfillment systems, will be jointly marketed with IBM's solutions, including its e-commerce server package, Net.commerce, and collaborative messaging solution, MQSeries. Initially, the alliance will target the automotive, consumer packaged goods, electronics, retail and wholesale distribution industries. In addition, IBM plans to establish global Supply Chain Centers of Excellence featuring combined IBM and EXE solutions.

Market Impact

Once again, IBM extends its supply chain circle to the execution level, this time allying with the privately held EXE. Although largely symbolic at this stage, the move is clearly a godsend for EXE, which dropped out of sight following an aborted attempt to IPO in 1998. Formed in the 1997 merger of Neptune Systems and Dallas Systems, EXE has struggled to complete merger restructuring amid high turnover in its sales organization. Like Stockholm-based IMI, EXE stands to gain a great deal by collaborating with Big Blue, provided that it can work through its integration issues successfully. IBM's action may provoke a similar move by Unix giant Sun Microsystems, which recently announced a global supply chain initiative.

User Recommendations

Apart from the contract wins at Pep Boys and Metro Richelieu, no tangible return on the arrangement will be gained by the new partners in the short term. Users in the retail or wholesale distribution sectors may want to look at the Exceed WMS product, originally developed for the Unix and mainframe environments, as it would be a fairly safe bet in this incarnation. However, Unix users should include other offerings on a short list, such as Catalyst International's CatalystWMS. Although EXE successfully completed compatibility testing on Windows 2000 OS and server platforms, its NT based version is less mature, and these users should consider other options, such as IMI's VIVALDI components.

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