Fujitsu Poised to (Inter)Stage Glovia's Comeback Part One: Event Summary




Event Summary

Glovia International whose capabilities seem to be far greater than its recognition in the global enterprise applications market (largely due to a number of ownership and name changes throughout its history) seems to have finally gotten its ducks in a row, and is now poised for a noticeable return, backed up by a resplendent and committed parent company.

In October 2003, a leading provider of extended ERP solutions for engineer-to-order (ETO) and high volume manufacturers, Glovia International, announced it formed a strategic alliance with Fujitsu Software Corporation to provide manufacturers, customers and suppliers with improved collaboration and integration capabilities. Glovia International is headquartered in El Segundo, California, (U.S.) and is a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), a Tokyo, Japan-based leading provider of international IT and communications solutions with consolidated revenues of $38 billion (USD) in fiscal 2003. The strategic alliance should allow Glovia to improve its customers' ability to collaborate with trading partners and reduce supply chain costs while enabling Fujitsu Software Corporation to further penetrate the manufacturing industry. Fujitsu Software Corporation, based in San Jose, California, is also a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu, and delivers one of the world's broadest lines of application infrastructure software products, including the Interstage Suite and NetCOBOL.

Fujitsu's Interstage Suite provides a collaborative business integration platform that enables companies to relatively easily share and exchange information across disparate systemswhether internal or external. Coupled with Glovia International's extended-ERP suite, glovia.com, the joint Fujitsu solution should enable manufacturers to improve supply chain visibility, increase responsiveness, and reduce costs. Fujitsu's Interstage Suite is one of the world's broadest families of application infrastructure software products for designing, developing, and managing scalable, customized mission-critical applications. The application suite is used by more than 8,000 companies in over 83,000 installations worldwide. As an example, Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe, a leading supplier of high performance telecommunications services and products, has successfully implemented the joint Fujitsu Software Corporation/Glovia International solution to streamline trading relationships with its suppliers and customers and to reduce costs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Glovia International will embed some of the following elements of Fujitsu's Interstage Suite into its extended-ERP solution, glovia.com, including:

  • Interstage Integration Manager is the conductor for business-critical systems, controlling and consolidating business transactions and data both inside and outside the organizationvia its systems-centric integration capabilities. Providing a server, adapter kit, and a suite of more than 200 adapters, the product is based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and supports web services.

  • Interstage Portal lets enterprises integrate a variety of disparate systems and services, thereby presenting users, employees, customers, and partners with one streamlined, consistent visual interface. It provides highly personalized, relevant and timely content, collaborative workspaces, and role-based tasks tied directly to business processes.

  • Interstage Application Server is the foundation of supposedly secure, reliable and effective internet and intranet applications. It provides fully compliant Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application-hosting capabilities, as well as all the necessary low-level services, fail-over protection, clustering, and other J2EE features for building applications and packaged solutions.

In July, Glovia announced the establishment of the Glovia Innovation Center, which should enable Glovia to share its deep manufacturing expertise and astute extended-ERP solutions more effectively with customers, prospects, and partners. The primary mission of the center has been to educate customers and prospects about the latest advanced solution components of the company's suite--including supply chain management (SCM), collaboration and integration, and business intelligence (BI)--and demonstrate how to use them to increase return on investment (ROI) and deliver a competitive advantage. The Glovia Innovation Center should establish a central knowledge base within Glovia and work directly with the company's sales and professional services teams to disseminate this information.

By increasing the awareness of Glovia's technology and extended-ERP solution components, the center aims at enabling customers to leverage their existing investment in glovia.com more powerfully, and at enabling Glovia to show prospects the comprehensive capabilities of the company's extended ERP suite. To that end, the Glovia Innovation Center has already successfully helped several manufacturers to implement advanced solutions for web procurement and collaboration, including Fujitsu Shared Services Division and Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe.

This is Part One of a four-part note.

Part Two will detail Fujitsu's support of Glovia.

Part Three will discuss the market impact. Part Four will cover challenges and make user recommendations.

Enhancements to Its Extended ERP Suite

The above moves came immediately after the latest version of the company's extended-ERP suite, which was announced in May. The culmination of two years of development effort and customer input, glovia.com 7 represents a substantial increase in Glovia's ability to support the business needs of manufacturers with global operations and complex business structures. The vendor claims its new solution will enable companies to improve their supply chain performance by centralizing demand and supply management while decentralizing production optimization. glovia.com 7 also includes a powerful collaboration and integration platform, more than 60 enhancements to its core ERP functionality and integrates several existing web-based applications.

Possibly the most notable new functionality is the one that aims at improving the performance of complex supply chains containing multiple products, production facilities and business entities that span multiple countries or regions. The solution aggregates enterprise-wide demand and intelligently allocates it to production facilities based on strategic business goals, such as cost reduction or customer service, while allowing for the local optimization of production. To that end, glovia.com enhanced SCM capabilities include new solutions for demand, supply and order fulfillment management.

Glovia's new demand management solution should enable manufacturers to create a comprehensive, enterprise-wide view of total demand by aggregating forecast and customer order data from sales, marketing, channels and customers. It supposedly provides demand planners with views of total item demand and demand allocation, the ability to make forecast adjustments, and drill down to detailed information. With Glovia's new demand management solution, manufacturers should be able to increase the accuracy and reliability of their demand forecasts, improve on-time delivery performance, decrease excess inventory levels and stock outs, reduce costs, and minimize the disruption demand changes have on their operations. Designed specifically for companies with multiple product lines and multiple production facilities, Glovia's demand management solution also incorporates real-time capable-to-promise (CTP) functionality, allowing manufacturers to accurately commit to customer orders and forecasts.

Glovia's supply management solution places global demand in the correct local production facility based on available capacity and inventory levels, while simultaneously considering factors like cost or customer delivery date. The solution enables production planners to optimize their distributed operations to meet demand and allows them to review and adjust how the allocation of orders to production facilities. The new supply management solution aims at providing manufacturers with the flexibility they need to meet changing customer demand while minimizing the impact these changes have on the plant floor.

glovia.com also includes functionality for managing the entire order fulfillment business process, enabling manufacturers to synchronize orders with planned production. Using a memory-resident, constraint-based optimization engine, Glovia's solution determines the best possible supply scenario for given demand. The planning engine takes into account global resources and commitments, including capacity, inventory, orders, critical resources as well as cross-plant and plant-to-customer lead times. The order fulfillment solution includes real-time available-to-promise (ATP) functionality as well as sophisticated business rules that allow manufacturers to instantly offer alternative configurations and substitutions to meet customer delivery dates.

glovia.com 7 also provides manufacturers with a collaborative business integration platform to support their mission-critical operations. As already mentioned, the new platform is built using Fujitsu's collaborative business integration solution, Interstage. The solution includes inbound and outbound XML transaction sets, XML data synchronization capabilities, and functionality for trading partner management, workflow and transaction automation. It also supports the latest technology standards, including J2EE, SOAP, UDDI, ebXML and CORBA as well as industry standards such as RosettaNet.

In addition to the new global SCM functionality, collaboration and integration platform, glovia.com 7 also includes more than 60 individual functionality enhancements to its core ERP applications. The new solution improves the company's customer relationship management (CRM), procurement, manufacturing, financials, and projects applications. Last but not least, the latest version of glovia.com should simplify Glovia's overall solution offering by incorporating the company's existing collaborative commerce solutions--glovia.e, glovia.ec and glovia.hub--into its single glovia.com product suite. The fully integrated solution should provide manufacturers with web-enabled functionality for product configuration, sales and service orders, and customer self-service. Since introducing these e-business applications in 2000, Glovia has worked to seamlessly incorporate them into glovia.com, which should also mitigate any brand and product positioning confusion issues of the past (see Will Glovia Glow Again Through Its Hub And VARs?).


This concludes Part One of a four-part note.

Part Two will detail Fujitsu's support of Glovia.

Part Three will discuss the market impact.

Part Four will cover challenges and make user recommendations.

 
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