J.D. Edwards Finds Its Inner-Self Within Its 5th Incarnation Part 2: FOCUS Announcements Continued

J.D. Edwards Finds Its Inner-Self Within Its 5th Incarnation

Part 2: FOCUS Announcements Continued
P.J. Jakovljevic - October 3, 2002

FOCUS Announcements Continued

However, contrary to the concrete delivery announcements discussed in Part One, during FOCUS, J.D. Edwards announced merely its vision for a Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) suite with full capabilities to electronically collaborate with suppliers and partners across the supply chain. Having advanced the concept of SRM beyond other offerings currently on the market, J.D. Edwards believes to be in a great position to fill future customers' growing need for more visibility, real-time response and collaboration in the supply chain. To that end, the company is leveraging its ERP, Advanced Planning, and supplier applications like Supplier Self-Service, as well as existing product partnerships with companies such as Ariba, MatrixOne, and Agile, to deliver an SRM solution today as a part of J.D Edwards 5.

Going forward, however, J.D. Edwards will make additional SRM enhancements to support the management of the five key functions of the Supplier Lifecycle design, plan, source, fulfill and settle, through real time proactive messaging and alerts presented via Web-based portals. As current supply chain offerings in the market still leave gaps in with suppliers, this future broad, integrated and configurable suite will supposedly optimize supplier relationships over the course of procuring direct goods, indirect goods, services and people items a process J.D. Edwards refers to as Supplier Lifecycle Management (SLM). The next J.D. Edwards SRM product to be released, Buyer Workstation, is slated for next year, and it should combine the Strategic Planning and Fulfillment functions, laying the groundwork to develop the complete five-function SRM suite.

This is Part Two of a four-part note on J.D. Edwards. This part continues the discussion of recent announcements during and after the J.D. Edwards FOCUS meeting. Part Three will discuss the Market Impact and Part Four will outline the Challenges J.D. Edwards faces and make User Recommendations.

Partnerships & Alliances

While the above significant new product deliveries have happened under its own steam, the company has not departed from its traditional policy of congenial partnering with other prominent software providers either. To that end, on July 15, J.D. Edwards announced the release of its latest version of Demand Planning, a significantly enhanced application designed to meet the needs of companies with challenging forecasting environments, by leveraging technology from Demantra, a Cambridge, MA-based provider of demand-driven supply chain software.

As mentioned in Part One, a part of the company's enhanced suite of Advanced Planning applications in J.D. Edwards 5, Demand Planning works in tandem with Demand Consensus to create a true collaborative forecasting environment across the supply chain. Using historical demand information and market intelligence, Demand Planning employs statistical and multi-dimensional data modeling capabilities to predict and plan for future product demand. Unlike many competing offerings, which typically utilize only a single, "best-fit" statistical model to forecast future demand, J.D. Edwards cites its Demand Planning combines statistics derived from multiple models to create a more accurate forecast for better managing seasonality, intermittent demand, unusual events, and changes in demand trends and patterns.

In addition, Demand Planning can analyze and forecast the impact of events such as holidays, promotions, and price sensitivities and product dependencies. As with all Advanced Planning applications, Demand Planning comes pre-integrated with the J.D. Edwards 5 ERP and supply chain execution (SCE) offerings for instantaneous response to supply chain events. Enhancements to Demand Planning reportedly include faster computation speed, a more user-friendly interface, improvements to statistical modeling capabilities to accommodate intermittent and erratic demand, and allocation management functions to improve spare parts and co-product demand management.

Further during FOCUS, J.D. Edwards announced that it will join forces with Aprimo, Inc. to bring together its ERP and CRM applications with the Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) solutions from Aprimo. Aprimo Marketing includes a suite of products for marketing operations including Strategic Planner, Marcom Manager, Financial Manager, and Event Manager, and a suite of products for customer communications including Direct Marketer, Lead Manager, and Web Response Manager.

J.D. Edwards' customers should now have the capability to integrate the J.D. Edwards Financials solution with the Aprimo Marketing Financial Manager as well as integrate the J.D. Edwards CRM solution with the Aprimo Marketing Lead Manager offering. These applications should allow J.D. Edwards to expand its CRM capabilities beyond the standard campaign management functionality. In addition to integrating to the J.D. Edwards CRM solution, Aprimo Marketing's Financial Manager module will integrate to the J.D. Edwards ERP offering. Marketing budgets, invoices, committed funds, and forecast expenses can be shared between both solutions to ensure accurate and timely financial management of the marketing budget, one of the largest discretionary spends in the organization. Under terms of this referral partnership agreement, both companies will market and promote the respective integrated products separately.

On the technology front, during FOCUS, J.D. Edwards and webMethods, Inc. (NASDAQ: WEBM), one of the leading providers of enterprise applications integration (EAI) software, announced the expansion of their existing, quintessential strategic business partnership to further address customers' integration needs. The companies are building upon their exclusive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement by adding a co-sell and resell component, providing a "single face" to the customer.

In addition, webMethods and J.D. Edwards will co-develop future versions of the J.D. Edwards adapter, which will be available exclusively through the partnership, and aimed at optimizing integration with enterprise applications. J.D. Edwards harnessed the use of integration software within its product line years ago (see J.D. Edwards Chooses Freedom to Choose EAI), and it continually strives to improve the ease of use for its customers. To that end, J.D. Edwards will work with webMethods to develop, market and sell solutions that help customers transform their technology infrastructure into a functional whole.

The expansion of the relationship reportedly stems from the numerous joint successes the companies have had deploying their software for customers throughout the world. Through OEM and collaborative marketing agreements, webMethods and J.D. Edwards will supposedly provide customers with a strong integration software, seamless customer support and access to broad value-added functionality, including J.D. Edwards XBPs. As mentioned above, built by J.D. Edwards on the webMethods integration platform, XBPs are pre-defined business processes that tie diverse applications and enterprises together in real time.

As a result, on September 24, J.D. Edwards announced the release of the latest version of its XPI middleware software, aimed at enabling companies to collaborate with multiple suppliers, customers and other valued business partners by linking their disparate systems and applications. Among the enhancements for the latest version of XPI are a dozen new XBPs and full native support for Web Services. First introduced in June of 2001, XBPs have been devised to go beyond simply connecting applications to activating responses appropriate for an enterprise's workflows. They operate in conjunction with integrated ERP, SCM and CRM systems and initiate action, extracting and delivering data inside and outside the organization to drive order promising, sales order processing, purchasing, billing, invoicing, shipping and other business-critical functions. New XBPs available with the latest release of XPI include:

  • Address Book synchronization

  • General Ledger (GL) updates

  • Order Promising

  • Order Notification

  • Manufacturing Work Orders

  • Inventory Item Balance

  • Procurement order notification

These new XBPs were developed and pre-defined by leveraging J.D. Edwards' existing applications as well as the company's depth of experience in specific industry sectors. Moreover, all 85 XBPs offered by J.D. Edwards can be deployed as fully standards-compliant Web Services today, since conceptually, XBP technology and Web Services supposedly share a very similar approach to integration, and are highly compatible. Consequently, while the latest version of XPI allows all XBPs to be surfaced and deployed as Web Services today, conversely, through the existing support in XPI for Web Services, J.D. Edwards' applications also are enabled to receive third-party Web Services.

Co-Marketing With IBM Corporation

Nurturing further likely its most important partnership, during FOCUS, J.D. Edwards and IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) announced a slew of new pre-configured server offerings and industry-specific bundled solutions for customers looking to reduce the risk, complexity and cost of running a collaborative e-business. With this announcement, J.D. Edwards reportedly becomes the first IBM Business Partner to co-market specialized IBM eServer systems for each of its currently supported platforms. The new IBM eServers for J.D. Edwards come packaged with:

  • IBM WebSphere 3.5, a stalwart e-business application deployment environment with a broad set of application services, including capabilities for transaction management, security, clustering, performance, availability, connectivity and scalability, which offers possibly the most comprehensive e-business platform to extend, automate, integrate, personalize, build, deploy and grow a company's e-business solution.

  • IBM DB2 database, preferred by J.D. Edwards for its enterprise software on UNIX, and one of J.D. Edwards' two preferred Windows OS-environment databases for J.D. Edwards OneWorld Xe enterprise software.

  • IBM TotalStorage, a complete selection of cross-platform storage offerings that cover storage networking, disk, tape, software and services.

IBM and J.D. Edwards have further unveiled many other packaged systems aimed at lowering the TCO of servers and software priced for the mid-market. The result of 25 years of partnering, the systems include CRM on the iSeries (formerly AS/400), CRM on Linux (starting with the solution for Financial Institutions), and xSeries for J.D. Edwards 5. With the price points offered and the range of alternatives available for J.D. Edwards' customers, IBM has positioned itself to be a prominent provider for hardware and software in the mid-market (given the lion share of J.D. Edwards' customers running on its equipment).

The new IBM eServer pSeries and xSeries servers for J.D. Edwards join the first IBM eServer for J.D. Edwards, an iSeries offering introduced last fall. First few of J.D. Edwards Industry Bundles (a group of modules that encompasses core functionality utilized by a certain industry) to be delivered under the above IBM alliance will be: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Wholesale/Distribution, Industrial Fabrication & Assembly (IFA), and Real Estate.

The partnership was finally crowned on September 19, with J.D. Edwards' announcement that it would standardize its J.D. Edwards 5 on IBM's infrastructure technology or "middleware." J.D. Edwards' believes this decision will provide customers with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and that it sets the benchmark for ease of use, rapid implementation, easier integration, and portal-based accessibility--all of which are key requirements for customers in the mid-market to mid-cap market.

J.D. Edwards 5 applications will be pre-integrated with IBM's WebSphere Application Server and Portal with embedded security, Lotus collaboration tools, and DB2 Universal Database (DB2 UDB). The joint package will run on all vendor technologies that J.D. Edwards currently supports including Microsoft Windows and UNIX environments from IBM, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Sun Microsystems, and Unisys, and the IBM eServer iSeries. J.D. Edwards will continue to offer customers integration and interoperability via its XPI (eXtended Process Integration) solution using webMethods technologies.

J.D. Edwards and IBM will also share sales leads and develop joint marketing programs in support of the integrated software and infrastructure technology package, with J.D. Edwards delivering it in phases beginning in early 2003. In addition, J.D. Edwards and IBM are establishing an Integration Center to validate and certify various J2EE compliant hardware configurations of the collaborative business software and infrastructure technology offerings.

Last but not least, to address the needs of the lower-end of the market, on August 6, J.D. Edwards announced an alliance with The OASYS Group, Inc., which joins the J.D. Edwards Genesis Channel partner program as the New England territory partner, where it will sell and implement the full suite of J.D. Edwards enterprise software to companies with annual revenue of $130M and below.

This concludes Part Two of a four-part note on J.D. Edwards. Part Three will discuss the Market Impact of the announcements detailed in Part One and Part Two. Part Four will cover the Challenges J.D. Edwards faces and make User Recommendations.

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