MAPICS (NASDAQ: MAPX) now has an expanded Business Intelligence
(BI) suite that works throughout its MAPICS XA product.
The suite, called Graphic Performance Series (GPS),
is offered through a formal relationship with Vanguard Solutions
Intelligence is a vital piece of our customer's ERP system, turning the
wealth of data in the XA manufacturing data model into information to
make better business decisions and gain competitive advantage in their
markets", said Tom Aery, VP and GM of MAPICS, Inc. XA Business Unit. "The
tight integration and manufacturing industry specific, pre-defined analytics
in GPS speeds implementation and provides our customers with a BI solution
that maximizes their return on investment in XA. GPS is fully enabled
to work in the new collaborative manufacturing world, sharing real-time
information with all members of the supply chain to improve customer service
is a comprehensive Business Intelligence application, fully integrated
into MAPICS XA. Vanguard reports that no development is required. GPS
includes a large number of pre-packaged analytics of MAPICS XA data, featuring
summary analysis and drill down to both lower levels of summarization
and the MAPICS XA source data. In addition, GPS includes a development
capability that allows the creation of customer views, integration to
non-MAPICS systems and the inclusion of custom MAPICS extensions.
Analytics - information on sales statistics, order bookings, and
- graphing, analysis and reporting for General Ledger, Accounts Receivable,
and Accounts Payable information. Provides drilling between financial
and supporting sales, purchasing, inventory and manufacturing information.
Supply Chain Analytics
- Includes inventory, purchasing and supplier analytics from inventory
trends by planner, buyer, and item to supplier performance and PPV.
Analytics - Focuses on schedule performance and variance analysis.
- Automated scheduler of view/cube building and distribution to end
users via web server or e-mail attachments for un-tethered users.
Client - thin client OLAP (on-line analytical processing) capabilities
allows "dynamic" graphing and reporting that can be used un-tethered.
Builder - Meta data maintenance tool used to extend and customize
Yvonne Genovese, Research Director, Enterprise and Supply Chain Management
at Gartner Group expressed her view on MAPICS and GPS thus:
"The MAPICS XA product has a rich database. But, like most other ERP products,
translating the data stored within the database to information used to
make enterprise decisions has proven difficult. With the availability
of the Business Intelligence solution GPS, MAPICS can provide their customers
with a valuable tool for harvesting the business value out of their database."
Yvonne speaks from strong position, in addition to her role at Gartner
Group; she was formerly the Vice President of Marketing for MAPICS.
from early MAPICS XA users of GPS have been overwhelmingly positive. MAPICS
XA customer Biomet, Inc. of Warsaw, Indiana designs, manufactures
and markets products used primarily by orthopedic medical specialists.
Tom Orr, Biomet's GPS project leader reports, "The GPS business intelligence
product for MAPICS is incredible! It has surpassed our high expectations.
We were able to install GPS, build the warehouse and have our users up
and running within 2 weeks."
development capabilities have been used in a variety of ways. GPS can
be extended to include non-MAPICS XA data, for example customer custom
modules or applications from other vendors. Although MAPICS XA is AS/400
based, GPS can work with non-AS/400 databases including Oracle
and SQL Server. Therefore, GPS should be seen as an integration
tool, allowing one view of data from a variety of systems.
its beginning, the primary MAPICS distribution channel has been local
affiliate organizations. These local businesses sell and support MAPICS
in a defined geographic area. The MAPICS affiliate network represents
GPS as part of their overall MAPICS mission. Ron Schuur, the president
of a leading MAPICS affiliate, Schuur Solutions of Brea,
CA. says, "We have three customers who recently licensed GPS. What has
been so impressive is how quickly people see the value and their overall
positive reactions. I personally suggest that all MAPICS affiliates make
this a key part of their customer satisfaction efforts."
Existing MAPICS XA customers should review GPS with their local affiliate
to determine the additional value that can be generated from their MAPICS
database. Look for a quick return on investment because sales and supply
chain processes should be improved by access to concise, targeted information.
customers with custom systems or products from other vendors should review
GPS's development capabilities in order to gain data integration between
their various systems.
customers evaluating MAPICS XA should consider GPS an essential part of
MAPICS XA and insist on reviewing it as part of their evaluation.
With GPS, MAPICS has taken a critical step forward in creating value for
its customers. MAPICS should expend the marketing effort required to insure
all MAPICS XA customers, prospects and affiliates fully understand the
value potential of GPS. MAPICS should invest further in the GPS technology
to insure that the power of GPS is available across 100% of the MAPICS
product lines including integration into its portal strategy and Point
should continue its focus of business intelligence for ERP systems. It
should expand the coverage of GPS to extend its offerings beyond the current
set of JDE, MAPICS, PRISM and BPCS. In the fast moving BI market, Vanguard
should continue to invest in GPS to maintain its competitive position.
Olin Thompson is a principal of Process ERP Partners. He has over 25 years
experience as an executive in the software industry with the last 17 in
process industry related ERP, SCP, and e-business related segments. Olin
has been called "the Father of Process ERP." He is a frequent author and
an award-winning speaker on topics of gaining value from ERP, SCP, e-commerce
and the impact of technology on industry.
can be reached at Olin@ProcessERP.com