Manugistics and Agile Make it Official on Valentine’s Day

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Manugistics and Agile Make it Official on Valentine's Day
S. McVey - March 8, 2001

Event Summary

In the wake of the recent Strategy Summit in San Francisco, Manugistics Group, Inc. announced an alliance with Agile Software Corporation through which the partners hope to provide enterprise optimization capabilities for the collaborative manufacturing commerce market. Agile specializes in providing solutions for manufacturers engaged in B2B commerce with suppliers and customers. Its applications help manufacturers respond quickly to changes in product content, allowing them to optimize sourcing and procurement operations. Manugistics' Enterprise Profit Optimization application will presumably layer on the dimension of profit impact visibility to this collaboration, a feature that most users will embrace.

Manugistics is touting the new agreement as more evidence of its steady progress from the financial turmoil it endured prior to Greg Owens' arrival as chairman and CEO. "The Manugistics and Agile comprehensive solution will be designed to allow our customers to more effectively collaborate on product content, procure materials, and optimize demand planning and forecasting in real time," said Owens. "Alliances such as ours with Agile demonstrate Manugistics' leadership in developing comprehensive solutions that can be quickly implemented to enable strong return on investment."

Market Impact

Of the many potential synergies offered by products in Manugistics' supply chain management suite, the most promising and therefore appealing to Agile was that between product content and profit optimization. Procurement managers usually lack the information needed to judge how the acquisition of products or components will affect the overall profitability of the department, business unit, or corporation. Sometimes when the information is available, it is in a form that makes it extremely difficult to apply. Manugistics' Enterprise Profit Optimization (EPO) represents a solution that makes it easier to access and use this information.

Manugistics predicated its aggressive marketing campaign for EPO on the correct assumption that few SCM vendors offer satisfactory cost visibility features in their suites. Upon acquiring Talus Solutions in December, Manugistics stepped ahead of its competition in the SCM e-business software space in profit optimization capabilities. Agile's high tech client base provides Manugistics an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Talus' strengths and overlaps industries with Manugistics' own customers.

Manugistics continues to experience strong demand for its electronics and high technology (EHT) solutions, having recently signed deals with Cisco Systems, Emerson, Juniper Networks, Lexmark, and NTT DoCoMo, Inc. Its success in EHT has not come at the expense of its hold over more traditional markets, however, such as apparel, footwear and textiles, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, transportation, and retail industries. If the current market momentum of its new partner continues, Agile stands to reap sizable benefits from the alliance.

User Recommendations

Users who buy and sell parts through a B2B exchange powered by Agile should applaud the new alliance, but realize that the hard work of finding precise areas of synergy within their solutions has yet to be accomplished. The Talus acquisition closed just two months ago and software problems inevitably arise in the assimilation of a new module. Although the pair states that integration work will begin immediately, it is possible that they will first concentrate on jointly marketing their solutions. This will likely provide a test bed for discovering the best areas to target for integrating their solutions at a software level in a later phase.

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