Gets a Hand from Categoric
S. McVey - October
4, Optum, Inc., a provider of software for warehousing, transportation planning,
and inventory management, announced a strategic alliance with messaging and
alerts software vendor Categoric Software Corporation. As part of the deal,
Optum will resell Categoric Alerts software as part of its Optum SCE Series
suite of applications for warehouse and transportation management. Providing
integration to ODBC-compliant databases, Alerts can deliver messages automatically
to relevant users via e-mail, mobile phone, pager, Web, fax or EDI.
As if the overwhelming
amount of enterprise data made available through ERP, SCADA (Supervisory Control
and Data Acquisition), or DCS (Distributed Control System) were not enough,
the realization of supply chain management requires organizations to reach into
suppliers' and customers' organizations for even more data. Usually, only a
fraction of the collected data is of real interest to users. For instance, it
is rarely necessary for a warehouse manager to know, at all times, the quantity
of every item in inventory. Far more critical to providing quick order fulfillment
is knowing when a critical item falls below a reorder point or safety level.
Messaging and alert software can provide this capability.
teaming with an alert software provider can enhance its competitive advantage
over other supply chain execution market players, such as Industri-Matematik,
EXE Technologies, and Descartes Systems Group. The pact with Categoric allows
it to offer software that promises to improve customer responsiveness at every
stage in a product's life cycle. Properly implemented, the alerts can bring
real-time visibility of critical thresholds that are monitored by its supply
chain execution software. Categoric achieves several advantages by the alliance.
In addition to having another indirect sales channel, Categoric increases its
visibility in the marketplace and creates opportunities to develop new strategies
for integrating its software to SCE solutions. Success with Optum will enable
Categoric to duplicate its arrangement with larger vendors, such as SAP, i2,
For Optum users,
the combination offers the potential for increased visibility into the critical
parts of their warehousing, inventory, and transportation plans. If Categoric
makes use of experience gained through implementation of its Alerts software
atop ERP, SCM, and CRM systems, not only should the product mature, but Categoric
will also have amassed a set of best implementation practices that will further
benefit prospective clients. In the near term, users should not expect the implementation
of Alerts with Optum SCE Series to be trouble-free. In addition, acquirers
of Optum who elect to incorporate Categoric Alerts should make sure they understand
how the packages are priced to avoid making costly mistakes during negotiation.