Peregrine Polishes the Old In-Out-and-In-between

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Peregrine Polishes the Old In-Out-and-In-between
D. Geller - August 24, 2000

Event Summary

Peregrine Systems, a growing force in providing B2B e-commerce and infrastructure management for mid- to large-sized companies, is buffing the details of a number of its offerings. Having made its initial foray into e-procurement by promising to aid in both the acquisition and tracking of capital assets (First Look: Peregrine Offers Cradle to Grave Procurement), the company now wants to help its customers get rid of those assets whose life history it has helped track. It has entered into a strategic partnership with ZoneTrader, Inc., a B2B eMarketplace for used and surplus capital equipment. Peregrine has also made an equity investment in ZoneTrader, whose other investors include Ford Motor Company and Dow Chemical.

The partnership will enable Peregrine customers to transfer the complete history of their disposable capital assets to ZoneTrader; the procurement, maintenance and repair record kept by Peregrine's Get.Resources! and AssetCenter software is predicted to make these assets more desirable in the market than other less documented ones. Peregrine customers will also be able to acquire assets through ZoneTrader. The logical next step, having the Peregrine record follow the asset to the new customer (and, if the buyer also uses Peregrine, having it imported into the buyer's AssetCenter) is not yet available but is planned for early implementation.

A second announcement puts Peregrine together with New Era of Networks, Inc, in the real-time integration of Peregrine's e-commerce and infrastructure management products with the leading ERP and CRM products, such as those from SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft and Siebel.

Where Peregrine's Get.Resources! and AssetCenter products currently handle the request and approval steps in the ordering process, once these products are integrated with NEON's Peregrine Accelerator (as the new offering will be called) the employee would also be able to validate the request against the purchasing rules in the ERP system. Customers will also be able to close the purchase order and manage its fulfillment with the ERP system.

On the CRM side a typical integration point would be between a CRM vendor's help desk product and Peregrine's ServiceCenter. If the CRM product determines the problem to be IT related it can pass the information to ServiceCenter, which opens a ticket and manages the customer interaction. When the interaction is complete, ServiceCenter passes a completion notice to the main CRM system, which closes its own ticket. Neon's accelerators link different vendor processes, enabling real-time integration of data and process flow. Previously, Peregrine had been able to offer only batch data transfers.

The third Peregrine announcement revealed a new version of the company's TrustedLink software. TrustedLink is a product that came to Peregrine with its acquisition of Harbinger, now the eBusiness Connectivity Group. TrustedLink e-Version 5 adds XML capabilities to this middleware application that provides application-to-application connectivity between business partners, or between business processes of a single company.

The new e-Version 5 is a specific release of the TrustedLink Software for the AS400, UNIX and NT platforms. This version provides IP connection to, Peregrine's B2B e-Commerce exchange, to provide low cost transaction management, customer support (such as electronic software distribution) and many other eBusiness services. A major advantage of the upgrade, according to the company, is that documents will be both machine- and human readable.

Market Impact

Partnering with ZoneTrader completes Peregrine's asset management vision in a strong way. The used asset marketplace is a significant source of revenue or assets for many categories of business, and seems to be particularly well suited for e-commerce. Both Peregrine and ZoneTrader get a boost from this.

We suspect that the new version of TrustedLink will prove more important for what it represents than for any boost to Peregrine's new sales. It tells us that Peregrine continues to upgrade its software to use or be compatible with XML. There's no reason to imagine that XML's chances to be the dominant medium for eCommerce communication will be diminished in the near future, and Peregrine is making the right move by continuing what seems to be an aggressive conversion schedule.

The Accelerator product built with NEON helps position Peregrine as a virtual full-service provider, making it easier for them to compete in the e-procurement area with such ERP giants as Oracle and SAP.

User Recommendations

There's no bad news here for users that we can see. Each of these enhancements adds value to Peregrine's offerings and, depending on your requirements, can add points to Peregrine in a pre-purchase comparison.

Note, though, that only TrustedLink Version 5 actually exists at present. Both the ZoneTrader and NEON partnerships are just starting, and may take months to reach market. In the meantime there are other avenues open to you. NEON, for example, has already partnered with Commerce One to produce a similar set of accelerators and connectors, and every vendor of front-office applications (including Peregrine) has previously claimed easy integration to back-end systems.

If batch connectivity is sufficient then you'll have more options than if you need the real-time process integration to be provided by NEON.

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