QAD Offers Improved E-Commerce Applications with Greater Flexibility and Customization Capabilities

Event Summary

On December 30, QAD, a leading developer of industry-specific e-business solutions for manufacturers and distributors, announced the availability of improved versions of its B2B and B2C e-commerce applications for its core enterprise solution, MFG/PRO. These applications extend secure, scalable buying and selling functionality over the Web and also provide greater flexibility and customization capabilities.

"Companies who deliver first on the e-business 'value chain' will be in the best position to move ahead of their competitors," said Pam Lopker, president and chairman of QAD. "QAD's B2B and B2C e-commerce applications allow our customers to do business with their trading partners in a more comprehensive way then ever before, resulting in decreased time to market and reduced costs while reaching a broader community of users. In today's highly competitive economy, companies are looking for innovative, cost-effective methods to stimulate new sales, create new sales channels, increase market share and enhance profits through improved production. Together, QAD's B2B and B2C e-commerce applications help companies achieve this by expanding their businesses online and by enhancing their customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives. QAD e-commerce applications offer customers and trading partners comprehensive real-time sales order and inventory management capabilities including order fulfillment, authorizations, automated tax and shipping calculations, and robust reporting capabilities. By extending instantaneous access to MFG/PRO information and exchanging critical data throughout the enterprise, QAD's B2B and B2C e-commerce provide continuous connections to customers and trading partners. The open, scalable architecture of the B2B and B2C e-commerce applications make them cost-effective, easy to manage and easy to adjust to the changing requirements of businesses and their trading partners."

Market Impact

The market can expect a spate of similar announcements in this space as vendors scramble to belatedly jump on the e-Commerce bandwagon. We believe that this year will be a trying year for the larger ERP players, particularly when competing within the Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) market segment, where there is much less patience for product delays and botched implementations. While almost every major ERP vendor has announced an e-Commerce strategy, most of the actual applications have yet to appear. Therefore, we regard QAD's official product launch as a positive step in reinventing itself around the new e-business economy. QAD and its ERP brethren will need to offer a full line of e-business applications to keep their customers happy and to attract new ones.

User Recommendations

In spite of massive market demand, most e-Commerce initiatives from ERP vendors are a long way from becoming a reality. While they should remain wary of high-sounding press releases and marketing hype, current users of QAD should contact their vendor and inquire about the proposed offering. Also, both current and potential users are advised to request the Company's written commitment to promised functionality, length of implementation, and seamless future upgrades before embarking on an implementation journey. Furthermore, any organization evaluating QAD products should exercise moderate caution and consider existing functionality only, until the Company regains consistently profitable financial performance. Users should closely follow future outcomes of the company's recent calling on a venture capitalist to help it survive the downturn in the ERP market.

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