TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of August 6, 2012

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Accuride Corporation selects cloud-based Plex Online ERP
Industry tags: Manufacturing
"This Indiana-based automotive components manufacturer and supplier has performed a significant multi-year ERP software evaluation and selection project, resulting in the selection of the cloud-based ERP system from Plex Systems. A single application is to replace seven separate ERP systems, or over different 200 applications, that are running in the head office as well as its subsidiary manufacturing facilities. This implementation is important for Accuride, as it simplifies its IT structure."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst

Jordan’s Furniture retailer selects Coda Financials as its financial management solution
Industry tags: Wholesale and retail trade
"This famous and venerable (over 80 years old) furniture retailer with multiple locations across New England uses a 20-year-old ERP system, and realized that its financial module does not meet the needs of the current business, and costs too much, as well as being operable in constant patching mode only. Therefore they decided to have a look at the market in order to choose another application with a focus on budgeting, planning, real-time tracking, and flexible reporting. Coda Financials was the choice of this thorough selection, and besides the functional capability of the software, ease of collaboration with the Coda team was also an important factor."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC  Analyst

Trans-Northern Pipelines selects IFS Applications as its CMMS/EAM and ERP solution
Industry tags: Oil and Gas
"It is no surprise that IFS has won the software selection competition for this Canadian pipelines operator that delivers petroleum products to major cities in Ontario and Quebec. A decent range of functionality, embedded flexibility, and ease of use are the characteristic features of this project-based software. Trans-Northern Pipelines’ selection was no exception: strong knowledge of the industry, deep functionality, and the availability of a single integrated solution were the key criteria of the evaluation."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst

Avon Rubber selects Sage ERP X3 for global implementation
Industry tags: Rubber products
"The customer in this case does not disclose the details of the selection and competitive choices it had, but my educated guess is that Sage ERP X3’s global/multinational capabilities, modern architecture, and the rubber industry savvy were the decisive factors. Sage’s partner Inixion Ltd will have also played the role in the selection with its understanding of the industry and the local UK requirements."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

Systra selects IFS Applications for worldwide project-based operations
Industry tags: rail and urban transport engineering
"When it comes to looking for an ERP vendor that supports project-based engineer-to-order manufacturing and delivery on a global basis, IFS is always a sound choice."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

Automotive and office furniture assembler selects IQMS
Industry tags: Automotive, furniture
"IQMS’s competitors were reportedly Microsoft Dynamics AX and Epicor 9. Some of the compelling reasons for the customer to select IQMS were as follows:

• e-commerce integration was a big factor due to specific labeling and order requirements from a major client;
• The IQMS Automation Group capabilities is something the customer wants down the road, and IQMS has experience with PLC integration;
• Lean concepts and heijunka box load-leveling tools;
• IQMS’ EnterpriseIQ system included extended capabilities, such as the Quality Suite of modules, right out-of-the-box."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

High-tech solar panels developer and manufacturer selects on-demand ERP solution from Tensoft
Industry tags: Manufacturing, electronics and high-tech components
"Unlike many other semiconductors developing companies that operate in “fabless” environments with actual manufacturing operations outsourced to lower-wage countries, Solar Junction is committed to keeping manufacturing in its California location. As a relatively small but rapidly growing business, it has chosen the SaaS software deployment model, which Tensoft (a Microsoft Dynamics GP value-added reseller) was able to provide. Another important consideration is that Tensoft specializes in integrated ERP solutions for specifically technology companies, and is one of the few Microsoft partners to offer hosted variants for its clients."— Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst



CDC Software and Consona Merge to form Aptean
Industry tags: cross-industry
"The new company's press release speaks to the synergies to be obtained by merging these two companies, who combined have over 9,000 customers in more than 100 countries. Monte Ford, president of Aptean, said 'Consona and CDC have complementary solutions in key application areas, including CRM, ERP, and SCM.' The merger of these two companies will bring CDC's enterprise software expertise together with Consona's diverse portfolio of applications."—Ted Rohm, TEC Research Analyst

PTC acquires Servigistics
"PTC has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Servigistics, Inc., developer of a broad suite of service lifecycle management (SLM) software solutions, for approximately US$220 million (USD) in cash. The transaction is expected to be completed in September 2012. On paper, this move seems to be a great catch and a brilliant concept. With Arbortext, 4CS, and Servigistics, PTC will certainly be way ahead of any PLM/ERP competitor in the realm of SLM. In addition, Servigistics should be additive to PTC’s revenue (which PTC quite needs), and potentially accretive to the bottom line in the near term. It also bolsters PTC’s “complete scope” story. But while the potential is great here, possibly the biggest issue is the increasing levels of complexity and cost with PTC’s continued acquisitions, which are putting pressure on the company’s corporate P&L statements (you can see this in the vendor’s financials). Every acquisition adds further field sales expenses and potential channel confusion, at a time when PTC is trying to reduce and simplify its global sales structure.

And this acquisition means yet another completely separate code base with somewhat overlapping functionality. Indeed, Servigistics is still figuring out the rationalization of once fiercely competing offerings by MCA Solutions and Servigistics in parts planning, while 4CS and Servigistics were also competitors in warranty management. Arbortext, MKS, Servigistics, 4CS, Polyplan, Relex, etc., are all complicated code bases with substantial costs associated with moving forward. PTC can either leave them as separate systems and hide them under the Windchill brand or its can try to duplicate/migrate on to the underlying Windchill technology. Either way, the costs over the mid-to-long term could be significant."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

Dassault Systèmes spins off Transcat PLM
Industry tags: automotive, aerospace, consumer goods industry, mechanical engineering, plant construction
"Nothing really big should be read into this. Dassault already has a number of other PLM products under the ENOVIA brand that I am not quite sure whether the PLM and CAD giant even knows what to do with. As acquisitions increase, this becomes a tough challenge.

On the other hand, it is likely that local managing directors wanted more control, and/or that the German Works Council labor rules also had something to do with this. As for the first possibility, this management buyout positions a former executive of Dassault Systèmes, Etienne Droit (formerly the leader of the CATIA brand), as one of the managing directors of Transcat. As for the latter possibility, I know that Infor, for example, had works council nightmares, and most of its German acquisitions were 'independent subsidiaries'. Even though a subsidiary would have, say, only one percent of the total users of Infor or Dassault, the vendor would have to allocate/cut resources proportionally across the total company. In case of spun-off resources, the local company has much more flexibility and its managers can make more money."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

Cloud Extend Mobile now offering voice-to-text and touchscreen input
Industry tags: sales force automation (SFA), customer relationship management (CRM), BPM, cross-industry
“Cloud Extend is a concrete cloud (available on salesforce.com’s AppExchange) business process management (BPM) application, built on Active Endpoints’ BPMS, ActiveVOS. Cloud Extend aims to automate mundane sales, marketing, and customer service processes.

Cloud Extend Mobile brings together the very important voice component, which has been hardly at all leveraged in traditional CRM and SFA systems. The latest offering also creates wizards for smartphones to simplify daily work on enterprise apps by combining voice-to-text, touchscreen input and DIY customization.  In just a few minutes and a couple of clicks in the WYSIWYG designer, users can create a mobile wizard to guide them through any application task. For instance, a sales person might create a wizard for walking through a meeting follow-up process to document notes from the call, new contacts met, new opportunities identified, and follow-up tasks. The following step-by-step example from the company’s PR explains how salespeople could use the wizard on their smartphones:

- Step 1: A sales exec asks Siri to display a list of the day’s appointments. An Android user would launch the calendar application.
- Step 2: Next, he or she simply taps on an embedded link that opens the meeting follow-up wizard.
- Step 3: The sales exec is guided through the steps to be completed as part of the follow-up routine, with input options optimized for his or her smartphone.
- Step 4: Meeting notes, names, addresses and other text items are entered using the smartphone’s voice-to-text feature.
- Step 5: Other items, such as days, dates and times, yes/no questions, and similar information are entered by touch.
- Step 6: Once the sales exec completes the steps in the wizard, all information is stored and displayed in the enterprise application."—P.J. Jakovljevic, Principal TEC Analyst

LinguaNext announces translation solution for Oracle ERP Systems
Industry tags: cross-industry
"LinguaNext, Inc., a leader in enterprise software language localization software, has announced the availability of their Linguify solution for Oracle E-Business Suite. The off-the-shelf solution enables companies to translate Oracle solutions into any language without touching the underlying application code. The solution can help reduce multilanguage support (MLS) requirements, or provide language support in countries for which there are no national language support (NLS) packages. This solution is in addition to the company’s existing advanced globalization solution, LinguaNext, and Linguify for SAP."—Ted Rohm, TEC Research Analyst
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