TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of June 18, 2012

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Loudoun County Sanitation Authority selects SAP ERP
Industry tags: utilities
"According to the plans of both the client and its system integrator, Sparta Consulting, the entire project is supposed to take only 14 months, which is a pretty intensive timeline considering a level of the solution selected and the company’s size. The modules to be implemented are financials, utilities billing, customer service, human resources, engineering, and enterprise asset management. But what caught my attention specifically is that although the solution to be implemented is the latest SAP for Utilities enhancement package (which is specifically tailored to the utilities industry, preconfigured, and includes best industry practices), about 20 percent of the functionality is supposed to be custom developed, which is a lot. Industry-specific versions ideally shouldn’t imply any customization at all. Anyway, it will be interesting to see the output of this project at the projected go-live stage."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst

GINAF selects QAD On Demand for corporate-wide rollout in The Netherlands
Industry tags: industrial machinery
"QAD On Demand has lately been quite the growth engine, and the subscription-based recurring revenue is reaching about five percent of QAD’s total revenues. The reasons why companies opt for this offering vary but typically revolve around the speed theme. In GINAF’s case, the manufacturer wanted to support its growing business and to streamline and consolidate its IT department as part of the company’s new corporate lean strategy in which all non-core business activity is outsourced. QAD On Demand gives GINAF the power to focus on its core manufacturing and distribution business and leave the management of its ERP system to QAD."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

Bangalore-based bank selects IBM Cloud for core banking solutions
Industry tags: cloud computing
"IBM SmartCloud has been selected as the private cloud provider for Sree Charan Souharda Cooperative Bank. SmartCloud will be used to deliver core banking solutions, and to help the bank better align its business processes, project scaling, and rely on analytics to improve the decision-making process. The private cloud continues to grow by providing an interesting combination of services and technologies for enhanced security and reliable service."—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

California’s Clover Stornetta Farms selects Infor10 ERP Enterprise (M3)
Industry tags: food and beverages
"One of the key reasons this dairy product producer selected Infor10 ERP Enterprise (M3) (former Lawson ERP M3) was the requirement to stay on the same proven IBM System i platform and to avoid the expensive process of platform migration, staff training, and all other subsequent moves. At the same time, changes in compliance regulation led to extended traceability and supply chain monitoring functionality requirements, which Infor’s product supports naturally. The company also is planning to leverage enhanced manufacturing management processes and overall production control with the new software."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst

UK electronic products manufacturer selects Epicor
Industry tags: manufacturing
"Elmdene, a British designer and manufacturer of electronic products for security and fire alarm systems, was using a number of disparate outdated systems and spreadsheet-based manual procedures to manage its business and to produce management and financial reports. One of its pressing tasks was to replace them with a single ERP system that would eliminate manual procedures and reduce the potential for errors. In addition to this, SOA-based Epicor ERP software allows integration with other legacy applications, if required. Another important requirement for the new system was scalability, which Epicor ERP also satisfies well."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst


Microsoft to acquire enterprise social network Yammer for $1.2 billion
Industry tags: cross-industry
"All major business software vendors are doing something to offer social networks for the enterprise (Oracle built its own social network and acquired social and collaboration solutions, and SAP just revealed its social collaboration strategy). Although Microsoft also recently launched a social network, socl, and even added social features to Bing, neither of these initiatives seems to be aimed at the enterprise. With Yammer, Microsoft not only acquires one of the most robust enterprise social networks, but also hundreds of enterprise customers. In order to be successful, Yammer needs to integrate with the Dynamics family of products, but also with SharePoint (which already has some social features in the 2010 version)."—TEC Research Analyst Gabriel Gheorghiu

"While Microsoft SharePoint has been lauded for its document management and Web site/portal creation capabilities, its social collaboration and business process management (BPM) capabilities are still lacking (anyone remembering and using Office Talk?). Yammer should help with the social aspect, and its recent integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Office compatibility should also help. It remains to be seen what Microsoft plans to do in regard with social marketing and customer-listening capabilities, given salesforce.com and Oracle’s recent acquisitions for these capabilities."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

Autodesk acquires Vela Systems
Industry tags: construction
"Building information modeling (BIM) is the new hot trend in the PLM world, with several companies acquiring solutions (Trimble’s acquisition of QuickPen), launching solutions (Acme BIM Online) or new versions (ArchiCAD 16, Tekla Structures 18), or partnering (e.g., Assemble Systems and TotalCAD, CDS and CADworks) to address the specific needs of construction companies for data management. Autodesk also acquired Horizontal Systems, a cloud BIM solution, in 2011. All these show how important BIM is becoming, not only because construction and architecture companies need to better manage data for new buildings, but also because maintenance for existing buildings proves to be an increasingly important challenge. We will definitely see more consolidation in this space, and larger PLM vendors will surely be involved."—Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst

Lectra announces Lectra Fashion PLM V3
Industry tags: fashion/apparel
"Lectra is well known for its solutions for fashion and apparel PLM, but it’s good to see that they’re committed to continuously improving their offering. The new version aims to help fashion manufacturers address one of the most pressing challenges in the industry: the increasing speed of innovation generated by customer demand.  In order to respond to this demand, manufacturers need to collect details at a very granular level (e.g., color, size, etc.) and analyze them in order to remain ahead of the competition. The new version features tighter integration between design and product development functionality, and also offers enhanced workflow for better reporting and analysis."—Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst

QlikTech acquires Expressor Software
Industry tags: cross-industry
"According to QlikTech, this acquisition of the Massachusetts-based data management software company will provide customers with the means to make better decisions by reinforcing data security and governance across their companies. Data governance is slowly making its way into the picture as an important player when deploying successful data management initiatives. "—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

Infor completes acquisition of Easy Revenue Management Solutions (EasyRMS)
Industry tags: hospitality
"This is another tuck-in acquisition by Infor, but important given that at the recently held Inforum 2012 conference there was not much talk about the hospitality industry. London-based EasyRMS is a leading provider of multitenant SaaS revenue management software that helps hotels maximize guest revenue and profit. EasyRMS is a significant addition to Infor hospitality solutions, and addresses a key need and challenge for Infor’s hospitality and gaming customers—revenue management. With this acquisition, Infor will be adding employees located in the UK, France, Singapore, and China; and customers from more than 1,200 hotel properties across EMEA, North America, and APAC who use EasyRMS solutions. EasyRMS’s revenue management software is complementary to Infor10 HMS software and deepens Infor’s hospitality offering with demand modeling and forecasting, real-time competitive rate monitoring/analysis, and budgeting functionality. As a pure multitenant SaaS solution, EasyRMS positions Infor as a leader in providing a hotel management system (HMS) along with tools to maximize revenue and profit of managed rooms from a modern, single, cloud-based source.

The Infor10 HMS product line is former SoftBrands in name only. Infor10 HMS is a product built by the Infor development team leveraging Infor technologies and SoftBrands industry expertise. It was built on the same Infor framework as Infor10 EAM. The team pulled in the former call center module from SoftBrands, but it is an Infor product. It was originally branded as a SoftBrands product because of legal/finance considerations. With the combination of the Infor and Lawson (SoftBrands was temporarily under the Lawson umbrella), this branding shell is no longer necessary."— P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

SAP unveils Project Robus (its new social collaboration strategy)
Industry tags: cross-industry
“Project Robus was mentioned earlier this year at the Sapphire event, but it was officially launched today at the e2conf. SAP claims that the main advantage of its social collaboration solutions is that it does more than just provide Facebook-like platforms for the enterprise. For instance, collaboration features will leverage business solutions like SAP Workflow. The move was expected by everyone who follows the social media space, and it remains to be seen how SAP will offer better solutions than Oracle (who created its own social network for the enterprise and acquired several solutions for collaboration) or Microsoft (who recently acquired Yammer).”—Gabriel Gheorghiu, TEC Research Analyst

Oracle unveils Oracle’s Primavera Inspire for SAP 8.0
Industry tags: project management
“To ensure product adoption, software providers tend to rely heavily on launching products designed to perform on other platforms. This is the case with Oracle, who unveiled Primavera Inspire for SAP 8.0 to take advantage of SAP’s big installed base. Reinforced with specific capabilities for integration with SAP ERP, Oracle provides all the functional features of Primavera’s project management application. Making clear software applications are not isolated and many times coexist with many other enterprise applications.”—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

One Network Enterprises introduces new business continuity solution
Industry tags: cross-industry
“This is an interesting solution to address a major supply chain issue: risk management. Most businesses follow the usual reactive approach, but as events move faster than they do, particularly in extended supply chains, they are often left behind in qualitative responsiveness. The idea is to have a real-time single version of the truth with the ability to engage in structured reactive processes through workflow similar to emergency drilling at your office.”—Philippe Reney, TEC Research Analyst

Revionics acquires Retail Optimization, Inc. to offer end-to-end merchandise optimization solutions
Industry tags: retail, grocery, drug, building materials, convenience, general merchandise, discount and sporting goods stores, online sites
"Revionics recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. For a long time, it offered cloud-based price and promotion optimization solutions for grocery, and then expanded to other retail categories. With Retail Optimization’s cloud-based Assortment and Micro and Macro Space optimization solutions, Revionics should cover all of the merchandise planning levers—price, promotion, assortment, and space. Certainly not the only broad offering in the market, but perhaps now after the acquisitions of CAS by Accenture, DemandTec by IBM, and ProMax by Wipro, Revionics and SAS might be the only remaining independent comprehensive merchandise optimization options."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

Exact introduces Exact Macola QuickStart
Industry tags: automotive, electronics, consumer goods
"As part of Exact Macola’s resurgence, the six templates (three for manufacturing and distribution each) will work with Macola On Demand as well as the on-premise version. Exact Americas does not have plans to announce this for other products currently. The templates are the basis for a reduced implementation fee and faster implementation time framework. The customer has the choice of the following three service levels:

  1. Customer can do most of implementation with minimal Exact installation

  2. They can ask for some guidance

  3. Exact does regular fully managed implementations

The customer does keep the templates and documentation as part of all three scenarios.”— P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

KANA introduces Web customer service that sells
Industry tags: customer service cross-industry, private and public sectors
"The KANA Service Experience Management (SEM) platform combines the realms of customer relationship management (CRM), business process management (BPM), knowledge management, text analytics, and social Media to support the delivery of good experiences on brands and on budget across multiple customer interaction channels. Most recently, at the IQPC 2012 Call Center Week event, the vendor introduced new capabilities in its enterprise customer service solution, designed to support the new strategic imperative in Web customer service (WCS)—customer acquisition. The reality is that most companies still think of sales and marketing and customer service departments and activities as very separate. One activity happens and then the other one happens (or not) sequentially. Conversely, KANA believes that a closer marriage of marketing and customer service is the future."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst
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