TEC Industry Watch: Enterprise Software News for the Week of May 21st, 2012

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Horticultural tools distribution business goes live with Sage ERP X3
Industry tags: wholesale and retail trade
"The 127-year-old company A.M. Leonard, which currently operates mostly via catalog and Internet commerce, selected Sage ERP X3 to replace its aged legacy system. The Sage product was chosen mainly because of its rich functionality and capability to make modifications and, notably, because they liked the people who sold the software. The entire implementation project took less than four months, which is a good result considering seven major modifications were made."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst

Pinnacle Oil selects Deacom ERP for its operations
Industry tags: manufacturing
"Pinnacle Oil, a manufacturer and packager of lubricant products, has chosen Deacom to provide a single system to replace a variety of applications currently in use, such as CRM, inventory management, EDI, production scheduling, and dock scheduling. Deacom ERP supports all the company’s requirements and provides the desired reporting and data visibility and extraction capabilities."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst

Hargreaves Services upgrades to Sage ERP X3
Industry tags: manufacturing, distribution
"Hargreaves Services is a longstanding Sage 500 ERP customer. The British company (four major divisions: production, energy and commodities, transport, and industrial services) processes, handles, and transports bulk materials. The company outgrew its existing Sage software and was looking for a higher level system able to support multiple business processes and a larger number of users. Having also reviewed Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP products, Hargreaves Services selected Sage ERP X3 to support its current operations. The company also believes it will allow the business to expand into other regions."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst

Western Power Distribution uses Information Builders’ WebFOCUS
Industry tags: business intelligence/business analytics, utilities
"As part of a major data integration project, Western Power Distribution, a utilities organization that delivers electricity to South Wales, uses iWay intelligent adaptors and WebFOCUS to integrate information from different sources and uses them as a source for analysis and reporting tasks. It is always interesting to see how BI products can be applied to real-life situations in various industries."—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

Top financial institutions in North America and Europe use QlikView
Industry tags: business intelligence/business analytics, financial institutions
"According to QlikTech, the 20 top financial institutions in North America and Europe are actually using QlikView Discovery Platform for performing data analysis from disparate sources, thanks to QlikView’s features for data discovery and analysis. Good to know what our banks are using to solve their data analysis issues."—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

Inrix uses Tableau Digital for its Traffic Scorecard Annual Report
Industry tags: business intelligence/business analytics
"The traffic data company Inrix used Tableau Digital to generate its Traffic Scorecard Annual Report, which analyzes and compares traffic congestions over the top metropolitan markets in the U.S. Tableau Digital was used to provide interactive dashboards and graphs. This is a good example of business analytics tools being used not only for internal users but to provide general audiences with the means to analyze and acquire information in an interactive way."—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst


SAP to acquire Ariba
"SAP and Ariba apparently have good poker faces, since during their recent user events, AribaLIVE 2012 and SAPPHIRE NOW 2012, there was no inkling of this development. At first glance, this is a good fit, as a plethora of large SAP customers use both Ariba Network and Ariba’s procurement, sourcing, contract management, e-invoicing, etc. software (in fact, in the early 2000s, the name Ariba was taboo at SAP’s Waldorf HQ, and Ariba was a competitor that SAP loved to hate)."--Principal TEC Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic

Oracle buys Vitrue
Industry tags: Cloud computing/social media
"Oracle has just entered into an agreement to acquire Vitrue, a cloud-based social marketing platform. With this agreement, soon Oracle Cloud users will be able to publish and manage social media campaigns on social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Another interesting move from Oracle, especially when other companies such as SAP and IBM are also on a buying spree to enlarge their cloud software product portfolio."—Jorge García, TEC BI Analyst

Aquilon Software releases sales analysis module for SMBs
Industry tags: software development
"It is always exciting to hear news from smaller companies that develop their products for niches or market segments. Aquilon, a Vancouver, BC–based company, has been serving the SMB market in many industries for years. It now offers a brand new module for sales analysis functionality, allowing businesses to receive information in real time and perform many standard data queries with graphical capabilities. Most importantly, there’s a new custom report tool. Using the wizard, a user is able to create and configure reports using multiple attributes, which can be easily integrated with Microsoft Excel."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Analyst

CombineNet introduces next-generation e-Auctions
Industry tags: sourcing, SRM, transportation, hi-tech
"CombineNet has focused on getting complex spend scenarios picture-perfect, but most Global 2000 companies that benefit from the power of optimization and so-called expressive bidding (the kind of supply chain sourcing optimization capabilities offered by CombineNet) also use an e-auction automation tool.

The day has apparently come that one platform can be used for both purposes—all cloud-based and extending on CombineNet ASAP's analytic capabilities—resulting in more realistic, highly implementable final awards and greater coverage of spend managed. CombineNet’s move to provide next-generation e-auctions featuring bid optimization in its CombineNet ASAP E-Sourcing Software makes it more relevant."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

Agentrics NeoGrid announces supply chain collaboration portal that unites retailers and manufacturers
Industry tags: retail, manufacturing
"This is certainly a great initiative from Agentrics, offering a unified platform for its various solutions. More importantly, it plays to cement its community and will help fight off the SAP–Ariba juggernaut. Community building and the integration of further supply chain features within the community will be the new supply chain arms race."—Phil Reney, TEC Research Analyst

SAP extends real-time data platform with big data capabilities
Industry tags: BI, cross-industry
"SAP now has a hefty arsenal to tackle the big data phenomenon. Big data can mean different things to different people and applications. Is big data simply about huge volumes of structured data? What about unstructured data or multimedia files? Or high-velocity GPS positioning data or Web log data? What about streams of data in cases of complex event processing (CEP), say, in stock trading data, or text analytics?

The SAP real-time data platform, based on the flagship SAP HANA platform, includes data management capabilities from SAP Sybase IQ, SAP Sybase Event Stream Processor (ESP) and Aleri, SAP Sybase ASE, and SAP Enterprise Information Management (EIM) (which comes largely from Business Objects, and includes the Inxight Software acquisition for text analytics). Add to this support for Hadoop. SAP intends to unlock business value from big data for its customers by providing for real-time decision support within the window of opportunity with extreme capabilities to ingest, store, and process big data in real-time."—P.J. Jakovljevic, TEC Principal Analyst

Family Express optimizes inventory management with Retalix
Industry tags: retail
"Using a demand-driven replenishment solution allows you to track velocity on items as you sell and to make manual adjustments to the replenishment model, so you can better coordinate and align your replenishment activities to your objectives. This type of solution is ideal for flagships items that are primarily driven by repeat buying, as long as you don’t increase velocity to the point where it costs you more in freight charges or handling the receipts."—Phil Reney, TEC Research Analyst

SYSPRO ERP compliant with FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
Industry tags: food and beverages
"The new FDA rules mainly cover the traceability of lot and shelf life dates in goods shipments, recalls, and receiving. Their purpose is to move manufacturers from post-factum reaction to potential food contamination to its proactive prevention. As SYSPRO announced that its ERP software is now fully compliant with the new regulations, it gives them an additional competitive advantage."—Aleksey Osintsev, TEC Research Analyst.

IBM Smarter Commerce helps marketers engage customers on mobile and social media channels
Industry tags: retail
"IBM is expanding its analytics footprint in the marketing world under its Smarter Commerce brand. It is rolling out functionality to detect users’ level of interaction for a given campaign as well the type of mobile device being used, which should help produce better targeted campaigns. However, as digital privacy is ill defined and still relatively unregulated, it’s not clear what information can be collected and how it will be allowed to be used. With the $15B Facebook class action suit looming, the future of some business models could be at stake."—Phil Reney, TEC Research Analyst

Epicor to launch on-demand ERP on Windows Azure infrastructure
Industry tags: ERP, manufacturing, distribution, retail
"The upcoming Epicor ICE 3.0 platform will run on the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure, will have a new Windows 8 Metro look-and-feel (unified mobile, Web, and desktop UIs), and will be disconnected from ERP business logic, i.e., it can be used for merger partner Activant’s mature ERP systems (Prelude, Eclipse, Prophet 21, etc.) for a technology uplift."—Principal TEC Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic

NetSuite partners with TMS provider LeanLogistics, and with Grant Thornton LLP, Blytheco LLC, and Frank, Rimerman Consulting
Industry tags: ERP, CRM, e-commerce, professional services, distribution, light manufacturing
“In addition to the launch of NetSuite SuiteCommerce, a commerce-as-a-service (CaaS) platform, the recent SuiteWorld 2012 conference was about the further affirmation of cloud computing, especially in non-manufacturing industries. Cloud is inevitably becoming mainstream, as seen by NetSuite’s growing partner ecosystem."—Principal TEC Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic

SAP launches new applications on SAP HANA platform
Industry tags: database, BI, cross-industry
"SAP HANA is for real. It’s here to stay and to change the paradigms of enterprise software design and development. HANA is already available as an ERP database for the SAP Business One offering, and will be available within a plethora of more focused applications in the following categories:
1. The so-called "accelerators" whereby HANA works in parallel (an additional license) with the existing relational database (Oracle, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, etc.). Selected data gets periodically transferred from RDBMS to HANA for performing fast analytics.
2. The so-called “analytic content” apps whereby HANA also works in parallel (an additional license) with the existing RDBMS. Selected data gets periodically transferred from RDBMS to HANA, which then provides a selected set of reports.
3. Solutions that run directly on HANA as the database. Such solutions still exist in SAP’s solutions portfolio, e.g., SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), but have recently been rewritten in HANA.
4. Brand-new solutions that run directly on HANA as the database, such as Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP).

SAP’s recent decision to offer free developer licenses for both HANA and NetWeaver Cloud was smart and will work toward evangelizing the new concept in the developer community."—Principal TEC Analyst P.J. Jakovljevic
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