In the wake of the recent Strategy Summit in San Francisco, Manugistics
Group, Inc. announced an alliance with Agile Software
Corporation through which the partners hope to provide enterprise
optimization capabilities for the collaborative manufacturing commerce
market. Agile specializes in providing solutions for manufacturers engaged
in B2B commerce with suppliers and customers. Its applications help manufacturers
respond quickly to changes in product content, allowing them to optimize
sourcing and procurement operations. Manugistics' Enterprise Profit
Optimization application will presumably layer on the dimension
of profit impact visibility to this collaboration, a feature that most
users will embrace.
is touting the new agreement as more evidence of its steady progress from
the financial turmoil it endured prior to Greg Owens' arrival as chairman
and CEO. "The Manugistics and Agile comprehensive solution will be designed
to allow our customers to more effectively collaborate on product content,
procure materials, and optimize demand planning and forecasting in real
time," said Owens. "Alliances such as ours with Agile demonstrate Manugistics'
leadership in developing comprehensive solutions that can be quickly implemented
to enable strong return on investment."
the many potential synergies offered by products in Manugistics' supply
chain management suite, the most promising and therefore appealing to
Agile was that between product content and profit optimization. Procurement
managers usually lack the information needed to judge how the acquisition
of products or components will affect the overall profitability of the
department, business unit, or corporation. Sometimes when the information
is available, it is in a form that makes it extremely difficult to apply.
Manugistics' Enterprise Profit Optimization (EPO) represents a solution
that makes it easier to access and use this information.
predicated its aggressive marketing campaign for EPO on the correct assumption
that few SCM vendors offer satisfactory cost visibility features in their
suites. Upon acquiring Talus Solutions in December, Manugistics
stepped ahead of its competition in the SCM e-business software space
in profit optimization capabilities. Agile's high tech client base provides
Manugistics an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Talus' strengths and overlaps
industries with Manugistics' own customers.
continues to experience strong demand for its electronics and high technology
(EHT) solutions, having recently signed deals with Cisco Systems,
Emerson, Juniper Networks, Lexmark, and NTT
DoCoMo, Inc. Its success in EHT has not come at the expense of
its hold over more traditional markets, however, such as apparel, footwear
and textiles, chemicals, consumer packaged goods, transportation, and
retail industries. If the current market momentum of its new partner continues,
Agile stands to reap sizable benefits from the alliance.
Users who buy and sell parts through a B2B exchange powered by Agile should
applaud the new alliance, but realize that the hard work of finding precise
areas of synergy within their solutions has yet to be accomplished. The
Talus acquisition closed just two months ago and software problems inevitably
arise in the assimilation of a new module. Although the pair states that
integration work will begin immediately, it is possible that they will
first concentrate on jointly marketing their solutions. This will likely
provide a test bed for discovering the best areas to target for integrating
their solutions at a software level in a later phase.