Author: Predrag Jakovljevic
Although not necessarily unique to Made2Manage Systems, the strategy of taking a deep breath and reflecting upon how to proactively better serve existing customers, and building upon that with a combined organic growth and growth via acquisitions, seems to be a recipe for success these days.
How many ERP vendors, including the largest ones, have natively built-in real-time production monitoring, warehousing management, time and attendance capture, and complete quality management systems?
Although its service-oriented architecture-based platform and enterprise solutions will not likely be "all things to all people" any time soon, Oracle might be showing its ability to further develop its own enterprise infrastructure and applications via a blitz acquisition of a Collaxa, a small and focused vendor, despite its unwavering appetite for direct, large competitors.
Oracle's vision of a complete collaborative e-Business solution requires a database strategy, an application server strategy, and an e-business strategy. Will users buy into this vision?
Oracle has long moved in the direction of blurring the line between applications and infrastructure. It has leveraged the system of record elements in application suites by applying infrastructure technologies to correlate real-time events for improved decision-making.
The battle for the dominance in service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services has nonetheless so far largely been a war of words without the clear winner yet (and not any time soon), as many underlying Internet-based standards have emerged only recently.
With the acquisition of Collaxa, Oracle has quickly plugged a hole in its SOA/BPM message by providing new workflow capabilities and monitoring tools to report on the progress of business processes, and by providing runtime support for BPEL.
Time will tell whether Oracle's vocal endorsement of open technologies such as J2EE and BPEL will allow customers to readily adopt solutions that fit their needs and that quickly integrate with their existing infrastructure.
The real action is in merging the influx of electronically transmitted data with existing information already being processed within the ERP system, and the ensuing challenge is to make sense of this constant flood of information arriving daily in the form of EDI or XML messages.
The nature of the global automotive supply chain means that the suppliers must be tightly integrated into the trading partner’s enterprise, whose supply chain communications and management capabilities need to be able to manage that critical relationship.