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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail
We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.
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 definition commercial decision


A Definition of Data Warehousing
There is a great deal of confusion over the meaning of data warehousing. Simply defined, a data warehouse is a place for data, whereas data warehousing

definition commercial decision  Definition of Data Warehousing Biographical Information Bill Inmon Bill Inmon is universally recognized as the father of the data warehouse. He has over 26 years of database technology management experience and data warehouse design expertise, and has published 36 books and more than 350 articles in major computer journals. His books have been translated into nine languages. He is known globally for his seminars on developing data warehouses and has been a keynote speaker for every major computing

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Software Functionality Revealed in Detail

We’ve opened the hood on every major category of enterprise software. Learn about thousands of features and functions, and how enterprise software really works.

Get free sample report
Compare Software Solutions

Visit the TEC store to compare leading software by functionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.

Compare Now

Discrete Manufacturing (ERP)

The simplified definition of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a set of applications that automate finance and human resources departments and help manufacturers handle jobs such as order processing and production scheduling. ERP began as a term used to describe a sophisticated and integrated software system used for manufacturing. In its simplest sense, ERP systems create interactive environments designed to help companies manage and analyze the business processes associated with manufacturing goods, such as inventory control, order taking, accounting, and much more. Although this basic definition still holds true for ERP systems, today its definition is expanding. Today’s leading ERP systems group all traditional company management functions (finance, sales, manufacturing, and human resources). Many systems include, with varying degrees of acceptance and skill, solutions that were formerly considered peripheral such as product data management (PDM), warehouse management, manufacturing execution system (MES), and reporting. During the last few years the functional perimeter of ERP systems began an expansion into its adjacent markets, such as supply chain management (SCM), customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence/data warehousing, and e-business, the focus of this knowledge base is mainly on the traditional ERP realms of finance, materials planning, and human resources. The foundation of any ERP implementation must be a proper exercise of aligning customers'' IT technology with their business strategies, and subsequent software selection. 

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SaaS-based Test Management


Organizations must keep up with technology and adapt their quality assurance (QA) processes for continued success. Test management isn’t optional. The proper test management tool allows for objectivity and efficiency, while enabling you to monitor quality at every step of the testing cycle. Knowing where you are in the testing cycle is key, as is knowing how to mitigate the risks while controlling costs and saving time.

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If There's One Thing CRM Tells Us: Don't Do PLM the Same Way


Product lifecycle management (PLM) doesn't work, but it should. Industry's general approach and attitude to PLM mimics the early days of customer relationship management (CRM) adoption, and lessons from that experience should help when tackling the "ifs" and "hows" of PLM investment.

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SaaS Buyer's Guide for Wholesale and Distribution


SaaS, despite its phenomenal popularity, is certainly not one-size-fits-all. You need to consider decision criteria such as fit, return on investment, and risk. Learn how SaaS works, who the major vendors are, how SaaS can help your business grow, and how to find the SaaS solution that’s right for you. It’s all in this comprehensive SaaS Buyer’s Guide for Wholesale and Distribution from TEC and SupplyChainBrain.

From a business requirements perspective, the defining characteristic of wholesale and distribution (W&D) organizations is that they operate as intermediate agents between manufacturers and retailers. Their top business needs thus focus on requirements for:

  • processing high volumes of transactions,
  • maintaining constant communication between upstream and downstream collaborators (manufacturers and retailers/customers, respectively), and
  • managing products for multiple competitors within the same warehouse or distribution center

In this guide we will explore considerations for W&D organizations that are considering adoption of the SaaS delivery model, and examine the particular business issues that arise from this change.Specifically, we will address the following considerations:

  • the differences between SaaS and on-premise delivery models
  • SaaS architectures
  • SaaS pros, cons, and other considerations
  • selection criteria for SaaS-based applications
  • viable wholesale and distribution SaaS vendors

Later in this guide, we’ll provide examples of SaaS delivery model success stories, as well as a SaaS IT directory, segmented according to business area.


Table of Contents


Preface

Software as a Service: A Buyer’s Guide


Spotlight on Adaptability and Agility

Thought Leadership from SAP
SAP’s Perspective on Software as a Service

SAP Case Study
Johnson Products Capitalizing on New Sales after 30-day SAP Deployment


Spotlight on Manufacturing and Distribution

Thought Leadership from Epicor
SaaS ERP for Small Manufacturers and Distributors

TECSYS Case Study
LifeScience Logistics Achieves 99.97% Inventory Accuracy with TECYS’ EliteSeries for Healthcare


Spotlight on Growing Your Company with SaaS

Thought Leadership from NetSuite
The Benefits of a Business Management Software Suite for High-growth and Midsized Businesses: Overcoming the Barriers of Stand-alone Business Applications

NetSuite Case Study
Woodworking Machinery Maker Cuts Costs, Grows Efficiency with NetSuite

NetSuite Case Study
NetSuite Helps Manufacturer Take Advantage of Fast Market Growth


Spotlight on Distribution Centers

Thought Leadership from Bond International Software
Cloud Computing for Your Distribution Workforce

IBS Case Study
Konaflex Focuses on its Core Business with IBS Distribution Management Software


Vendor Directory


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.



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What Are the Differences between the SaaS and On-premise Delivery Models?



Defining the on-premise delivery model is relatively straightforward:

  • The software is acquired by the customer up-front.
  • The software is installed, deployed, managed, and maintained at the customer’s site, generally with a great degree of involvement by the customer.
  • The customer provides the in-house infrastructure (e.g., servers, hardware, networks) to support the software.


Defining the SaaS model is slightly more complex, since different SaaS vendors offer different definitions. We’ll explore these variations in more detail shortly, but for now we’ll note the following SaaS characteristics:

  • The software vendor provides customers with access to the software via the Internet.
  • The customer pays for this service on a subscription basis (normally per user, per month, or per number of transactions).
  • The vendor is responsible for maintenance, upgrades, and software support, as well as the supporting infrastructure.

The major difference between the on-premise and SaaS delivery model lies in the ownership of the software. In the on-premise model, once the software is purchased, the customer owns it. In the SaaS delivery model, the software is not owned by the customer: it is provided to the customer in the same manner as any other service.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2010 SaaS Buyer’s Guide for wholesale and distribution.

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E2open Vice President of Product Marketing Discusses S&OP Issues


Following up on a recent article that discussed E2open’s relatively recent forays into the sales and operations planning (S&OP) software market, TEC had a follow-up discussion with Sean Rollings, vice president of product marketing at E2open, on general S&OP market trends, and various aspects of managing and implementing the S&OP process.

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Driving Business Decision-making


Chief financial officers (CFOs) are moving beyond administrative and transactional tasks and becoming catalysts to improve business performance. In collaboration with business units, they are developing the metrics and data required to track and meet business goals. Find out how they’re capturing and disseminating the information needed to make operating and management decisions, and provide decision support to finance.

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The Complex Handling of Complexity in Decision Support Systems


Warren Weaver, an American mathematician known for his work on machine translation and his support for science in the United States, defined the complexity of a system as “the degree of difficulty in predicting the properties of the system if the properties of the system’s parts are given.” Weaver addressed and handled complexity by dividing it in two general types: disorganized and

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Three Keys to Better Data-driven Decisions: What You Should Know... Right Now


The perception of most small to midsized business (SMB) executives is that most of the data they need to make decisions is available “in the computer system,” or at least locked away until the moment is right for it to be accessed and used. But what if your enterprise system has not been structured to track and report this information? What if this information or metric is not even defined? Download this TEC report to find out about the three keys to better data-driven decisions—and discover how an integrated enterprise system can help you jump-start a plan for accessing the right information at the right time.

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3 Things Business Decision-makers Need to Know about SOA


Anyone even peripherally exposed to business media that touch on enterprise application technology has seen the term service-oriented architecture (SOA) bandied about in advertisements and articles. Given the central role of SOA in information technology, it is important to get beyond a buzzword level understanding. There are three key concepts surrounding SOA: granularity, Web services, and change management.

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The Application of Business Intelligence to Improve Decision Making in Retail


Analytics has moved from the specialty of a dedicated few to a necessity for groups of business professionals to do their job. This white paper considers the use of analytics and business intelligence (BI) for improving decision making in the retail industry. It also examines the benefits of prebuilt analytic applications for achieving this objective across functions in a retail organization.

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The Dashboard Decision : Criteria for Selecting a Business Intelligence Solution


To simplify and greatly improve their BI shortlist selection processes, companies should focus on the business value and ongoing expenses that different solutions create—measured across a few key variables. This paper outlines key criteria that companies should consider when creating their business intelligence shortlists—and when making their ultimate selections.

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