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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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Visit the TEC store to compare leading software solutions by funtionality, so that you can make accurate and informed software purchasing decisions.
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 free market research reports


State of the Market: HR
More than ever, executives are looking to transform human resources (HR) from a seemingly low-priority function into a strategic part of the business. This

free market research reports  to use, it helps free their time to focus on more important tasks, and its reporting features allow them to complete reports themselves, which they weren't able to do using their former system.' 'Throughout our partnership with Lawson, their talented team has upheld strong commitments to Lawson Talent Management, as well as their customers. As a result, Lawson has introduced a really great product that truly incorporates our feedback, uses our ideas, and helps us achieve our overall HR strategic vision.'

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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

Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM)

The Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) Knowledge Base research helps determine support levels of various systems that help companies market their services or products effectively and efficiently. EMM tools help manage strategic planning and marketing resources (sometimes referred to as marketing resource management or MRM). This KB also covers rule-based techniques, pattern recognition, and other profiling features.  

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TEC's Mid-market ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide


Midsize manufacturers and distributors now have access to an array of powerful software solutions that simply weren’t available before. But with so many choices, you need accurate and unbiased information. This comprehensive guide from TEC and SupplyChainBrain provides a state-of-the-market analysis, success stories from your peers, in-depth information on solutions, and a directory of the leading vendors in the field.

This guide features information on vendors offering dedicated ERP-distribution solutions for the midmarket. These solutions are all designed to address the logistical, financial, and workflow issues facing the distribution industry today.

Inside, you’ll find a chart highlighting 10 featured vendor solutions by installed base and business components, ranging from warehouse, transportation, and inventory management, to international trade logistics, Web commerce, and human resources (HR) and financials.

As well, you’ll find an analysis of the state of the market by the editor of Supply Chain Brain. Customer success stories have been included to illustrate how ERP-distribution solutions have helped companies like yours solve distribution and business logistics problems.

For your convenience, there’s also a vendor directory to assist companies looking for either full ERP-distribution systems, add-ons, or third-party solutions for the following: demand management (DM), retail systems, supply chain management (SCM), transportation management systems (TMSs), and warehouse management systems (WMSs).

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which ERP-distribution solutions are best suited for your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Introduction

State of the Midsize ERP-Distribution Marketplace

Methodology

Vendor Capabilities

Business Components

Customer Profile

Spotlight on ERP-Distribution

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Inventory and Accounting

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Spotlight on Supply Chain Management

Executive Summary

Customer Success Stories

Vendor Directory

Profiles

Demand Management

ERP-Distribution

Retail

Supply Change Management

Transportation Management System

Warehouse Management System


Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.


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Inventory Management and Accounting Conundrum


The challenges of inventory management and the notion of inventory as a “necessary evil” (or the “asset versus liability” dilemma) have long been haunting operations and financial and accounting managers. It is a well-known fact that managing inventory risk is about managing the cost of maintaining unnecessarily high levels of inventory against the risk of running out of stock at a crucial moment of truth when a customer actually wants something. In a variety of aspects, inventory management is at the heart of the supply chain management (SCM) realm. Supply chain organizations are responsible for all the processes from sales and operations planning to customer fulfillment, inventory optimization, and new product delivery and introduction—all of which involve the planning and movement of inventory. Profit margins are also directly proportional to operational excellence in each of the above processes.
While cherished by material management folks as supply chain “grease,” inventory is not that beloved by financial managers.

The motto “time is money” certainly holds true when it comes to inventory valuation. Well, maybe in a reverse (negative) manner, because typically neglected in the continuous battle for executives’ focus and priority is the management of at-risk, aging inventory—be it excess active, obsolete, returns, or refurbished inventory. Some refer to these items as “slobs,” which stands for “slow moving and obsolete” ones. In other words, most companies in the sectors of high-tech, consumer electronics, retail, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) are focused on new product introductions. Given that everybody is most excited in the early stages of product life cycles (that is, devising and delivering the brand new, “coolest” products), much less attention is paid to the languishing, “totally so not cool” older product lines, with millions of accompanying inventory asset recovery dollars slipping away annually as a consequence.

Excess inventory, which ties up working capital and whose value is declining by the day, does not necessarily come from new product introductions only. Nowadays the manufacture of most goods is largely carried out in the Far East, which comes with a nominal item price advantage, but also with many potential downsides. In addition to the inevitable quality, communication, and cultural issues, manufacturing product in such lower cost, remote locations means a sizeable lead time increase, as the goods will need to be transported from the Far East back to the company’s warehouse. This in turn means that a planner will have to forecast the demand before placing an order with a remote supplier far away.

Download the full copy of the TEC ERP-Distribution Buyer’s Guide for the Mid-market.

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Quote-to-order: A Newcomer Causes a Stir in the Market


A crop of next-generation, Web-based, on-demand, startup quote-to-order systems providers has lately flourished, spearheaded by BigMachines, whereas some traditional vendors that once defined the product configuration space in the 1990s have since left the market.

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Nonprofits and Public Sector: The Latest Hot Market


Many recent circumstances have rendered the nonprofit and public sector accounting markets a land of both opportunity and challenges.

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BI State of the Market Report


IT departments rarely know as much about a business as the business people themselves. But business people rarely take action on numbers alone: they share the information with others, soliciting their feedback and performing external research before taking action. Business users still depend on IT to deliver answers related to the information that they receive. Business intelligence (BI) 2.0—also known as collaborative BI—uses the collective intelligence of the user community to enrich existing information. Learn how business intelligence (BI) 2.0 is helping business users create and modify their own reports, share and enrich information, and provide feedback to each other and to information producers.

When the community helps itself, information is turned into actionable information more quickly than when using purely “traditional” methods of community support, such as meetings, phone calls, and e-mail. And when actions are taken more quickly, the entire organization becomes more nimble and ultimately more competitive. This overview discusses how BI 2.0 can provide real benefits within your organization and what product features to look for in a BI solution in order to realize those benefits.

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which BI solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.


Table of Contents


Executive Overview
Using BI 2.0 to Increase your Competitive Advantage

Case Study
LogiXML Helps to Power its Real-Estate Reporting and Analysis

Thought Leadership
How Smart Marketers Succeed Online

Market Insight
Mashups and Pervasive BI

Report Sponsors
LogiXML

IBM

About TEC



Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 BI Buyer’s Guide for businesses.



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Using BI 2.0 to Increase Your Competitive Advantage


Business users know their data better than IT does. They know the meaning of the data, its history, and its relationship with other data. Yet traditional BI solutions have business users referring to IT for assistance with their data. Also, they are forced to work in silos. Sure, they can create their own reports and maybe even share them with other business users, but when it comes to sharing their own knowledge about the data, they have to rely on e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face meetings. By enabling the sharing of data-related knowledge through the BI system itself, business users become more self-sufficient and actions can be taken more quickly.

The raison d’être of BI is to provide business users with information that enables them to take action. Even if business users are self-sufficient when it comes to creating and sharing data, data on its own is rarely sufficient to take action. Identifying an opportunity in the market through numbers alone is not sufficient to justify investment in a new product or geography. Identifying a bottleneck in a business process is not sufficient to justify changes in the business process. Information about a business issue or opportunity is merely a part of the overall “solution domain.” Action is usually only taken after considering a number of factors in addition to the data, such as human knowledge and experience, the economic environment, and the competitive environment.

In this section, we lay out the capabilities to look for in a BI solution—and specific functional requirements needed to support these capabilities—that contribute to the goal of “harnessing collective intelligence.” In general, the more recent entrants into the BI market are paying the most attention to BI 2.0. Some vendors, such as Good Data, have it as a central component of their solution offerings.

The following are key capabilities of BI 2.0:

  • Collaboration
    Business users are able to share information within the user community and create discussion threads relating to the information.


  • Identification of useful information
    Business users can flag information that is likely to be of use to others within the community.


  • Enriching of Information
    Business users can enrich the information through their knowledge and experience in addition to other external information sources in order to explain trends and generally assist other consumers of that information.


The community of “business users” needn’t be restricted to internal users. User collaboration is already mature within the Web space, under the guise of Web 2.0. With Web 2.0, collective intelligence is harnessed through comments on blog posts; contributions to wikis such as Wikipedia; and tagging of content, such as photos on Flickr. BI 2.0 takes these methods and applies them in the BI space by making data the focus of user collaboration.

The following sections take the capabilities above and list the functional requirements that support them. Bear in mind that each of these functional requirements is a business user requirement and not an IT or development requirement.


Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 BI Buyer’s Guide for businesses.

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Predictive Analytics—Improving Performance by Making the Future More Visible


This research report details the outcome of a study conducted by Ventana Research to determine the attitudes toward and utilization of predictive analytics by today’s businesses. It investigates the practices and needs of individuals and organizations and the potential benefits from improving existing processes, information, and systems. Find out how your organization can make use of predictive analytics to improve business performance. Download the report.

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Osterman Research, Inc.


Osterman Research, Inc. provides market research, consulting, cost modeling, surveys, and benchmarking to vendors of technology services and products.

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Case Study: Archipelago Marine Research




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Pacifica Research


Pacifica Research is a software publishing company is based in Southern California, and offers a line of real time accounting solutions that serve large and small businesses in the areas of payroll, inventory control, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. While accounting serves as the foundation for systems designed by Pacifica, their software packages address the needs of several industries including seed inventory control, corporate inventory control, pesticide use management, retail management, and coffee roasting. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of CShare Business Computers, which has been manufacturing business management and accounting software since 1978. Pacifica Research was an early developer of real time and integrated accounting software for mini or micro computers and a pioneer in developing memory management and programming techniques which are now industry standards. The firm aims to deliver innovative business tools required by the clerk, CFO, and CEO.

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Oracle Reports Strong Profits


On December 14, Oracle Corporation announced record second quarter results for the period ended November 30, 1999. For the quarter, net income increased 40% to $384 million, or $0.26 per share, while total revenue grew to $2.3 billion. This compares to net income of $274 million, or $0.19 per share, and revenue of $2.1 billion for the same period a year ago.

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Aberdeen Research Brief: Email Security in the Cloud-More Secure! Compliant! Less Expensive!


This paper compares on-premise versus SaaS, hosted solutions for email security. You can see that there is research that proves hosted services is a better choice for compliance, security, and costs, especially when it comes to email. If you’re an IT managers who is undecided about the SaaS model, this is a must-read.

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