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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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 home design software ratings


PDS Software Vista HRMS 4.1 for Human Resources Certification Report
PDS's human resource management system (HRMS), Vista HRMS 4.1, is now TEC Certified. The certification seal is a valuable indicator for organizations who rely

home design software ratings  highly configurable, and the home page can be customized to include such items as a company's links, logo and colors, employee news, and more. Product/Implementation Vista HRMS 4.1 was released in July 2009. The solution was developed using the .NET framework, and runs on Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle databases. The solution is available in both on-premise and hosted delivery models. PDS also provides hosting/managed services, including printing of checks, W2s, and T4s; and tax filing. Also included in

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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

Core PLM for Discrete Industries

The foundation of product lifecycle management (PLM) for the discrete manufacturing industries is product data management (PDM). It covers design and product-related aspects of PLM including management of material specifications, product structures, production processes, design tools, document management, and design collaboration. 

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Sales Force Automation Buyer’s Guide


No matter how effective your sales staff is, there’s always room to boost efficiency and increase sales. But how you go about doing so may be a point of contention. Sales force automation (SFA) solutions come in many flavors, but they don’t all offer the comprehensive SFA functionality you need. Find out how to avoid the pitfalls of choosing SFA software, and get help matching your needs with the right solution for you.

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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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Social Media and Customer Experience Feedback


Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs are just a few Internet services that make up the new growing digital world called social media. Many companies have seen the influence these new sites can have on their organizations for both good and bad. All companies should ask themselves, "How can we tap into the power of this new method of communication to improve our business and the experiences we provide our customers?"

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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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Software Link


Enterprise Solutions and ServicesUnequaled ServicesWhen you hire Software Link as an application solutions provider, you expect significant results. Software Link consultants provide industry experience and direction to companies nationwide who are looking to analyze and improve their business operations, whether through a complete ERP review, extensive implementation of a world class ERP system or analyzing and providing solutions to everyday business processes, Software Link has the expertise. Our consultants have spent more than twenty years successfully building, implementing and using software for organizations like yours. Software Link key practice focuses includes: manufacturing, distribution, multichannel marketing, eCommerce and project based firms.Software Link consultants are well versed in implementing ERP Solutions with a strong focus on the Sage SalesLogix, Sage MAS 500 and Sage X3 software solutions. No one knows Sage products better and no one has been successfully implementing them longer than Software Link.Why partner with Software Link? Software Link always works hard to make sure you have many reasons to value a relationship with us. Not only do we know our products better than anyone, but we also know how your business runs. Many of our consultants have worked at companies just like yours. So we'll never force your processes to fit our software. We'll always help you figure out how to incorporate best practices in your business processes and only then determine how Sage software can best support those processes.What will you accomplish by partnering with Software Link? You can expect to minimize implementation risks and have a system that runs efficiently and reliably. Our proven processes and implementation methodology were developed during thousands of successful engagements allowing Software Link consultants to produce quick and reliable results. You'll see your core, business processes streamlined. And, you'll see your employees using the software to its fullest extent for maximum benefit.Software Link helps you solve complex business challenges with a combination of technology and business application services that leverage Sage's World Class Software Solutions. Consulting Services help you implement and maintain your Sage software, assess your technology architecture for maximum system performance, develop and execute data migration strategies, integrate critical third-party enterprise software technologies, and customize software functions to meet highly specialized requirements. Business Application Services help you examine your business processes and requirements in order to better adapt to change, optimize the way your organization uses your enterprise software and maximize the results you achieve from your investment.Our satisfied customers confirm that we're uniquely positioned to help you achieve measurable success. Let Software Link Solutions help you make sure your software is working as hard as it can for your company.

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Selecting Software: A Systematic Approach to Buying Software


In our new “wired” world, software is no less important than other products and services in our everyday lives. But people are generally more used to buying other products and services than software. In many ways, however, selecting software is similar to selecting other products and services. Find out the key factors and criteria you should include—and what you should leave out—when you’re in the market for a new software solution.

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The VMTurbo Cloud Control Plane: Software-driven Control for the Software-defined Data Center


The software-defined data center has the potential to extend the agility, operational, and capital benefits of virtualization throughout the data center stack. This paper outlines the need for software-driven control—the intelligence or “control plane” that can take advantage of the new software-defined capabilities, enabling enterprises and service providers to achieve the true potential of software-defined flexibility.

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Outsourcing, Applications Software Software Evaluation Report


The outsourcing application software Software Evaluation Report criteria are appropriate for selecting outsource providers in the area of business software development. It includes all activities performed by outsource providers including software development; software maintenance; software reengineering or rearchitecting; porting software to a new platform; and more.

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VDoc Software


A subsidiary of the Axemble Group, a holding company with extensive experience in the small to medium business (SMB) market, VDoc Software is an independent software vendor with 500 customers and more than 400,000 users. Since 1996, the vendor has provided software that focusses on processes, employee productivity, and organizational relationships with customers and partners. VDoc Software is headquartered in Charbonnières les Bains (France).

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Software Solutions


Trigent helps clients in industries such as commercial software, manufacturing, marketing and media. Its solution frameworks and development automation tools aid rapid time-to-deployment for software systems. The company's CMM-certified global development centers offer flexibility clients to address clients' varying requirements for software development, maintenance, and support services. Its software support includes knowledge support systems, parts management systems, and product configuration. Trigent has created and maintained applications for clients such as International Truck and Engine Corp. (Navistar), Classified Ventures, Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and McCabe and Associates.  

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