Thursday, November 20, 2008

AMR Research Study Finds Supply Chain Technology Market Will Grow 7% Annually to $9.2B in 2012

AMR Research Study Finds Supply Chain Technology Market Will Grow 7% Annually to $9.2B in 2012
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Kevin Reilly

AMR Research today released a study that estimates the supply chain management (SCM) applications market will grow 7% annually for the next five years, despite the gloomy economic conditions of 2008. Now a $6.5B market, AMR Research forecasts steady growth will bring the SCM applications market close to $9.2B in 2012.

Based on its analysis, AMR Research predicts there is a high likelihood the economic challenges of the coming years will offer much greater opportunity for supply chain technology adoption.

“The supply chain, and the technologies that support it, will play an important role in helping companies deal and thrive in an economy that is going to be quite unlike anything we’ve seen in the post-war era,” said John Fontanella, vice president of research at AMR Research.

The study named five major forces that will be at work in the economy and society in the foreseeable future, and how the supply chain and the technologies that support it will help companies in the next five years.

- High inflation – Inflation will force supply chain managers to play an important role in protecting product and company margins through cost control and increased efficiencies in their operations.
- Rising commodity prices – Pressure from higher commodity prices will bring supply more in line with demand and reduce inventory levels from raw materials to the finished product.
- Threats to brand security – Counterfeiting, the gray market, and questionable quality standards will make brand protection a top priority. Companies will look to adopt risk mitigation and global trade technologies as well as analytics to monitor distribution channel buy-and-sell patterns.
- Sustainability becomes a component of corporate decision making – Public sentiment will force substantive measures by industry to become more environmentally friendly. This will present opportunities to more directly connect product development efforts with supply chain management to minimize waste and material usage.
- Cash is king – Capital spending will come under great scrutiny as companies preserve cash. Technologies that increase the velocity of cash collection, including B2B e-commerce, will become a critical component of future initiatives.
The report also found that SAP, Oracle, and Manhattan Associates were the three largest SCM vendors by revenue in 2007, with a market share of 13%, 10%, and 5% respectively.

For more information about this report, please visit or call (617) 542-6600.

About AMR Research:

Bold Ideas. Compelling Research. Pragmatic Advice. AMR Research is the No. 1 research firm focused on the intersection of business processes with value chain and enterprise technologies. Founded in 1986, AMR Research provides subscription advisory services and peer networking opportunities to operations and IT executives in the consumer products, life sciences, manufacturing, and retail sectors. To learn more about our research and services, visit

© Copyright by AMR Research, Inc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What’s new: SAP sees opportunity (

What’s new: SAP sees opportunity
By Geoff Nairn

Published: November 19 2008 10:50 | Last updated: November 19 2008 10:50

Times are hard and while some vendors see only challenges, SAP sees opportunities. The German giant has designed a new range of software to help cash-strapped businesses shore up their bottom line through greater operational efficiencies and cost savings.

Called Best-Run Now, these offerings cover areas such as energy management, procurement, cash and risk management, workforce management and business planning. Rounding out the range is a business intelligence ”accelerator” and a package for reducing IT operational costs.

Office productivity

Another product for today’s cost-conscious times: IBM is pushing Lotus Symphony, its reborn office productivity suite, as a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Office.

IBM is particularly keen to win over businesses with lots of ”task users”, who perhaps do not need the sprawling functionality of Office. Unlike Lotus SmartSuite, its predecessor, Symphony is free and is based on OpenOffice, so it is compatible with Microsoft Office. IBM also released a beta version of Symphony for the Apple Mac.

Fujitsu foothold

Fujitsu may not be a household name to enterprise customers outside Japan. But that could change with Siemens’ decision to sell Fujitsu its half share in their long-running joint venture, Fujitsu Siemens Computers. Fujitsu hopes the move will gain it a bigger foothold in Europe for its high-end hardware, the latest being the Sparc Enterprise M2000, an entry-level server based on the quad-core Sparc64 VII processor, which Sun also uses. Pricing starts at $15,000 for an M2000 running Sun Solaris 10.

Audit automated

Compliance can be a real headache for IT departments. Sun claims to have the remedy in Sun Identity Compliance Manager, which seeks to automate the time-consuming tasks associated with controlling, reporting and auditing who has access to what data and applications inside an organisation. Pricing starts $75,000 plus an undisclosed small fee for each user.

Configuration automated

More on the compliance front, this time from storage giant EMC. Its Server Configuration Manager product lets IT departments automatically discover and maintain detailed server configuration data, and includes pre-packaged compliance toolkits for regulations such as Sox, Hipaa and others. Companion product, EMC Configuration Analytics Manager, turns this raw data into useful business information on compliance and IT service levels.

Offer of protection

Sprint Nextel is offering US businesses protection from network-borne threats. As well as standard services such as web filtering, antivirus and malware scanning, Sprint’s Secure Web Protection also includes web application control, so allowing business to monitor suspect peer-to-peer or instant messaging traffic. Businesses can sign up for a network-based service or a premises-based option, which uses hardware and software from Blue Coat Systems.

Google SLA extended

It’s not quite five nines reliability, but what do you expect for $50? Google has extended the service level agreement its offers to paying users of its Gmail webmail service to cover its other hosted applications – Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites and Google Talk. The SLA covers businesses and organisations that sign up for Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 a year for each user. If uptime falls below 99.9 per cent, extra days are credited to the account. The free version of Google Apps does not come with an SLA.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Epicor(R) Announces Epicor 9 Redefines the Enterprise Application Software Experience

Epicor(R) Announces Epicor 9 Redefines the Enterprise Application Software Experience

Next-Generation Enterprise Resource Planning Solution Featuring Epicor True SOA(TM), Uniquely Configurable Global Engines, and Far-Reaching Functionality


Epicor Software Corporation (NASDAQ: EPIC), a leading provider of enterprise business software for the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies, unveiled today to nearly 2,000 attendees at its annual customer conference, a unique solution for business with the launch of its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution Epicor 9. Leveraging more than 20 years of experience designing and implementing ERP solutions, Epicor is introducing a new approach to the way ERP systems are designed, built, and used.

Expected to be generally available before the end of the year, Epicor 9 will virtually put "ERP everywhere," utilizing Web 2.0 concepts to provide users with a truly collaborative and dynamic enterprise business application experience. Epicor 9 raises technology to a level that delivers unprecedented business management and supports continuous performance improvement through real-time, in-context business insight. At the core of Epicor 9 is an adaptable and collaborative business architecture that satisfies the needs of any enterprise regardless of country, industry, or access device, enabling business anywhere -- business without barriers.

"With Epicor 9, Epicor continues its proven history of innovation with Microsoft technology by working to redefine the enterprise application software experience," said Walid Abu-Hadba, CVP, Developer & Platform Evangelism for Microsoft Corp. "We applaud Epicor for its deep utilization of the Microsoft platform to deliver its next-generation service-based business solutions. These applications offer users tremendous choice for interacting with their enterprise information - through the 2007 Microsoft(R) Office system (Office Outlook(R) 2007, Office Word 2007, and Office Excel(R) 2007), Microsoft Office SharePoint(R) Server 2007, Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007, Windows Mobile and more. We expect that the combination of Epicor and Microsoft software will enable companies to drive greater efficiencies and create new business value as users are empowered to work smarter and faster."

Business Management

With proven success in developing and delivering service-oriented enterprise applications used by thousands of companies around the world today, Epicor has converged the best of its offerings into this next-generation superset release. Encompassing the robust functionality, global footprint and industry expertise of Epicor's existing ERP suites, the release takes business management and control to the next level by extending reach, synergy, and visibility to the organization and its trading partners.

Specifically, Epicor features numerous essential embedded capabilities that manage the flow of processes right across the enterprise. This approach to core functionality, typically provided in other systems through after-the-fact integration or third party add-ons, includes customer relationship management (CRM), supplier relationship management (SRM), advanced planning and scheduling (APS), business process management (BPM), governance, risk and compliance (GRC), product configuration, field service and more. Additionally, integral support for master data management (MDM) and what Epicor terms Global Business Management lets businesses virtualize their enterprise across plants, warehouses, sites, trading partners, companies, countries, and hardware, keeping everything synchronized in real time.

Business Insight

Epicor has responded to the needs of today's businesses, who finding that it is no longer enough to respond retroactively to trends uncovered by complex business intelligence tools all too often removed from the point of decision and managed and used by a select few, are seeking better solutions.

Today's information workers require decision support in real time, and they want it deployed in the tools they already use, day in and day out. Epicor Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) removes the barriers to better business insight through a combination of intuitive enterprise search-based user experiences, user-driven key performance indicators (KPIs), role-based interactive dashboards, and pre-packaged analytics delivered in context that have real meaning to the user and add real value to the business.

Business Architecture

Epicor's breakthrough enterprise business solution has been designed for growing companies in domestic and global markets, and is built on a second-generation service-oriented architecture (SOA) which Epicor announced earlier this year, Epicor Internet Component Environment (ICE) 2.0. The backbone of Epicor's next-generation ERP solutions, Epicor ICE, fuses modern Web 2.0 technologies with Epicor True SOA(TM) to deliver an enabling business architecture that offers new levels of flexibility, usability, and agility in support of application-to-application integration and business-to-business collaboration.

What makes Epicor True SOA(TM) different is the way that all client code, as well as application business logic, is delivered as self-describing business services, offering a tremendous step forward in the creation of productive user experiences. Part of Epicor True SOA(TM) is the Epicor Everywhere(TM) Framework, a unique technology that stores all user interface attributes as XML metadata. This permits Epicor applications to run as smart clients or Web clients or on mobile devices, all from the same source code. Because it all starts from the same metadata, customization and user personalization remains intact, whatever the user interface.

Business Anywhere

The tools that people use to conduct business today have changed. Business is everywhere, business is real-time, and business is always online. Epicor understands that the Internet and ubiquitous mobility play an essential part in the daily lives of the information-hungry global economy. The world has changed and with Epicor 9, ERP has too.

Featuring a unique global engine design approach, Epicor 9 offers a comprehensive configurable ERP platform and global footprint that's ready for deployment anywhere. The initial release is expected to support over 20 languages and countries, with rapid expansion planned to the world's principle markets in more than 40 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and the Asia Pacific Rim.

Enabled by the Epicor Everywhere(TM) Framework and targeted use of modern consumer Web concepts, Epicor next-generation applications can be accessed via a range of mobile devices, such as Windows Mobile(R), Symbian, BlackBerry(R), and the Apple iPhone(TM) for wireless business. Additionally, Epicor Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) can also be deployed direct to mobile devices and includes full search capabilities to rapidly find and drill down to applicable data.

Securing IT Investments - Protect, Extend, Converge

For both existing and prospective customers, this is just the next step in Epicor's "protect, extend, and converge" strategy, enabling them to leverage the latest technology at their own pace. The next generation will expand on the Epicor solutions that customers have trusted to run and grow their businesses for many years. Because Epicor next-generation solutions are based on componentized business architecture, Epicor ICE, customers are able to leverage extended applications like Epicor Information Worker, Epicor Portal, and Epicor Service Connect today with their existing Epicor solution, enabling them to start taking advantage of service-oriented applications before they move up to the next-generation release.

Epicor 9 is the culmination of a well-defined strategy, which at the same time supports current customer investments while keeping the technology moving forward. Bruce Richardson, chief research officer of AMR Research, commented in a recent article that "getting to one brand obviously offers the potential for greater efficiencies in sales, marketing, consulting and services, and product development."(1)

Keeping Pace with Business Requirements

Epicor will empower companies to select the fundamental options that are right for their business--choosing whether to deploy on-premise, single-tenant hosted, or multi-tenant Software as a Service (SaaS), Windows-based or Web-based, centralized or decentralized, end-to-end or individual suites. Customers can also choose how to configure the application suites to best fit and improve business processes. End users can choose several options for interacting with their ERP system: using the standard application forms, through Microsoft(R) Office applications, through Internet and intranet portal pages or composite applications, using a search engine, taking RSS feeds, and from mobile devices.

"Epicor next-generation enterprise applications represent a game-changing opportunity for business," said Thomas Kelly, president and CEO of Epicor. "Epicor 9 is unparalleled because it is designed for the way people work today, is built for business, and is ready for change. Our strategy is to provide both new and existing customers with unprecedented flexibility and choice. It's about delivering business without barriers."

About Epicor Software Corporation

Epicor is a global leader dedicated to providing integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and professional services automation (PSA) software solutions to the midmarket and divisions of Global 1000 companies. Founded in 1984, Epicor serves over 20,000 customers in more than 140 countries, providing solutions in over 30 languages. Employing innovative service-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web services technology, Epicor delivers end-to-end, industry-specific solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and services that enable companies to drive increased efficiency, improve performance and build competitive advantage. Epicor solutions provide the scalability and flexibility to meet today's business challenges, while empowering enterprises for even greater success tomorrow. Epicor offers a comprehensive range of services with its solutions, providing a single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership. Epicor's worldwide headquarters are located in Irvine, California with offices and affiliates around the world. For more information, visit

Epicor is a registered trademark of Epicor Software Corporation. Other trademarks referenced are the property of their respective owners. The product and service offerings depicted in this document are produced by Epicor Software Corporation.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: This document includes descriptions of product functionality that is not presently available. This press release contains certain statements which may constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding future product releases, revenues, cash flows, growth prospects, installed base of customers, the launch of Epicor 9 and other statements that are not historical fact. These forward-looking statements are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic data together with management's views and assumptions regarding future events and business performance at the time the statements are made and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to changes in the demand for Epicor's products; the timely availability and market acceptance of new products and upgrades; the impact of competitive products and pricing; the discovery of undetected software errors; changes in the financial condition of Epicor's customers; and other factors discussed in Epicor's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. As a result of these factors the business or prospects expected by Epicor as part of this announcement may not occur. Epicor undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements.

(1) Source: AMR Research, First Thing Monday: "Epicor 9: The Accomplishment that Eluded Microsoft and Oracle" (Sept. 8, 2008)

Source: Epicor Software Corporation

Monday, November 03, 2008

Infor extends its menu

Infor extends its menu
By Geoff Nairn

Published: November 3 2008 17:13 | Last updated: November 3 2008 17:13

Infor, the US enterprise software company, has launched new software-as-a-service offerings and a novel hybrid pricing model. Infor ERP SyteLine, its ERP suite for discrete manufacturers, can now be hosted remotely by Infor for a monthly subscription of $149 for each user.

In addition, there is a hybrid ”hosted licence” option for businesses that like the traditional licence model but do not have the resources to run SyteLine on site. It costs $65 a month for each user. These new pricing options are also offered on Infor Enterprise Asset Management and Infor Expense Management.