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ERP Hub Implementation Strategies: News Briefs

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New Oracle tools bring BI to the front-office
Oracle has introduced new business intelligence applications for analyzing customer and business information for front-office operations. As components of the Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, the new products include Oracle Sales Intelligence, Oracle Marketing Intelligence, Oracle Interaction Center Intelligence, and Oracle Customer Intelligence.

Oracle Interaction Center Intelligence provides call center performance measures, business activity, and graphs. Oracle Marketing Intelligence provides both a management overview and detailed analysis of marketing effectiveness, in such areas as list and campaign management, customer segment, lead management, and channel management.

Oracle Sales Intelligence enables senior executives, sales managers, and analysts to gain an enterprise view of revenue and sales performance to help meet quotas, assess current performance, analyze global lead positions, and allocate skills by region and product. Oracle Customer Intelligence allows companies to track key performance indicators, such as acquisition, retention, loyalty, and satisfaction at market segment and individual customer levels.

American Software adds trading portal to ERP suite
American Software has added a collaborative trading portal to its e-Intelliprise Web-based ERP solution. Using e-Intelliprise, a business can establish a worldwide trading community using different languages, currencies, and units of measure.

The trading portal allows a business to save costs by issuing request for quotes (RFQs) and soliciting competitive vendor bids for needed materials. Bid functionality is accessible throughout the supply chain without separate implementation time or costs.

The trading portal features an alert capability that proactively notifies users of bid activity via e-mail, telephone, HTML Web pages, or wireless device. It also automatically notifies qualified vendors when an RFQ has been opened for their products. In addition, the portal measures transaction history using supplier performance data marts to provide business intelligence for transactions.

Brio business intelligence tools get PeopleSoft certification
Brio Technology says its business intelligence suite, Brio.Enterprise, has been certified to directly access and query PeopleSoft data. With Brio.Enterprise certification, joint customers have the ability to use their existing Web infrastructure to create a comprehensive business intelligence solution for accessing, analyzing, and reporting data.

Accessing information through a standard API and ODBC technology, Brio.Enterprise provides joint customers with a seamless interface for accessing data contained in PeopleSoft applications. SQR Server, a component of Brio.Reports, is already bundled into PeopleSoft’s HRMS, Financial Management, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Learning Solutions products as its core enterprise reporting solution. This provides customers with a seamless integration and the full benefits offered by utilizing one standard technology.

In addition, the certification of Brio.Enterprise allows customers to leverage key features within Brio.Portal 6.0. Brio.Portal provides PeopleSoft users with an open framework for managing and delivering enterprise reports, including information from third-party business intelligence tools as part of an intranet application.

Epicor signs alliance with Smart Software
Epicor Software has signed an agreement with Smart Software to resell Smart Software’s SmartForecasts Enterprise demand forecasting software with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.

Epicor customers can now plan demand, ensuring that they have what they need, when they need it. Epicor’s solutions provide all of the historical and trend data that SmartForecasts Enterprise uses to automate planning, allowing for truly accurate forecasts. SmartForecasts Enterprise provides realistic plans and forecasts that allow back-office distribution and manufacturing systems to react quickly to provide accurate availability and capacity.

SmartForecasts Enterprise forecasting software is currently available integrated with Epicor’s eBackOffice Distribution and AvantÉ solutions. Integration to Epicor’s Vantage manufacturing solution is scheduled for the second half of 2000.

Manugistics and Intelisys to offer integrated B2B solution
Manugistics Group and Intelisys Electronic Commerce say they will form a strategic alliance to offer integrated solutions for global business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce that melds supply chain management and e-procurement capabilities.

Manugistics’ decision support and Intelisys’ electronic commerce capabilities will provide the foundation for a comprehensive Internet-based solution targeted at global 2000 organizations and Internet-based trading communities. The integrated, globally focused solution is expected to help enable a seamless “procure-to-pay” system for the dynamic trading of direct and indirect goods, services, and capital purchases. The solution is also anticipated to help cut procurement costs, speed supplier enablement, and connect end users directly with suppliers, facilitating more efficient delivery of real-time inventory and pricing data than is generally provided by aggregated catalogs.

The solution which will incorporate Manugistics NetWORKS and Intelisys ConnectTrade Purchasing products is also designed to enable customer savings through improved trading partner visibility, reduced inventories, volume-based pricing, value-added sourcing, and increased operating efficiencies.

J.D. Edwards adds collaborative capabilities for manufacturers
J.D. Edwards says it is developing four key enhancements to its ActivEra Solutions for the industrial fabrication, high-tech/electronics, and automotive industries.

The solutions will include modules for Manufacturing Project Management; Configuration Management; Automotive Supply Chain Management; and Active Supply Chain Planning for Discrete Manufacturing. The modules will help manufacturers evolve into collaborative “virtual enterprises” and conduct business via the Internet.

SAP and Nortel Networks ally to add CRM to
SAP and Nortel Networks have signed an agreement to develop and integrate industry-specific customer interaction solutions that will extend the scope of collaborative customer relationship management (CRM).

As part of the agreement, SAP has embedded within customer interaction applications from the Nortel Networks Clarify eBusiness Applications unit. This cooperation will result in a more competitive option for customers that require a highly integrated and scaleable customer interaction solution within their environment, the two companies say.

With the embedded Clarify eFrontOffice applications from Clarify eBusiness Applications accessible through personalized workplaces, will provide a robust contact center that delivers a comprehensive and seamless customer experience. The solution will be tailored initially to the unique business needs of the banking, insurance, high-tech, and communications industries.

Interpath receives $100 million equity investment
Interpath Communications, a wholly-owned application service provider (ASP) subsidiary of Carolina Power and Light (CP&L), says it will change ownership and receive a $100 million equity investment in a spin-off deal between Boston-based Bain Capital, a $7 billion private equity fund, and CP&L.

CP&L and Bain will each invest $50 million for a total of $100 million of new equity to aggressively grow Interpath’s ASP business. Bain will provide strategic and operational expertise to enable Interpath to leverage its leadership position in the dynamic ASP marketplace. Upon completion of the transaction, Bain will own 65% and CP&L will own 35% of Interpath. CP&L will retain the fiber optic network assets owned by Interpath, about 50 employees, and its 10% limited partnership interest in the BellSouth PCS business.

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