Enterprise software vendor JD Edwards launched real time (no longer batch) integration of its advanced planning and scheduling (Numetrix APS) with OneWorld – and special pricing deals – pre-set extended business processes (XBPs) and new business intelligence software at its ‘Focus 2001’ international user event in Denver, USA last week. It also announced new technologies for rapid deployment of private trading exchanges and advances in supply chain planning and execution software, as well as a deal with consultancy Andersen in the automotive sector and considerable successes with its application service (ASP) programme. Nothing too meaty maybe, but plenty to get your teeth into. And while they’re all popular anthems with the mid to big league IT vendor camp these days, but JDE does seem to be putting its products where its mouth is. Also, throughout the event, which played host to JDE’s Quest user group, with some 6,500 users and prospect companies and software and service provider partners, JDE’s message was all about renewing its support for its customer base and providing for the next wave of web-enabled ‘collaboration’ in the middle market. For example, its Numetrix APS is now available as four modules (collaborative forecasting and demand management; supply chain planning; order promising; and production scheduling) priced at under $150,000, and with appropriate training and implementation services bundled in under a partnership deal with IBM. Les Wyatt, JDE’s chief marketing officer and senior vice president, said: “Now mid-enterprise companies can invest in the highest-value advanced planning functionality that they need one module at a time.” And he says it’s aimed at the “highest-growth segment for collaborative supply chain applications, mid-enterprise companies and divisions of Global 1,000 companies with revenues of $250 million to $3 billion.” Meanwhile, for the higher end, the firm’s real time APS integration means that supply chain event management (SCEM) can work properly for those that need instantaneous awareness of supply chain issues alongside simulation and the rest. JDE says that with OneWorld users will be able to optimally reschedule the shopfloor in light of delayed material deliveries for example, while also alerting other suppliers to the need for more additional items and by when – all in minutes rather than the usual days. What with that and full coverage now of the CPFR (collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment) standards, users are pretty well covered. And then there was the XBPs – aimed at helping users tie properly into third party applications faster. Based on the firm’s XPI middleware technology, they are now available for applications including CRM, e-procurement, financial management and fulfilment. JDE gives the example of an order being placed on the web, the order then triggering applications in the supply chain business process, from order tracking to inventory management to customer invoicing. Said Andrew Moore, JDE’s director of collaborative solutions: “Until now, IT managers have had to spend multiple times more on integration costs as they did to buy their application software in the first place, whether they use a middleware infrastructure or not.” First up are XBPs for Ariba e-procurement and Siebel CRM. Support for the high-tech electronics industry with pre-integrated XBPs for the RosettaNet standard used will follow next month. Moving on to the business intelligence, JDE’s offering, now on general availability, is based on MicroStrategy 7 software, and works with the new flagship OneWorld Xe eERP offering and th eold WorldSoftware suite. The firm also said that later this year, interoperability of Business Intelligence will be improved by enabling the product with its XPI any-to-any- broker technology, although it’s already open to third-party and legacy applications. Using an intuitive, web-based interface, users have the ability to ask questions, search for patterns and analyse results, giving an enterprise a clear idea of where its software is enhancing its operations. “Our Business Intelligence product gives companies the ability to monitor their business processes and to measure the effectiveness of those processes against corporate objectives,” said Hank Bonde, J.D. Edwards’ chief operating officer. “This becomes even more important in collaborative commerce as business processes stretch across companies.” Not to be outdone on the ASP side, JDE also spoke of its 360 or so customers in its hosted applications business – and apparently 50 more booked in May alone. “This growth strongly validates our strategy to work in conjunction with leading ASP alliance partners to deliver hosted applications tailored for specific industries and markets,” said Wyatt. All in all, it’s a picture of considerable endeavour with today’s mid range manufacturing business issues at the centre. As JDE CEO, president and chairman Ed McVaney said:. “Our customers need to effectively integrate functions such as ERP, supply chain, and e-commerce, enable fast set up of ‘any-to-any’ electronic collaboration with suppliers and customers, reduce overall total cost of ownership and deliver value quickly.” The company’s own reorganisation seems to be paying off: you don’t turn corners in any business that quickly, but this lot looks healthy for JDE users – and most important, it looks like JDE is certainly here to stay to continue supporting them. As Joan Harbin of analyst AMR said: “The company continues to support its installed base well, and is aggressively moving down market with industry-specificity and impressive traction in ASP deployments. Given the current economy, sticking with the installed base and rolling out high-value, incremental functionality is not a bad strategy.”