Shaking off 2001's bad vibes, software vendors are looking to cash in on the continued interest around improving supply chain processes.
With buzzwords like supplier relationship management (SRM), advanced planning systems (APS), customer relationship management (CRM) and collaboration turning into real areas of concentration, vendors like J.D. Edwards & Co., i2 Technologies Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. are aligning their offerings accordingly.
Executives from each of the companies outlined a few of their 2002 objectives at this week's Robertson Stephens Technology Conference in San Francisco.
From the J.D. Edwards perspective, the main target areas will be further development of advanced planning systems and CRM tools, said Robert Dutkowsky, president and chief executive.
Of its 6,400 worldwide customers, less than 10% of them have installed APS software from any vendor, and less than 10% have a CRM platform, he said. However, 70% intend to install either APS or CRM software in the next 24 months. "APS and CRM represent tremendous growth areas for us," Dutkowsky added.
i2 will spend time this year branding its concept of dynamic value chain management.
On a broad level, the idea is to bring together different portions of the supply chain process, many of which i2 addresses in its software portfolio, and leverage value from each of them, said chief financial officer Bill Beecher.
The concept involves looking at enhancing supply chain management tools with collaboration capabilities and adding increased visibility across the pipeline.
The notion of collaboration is something grabbing PeopleSoft's attention. The traditional ERP vendor is hearing more frequently that its customers want to expand their enterprise and install software that will allow them to more efficiently interact with their customers and suppliers, and that is a direction the company will be moving into more aggressively, said chief financial officer Kevin Parker.
"Our customers want to build collaborative enterprises, and bring business processes online to achieve significant improvements in productivity, cost reduction and an increased ability to manage their enterprises," he said.