Sockeye Updates CAF

Version 3.0 of Collaborative Application Framework aims for adaptive supply chain collaboration

Chicago, IL — June 12, 2003 — Supply chain applications provider Sockeye Solutions this week launched the latest version of its Collaborative Application Framework (CAF), aiming to provide a solution that will let enterprises build adaptive supply chains.

Sockeye said that CAF is the adaptive foundation that enables the creation and deployment of application templates and services that extend command, control and communication of business processes beyond the traditional enterprise. "CAF is the architecture that enables the translation of supply chain business processes into application templates, the configuration of the templates in real-time and the ubiquitous access and connectivity required for rapid deployment," the company said in a statement.

The provider asserted that version 3.0 of the CAF makes "adaptive supply chain collaboration" a reality by providing an environment that can be configured and modified by business users, allowing them to adapt the solution to meet their evolving supply chain requirements and helping companies create collaborative domains with their trading partners.

"Organizations are looking to implement solutions that will allow them to adapt to the ever-changing requirements that emerge within their supply chains," said Michael Wong, chief technology officer at Sockeye. "With CAF 3.0, Sockeye Solutions can provide organizations with an environment to not only support the complex issues within their supply chains, but to do this with business users who best understand the issues and how to respond to them. We call this adaptive supply chain collaboration."

The CAF consists of a suite of loosely coupled software components deployed on multiple servers and accessible to users and systems over the Internet. CAF supports synchronous and asynchronous message-based communications for many-to-many interactions across multiple systems and time zones, as well as LDAP-based single logon and role-based authorization, using HTTPS ports to safeguard against unauthorized access, according to Sockeye.

As for version 3.0, Sockeye said that the latest iteration of the CAF augments existing IT investments, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and advanced planning and optimization systems, by enabling them to interact within the enterprise as well as with the corresponding systems at trading partner sites.

CAF 3.0 also enables multiple supply chain models in trading circles, clusters or n-tier configurations with many-to-many relationships, multiple part/product catalogues and flexible user-role access management, Sockeye says. Configurable business process modeling supports order management, collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), and vendor management inventory (VMI), and the solution allows for the definition of business objects and activity flows using standard external protocols such as RosettaNet and ebXml.

In addition, Sockeye has added two new "application templates" to CAF with the 3.0 release. The templates represent supply chain best practices configured with customer-driven business processes, resulting in an application that can be deployed over the Internet external to the traditional enterprise model and that can adapt as requirements evolve. New application templates that are part of CAF 3.0 include:

  • Procurement Collaboration Template. The template allows business users to configure applications to meet the needs of their multiple, extended supply chains. It allows buyers and sellers to collaborate on key procurement decisions and negotiations, with the goal of building a dynamic, uninterrupted supply chain. The new Procurement Collaboration Application Template is intended to provide visibility into demand forecasts and seller commitments throughout a multi-tier supply chain. The application manages the collaborative procurement process from defining and managing policies to planning and analysis through to executing against policies.

  • Inventory Collaboration Template. This template allows business users to configure applications to exploit the competitive advantage of their multiple extended supply chains. The application manages inventory targets, monitors inventory projections in real-time and dynamically plans the replenishment and return of parts across a multi-tier supply network. Users can define time periods, multi-party business process rules, data specifications and metrics that apply to their own supply chain initiatives.

Sockeye said that CAF has been used by such companies as HP and Invensys to reduce inventory while avoiding stock-outs and realign trading partners to respond to market demand and revenue opportunities.