In Other News...

A roundup of new solutions and services announcements from the supply chain community.

May 22, 2003 — Following is a selection of recent solution- and services-related announcements that have come into the iSource Business newsroom. These press releases are, for the most part, presented as received. Datelines have been edited for consistency, and trademark and similar notations, as well as "forward looking statement" and similar notices, have been removed.



Verity's New K2 Developer Provides Powerful Content Organization and Recommendation Capabilities for Enterprise Applications

Latest Offering for OEM Market Enhances Performance, Value of Business Software

Sunnyvale, CA — May 12, 2003 — Verity Inc., a leading provider of enterprise software that helps organizations maximize the return on their intellectual capital investment, today announced the availability of Verity K2 Developer (K2D) release 5.0. This newest version of its platform is for independent software vendors (ISV's) that need to add discovery, organization and personalization capabilities to e-business applications such as content management, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, portal infrastructure, online commerce, and other enterprise-level programs.

An important part of this latest release of Verity's market-leading original equipment manufacturer (OEM) technology is the Verity Organization Developer's Kit (ODK), a set of modular application programming interfaces (APIs) that can be integrated easily into enterprise applications whose performance and value will benefit from powerful content organization and recommendation capabilities. The Verity ODK offers a fast, effective way to add Verity's automatic classification, business rules and thematic mapping as well as recommendation capabilities to a wide range of business software.

"In enterprises around the world, we're seeing dramatic growth in the volume of unstructured and structured data generated by many types of enterprise applications. In addition, enterprise users are delving into that information more often and in more ways. These related phenomena place a profound demand on those applications," said Anthony J. Bettencourt, Verity's president and CEO. "Verity K2 Developer 5.0 lets ISVs add the ability to organize content in their business applications so users can quickly access the most relevant information, thus making their applications even more valuable to global enterprises."

"KANA has been a long-time customer of Verity. This latest release of the K2 Developer product with its enhanced Unicode Locale feature is important for a company such as ours with global customers who demand support for many languages used worldwide," said H.A. Schade, director of product management at KANA Software, Inc. "We are also very pleased with the potential provided by the advanced APIs in this release, especially the new ODK feature."

"Mission-critical" Content Organization

The Verity ODK allows taxonomies to be created, modified and reused easily to optimize the content's organization and improve search results. Categories of content can be automatically generated using Verity's patent-pending Logistic Regression Classification (LRC) technology, which, in turn, can be combined with human domain expertise to alter or augment the LRC-generated rules for even greater accuracy or to comply with specific business requirements.

"Moving beyond content availability to content intelligence is a pressing priority for developers of today's business applications," said Hadley Reynolds, director of research, Delphi Group, a leading market advisor. "An ongoing problem with many business applications is the failure to deliver a high level of context and relevance to the user. In offering this enhanced suite of development tools for their many OEM partners, Verity is accelerating the arrival of better discovery, organization, personalization and connection functionality across a wide range of industries."

Verity K2D can also scale to support both large volumes of content and numbers of users due to its multi-tiered parallel computing architecture. The K2D platform takes full advantage of advanced symmetrical processing and exploits the multi-threading and concurrency features of today's leading hardware platforms and software programs. In addition, Verity K2D allows programmers to work in a wide range of Web development languages and supports most enterprise-class operating systems, including Microsoft Windows NT/2000 as well as various forms of UNIX, including Linux.

Enhanced Recommendation Engine

This release of K2D also includes enhanced capabilities of Verity's Recommendation Engine, including recommendation of queries, category recommendations, federated recommendations, Open Navigation and Dynamic Taxonomies. Further, interfaces are now available to allow the editing of any entity, which enable ISVs complete control over the information managed within the Recommendation Engine.

With Verity's Recommendation Engine, an application can recommend individual documents or categories of documents as well as experts, communities of interest, and other user-defined entities, allowing Open Navigation of these assets. Federated recommendation provides users with recommended documents that are retrieved from various internal applications and external content repositories.

Dynamic taxonomies enhance Open Navigation by enabling the system to automatically analyze and recommend related categories. For example, in a healthcare organization, a user looking for a document on "flu" can be recommended the category "SARS", and the opportunity to navigate to other relevant information. Dynamic Taxonomies are especially appealing to e-commerce applications because administrators can use this unique Verity capability to facilitate cross-selling and up-selling through the recommendation of related categories to customers. Another functionality of Dynamic Taxonomies is the ability to allow individuals within an organization to create and share their own taxonomies and participate actively in the enhancement of the organizational taxonomies.

Rapid, Flexible Deployment

Verity K2D allows ISVs a choice of how it can be integrated into an application. The technology can either be easily attached to existing applications or fully embedded into new releases.

"This flexibility means software vendors do not have to adjust their release dates to meet the pressing need for better information organization and retrieval capabilities," Bettencourt said. "This is the sort of adaptability one should expect from Verity, an OEM leader in this technology."

Verity K2D is oriented toward integration with enterprise applications for global organizations. The product's new Unicode Locale feature supports more than 70 languages.

Verity Professional Services, the company's global consulting and technical support group, can work with an ISV's development team to ensure the integration of Verity K2D is fully optimized.

About Verity

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Verity provides software solutions that help organizations maximize the return on their intellectual capital investment by utilizing Verity's industry-leading enterprise search, classification and personalization technologies. Verity software is used for sharing information within and between enterprises; for facilitating e-commerce sales; and for B2B activities on Web-based market exchanges. In addition, Verity technology serves as a core component of many leading e-business applications. Verity products are used by more than 3,500 organizations in the private and public sectors. Customers include Adobe Systems, AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Documentum, Dow Jones, EDGAR Online, Financial Times, H-P, Home Depot, Lotus, META Group, SAP, Siemens, Stellent, Sybase, Time New Media and Timex. For more information, contact Verity at info@verity.com or at World Wide Web site http://www.verity.com or call 408-541-1500.

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Epicor Unveils Internet Component Environment for Next-Generation Web Services Application Development

Epicor ICE Builds on Microsoft .NET to Enable World-class, High Performance, and Massively Scaleable Enterprise Applications

Irvine, CA — May 12, 2003 — Epicor Software Corporation, a leading provider of end-to-end industry specific enterprise software solutions for mid-market companies, today announced the launch of Epicor Internet Component Environment (ICE), the application framework for a new breed of next-generation enterprise solutions leveraging pure, granular XML Web services technology.

The Epicor ICE platform, built using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET and running on top of the Microsoft .NET Framework, extends the unique value proposition of Web services technology to mid-market businesses, enabling them to extend and customize Epicor applications as never before. With Epicor ICE and Microsoft .NET, all of the traditional constraints of application development are eliminated. Epicor customers can use the ICE platform to develop specific features and applications using the same toolset used to create Epicor's next-generation solutions. Epicor ICE leverages Web services by exposing application logic for agile and real-time business process modeling, helping mid-market businesses rapidly respond to change, adjust for growth, and maintain competitive advantage.

"There has been much excitement surrounding the new paradigm of application development via Web services," said George Klaus, chairman, CEO and president of Epicor. "With the advent of Epicor ICE, mid-market customers now have a complete Web services application development platform for easily extending Epicor solutions. Its vast extensibility and interoperability, combined with near infinite n-tier scalability, provides a secure and global framework that is super-productive yet inexpensive to maintain."

Epicor ICE's Innovative Architecture

The Epicor ICE platform introduces the concept of "solution assembly" allowing the creation of self-describing granular business components that connect seamlessly to provide sophisticated application functionality backed by an open XML API. Epicor ICE accelerates the development of 100-percent thin, compelling user experiences, with the ease-of-use that mid-market companies require.

Epicor ICE separates business logic from the underlying technology framework, enabling users to dynamically model business rules, extend and customize the solution without touching source code. Epicor is also able to systematically upgrade the framework to incorporate new technology enhancements, without disrupting the applications built upon it.

Additionally, Epicor ICE facilitates best practices and collaboration by orchestrating the exchange of data and flow of business processes among employees, suppliers and customers. Epicor ICE makes it much easier for Epicor customers to map their current business processes, automate execution, monitor performance and make on-the-fly changes for continuous improvement.

"Web services continue to prove their value to businesses of all sizes," said Graham Clark, GM .NET Platform Strategy and Partner Group at Microsoft. "Epicor's ICE toolset built with Microsoft .NET provides customers with a valuable solution for rapidly delivering enterprise-class Web services. We applaud Epicor's efforts in delivering solutions which help maximize business agility."

Epicor ICE Features

  • Integration Technology — Epicor ICE dramatically simplifies application-to-application connectivity within an organization, allowing mid-market businesses to concentrate on far more profitable enterprise-to-enterprise interactions.

  • Business Process Management (BPM) — Intrinsic BPM technology within Epicor ICE enables automated and streamlined business processes across the enterprise. The Epicor ICE BPM Director serves as a complete workflow and business process solution that can be used to define how an application interacts with a business, and enable the rapid revision of business rules as an enterprise grows and evolves.

  • Customization Tools — Epicor ICE features Microsoft Visual Studio for Applications .NET (VSA.NET), an industry-standard method for customizing and extending Web services. Epicor ICE VSA Workbench and VSA .NET empower a company to carry out painless and cost-effective customization that extends the performance and capability of their business applications.

  • Application Extensibility — Epicor ICE Adaptive Designer, a rapid application development and code generation environment for XML Web services, features a thin-client generating application development tool that interacts with Web services and streamlines the creation of user interface applications for Web browser, PDA or virtually any smart device. Adaptive Designer produces rich user experiences on par with traditional client-server interfaces while maintaining a 100-percent thin and easily managed client.

  • Security Protocols — Epicor ICE leverages Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Microsoft Windows security protocols, including Active Directory LDAP, Smart Cards and public key infrastructure (PKI), to ensure that only authorized users can access the system, and that users have requisite permissions to access specific data.

The Epicor ICE platform, currently scheduled for general availability midyear, is the foundation for the new breed of Web services-based enterprise solutions from Epicor. Part of Epicor's "Solutions for Your Industry" series, Epicor for Service Enterprises, was also announced today.

About Epicor Software Corporation

Epicor is a leading provider of global enterprise software solutions that help mid-market companies think ahead and stay ahead. Founded in 1984, Epicor has over 15,000 customers and delivers end-to-end, industry-specific solutions that enable companies to immediately improve business operations and build competitive advantage in today's Internet economy. Epicor's comprehensive suite of integrated software solutions for Customer Relationship Management, Financials, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Professional Services Automation and Collaborative Commerce provide the scalability and flexibility to support long-term growth. Epicor's solutions are complemented by a full range of services, providing single point of accountability to promote rapid return on investment and low total cost of ownership, now and in the future. Epicor is headquartered in Irvine, California and has offices and affiliates around the world. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.epicor.com.

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ChannelWave Extends PRM Leadership to Mid-Market with New Out-of-the-Box Channel Management Solution

Mid-Market Edition Helps Growing Companies Automate Channel Business Processes, Increase Revenues, Reduce Risk

Cambridge, MA — May 12, 2003 — ChannelWave Software, Inc., the leader in Partner Relationship Management (PRM) solutions, today announced the availability of its new Mid-Market Edition.

Designed specifically for companies with revenues up to $100 million, ChannelWave Mid-Market provides channel management infrastructure that was previously available only at the enterprise level, allowing businesses to compete more effectively and create a sustainable distribution advantage.

ChannelWave Mid-Market is based on ChannelWave's enterprise product, which has been a recognized PRM leader for the high technology and telecommunications markets for five years. As the first software solution developed exclusively to help smaller companies increase the profitability of their sales and distribution channels, ChannelWave Mid-Market delivers pre-configured, easy-to-use functionality at a low monthly price, which can be rolled out in 30 days or less in a hosted environment, for a fixed set-up fee.

NFR Security, Inc., a leading developer of network intrusion management solutions that protect IT systems from external and internal threats, implemented ChannelWave Mid-Market as the platform for its global channel sales operations. "ChannelWave's flexible software business model best matched our priorities — fast deployment, fast return on investment and low total cost of ownership," said Barnaby Page, Vice President, International Operations, NFR Security. "We could not risk the cost and time of deploying another client-server based solution."

According to a new Aberdeen Group report, "The Small and Middle Market Enterprise: Addressing Today's Business Issues through Technology," mid-market firms will spend $50 billion on business software by the middle of the decade to address pent-up demand. These businesses require solutions that are easy to use, and are rejecting software that is difficult to implement and requires expensive consultants. "The ability to eliminate waste, redundancy, and lack of productivity through intelligent software choices in this vast market sector may well prove key to the turnaround in the global economy," said Aberdeen Research Director Karen Smith. "This country will see a rise in productivity if we can get the mid-market to use software as well as big companies."

"Mid-market firms need to be smarter and more nimble when competing against enterprise-class rivals, and their business software needs to reflect that," said Chris Heidelberger, president and CEO of ChannelWave. "They require a simple, powerful solution that can be deployed quickly, deliver immediate business value and pay for itself in months — not years like traditional software products. ChannelWave Mid-Market was designed specifically to help companies address their most immediate business challenges and build more profitable distribution channels."

ChannelWave Mid-Market is 100 percent Web-based and supports the core aspects of partner program management, including automated partner recruitment and ramp-up, collaborative planning, joint marketing, communications, lead management and forecasting. It allows companies and their selling partners to manage all account activity through a single online dashboard, producing better and faster bottom-line results than traditional CRM solutions. Companies deploying ChannelWave Mid-Market Edition can improve channel visibility, increase sales revenues, cut costs and strengthen partner and end-customer satisfaction, without hiring additional resources.

About ChannelWave

ChannelWave Software, Inc. helps enterprises to gain a competitive distribution advantage by optimizing the performance of indirect sales channels and business partnerships. ChannelWave's open, Java-based solutions enable businesses that drive revenue through selling partners — including distributors, value-added resellers, dealers, agents, brokers, alliance partners and systems integrators — to market, sell and service their products and solutions more effectively, through a software business model that delivers faster deployment, stronger ROI, lower risk and lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions. ChannelWave's solutions are available in both Enterprise and Mid-Market editions through the company's direct sales force and distribution partners worldwide. Customers include AT&T, BEA, Cable & Wireless, Hewlett-Packard, McDATA, NFR Security, Qwest, Sterling Commerce and Verizon. ChannelWave is privately held, with lead investors Mobius Venture Capital, ABS Capital Partners, Lazard Technology Partners and Ironside Ventures. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has offices in San Jose, Denver, Washington, D.C. and Toronto. More information is available at www.channelwave.com or by calling (800) 862-5596.

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IPNet Expands Supply Chain Connectivity Offering with BEA WebLogic Integration

Irvine, CA — May 13, 2003 — IPNet Solutions Inc., a leader in flexible supply chain connectivity, today announced it has selected BEA WebLogic Integration to augment its BizManager product line.

With deeper process integration capabilities, the combined solution can provide automated internal and collaborative processes to companies currently using EDI and XML to transact B2B commerce over the Web.

The business value of coupling inter- and intra-enterprise connectivity and messaging with business process integration is that organizations can achieve faster time-to-market through timely and accurate business communications that result in greater revenue and lower costs.

"BEA and IPNet customers can greatly increase productivity with a seamlessly integrated end-to-end business process solution available in one environment," said Scott Edgington, vice president and general manager, global software partners, BEA Systems. "BEA WebLogic Integration users can leverage IPNet's BizManager Server to securely connect, exchange and integrate with partners over the Internet."

According to Carl Lehmann, vice president of Enterprise Applications Strategies, META Group, "Global 2000 companies have come to expect more functionality from a streamlined set of technology vendors.

"We do not believe it necessary or wise to wait for market consolidation before these companies devise and execute B2B strategies. Rather, we advise organizations to pursue incremental efficiencies enabled by currently available Internet EDI technologies/ services and EAI technology."

"IPNet recognizes the importance of extending the footprint of the BizManager product family to include business process integration capabilities," said Hatem El-Sebaaly, CTO at IPNet.

"We have already established a leadership position in the supply chain connectivity marketplace. By adding BEA WebLogic Integration, a robust and reliable platform, IPNet can more easily facilitate straight through processing (STP) and help automate internal and collaborative processes for these companies."

About IPNet Solutions

IPNet Solutions provides software that connects Global 2000 companies and their business partners enabling secure data exchange (EDI/INT). IPNet's flexible and secure solutions support leading Internet standards, XML and legacy EDI systems.

The IPNet BizManager line of products is certified eBusinessReady in AS1, AS2, CPFR and ebXML by the Uniform Code Council Inc. (UCC) and the Drummond Group Inc. (DGI).

The BizManager line allows business partners of any size to participate in B2B initiatives by offering server, PC, Java-client and browser options. IPNet's patented technology helps companies migrate risk-free from legacy systems to the Internet.

IPNet's customers include Ace Hardware, Chicken of the Sea, Home Depot, Kohl's, Lowe's, Meijer, Menard's, Petco, Sherwin-Williams and Springs Industries. Information about the company can be found at www.ipnetsolutions.com or by calling 866/476-3848 (866/IPNet4U).

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J.D. Edwards Announces Plans for Enhanced Collaborative Supply Chain Planning and Scheduling Capabilities for Manufacturers

New Functionality Will Help Manufacturing Companies Save Time and Money Through Increased Supply Chain Visibility and Simplified System Navigation

Denver — May 13, 2003 — J.D. Edwards & Company unveiled planned enhancements to J.D. Edwards 5 including planning and scheduling functionality specifically designed to help manufacturers maximize factory throughput, minimize inventory and dynamically detect and adapt to changes in supply chains.

The planned functionality will be included in J.D. Edwards' enhanced Production and Distribution Planning (PDP) and Production Scheduling modules. Built to offer a high degree of flexibility, the modules will be available on a standalone basis, or fully integrated with other J.D. Edwards 5 world-class collaborative enterprise solutions.

The new PDP functionality is designed for industrial manufacturers and is planned for release in the third quarter of fiscal year 2003. The newly enhanced Production Scheduling module, also targeted at industrial manufacturers, is available today. PDP and Production Scheduling are part of a larger release of new J.D. Edwards 5 supply chain functionality to be detailed further at the company's annual user group conference in Denver, June 9-12, "Quest Global 2003." Other new J.D. Edwards 5 supply chain products already announced this year include Supply Chain Business Modeler and Demand Forecasting.

"Our manufacturing customers have asked for software that simplifies the process of aligning materials and capacity with demand. We've listened, and we're delivering products that are integrated across the extended supply chain with improved functionality and ease-of-use," said Andrew Carlson, J.D. Edwards director of product marketing, supply chain management.

Historically, manufacturers have planned most of their material supply with unconstrained, outdated material requirements planning (MRP) tools. Optimized, constraint-based planning was only applied to capacities and selected materials with known limitations. In this release, J.D. Edwards PDP incorporates a fast, in-memory, supply planning algorithm that synchronizes the entire inbound materials flow with company resources, production capacity, and process requirements. Intelligent material forecasts minimize inventory and improve profitability.

The Production Scheduling module uses Constraint Directed Search (CDS) finite scheduling technology designed to help industrial manufacturers quickly produce high-quality production schedules. The J.D. Edwards Production Scheduling module produces production schedules that maintain a high degree of integrity over time. Moreover, it improves the quality of the production scheduling process, resulting in improved on-time delivery to the customer.

Both the PDP and Production Scheduling modules include Microsoft Windows standard graphical user interfaces for planners, and collaborative processes are supported through a portal-based interface for customers and suppliers. Integration enhancements within the modules deliver real-time information on supply chain events from execution systems. Standard model configuration enables planning models to be created directly from underlying item, bill-of-material, manufacturing, and distribution center data. These and other enhancements demonstrate J.D. Edwards' commitment to making supply chain planning tools easier to implement and easier to use for its customers.

About J.D. Edwards & Company

J.D. Edwards makes customers stronger, enabling them to solve their most important business challenges. The company offers collaborative enterprise software as well as consulting, education and support services. J.D. Edwards' offerings are differentiated by a deeply ingrained attitude of listening to customers, innovating on their behalf, and delivering solutions as part of a results-oriented relationship. Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Denver, J.D. Edwards focuses on long-term business partnerships and helping its 6,600 customers in more than 110 countries collaborate electronically to manage their business processes, supply chains, enterprise assets, and supplier and customer relationships. For more information: www.jdedwards.com or 1-800-727-5333.

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Retek Introduces Advanced Inventory Planning Solution

Optimized, Time-Phased Inventory Planning Solution Synchronizes Supply with Consumer Demand to Maximize Inventory Performance

Minneapolis — May 13, 2003 — Retek Inc. announced today the introduction of Retek Advanced Inventory Planning solution (AIP) that enables retailers to improve in-stock availability and sales with reduced total inventory levels. The Retek Advanced Inventory Planning solution combines Retek's industry leading demand forecasting engine with constraint-based store and warehouse order planning to produce an optimized, time-phased inventory plan.

Retailers are faced with competing priorities: increasing customer expectations requiring improved service levels, while reducing operating costs to improve or sustain margins in today's competitive retail environment. To successfully balance these priorities, retailers must synchronize supply with consumer demand.

Retek Advanced Inventory Planning

Retek Advanced Inventory Planning integrates with Retek Demand Forecasting to produce time-phased, optimized replenishment plans at both store and distribution center levels. The highly scalable Retek Demand Forecasting solution, combined with the Retek Promote module, leverages advanced scientific algorithms to develop industry leading consumer demand forecasts at levels as low as SKU/store/day. These forecasts are integrated with Retek AIP to drive forward looking, time-phased order plans that are synchronized with all nodes in the supply chain: stores, warehouses and suppliers.

Embedding advanced constraint-based optimization and predictive technology in Retek AIP delivers "optimal" order plans that are based on the most accurate prediction of consumer demand and real-world constraints such as: inventory, lead times, supply chain capacity and labor. Flexible exception management provides for practical implementation and use in a fast-paced retail environment. Capacity planning evaluates the organization's ability to execute the inventory plan and the sophisticated reconciliation and smoothing processes ensure execution. These advanced solutions help retailers lower inventory levels, increase inventory availability and optimize asset utilization.

Benefits

Retek Advanced Inventory Planning provides retailers significant benefits:

  • Reduced inventory

  • Reduced carrying costs

  • Reduced operating costs through lower transportation and labor costs

  • Increased revenue through reduced stock-outs and reduced markdowns

  • Increased customer service through better product availability

  • Increased inventory turns

"Retek AIP helps retailers minimize inventory while maximizing customer service and sales," said Duncan Angove, chief strategy officer at Retek. "By capitalizing on Retek's scientific optimization and predictive engines and combining allocation and replenishment, Retek AIP offers a compelling solution for both push and pull merchandising strategies."

Retek AIP has successfully been implemented in pilot stores with a UK grocery chain and is being implemented at Wegman's and Office Depot.

About Retek Inc.

Retek Inc. is the leading provider of mission-critical software and services to the retail industry. Retek solutions integrate collaborative software with patented predictive technologies, consulting services, and the best practices of customers and partners to help retailers create, manage and fulfill consumer demand. Leading global retailers including Tesco, Best Buy, Gap Inc., Sainsbury's, Eckerd Corp. and Selfridges use Retek solutions. On the net: Retek at http://www.retek.com.

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SAS Delivers Financial Intelligence across the Retail/CPG Value Chain

By Providing Financial Transparency, SAS Value Chain Analytics 6.0 Improves Decision Making, Increases Profitability

Cary, NC — May 13, 2003 — SAS, the leader in business intelligence, today announced SAS Value Chain Analytics 6.0, a solution designed specifically for retailers, distributors, wholesalers and manufacturers in the consumer package goods (CPG) and retail industries.

Significant new capabilities include the ability to quickly view and model distribution systems, as well as analyze complete distribution systems — including each product and customer or supplier. By providing financial transparency across the value chain, the SAS solution allows organizations working in the value chain to reduce product costs and increase profitability from post-production to retail checkout.

Traditionally, these organizations have lacked an objective, easily repeatable means of determining how sales, marketing, logistics and other decisions affect product cost and profitability. According to the 2002 Consumer Goods Technology/AMR Research Tech Trends Report, the two most important issues for companies are the pressure to reduce overall supply chain costs as well as collaborate more effectively with internal and external partners. Replacing often expensive, customized projects, SAS Value Chain Analytics 6.0 uses SAS' industry-leading data access and analytics capabilities to determine quickly and accurately the financial impact of decisions on product cost and profitability.

Joe Andraski is a senior vice president at OMI International Inc., Vice Chair of Voluntary Inter-Industry Commerce Standards (VICS) CPFR Committee, and intimately involved in the development of collaborative business practices and technology for industry. Commenting on the challenges between retailers and CPG suppliers, and the value that SAS VCA provides, he said, "Organizations need to have accurate, fact-based financial data about their distribution systems so they can make informed management decisions. SAS VCA provides that unbiased, ongoing cost transparency and analysis. This delivers the insight trading partners need to understand potential cost savings before implementation, as well as move toward processes that will increase overall supply chain efficiency while satisfying customer needs."

SAS is committed to making SAS Value Chain Analytics 6.0 a profit-enhancing competitive advantage for companies in the retail and CPG industries. In 1999, ECR Europe, a joint trade and industry body, selected VCA's precursor as the industry-standard platform for enabling cost analysis in the retail/CPG value chain. In 2002, SAS acquired the software's developer, ABC Technologies, with an intention to combine ABC's leading product-costing expertise with SAS' data access and analytics capabilities. With its value chain solution, SAS is delivering on that promise.

"SAS and the former ABC Technologies collectively have more than 25 years experience meeting the needs of retailers and CPG suppliers," said Jim Davis, SAS senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "That unique understanding is evident in SAS VCA 6.0, a solution unrivaled in its ability to deliver granular insight into product cost and profitability in the value chain."

Enhanced capabilities

SAS Value Chain Analytics 6.0 delivers two significant new capabilities:

  • Traditionally, modeling and viewing distribution systems for analysis was performed manually and took extensive time and resources. A unique new interface automates the process, reducing that build time to as little as five minutes by taking advantage of information already stored in an organization's procurement, warehousing, logistics, category management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Now, customers can effortlessly view and navigate their unique value chains from both graphical and hierarchical standpoints. This reduces their time to analysis, subsequent cost savings and return on investment.

  • Previous versions of the SAS solution monitored and analyzed representative value chain data samples. In these engagements, the results typically found inefficiencies of 5 to 10 percent of gross sales value. The software now supports all products and customers/suppliers in a distribution system. Further, calculation speeds are now 200 times faster than previous versions. This enables retailers and suppliers to quickly identify and understand the costs of every product at any point of the chain.

About SAS VCA and SAS Supply Chain Intelligence

SAS Value Chain Analytics is one of four components of SAS Supply Chain Intelligence. Based on the SAS Intelligence Architecture, which includes data access, warehousing, cleansing and data mining, SAS' suite of supply chain offerings enables customers to generate intelligence from existing transactional supply chain management and ERP systems. In addition to SAS Value Chain Analytics, the product line includes SAS Demand Intelligence, SAS Process Intelligence and SAS Supplier Relationship Management. Supporting these solutions is the SAS Supply Chain Analytics Consulting Group, an organization dedicated to helping customers rapidly deploy and generate financial improvement from the applications.

About SAS

SAS is the market leader in providing a new generation of business intelligence software and services that create true enterprise intelligence. SAS solutions are used at more than 40,000 sites — including 90 percent of the Fortune 500 — to develop more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; to enable better, more accurate and informed decisions; and to drive organizations forward. SAS is the only vendor that completely integrates leading data warehousing, analytics and traditional BI applications to create intelligence from massive amounts of data. For more than 25 years, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know. Visit us at www.sas.com.

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Formation Systems Introduces Optiva Dashboards

Providing Graphical, Web-based Visibility into Key Performance Indicators and Development Process Status

Southborough, MA — May 14, 2003 — Formation Systems, a leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions, today announced the availability of the Optiva Dashboards. The XML Web-based dashboards integrate and aggregate information maintained by Formation Systems' flagship PLM solution Optiva, providing visibility to process manufacturing managers, engineers, design professionals and any member of product development and management to gain a quick and complete view into the product development process.

The dashboards fully support the Microsoft .NET framework and allow users to view Optiva information anywhere, anytime. With Optiva Dashboards, manufacturing can build better products, procurement can make better buying decisions, and sales and marketing can introduce more products to market faster.

Industry figures reveal that the leading CPG companies are nearly twice as effective in generating revenue from new products as the average CPG company. Additional figures show that the average CPG companies spend almost half of their resources on failed projects.

  • Revenue from New Products (<5 Yrs) — 49% Leaders vs. 25% Average

  • Market Share for Successes — 47% Leaders vs. 35% Average

  • Resources Spent on Failures — 20% Leaders vs. 46% Average

Source: PDMA, PDI, Corus Gemini

In order for companies to increase the revenue percentage from new products and allow them to shift their resources on projects that succeed, executive visibility into their development process is critical. Optiva Dashboards provide executives the tools necessary to identify and prioritize business opportunities, as well as help them continually improve their development process.

The dashboards access and aggregate data from the Optiva PLM application providing real-time data to all members of a product development team, from the individual, departmental management, and executive levels of R&D, procurement, manufacturing and marketing. This ability to view and analyze timely product data enables better decision-making, and helps to ensure successful project completion.

The Optiva Dashboards include:

  • Daily Dashboard — The Daily Dashboard provides users with timely, summarized information on active product development, sourcing projects and business analytics.

  • Drill Down — The drill down function enables users to click on more detailed program information including the status on program stage and subtask level completion, graphic program risk assessment and resource assignment.

  • Configurability — The Dashboards are configurable allowing for the creation of role-specific displays. Users can create dashboards that best serve business goals and meet specific user needs.

  • Analytics — Integrated analytics enables business users to 1) view data that adds value to their development process, 2) understand that project objectives are continually reached, and 3) allows quick reaction to changing events within the product development cycle to ensure customer demands are incorporated to deliver the most cost effective product to market.


"Our customers utilize Optiva to accelerate the development of innovative products. We recognized the need to further empower them with an intuitive user interface to easily monitor all development managed by Optiva," said Dan Keelan, president and CEO of Formation Systems. "With the Optiva Dashboards our customers now have immediate access to every event and action within the product development cycle, and the ability to monitor development in real time."

About Formation Systems

Formation Systems develops Optiva, a suite of product development software for process industries. Their mission is to ensure a company's best ideas become the world's greatest products. Formation customers include large global Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, GE Plastics, Akzo Nobel, Kerry Group plc, Golden State Foods, Parfums Christian Dior, Yves Rocher, RPM and The Valspar Corporation. Formation's software offers customers high return, low risk and quick time to benefit. Founded in 1995, Formation Systems is privately held and headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts. For more information visit the corporate Web site at www.formationsystems.com.

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