New Solutions Wrap-up

Procuri upgrades e-sourcing solution, Covisint enhances RFQ tool, Metis tackles BPM

Tempe, AZ  October 7, 2002  Downturn or no, baseball playoffs or no, technology companies continue to roll out new solutions to entice corporate IT buyers, and this week is no exception, with e-sourcing solution provider Procuri, erstwhile auto industry e-marketplace Covisint and business process management specialist Metis Technologies the latest to bring new products to market.

Procuri Updates e-Sourcing Solution

Procuri, based in the Home of the Braves (Atlanta, that is), this week unveiled new functionality and a new interface in its eponymous suite of e-sourcing products.

The new user interface in the Web-based Procuri 4.0 offers clearly-defined menus and icons, and the solution features new decision analysis, performance analysis and request for quote and information (or "RFx") templates, among other added capabilities.

The decision analysis capabilities include an optimization tool that enables buyers to evaluate price and non-price factors to arrive at a true "best value" decision. The performance analysis and reporting (PAR) capabilities include a reporting module that retrieves, analyzes and showcases all system data through pre-defined or company specific reports.

In terms of RFx capabilities, Procuri said its solution's category-specific templates include recommended best practices that allow buyers to choose the type of event they want to create. The solution also provides preset bid rules and visibility flags. A "Command Center" feature offers a customizable, multi-panel screen that enables buyers to have visibility of, and control over, their events from one location.

Finally, additional bid page functionality offers buyers several options for viewing the status and performance of suppliers prior to, during and after sourcing transactions have been conducted.

Covisint Upgrades Online Quote System

Meanwhile, erstwhile auto-industry e-marketplace Covisint, which more recently has positioned itself as a solution provider for automakers and industry suppliers, has released version 4.0 of its Quote Manager tool.

Covisint, based in Tiger Country (that is, in Southfield, Mich., outside Detroit) said that Quote Manager, a tool for managing electronic requests for quote (RFQs), can help automotive suppliers improve their chances of gaining new business by reducing the time needed to complete RFQs, thereby increasing their ability to meet initial submission deadlines. It also can help them be more effective at creating RFQs for their own supply chains, the solution provider said, adding that benchmarking at suppliers and original equipment manufacturers has shown the tool can reduce RFQ processing and handling costs for all participants in a supply chain.

Version 4.0 includes features that let companies prepare and distribute RFQs online, discuss and refine requirements, create detailed responses online and gather and analyze RFQ responses. The solutions let sourcing teams build, customize and reuse sourcing templates and data, as well as electronically store RFQ data and responses for historical record.

Two automakers are rolling out 4.0, according to Covisint. The solution provider worked with MatrixOne, its key technology provider for collaborative applications, to develop the new solution.

Metis BPM Solution Integrates Best Practices

Finally, Metis Technologies has released Pathways, a business process management (BPM) solution that the provider said automatically integrates processes and enables the enterprise to automate and monitor the performance of processes.

Metis Technologies, headquartered in Yankees territory (New York, for the baseball averse), said that Pathways includes real-time monitoring and a built-in technology integration framework. Pathways is built on top of Metis MCP 5, a peer-to-peer solution for integrating technologies, business logic and processes for Web services, composite applications and grid computing.

In addition to defining, monitoring and managing business processes, Pathways offers functionality allowing the enterprise to make changes to processes in real-time. Processes can be integrated from partners, other company divisions or other sources and adopted into a pre-integrated framework. Metis said that Pathways also provides a real-time data transformation engine and a solution for adapting to technologies ranging from mainframes to Unix systems, from HTTP to XML, from Oracle to SQL, or middleware, legacy systems, infrastructure and networks.

The solution provider offers 300-plus technology adapters ranging from major enterprise resource planning (ERP) programs, including Peoplesoft and SAP, as well as to customer relationship management (CRM) applications such as Siebel, e-business applications like Broadvision and Commerce One, as well as financial packages, including JD Edwards and Oracle financials.

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