Under the joint marketing and development partnership, Agile will port its offerings which include Product Sourcing, Product Collaboration and Product Service & Improvement to the Sun ONE platform in a bid by the two companies to provide their joint customers with a solution for managing a single system of record for manufactured products.
Product Sourcing, Agile's direct material sourcing and cost management offering, currently is available on Sun's Fire servers and StorEdge products. The first Sun ONE components to be supported are the Solaris 9.0 Operating Environment (Solaris OE) for Unix servers. Agile plans to roll out solutions for the entire Sun ONE architecture, including Directory Server, Application Server and Portal Server, by the end of this year.
Richard Walker, who manages alliances at Agile, said the software company chose to migrate the sourcing solution to the Sun platform first because it was a newer solution, having been rolled out at the beginning of this year, and Agile was able to build the application from the start with Sun ONE in mind.
The partners said that companies choosing the joint solution will be better able to manage the complete customer lifecycle, beginning with initial contact and continuing through the sales cycle, the order and billing process, product delivery and service and support.
In addition, Mike McNerney, group management for market development at Sun, suggested that the Java and J2EE capabilities Sun has built into the platform should allow companies to get the Agile applications up and running quickly, while Sun's long-term commitment to the Sun ONE platform ensures that customers' selection of the Agile applications will be "future-proof."
Global manufacturing companies need a platform that provides increased flexibility and scalability for linking their supply chain partners directly to their internal systems, said Shahram Moradpour, senior director for market development at Sun. "The Agile Product Chain Management solutions running on the Sun ONE platform will help our mutual customers to improve their time to market and subsequently their bottom line," he asserted.
The first customer to be running this joint offering will be the Kimball Electronics Group, an outsourced manufacturer of printed circuit boards, according to Paul Fu, Agile's vice president of product marketing.
Fu said the ability to offer Agile's solutions on the Sun platform provides a good option for the software company as it goes after large, global customers. "In the environments where we play," he said, "UNIX is an integral part of the enterprise, but this opportunity lets us get deeper into that relationship to take advantage of the additional offerings that Sun ONE brings to the table."
Agile had been working with Sun for about a year to port its solution to the Solaris platform, and the two companies already had joint customers running Agile solutions on Solaris. The latest announcement represents an escalation in the Sun-Agile relationship, according to McNerney. "As Sun is evolving from a UNIX-based platform provider to the Sun ONE architecture, Agile is now coming in line with that vision and becoming a key partner in executing on that larger vision of interconnected applications."