Season of Mistletoe Brings Providers Together

A roundup of the latest strategic partnerships among service and solution providers

Tempe, AZ  December 20, 2001  The end of the fourth quarter brings with it eggnog, good cheer and announcements of strategic partnerships among service and software providers.

Here's a quick look at the latest alliances:

·        Business Integration: Andersen & webMethods

Consultancy Andersen will offer an integration platform from webMethods to customers requiring integration software as a means to automate their business processes. The alliance will focus on enabling major corporations to rapidly automate business processes inside their enterprise and extend the integration to trading partners and customers over the Internet. webMethods will train additional Andersen professionals to implement the webMethods integration platform, and Andersen will showcase webMethods software in its solution centers.

·        Locate-to-Order in Auto Industry: Chrome Systems & Syncata

Consultancy and systems integrator Syncata is partnering with software provider Chrome Systems to jointly develop business solutions for the automotive industry. Chrome provides product configuration technology, software and services for the retail automotive industry. Syncata will integrate Chrome's products into its demand intelligence, smart vehicle allocation and locate-to-order (LTO) solutions. The partnership will enable Syncata to develop decision-making tools based on data generated by Chrome software. Using this data, manufacturers will be able to capture accessory and trim preferences, better match inventory to demand and reduce the need to offer dealers costly incentives, the newly minted partners said. (Also, see Manugistics-Chrome alliance below.)

·        Order-to-Delivery for Auto Industry: Chrome Systems & Manugistics

Supply chain software company Manugistics Group and Chrome Systems Corporation have formed a sales and marketing alliance targeted at the automotive industry. The expected joint offering will combine Manugistics' automotive order-to-delivery solution with Chrome's automotive data management services. The combination is designed to enable original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and their suppliers to better predict buyer trends and consumer preferences, and to more quickly identify production issues. Benefits of such a solution can include enhanced customer satisfaction, more accurate forecasting for procurement, manufacturing and distribution and reduced inventory costs, the partners say.

·        "Virtual Design" for Apparel Industry: Freeborders & Browzwear

Freeborders, a provider of collaborative product management (CPM) solutions for the retail industry, is teaming up with Browzwear., which develops 3D modeling and design applications that provide virtual imaging capability to the apparel industry. Freeborders will integrateBrowzwear's V-Stitcher into its own CPM design and development applications to provide true-to-life modeling that enables the creation of a virtual garment from a two-dimensional design over a 3D body image. The benefits: real-time, 3D response to any 2D changes, displaying "picture perfect" textures, featuring true-to-life draping and enabling remote viewing through an Internet platform. Online fit and design visibility should result in fewer samples being required from concept to approved garment, reducing development lead-time and costs.

·        Supply Chain Event Management: ILOG & Tilion

Supply chain event management player Tilion is incorporating optimization software components from ILOG for real-time exception identification as part of its subscription-based supply chain performance management service. ILOG's JRules will be used to monitor status across the extended supply chain and provide customers with exception-based information in real time. Tilion customers will be able to set their own thresholds for event identification, such as supplier inventory levels, so that they are informed when the threshold level is reached. This should allow them to make timely, informed business decisions to maximize supply chain performance and efficiency.

·        Supply Chain Visibility: Logility & SSA Global Technologies

Collaborative commerce solutions provider Logility has concluded an OEM agreement with enterprise solutions and services company SSA Global Technologies. SSA GT will market and support the Logility Voyager Solutions suite as "BPCS Collaborative Commerce powered by Logility." The suite is designed to help SSA GT customers develop collaborative communities with internal and external business partners and more effectively manage supply chain operations. The partners say that SSA GT customers using the new solution should experience increased supply chain visibility, which should allow them to better respond to changes in demand and supply conditions. Working in conjunction with the BPCS enterprise system, the Logility solutions will provide planning and optimization capabilities in the areas of collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment; demand, supply, inventory, transportation and factory optimization; and advanced warehouse management.

·        Price Optimization for Manufacturers: Rapt & Revenue Technologies

Rapt, a provider of price optimization solutions, and Revenue Technologies, a provider of revenue and price management solutions, are partnering to deliver price planning and execution solutions to the manufacturing industry. The partnership combines Rapt's price-optimization analytics with Revenue Technologies' pricing execution and administration capabilities. The joint solution should give manufacturers the ability to formulate the right prices and the infrastructure to implement those prices rapidly across the extended enterprise, the partners say.

·        Mobile e-CRM: Sutherland Technologies & HiddenMind Technology

Mobile application platform provider HiddenMind Technology is working with IT services firm Sutherland Technologies to develop mobile customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for Fortune 1000 customers in the healthcare, financial services, energy and telecommunications industries. HiddenMind will provide Sutherland with it Active Universe Platform, a wireless, voice and wired application development platform. This software will be integrated into Sutherland's eCRM and customer support solutions to mobilize field service and sales force automation applications such as lead generation and help desk programs. These mobile applications can be accessed through browser-based mobile devices as well as such programmable devices as the Pocket PC and RIM Blackberry. The mobile eCRM and customer support solutions will be available from Sutherland in January 2002. Additionally, Sutherland Technologies will provide field-based IT professional services and business consulting to HiddenMind customers.