Enterprise Asset Management Online

Datastream builds EAM application for the Web

Greenville, SC  October 16, 2001  Datastream Systems took its enterprise asset management applications online this week with the release of Datastream 7i, a hosted application that the solution provider says was built from the ground up to run on the Web.

7i allows companies to track, manage and maintain their assets across multiple sites. The new software, offered in "standard" or "enterprise" editions, combines a user interface based on Datastream's mid-market MP2 application with the more robust features and data-handling capacity of the solution provider's enterprise-oriented MP5 software.

"It takes the structure of MP5  the ability to track assets on a very massive scale  and puts it on an interface that would be very familiar to any user of MP2," said Ty Christopher, director of Datastream's product management group.

Christopher said that while it was tempting to reconfigure the MP2 product to run on the Web, Datastream decided to write the new application from the ground up. "We started from scratch and came up with a true Web application," he said.

7i's Web architecture enables companies to deploy the product on a single Web server from which end users can access the application through a standard Web browser over normal Internet connections. Christopher emphasized that 7i does not require customers to purchase additional enabling technology or establish high-speed Internet connections.

A company can choose to "self-host" the new application on its own server or allow Datastream to host the software. However, Datastream is touting the potential cost savings of using the hosted service, pointing out that it eliminates the equipment, software and personnel costs associated with purchasing, deploying and maintaining the self-hosted application. It also ensures that customers have access to the latest version of 7i, since Datastream will upgrade the software it hosts on a regular basis.

Features in the new software include key performance indicators, multi-organizational support and security, inventory control, regulatory compliance, work orders, job rates, work permits, warranty management and repairable spares.

In addition, Datastream has integrated 7i with the company's iProcure automated industrial procurement networks, as well as with other e-procurement platforms.

Customers of MP2 and MP5 can take advantage of an upgrade program that Datastream also announced this week.

One customer pursuing the upgrade path is Smurfit-Stone, the world's largest integrated producer of paper-based packaging products. Smurfit-Stone's consumer packaging division is doing an initial rollout at seven sites, migrating three separate MP2 databases into one Datastream 7i database. Rod Jackson, division information technology manager for the division, said the company went with 7i based on the solution's flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

License pricing for 7i ranges from $3,500 per seat, plus $149 per month for hosting and support, for the standard edition, to $7,000 per seat and $199 per month for the enterprise edition. "Subscriptions" to the software cost $399 or $499 per month, respectively, for the standard and enterprise versions.

Founded in 1986, Datastream claims 10,000 customers in 129 countries and says that its products and services are in use by 65 percent of the Fortune 500. The company competes with such solution providers as Peregrine Systems and Indus International.