Sockeye Steps Up to 2.0

Collaborative commerce upgrade brings new supply chain applications

Toronto  November 5, 2001  Sockeye Solutions today launched version 2.0 of its collaborative commerce platform, along with six applications to support interactivity among supply chain partners.

Sockeye says its C-Commerce Application Framework (CAF) version 2.0 will help companies better communicate, plan and execute through their extended supply chain and across multiple trading circles, accelerating time-to-market, reducing inventories and lowering procurement costs.

The new application builds on CAF 1.0, released in May 2000, and currently in use at such customers as Hewlett-Packard and Teknion, a $600 million Canadian manufacturer of office furniture.

Brian Nickerson, president and CEO of Sockeye Solutions, said that the trend among companies to work more closely with their trading partners has prompted enterprises to seek out tools to allow them to work more nimbly. "Companies are being increasingly defined by the effectiveness of their value chains," Nickerson said. "As companies look to extend commerce beyond their own enterprise, they must strive to work with partners that value speed and quality and have the ability to react dynamically, thus driving revenue."

Sockeye's c-commerce applications include:

- Direct Material Execution, which supports collaboration around direct material requirements between buyers and suppliers, synchronizing direct material requirements with fluctuating demand. It includes request for quote (RFQ) and bidding features.

- Vendor Managed Inventory, which enables interenterprise collaborative inventory planning to fine tune the flow of material and information between trading partners and, potentially, to improve manufacturing and transportation efficiencies and reduce inventory.

- Logistics Execution, which provides collaborative logistics between shippers, carriers and logistics service providers, allowing real-time visibility and monitoring of transportation orders to personnel across the logistics service network.

- Demand Monitoring, which allows real-time order promising, customer order status inquiry and order problem ticketing.

- Manufacturing Execution, which aids complex, multi-site environments that require the ability to synchronize material exchange across multiple supply chains, manufacturing sites or organizations.

- Supply Chain Metrics, which generates on demand, supply chain performance metrics for continuous improvement.

The different applications can be used individually or jointly, and Sockeye is targeting both individual companies and the online exchanges that link enterprises with their trading partners. In mid-September, Hewlett-Packard announced that it was beefing up its private trading exchange initiative, called KeyChain, with collaboration and supply-planning applications from Sockeye.

Nickerson said that the framework comprises a set of generic components and services and would be appropriate for companies in a broad range of markets. However, inasmuch as Sockeye is an independent spin-off of Baan, an Invensys company, the solution provider is currently focusing on markets where Baan has traditionally been strong, including manufacturing, automotive and electronics. Sockeye is also working on initiatives that take them into the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry, according to Nickerson.

A "starter" solution set for an enterprisewide private exchange might start at about $200,000, while the individual applications range from $40,000 on up, Nickerson said.

Looking ahead, Nickerson said that Sockeye will focus on keeping its solutions compliant with evolving ebXML, J2EE and other e-business standards, as well as on increasing support for lean manufacturing practices and for processes involved in new product introductions.