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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

ERP Software Comparison - Oracle, SAP, Peoplesoft, Microsoft and Siebel

An article entitled ERP Packages Feature Comparison by Elisabeth Rainier of the ITtoolbox blog New Trends & Techniques in Managing CRM & SAP Projects, provides a useful comparison of the following ERP systems: -

  • Microsoft Great Plains version 7.5 and previews of Microsoft Great Plains version 8.0
  • Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.9
  • PeopleSoft Enterprise 8.8 and 8.9 and EnterpriseOne 8.11
  • SAP mySAP Business Suite R/3 4.6 and SAP R/3 Enterprise 4.7
  • Siebel 7.5 and Siebel 7.7

For the players and software versions mentioned above, you’ll find a study which provides a comparative, multi-vendor assessment across the three major phases of the application lifecycle: implementation, application usage, and ongoing support and maintenance.

I haven’t come across many ERP software comparisons on the web so if anyone else knows of other comparisons available online please add your comments and links to this post.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

ProfitLogic - another acquisition by Oracle

Fresh off the back of some rather superb financial results, Oracle has announced yet another acquisition. The company being taken over is ProfitLogic a leading provider of Retail Profit Optimization solutions.

According to the Oracle Press Statement:

ProfitLogic’s software analyzes customer demand patterns to help retailers make inventory, pricing and merchandising decisions. ProfitLogic’s current customers include retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, The Children’s Place Retail Stores, Famous Footwear, JC Penney, Marshall Field’s, Nordstrom, Reitmans, ShopKo Stores, and Toys R Us, among others.

“ProfitLogic’s software provides analysis that helps retailers put the right product, in the right store, for the right customer, at the right time,” said Duncan Angove, general manager, Oracle’s Retek Global Business Unit. “Our acquisition of ProfitLogic will create the most comprehensive software solution for the retail industry. With ProfitLogic’s Retail Profit Optimization software, Retek’s end-to-end retail products, and Oracle’s infrastructure software and ERP applications, we will be able to offer an integrated solution for retailers of any size and in any industry.”

For further information check out the Oracle ProfitLogic page.

I’m sure this is not the only acquisition we will see in the coming months. In an article entitled Oracle Pushes aside the doubters, Street Patrol’s Robert Walberg mentions that other potential takeover targets may be Hyperion, Siebel, BEA systems or Business Objects. I’ll be posting more discussion on these potential takeover targets in the near future. In the mean time I’d be interested to here your thoughts on Oracle’s acquisition strategy.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Open Source ERP - implementation and selection

There’s an interesting discussion going on at the ITtoolbox ERP-Select forum on Open Source ERP software selection and implementation. Check out the discussion thread entitled Open Source ERP Needed (trilingual a plus). One of the posts lists the pros and cons of implementing Open Source ERP as follows: -

Pros

  • No license cost which brings the initial cost of purchase down to a minimum. Add the open source O/S and database and the cost is immediately down to nothing but the hardware.
  • Ownership of the source code, which allows the company to twist it to unimaginable lengths. In niche markets and industries this is particularly advantageous since the company can customize the core processes that give them a niche in their market. This also means that their competitive advantage which can be drawn from unique functionality is proprietary and not shared with other companies in the same industry.
  • A pool of virtually infinite programmers that will develop the core ERP in the future. The only risk here is the lack of good project management by a project leader. To my knowledge, Compiere and GNUe have robust project leading teams at the moment.

Cons

  • One has to find the support and implementation services that will take full advantage of the ERP (open source or not). The difference is that in open source no vendor assumes responsibility for legal and other conformity issues.
  • Maintenance: nobody can guarantee that the open source ERP implemented today will be around in - say - 5 years. I think it is safe to argue that we all understand that ERP is a long-term investment where the biggest expense is change management, training and human capital.
  • Customization: yes, you can customize as much as you want. However, you then need a team to maintain the customization and keep it updated with all the new versions of core functionality. Therefore, you need an organization large enough to take full advantage of the open source features.

Based on the discussions I’ve compiled a listing of Open Source ERP software systems on the link blog. If there’s any more you think should be added to the list please let me know.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Oracle Fusion for SAP R/3 Customers

An eye for an eye. Oracle recently announced an initiative named OFF SAP, the objective of which is to try and win over SAP R/3 customers who have to pay to upgrade to mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite. This seems to be in response to the SAP Safe Passage Programme, which is designed to lure PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Retek users away from Oracle.

Details of the programme are contained in an Oracle press statement, an excerpt of which states:

Under the new program, Oracle Fusion for SAP or “OFF SAP,” Oracle will offer SAP R/3 customers up to a 100% license credit, to switch from SAP to Oracle applications. Additionally, as part of “OFF SAP,” Oracle Consulting is announcing a new, free INSIGHT for SAP Migration offer, which includes a discovery workshop for R/3 customers that results in an assessment of the customers’ specific migration plan. With INSIGHT for SAP Migration, Oracle Consulting will provide customers with a clear understanding of the migration process and benefits. Oracle Financing will offer a two-year payment plan for the application license and support fees, with no interest and no payments for six months, followed by six installments. Together, these programs will allow customers to quickly begin receiving value from their Oracle applications, mapping payments to benefits over two years.

SAP requires customers who choose to upgrade from SAP R/3 to mySAP ERP or mySAP Business Suite to re-license and re-implement the applications, which can cost customers significant amounts of time and money. “Oracle has evolved customers with us for nearly three decades across multiple generations of technology,” said Charles Phillips, president, Oracle. “94% of Oracle E-Business Suite customers are running on the latest applications - Release 11i. SAP, however, seems to be requiring customers to re-license their applications to upgrade to SAP’s latest technology. Only 6% of SAP’s customers have upgraded to mySAP ERP, according to a leading analyst firm. Now they have a low cost alternative to stop paying for upgrades and get OFF SAP.”

Mmm…. I’m not convinced this will be enough to lure SAP customers away. Whatever the case, if you’re considering migrating either way, now would probably be a good time to do it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Project Fusion at Peoplesoft Planet

The Oracle and Peoplesoft planet is an informative site I came across the other day.

The site has 5 useful sections, namely: -

  1. About Peoplesoft - includes a Q&A
  2. Tools and Training
  3. Consulting
  4. Jobs
  5. Other Links

They also have a page on Project Fusion which has their opinions as to how Oracle can make Project Fusion a success. The main points look something like this: -

  • Keep or enhance the PeopleSoft GUI
  • Keep it simple
  • Three letters: A S P (Application Service Provider)
  • Security Integration is key
  • Create unbeatable integration
  • Drop the price

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