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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Oracle buys Agile - Enterprise Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Software

In May, Oracle announced the acquisition of Agile Software Corporation, a leading provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions for $495 million.

According to the press release:

Agile PLM - How Products Become Profits Agile’s PLM solutions help engineers, manufacturing and supply chain professionals and business executives drive the product innovation and introduction process, share product specifications and configurations and collaborate effectively across the supply chain in a variety of industries, including high-tech, life sciences, industrial manufacturing and consumer packaged goods. Agile’s solutions help customers make better product portfolio decisions, accelerate new product introduction, improve manufacturing quality and manage regulatory compliance. Customers of Agile include Acer, Flextronics International, GE Medical Systems, Harris, Heinz, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, McDonald’s, Micron, QUALCOMM, Shell and ZF.

I’ve been working with integrating Oracle to PLM solutions lately so I’m quite interested in this acquisition. If you don’t know what PLM is or does, Wikipedia has this really good definition:

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal. It is one of the four cornerstones of a corporation’s information technology structure. All companies need to manage communications and information with their customers (CRM-Customer Relationship Management) and their suppliers (SCM-Supply Chain Management) and the resources within the enterprise (ERP-Enterprise Resource Planning). In addition, manufacturing engineering companies must also develop, describe, manage and communicate information about their products (PLM).

Documented benefits include:

  • Reduced time to market
  • Improved product quality
  • Reduced prototyping costs
  • Savings through the re-use of original data
  • A framework for product optimization
  • Reduced waste
  • Savings through the complete integration of engineering workflows

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is more to do with managing descriptions and properties of a product through its development and useful life, mainly from a business/engineering point of view; whereas Product life cycle management (PLM) is to do with the life of a product in the market with respect to business/commercial costs and sales measures.

I was pleased to see that Agile also has a blog. Recent entries from their blog:

Another PLM blog can be found under the Product Lifecycle Management Track on the OracleContractors blog, authored by Bob Barnett. His first post on the blog entitled Getting Started with PLM provides some insight into the direction Oracle is taking with PLM.

In terms of positioning in the Market the Gartner Magic Quadrant below shows the players in the PLM market as of September 2006. At this point in time Agile and Oracle were both in the Visionaries segment and its clear that by the Agile acquisition Oracle is intending to move into the Leaders segment and outdo SAP.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for PLM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Update to Oracle’s Project Management Methodology (AIM3.1) released

I just learnt from one of the readers that a new release of AIM, Oracle’s project management methodology, has been released. You can download AIM3.1 from the AIM Foundation page if you are a member of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) i.e. you will need to be log in to access the page and once you’ve downloaded the zip file you will need to e-mail Oracle (at the address specified on the AIM foundation page) for the password to open the file. There’s nothing much to this new release though, it’s pretty much an updated front end or GUI which has support for the newer versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox. Enjoy

Friday, May 12, 2006

Oracle Workflow Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Came across Workflow Frequently Asked Questions the other day and thought I would give it a mention.

Apparently the objectives of the site are:

  • To provide a “one-stop shop” for Oracle Workflow related queries
  • Provide advice and guidance for best practice with Oracle Workflow development
  • Provide an easy to use area where questions can be asked about Oracle Workflow
  • Provide an area for knowledge sharing, through the use of a Wiki

Site background is as follows:

WorkflowFAQ is the brainchild of Matthew Searle.

Formerly a Principal Consultant for Oracle Corporation UK, Matt is a subject matter expert in Workflow development, particularly within developing custom Workflows within the Integration space. Matt is the author of Developing with Oracle Workflow, and is currently looking for a publisher for the book.

Matt’s online CV can be viewed on LinkedIN.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Oracle Buys Portal Software

I got the following mail from Charles Phillips this morning informing me of the purchase of Portal Software by Oracle. It stated: -

Oracle Buys Portal SoftwareToday Oracle announced our agreement to buy Portal Software, a leading global provider of billing and revenue management solutions for the communications and media industry. We expect the transaction to close in June 2006, subject to regulatory and other approvals. Until such time, each company will continue to operate independently. We would like to take this opportunity to pledge our continued commitment to the success of your business and outline the benefits this transaction will deliver, once completed.

We currently supply technology and applications to over 90% of communications companies worldwide, and 17 of the top 20 most profitable communications companies run Oracle Applications. Additionally, Oracle’s Siebel Telecom applications have become the standard for telco call centers and customer care. Oracle Database 10g is the leading relational database and TimesTen is the most widely used in-memory database for the communications industry. Oracle Fusion Middleware is the fastest growing service delivery platform for next generation networks using network independent standards.

Portal offers the only billing and revenue management solution with a modern, object-oriented architecture built on Oracle that can bill and manage all communications services including wireline, wireless, broadband, cable, voice over IP, IPTV, music, and video. As communications, publishing, media, and entertainment services converge, Oracle can support companies with a proven offering for billing, customer interaction, and management of digital services and content. Together, we plan to deliver the first end-to-end packaged enterprise software suite for the communications and media industry.

The combination is expected to provide partners with the following benefits:

  • Work with a single vendor to address customer needs for billing, CRM, ERP, analytics, and infrastructure software: Portal partners to benefit from Oracle’s worldwide resources and partner ecosystem, as well as preserving their investments and experience with Portal products. Oracle partners to benefit from Portal’s best-in-class, real-time billing solutions. Both companies’ partners to benefit from the complementary solutions that create the first end-to-end packaged enterprise software suite for the communications industry.
  • Continuity of Oracle’s partnership with Network Equipment Providers in the convergent charging area: Oracle expects no change to the partnerships we have built with network equipment providers, particularly IN-based charging solutions. The addition of Portal enhances Oracle’s portfolio to the communications industry, and is complementary to network equipment providers’ charging initiatives.
  • Commitment from Oracle to continue supporting other billing ISVs: Oracle is committed to helping billing ISVs with the provision of Oracle’s infrastructure software, including our relational database, in-memory database, middleware, and analytics. Oracle is also committed to helping enable integrations between billing ISVs and Oracle’s other enterprise applications. The provision of technology support and collaboration for these activities will be conducted independently from the business unit led by Portal.

Other news entries on this topic: -

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Oracle Internet Expenses Setup Steps

It’s a Feature has a useful How to, for configuring Oracle iExpenses.

According to the Oracle Internet Expenses Site:

Oracle Internet Expenses is a travel and entertainment solution that streamlines and automates travel spend management. The result: a dramatic and immediate return on investment with direct impact on the bottom line.

The Key Steps Mentioned in the It’s a Feature blog entry are:

  1. PA: Enable Project Expenditure Types for Expense Report Entry
  2. AP: Define Expense Report Templates
  3. AP: Define Financials Options > Accounting
  4. AP: Establish Multiple Currencies Setup
  5. AP: Defining Expense Report Options
  6. AP: Assign Signing Limits
  7. OIE: Define iExpense Policies
  8. OIE: Enable Expense Allocations
  9. OIE: Define Receipt Notification Rule Set
  10. OIE: Assign Receipt Notification Rule Set
  11. OIE: Define Mileage Rate Schedule
  12. AP: Complete Mileage Expense Type Definition in Payables
  13. SA: Define Profile Options
  14. WF: Customize Project Expense Report Account Generator
  15. GL: Assign Your Customized Project Expense Report Account Generator to your chart of accounts
  16. WF: Customize the Internet Expenses Workflow
  17. WF: Define Workflow Notification Performers
  18. Change the Find Approver Method
  19. Personalize Expense Report Submission Instructions
  20. Compile the Expense Types Descriptive flexfield!
  21. Enable the Display of Project and Task
  22. Other Configuration Considerations

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