Manufacturing software vendors are making aggressive moves to the cloud. In
the past year alone, four vendors rolled out a full suite
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings for the industry. That brings the
current tally of SaaS players in the manufacturing arena to five: Epicor
Express, Infor SyteLine, NetSuite, Plex, and SAP Business ByDesign.
The buzz around the cloud has manufacturers asking if a cloud solution is
right for them. To help answer that question, I'll explore the features and
functionality each vendor offers, and the ideal target market for each. Many
more vendors are redesigning their software for the cloud, but I thought I
would spotlight the five that are already there.
First, here's a brief introduction to the vendors.
In May of 2010, Epicor released Epicor Manufacturing Express Edition (Epicor
Express), the SaaS version of their Epicor 9 produc... (more)
As IBM turned 100 this month, the company received a lot of fanfare and
attention. Amazingly, this tech giant has managed to stay relevant in the
fast-paced world of enterprise technology for a century. Since Big Blue's
birthday, many media analysts have reflected on past achievements and
milestones while others touched on their current innovations. I'm a fan of
the retrospective approach, but I often find it more interesting to think
about where a company is headed rather than where it's been.
In the spirit of forward-looking analysis, I decided to dig into IBM's merger
and acq... (more)
Without a doubt, one of the most difficult stages of manufacturing production
is the planning stage. Minor errors in predicting demand or planning
materials can lead to costly mistakes such as producing too much or carrying
excess inventory. To drive out waste and produce at the most efficient
levels, manufacturers increasingly rely on information technology during the
planning stages. Two of the most popular planning applications on the market
today are material requirements planning (MRP) software and production
planning and scheduling software.
While it's generally understood... (more)
Although cloud computing is just starting to make its way into the
manufacturing industry, I think the cloud holds great potential for the
future of manufacturing software. And I don't think the potential of the
cloud is limited to the application.
Cloud development platforms - or Platform as a Service (PaaS) - stand to
change the way that manufacturing software is developed, distributed and
consumed. Because PaaS significantly lowers the barriers to entry to develop
manufacturing applications, it makes it significantly cheaper and easier for
third-party developers to create app... (more)
Disclaimer: This article discusses evaluating the total cost of ownership
(TCO) for on-premise and SaaS solutions. However, information in this article
should not be construed as financial advice.
Six months ago my boss sent me an interactive calculator that the New York
Times created to help people decide whether it's a better financial decision
to buy a home or simply rent one. He shared the calculator with me because,
at the time, we were looking for interesting ways to visualize data and
relate it back to our work at Software Advice where we review enterprise
software system... (more)